I’ve toyed with the idea of doing this blog about me and my OCD for a couple of years now, and then always in the end decided against it through various reasons. Primarily, it was because of embarrassment, and then wanting to appear ‘perfect’ and ‘not come across as a nutter’ come further down the list. I’ve had therapists say as I’m such an intelligent fellow(and big headed haha) I should blog about my OCD but still I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I then woke up this morning, wishing I was dead after an horrendous night via an OCD contamination flare-up, and I’ve decided I want to come clean…pardon the pun. I want to share my struggles with OCD. I still think there is a social stigma out there in society regarding Mental Health struggles, so I guess being mindful of this has held me back blogging and openly talking about it too. I have suffered prejudice in the medical field regarding my OCD. I’ve had a Diabetic Nurse suggest I’m getting ‘obsessed’ with my blood sugars. I even had one GP suggest I was getting ‘obsessed with my bits’, when trying to find out why I felt so ill(I was later diagnosed with a prostate infection, see an earlier blog). All because they see ‘OCD sufferer down on my file. Yes talking about my OCD a lot can make my symptoms worse later in that day but I wanted to risk it. Therefore, after this first big introductory blog about me and my OCD, I’m going to keep it to much shorter entries in the future.
I first started with OCD when I was about fifteen. Although, before then I can distinctly remember playing football and cricket for schools and various clubs , and really dreading the games. I enjoyed the actual playing of them but would feel sick with worry beforehand. I’d worry I might let a goal in(I was goalkeeper) or that I’d get no runs at cricket. The perfectionist in me has ruled in me since then, for gone now twenty yrs. OCD wise, I started feeling dirty all over my body regarding smells I came in contact with. For example, I can remember us as a family driving past a pig farm once and it felt like somebody had just hosed me down in pig poo upon me smelling it, I couldn’t rest til I’d washed later. My first issue was the smell of urine in the bathroom(when I was younger I may accidentally pee on the floor/miss the toilet and not wipe it up afterwards. I would feel contaminated at smelling it. This then developed to dog wee. We had a dog who would randomly just wee in the house, even though we’d take him out regularly in the day. I can remember stepping in dog wee in my bare stocking feet and getting all panic stricken and upset about it, rushing upstairs to wash in the shower. I felt dirty and couldnt rest until I felt clean.
Around the time of doing my A-levels I started to get this feeling of contamination after going to the toilet. I couldn’t pee or have a motion, without feeling the need to shower or wash my ‘toilet equipment’ afterwards. This was when it really started to get on top of me, I felt so helpless. Helpless enough to start self-harming. I’m a diabetic and so used to scratch my arms with my needle ends. I started feeling suicidal I felt so domineered by the obsessive, irrational, obtrusive thoughts. I started getting help from my local NHS Mental Health Service and made small but significant progress. Problem is though, when the help stopped my OCD got worse. I knew living away from home going to University in Liverpool would be a struggle regarding my OCD but graduating, or rather the prospect of it, seemed like a dream to me so I just knew I had to try and fight it(the OCD).
When I got to Uni and Liverpool this was when my dog poo phobia really kicked in. Liverpool seemed covered in dog poo in my OCD irrational eyes. The only reason I put up with it was due to dreaming about graduating. I got that bad I can remember once getting a taxi to take me just 200yards up the road to my Home School, so to avoid the possibility of maybe walking in dog shit. We also had mice in my Uni flat. I was never scared of them, just couldn’t handle them defecating all over our carpets.
After Uni I moved back home to try and get better from complicated back and pelvic issues that I have. Not being able to work made my OCD ten times worse. Uni was great therapy for me whereas now I was stuck at home not exposing myself to things. The major flare-up happened when I went to my local doctors surgery for a blood test. The day after I realised I had unknowingly sat in a seat there where there had been vomit on it. As I hadn’t realised at the time I spread this smell all over our house. Me and my Mum who I was living with just couldn’t get rid of this smell, it truly was horrific. As it’s been said to me, I don’t think these ‘contaminated’ things are going to kill me or spread germs everywhere like some OCD sufferers do. Mine is more not being able to relax, have piece of mind if I feel something is or I am contaminated, I’m unable to switch off. The sick incident has made my OCD the worst it has ever been. I always said to folk, yes my OCD is there but it wouldn’t stop me working, I’m too career minded and driven for that. Now sadly it is that bad, there is no way can I contemplate work until it improves lots. I should note, I’m still struggling with back and pelvis issues, so they are preventing me from achieving my career/life goals as well. After this sick incident, I completely went into my shell, completely withdrew myself from aspects of life due to this overwhelming fear of coming into contact or smelling sick again wherever I may go. I can’t go shopping, engage in a social life, have a girlfriend, go to any kind public place because I am so petrified of smelling or seeing sick. I stand up all the time now when I go to my local doctors(a new one), I get in such a panic stricken state when having to out. I literally worry……irrationally……..that vomit is everywhere. I cant bring myself to go on public transport and get in such a state when having to get a taxi(to go to medical places). There is so much in life I want to be able to do but my OCD is stopping me.
