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    Old 02-24-2004, 04:56 PM   #1
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    Afraid of getting help?

    Hello Everyone,

    As a fellow OCD sufferer I have found this message board to be a great help. One thing that I have noticed however, is that so many people are reluctant, afraid and some even ashamed of seeking professional help, so I thought it might be helpful to start a thread where anyone who wanted to discuss their fears of seeking help might reply, and those of you who have sought help would share their experience.

    I'll start with my own fears and the circumstance that led me to finally seeing a doctor. I've been struggling with OCD since the age of 21. I am now 34 and finally able to discuss it freely with my mom and my husband. I did not go to a doctor until February of last year so basically I coped the best way I could for 13 long years. My fears of seeking help were the following:

    * Afraid of the stigma of being considered "crazy", or "abnormal".
    * Afraid that I would limit my employment options due to the medical records that would be kept. (I wanted to be in law enforcement and the screening would have been intense)
    * When my OCD got really bad, I was afraid of being committed to a mental institution and being ashamed when everyone found out.
    * Afraid that my marriage would end.
    * Afraid that the doctor might diagnose me as insane.

    and I'm sure a few other fears occurred to me whenever I considered seeking help.

    The cirucumstance that finally led me to seeing a doctor was the birth of my daughter. Up until then, I considered my OCD manageable since I basically avoided any situation that caused me OCD anxiety and since I kept myself busy with work and college I had little time to focus entirely on OCD. But then I became a stay at home mom. Once I gave birth, I had a severe case of postpardum depression and my OCD worsened. At that point, realizing that my daughter is the most important person in the world I HAD to see a doctor so that I could be 100%. I remember vividly crying all the way to the doctor's office. Totally frightened by what he would say or do but I knew I HAD to go and get the help I needed. Well to my surprise, he could see that I was scared and saddened by my condition. He did not hesitate to reassure me that I would be ok. He used no type of labels like "abnormal" or pyschotic" or any of those terms that I feared. He prescribed Zoloft for me and sent me home. The Zoloft helped the depression and the OCD. I cannot describe the relief I felt knowing that he understood, and giving me the medicine I needed to feel better.

    See, I have always considered my self a "strong" person. I felt that admitting that I had OCD and needing medication would suddenly make me weak and too dumb to fix my own problems. I HAD to get past that misconception. THe fact was, that I was being too arrogant. Not all battles in life are meant to be fougnt alone. There are NO perfect human beings in this world. Everyone struggles in one way or another. I have learned to accept that I have OCD, and am a stronger and more sensitive (and humble)person because of it.

    One more thing that I would like to add, (sorry that this is such a long post)
    Once I started the meds and was feeling better, I suddenly convinced myself that I was feeling better "despite" the meds not because of them (there was the arrogance again) so I abruptly stopped taking the meds in June. All was well for a while until November, when I suffered a severe relapse. That was the wake-up call that I needed. See, I was still convinced that I could "beat" OCD. Now I know that I must manage it. It's a chronic disorder and stress will often trigger it. With life comes stress, so of course November came along, holidays were were coming and stress just normally followed. I had to resume taking the meds in November and did not start feeling better until January. In the meantime, I bought books on the topic, researched info on the web and contacted local medical facilities for support groups. Now I know that if I eventually get off the meds, I have more knowledge and resources to help me through a relapse period if it were to occur again.

    So, now that I've shared all of this, I encourage anyone who wants to share their experiences with finally getting professional help for their OCD to post, and anyone who is afraid of seeking help, to post as well and let us know what fears you have (so long as your comfortable posting them).

    The sharing of knowledge is a tradition of humankind(ness).

    To all, be well.

    simply j.

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    Old 02-24-2004, 05:21 PM   #2
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    cherryfroggie7 HB User
    Question Re: Afraid of getting help?

    simply j.,
    Wow are you strong. I'm very reluctant to get any kind or help, apart from this message board and a support goup.

    There are many reasons why I don't want to seek help.

    -In a way, I'm embarassed to admit to anyone I know I have a problem.
    -I, same as you, am afraid of getting called a nutter and chucked back out
    -I don't really like doctors much, any kind.
    -Admitting that I may have OCD, even here, almost makes me feel like I'm more aware of my obsessions/compulsions and I'm only doing them because I want to (even though I know I'm not)

    Fears (in a nutshell):

    Obsession: Having to be "just right"

    -Severe Clenliness (washing hands, washing seats/desks, don't want to get close to people, etc.)
    -Counting things (rainbows, people, houses, etc.)
    -Organizing things (pencils, papers, objetcs, etc.)
    -Be perfectly neat/precise (school work, room, etc.)
    -Routines (morning and night)

    (b.t.w., I love you sharing knowledge quote ;-)

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    Old 02-25-2004, 09:25 AM   #3
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    Re: Afraid of getting help?


    I just want to clarify that mine isn't OCD, just an obsession that leads to tendancies very much like it involving a person- unable to touch certain things, etc. I have no compulsions.

    I get panic attacks which are triggered as a result.

    Sometime in September, after I had a series of panic attacks (still going on now), not my first over this person but my first of the new school year and totally unexpected. I had three the first time I saw her when we went back, all pretty severe. One lasted two hours.

    Previously I'd gone through depression, etc and I'd not told my parents anything. It had been exhuasting hiding everything, leading to many rows, etc, so I came clean to them after that day. They were supportive yet didn't know what to do. There was the suggestion of a meeting with this person and I agreed with it. However the person didn't.

    It was getting too much and as she hadn't agreed I was told to see a physciatrist or someone of that field. I was terrified of that. I didn't see it as being ill, I didn't want to admit to having that bad a problem. I felt sure I'd be branded as crazy and possibly put in a physcological ward.

    I went up to see 'her' even though I wasn't supposed to. My friend was in her tutor group and I pretended to want a book off her. The person was furious, yelling at me. I'd been terrified. It had taken ages for the courage to hit me and to know on her classroom door. But I did it, shaking. My friend was with me outside, she told me later I looked like I was going to have an attack, but when 'her' (the person) started telling me to go away, my defense set it and I argued that I only wanted a book. I got it. And I did it. I really thought it was over.

    However it seemed to go deeper than that. I decided to go for counselling when this failed, despite being terrified. It was either that or a physciatrist and I would so prefer that. So thats what I did.

    But things have just gotten worse, to the extent that I became so desperate I took an overdose and went to school, hoping say goodbye to 'her', as in goodbye to my fears. I dunno. I'd totally lost it.

    After the trip to the hospital I was recomended to see a physcologist and had little choice in the matter, but I was just relieved to be getting help because it was too much doing it alone. It just built up and up.

    Hopefully they can help me.

    Anyway thats my story. Take care all XxX

    Old 02-27-2004, 04:41 AM   #4
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    Re: Afraid of getting help?

    Simplyj, you sound just like me! I had postpartum after my daughter was born, stopped my meds because I was feeling better, went back on due to a relapse... My baby was why I got help. I've never felt better!

    I have depression, anxiety, and OCD (tendencies) and hairpulling.

    My OCD is mostly compulsion. Used to clean a lot, used to turn counterclockwise, can't step on cracks, need symmetry. Love me, love my OCD!

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