Join Date: Oct 2010
Have I developed OCD, help/advice
I have just joined these boards and and doing so in the hope of gaining some help/advice , and to learn of others stories.
I apologise for the probable length of this post.
I think I have developed some form of OCD about going to the bathroom , that is causing me to have severe insomnia, and is really impacting on my life and daily wellbeing quite a lot.
It all started about five or five and a half years ago, when I had two severe urine\ary tract infections.On both occasions I was peeing a lot of blood and had to rush to hospital , thankfully it got treated and I was fine.
However, the second time it happened was a week before I was going backpacking alone in southeast Asia. I had never been to this part of the world before, and was terrified that the infection would happen again and I wouldn't have a clue where/how to get treatment. I then became very conscious of emptying my bladder all the time, I was always thinking if I needed the toilet, day and night. and I was convinced that I needed it, but I didn't.
Anyway I didn't get sick, but this had already planted a seed in my mind. For about a year or so I was convinced that I actually did have something wrong with my bladder etc,....I went to the doctors a few times, and they did tests a\for various things and nothing was wrong.
After this time I realised that I did not have anything physically wrong, and the feeling in the day time/waking hours that I needed the toilet all the time went away, and in this time I carried on like before any of this happened.
However, getting to sleep became a whole new problem. I still felt like a needed the toilet as soon as I got into bed (I did have further checks for any kidney problems etc but I was fine)
Anyway, to try and stop this post getting into essay lengths, in the four or so years since then its become somewhat of an obsession.
In the few hours up until bed time I will try not to drink too much so that I won't need the toilet. Going to the toilet is the last thing I do before I go to sleep, I mean like literally like the last thing, all lights turned off, ear plugs in , I have to make sure I go to the toilet after my partner. etc. But that is not enough,
some nights I have to go to the toilet up to 15 or 20 times before it feels "right" about falling to sleep. Even if I'm peeing a tiny amount, it doesn't feel right untill I do it. Sometimes I will go through this for up to 3 or 4 hours. Before I lived with my partner , I used to pee in cups in my bedroom for fear that my housemates would think I was so strange for going to the toilet so many times.
The thing is, it's not like I'm lying wide awake, I start to drop off in the normal time, and then something inside my brain fires and I have to get up to pee.
I don't even think that I will get sick anymore, I know I won't, and I know if I do need to pee my body will wake me up in the night to go. It seems to have become this ingrained pattern.
I will admit, it varies and it's not like there is a specific amount of times that I have to go for it to be ok (which leads me to think it may not be OCD), sometimes it can happen just once or twice, and sometimes it goes on for hours.
It never never happens. The very very best I can hope for is that I will drop of to sleep almost, in about 20mins, my body will wake me up, I will go to the toilet once or twice, and then I will be asleep.
Furthermore, I do not think this problem stands alone, I believe it is coupled with anxiety about getting up early, if it is the weekend, I feel relaxed about going to bed and it happens maybe for less than an hour. I used to work a l ate schedule, and it didn't effect my life so much as I could sleep later and still got 7 or 8 hours. It is also worse in difficult situations, for example, sometimes my partner comes in from work at 12:00am, if I've gone to bed at 10:00 or 10:30. I may just been finishing the cycle so to speak, but then he disturbs me, and I have to start all over again, these are the nights that I often get like 2 or 3 hours sleep. He does his best to be quiet, but y'know, the world doesn't revolve around me and my problem,I can't live in the perfect environment.
However, for the last year or so , I wake up at 6:30, which is early, but the time that 90% of the world wakes up. And the problem is just ridiculous. I end up getting 3 or 4 hours sleep a night.
I live and work in Tokyo as a kindergarten teacher, and my insanely busy hourly commute and work as a kindergarten teacher would be stressful under any situation, but this really makes my life a real real drag.
I never wake up feeling refreshed, and I start each day on a bad note, I've been trying to ignore it up to now, as I function prety much "normally" in all other areas. But I'm really just sick and tired of being so exhausted all the time. I'm 25 but feel so worn down. I have puffy baggy eyes, and feel really fed up.
I have been to the doctor about it, and first he gave me paxil, which i hated, and it also made me pee loads. Next he prescribed me sleeping pills, which did mean that I got some sleep, but didn't really help the underlying problem.I found the doctor pretty unhelpful on both occasions and he kept looking at the clock whilst I was explaining. I'm limited with the doctors I can see, as I do not have the Japanese to explain this problem in detail.
But to be honest, I'm pretty dead set against meds if possible.
I really don't know what to do. Behavioural therapy is way to expensive for me.It's not even an option. Unless I ask my parents if this problem becomes ridiculous enough.
I want to ask people's advice, does anybody know any thinking / mind strategies that could help me? any bedtime routines that could help? anyway that I could think myself out of this like I've thought myself into it?
or anybody who's in/has been in similar situations?
I want to be able to get up in the morning, for work, for leisure activies etc. I find this is really constricting my life and my way of thinking, for example. I never want to go to my friends house for dinner in an evening because it will mean that I've drank things close to bed time, and I haven't been alone so I haven't been able to concentrate on if I need the toilet or not.
I try to stop it every night, but I just can't do it.
sorry for the length of this post. I've never ever explained this in length to anybody.
I look forward to hearing from you.