I had a course of CBT from a Psychologist at the hospital but it didn’t go well. To put it bluntly, she was a trainee therapist who was out of her depth. All she said were things like, ‘sick isn’t everywhere’, ‘do some deep breathing exercises’……..she offered me no real support or guidance in how to tackle the problem/my issues. I was and still am petrified of how I will cope when I smell or come in contact with sick again. I am scared stiff of being sick myself, partly because I know it will rake up all these upsetting memories I still have of this incident 2yrs ago. I need coping strategies. My home is like a prison at the mo, there are soooooo many areas out of bounds. I treat my Mother awfully sometimes due to me demanding she watches where she sits, walks and touches. She had done something terrible regarding my OCD last night(by accident) which caused a big row…hence why I felt suicidal and terrible this morning. The whole house feels contaminated now in my eyes, I just pray we can get over it in a few days time. The house badly needs decorating but I’m scared of the contaminated things in the house being moved, but I will have to finally face this fear this summer.
I’m also at loggerheads regarding this absolute pillock of a Psychiatrist who I’m under at the hospital with. Due to a terrible stinging I have under my ribs at the mo, and which I’m having scans and tests currently for, I’m unable to take most forms of medication due them stinging this area terribly and making me feel very sick. Therefore, I am unable to take tablets for my OCD and this idiot thinks it is because I do not want to get better. I swear if and when I do find out what is wrong with my ribs thus explaining why I cant take tablets, I will shove it up this fact right up this Psychiatrists arse. I’ve told him that the Psychologist has said I needed in her opinion to be under Secondary Care, needed more support than she could give me. He completes disagrees with this, thinking if all my help is withdrew this will then make me get better quicker myself. This is madness, I need more help not less, makes me soooooo cross. Even though I’ve told him I don’t like him, he’s now said I’m too see him once a month now from April 14th, I’m dreading it cos we’re going to have one almighty row(and I hate confrontation). I simply can’t take the tablets without feeling terribly poorly, the guy is such a numpty. I need to be under a supportive Community Psychiatric Nurse not a patronising, condescending, seemingly uncaring mental health professional such as him.
So what is the plan? I tried seeing this Hypnotherapist about it last month, and to be honest I was really disappointed by it. Not sure if it was him not really being good at treating OCD, or whether it was just hypnotherapy in general not being good for OCD? I’m toying with the idea of trying a new hypnotherapist, just to rule it out ever being able to help my OCD in the future. I know I will then need a long course of CBT stretching over many weeks and months, so whilst I can afford it I’m thinking of going private. It is just whether or not I skip trying hypnotherapy again and go straight to seeing a private CBT practitioner. I’ve lost faith with the NHS, am appalled with how I’ve been seemingly abandoned and treated. I don’t think this idiot of a Psychiatrist has any idea how bad my life and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is at present(even though I’ve tried explaining). I pray these scans and blood tests results indicate as to why so many foods, liquids and medication make me sting under my right side, making me feel so unwell. I currently have OCD in a very severe form and really know I need help from medication, just praying I’m able to tolerate some very soon. My next hurdle is the back results and blood test results on March 26th. I’ll aim to keep you up-to-date date with such events as this, aim to blog about my OCD now. I guess I was also scared about openly blogging about OCD because I thought what dishy woman would ever want to go near such a man like me, with such a mental health condition. Underneath this larger than life, extrovert, jokey character that I am….I am an insecure, hyper-sensitive scared little kitten. This last OCD flare-up though has prompted me to want to openly talk about it at last. I shouldn’t feel embarrassed or ashamed to be a sufferer of OCD , but I am. I’ve never met anybody with OCD, I’ve always suffered alone, feeling like I must constantly cover up and hide this ‘nutty’ side to me….otherwise people will run a mile from me if I don’t. I’m fed up of suffering in silence and THIS SILENCE ABOUT MY OCD ENDS NOW!
I hope you enjoyed reading that blog, I look forward to hearing any comments you may have about it. Perhaps you yourself suffer with it too? Thank you for reading.