Hi all. My name is Steve, and I've been diagnosed with Pure-o, and have absolutely no faith in any treatment working.
I'll start from the start:
When I was with my ex girlfriend, I started to experience thoughts and images which led me to feel terrible. As a consequence, I sought help from the doctor, eventually ending up on citalopram (which did nothing) and seeing a counsellor. Months down the line, the counsellor failed to diagnose anything, and effectively said he could do nothing. I then went to a psychotherapist who eventually (after 7 sessions) diagnosed pure-o, which I'd already suggested based on my internet research. I went through a course of CBT which did nothing. Throughout all this, I was experiencing almost constant thoughts which led me to feel horrendous, and totally unable to do anything.
I have read numerous pure-o testimonies, but never come across one similar to mine. Basically I feel bad about drinking alchohol. I have no idea why, as it has no reasonable significance to me or relates to previous bad experiences. Anyway, I couldn't deal with my girlfriend drinking at all. We later broke up, and after a number of months, I began to feel normal again. However, I have since tried seeing other people, but simply can't deal with anything to do with drinking. The best way I can describe it is that I get a 'bad' feeling. THis is unlike any anxiety/stress I've ever experienced elsewhere, and just makes me feel as though I can't go on. it's a black cloud, but different than depresion.
No treatment or tablets have worked, and basically I can't have a girlfriend without feeling terrible. I've also now applied the bad feeling to any men the girl may have seen in the past etc. i have no idea what to do, and genuinely feel there is no way of moving past it. I'm currently on Clomipramine and seeking mindfulness treatment.
I'm also a pure O-er, and I have been dealing with these weird phobias or feelings of guilt over irrational things for years. I just recently found out that I've been suffering from OCD.
I was on citalopram for 2 years, being treated for depression, when the stress of a moved, caused me to have an OCD flare up. I felt like I lost my life. Every little imperfection I saw in my apartment, which was old and in the environment, such as rust on the sidewalk, or the discolorations in between my bath tiles would make me feel extreme disgust and I would obsess about the item that caused this disgust throughout the day. I'd just started a great job, and was moving forward in my life when this happened.
I also felt like there was no hope for treatment, untill I started seeing a new psychaitrist who took me off citalopram and put me on Zoloft, which is known to work well for depression and OCD. I went to the extreme of breaking my lease on the apartment with all the "imperfections" to get relief before being placed on the Zoloft and experiencing significant relief. I moved to a brand new apartment complex, and still found imperfections that drove me crazy. I truly thought I lost my life and my mind.
I'm saying all of this to let you know you are not alone and that there is hope. I've listed some things that have helped me, and each day I'm developing more power over the thoughts in my mind:
1. Switched to Zoloft
2. Ordered The OCD Workbook on Amazon (The book contains countless stories about people who were suffering more horribly than me and had found relief, so it inspired me and made me believe there was hope for me.
3. Started seeing a very good CBT therapist who was trained by Beck himself (I will say the key to CBT is getting to the root of what you are actually afraid of and doing exposure therapy in conjunction with it regularly regularly. For me, my triggers represented fear of chaos. It took me a while to be convinced because I felt it wouldn't work, I didn't want to deal with what I felt was the torture of exposure therapy, and I didn't believe that I would just suddenly habituate if I just continued to challenge the thoughts in my mind. However, I soon learned that habituation is inevitable and the exposure to the thing you are obsessed about must be gradually increasing. It takes time and willingness to face your fears. The authors of the OCD workbook explain the extreme cases in which exposure therapy and CBT wont work.
Hope this excessivley long response helps. You can do it! Just remember it is a process.
Hi 'itsjustwater' many thanks for your response. I'm unfortunately at the point where I can't actually see anything helping me get back to 'normal', but I'll certainly take on board what you've said, and try to incorporate some of the things you have suggested. Thanks again, Steve