The Illogical Side to Spock - living with OCD, BDD and panic disorder

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    (Original post by Spock's Socks)
    Aw thank you just writing out the post atm. I'll tag you in it once its done
    No worries!
    Ah nice one! Im going out soon so ill read it later when im free!
    Thanks! I look forward to it!
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    Howdy everyone today's post will be a bit more on OCD and I'll be introducing BDD. If I don't ramble on and bore y'all too much then I might go into my relationship a bit and be honest about it affects both parties in a relationship when a partner has such a developed mental illness.

    I feel that no matter what I write or say, it'll never get across just how bad OCD is for me. I try to imagine myself as someone who has never suffered from it and try to imagine what they must think it feels like and it doesn't sound that bad. Words can never describe how painful pain is, or how terrifying a panic attack is or just how much grief can overtake you - you don't know exactly how anything feels until if or when you are in that situation. I wouldn't wish panics or OCD on my worst enemy and that is saying something.

    I remembered one big time with OCD that happened last year which was the first step in me quitting uni. It sounds utterly stupid and I cringe remembering it but this is how illogical OCD can make you, yet you are still logical at the same time. Its a paradox. I was studying biology at uni (Open Uni since I left college due to panic attacks and was housebound when I started uni 3 yrs ago) and I was asked to do a report on snakes. I can't remember the exact topic I was to write about but it was about snakes and one part was reading up about the properties of venom and all of a sudden all I could think was "the venom has seeped through your phone and into your skin and now you are going to die. Washing your hands wont help. You're going to die, you deserve to die for being so stupid and getting yourself into this mess" and all that jazz. I knew it was absolutely impossible that venom was on me and could be transferred through my phone. How far fetched and unbelievable it was only added to my distress because I knew it was impossible but OCD was telling me no. So I washed my hands for half an hour, scrubbed my phone for 10 mins with wipes and I watched myself for 2 hours to see if anything happened to me though logically I knew nothing would. To this day, I still watch myself every time after I eat or drink to see if I become drugged, take a reaction or it makes me sick or kills me. I am even like this with foods I have ate a million times before. A lot of the time it puts me off eating because I can't be bothered with the anxiety that I know will come if I do eat. That's a big reason why I lost 2 stone last year. I am gaining it again though slowly. I've gained 10 pounds again.

    To me, OCD is like a full time job where you don't get any minutes off let alone days off and your boss is on your case constantly bringing you down, pestering you, abusing you, makes you do things that are unnecessary and you can't escape from it.

    Ok, so onto BDD. I didn't get diagnosed with this until recently as I always just put it down to another symptom of OCD and not a separate condition. Body Dysmorphic Disorder is an anxiety based mental disorder just like OCD and shares a lot of similar traits and symptoms. You can have OCD or BDD without the other but its common to have both. The main part of BDD is that the sufferer becomes preoccupied and obsessed over a perceived flaw in their appearance which can be a flaw in their height, weight, face, hair - basically any part of their body. There is also a kind of BDD that relates to how the sufferer perceives their muscle mass as well, which some body builders suffer from. The flaw that the sufferers obsesses over may be a slight imperfection or could be non existent in reality but its very real to them. The sufferer can spend hours checking their appearance in the mirror, try to hide their flaw with make up, hats, clothes, take pics of their flaws and constantly look at them, ask for reassurance from loved ones, spend more time at the gym, get plastic surgery, avoid eating certain foods for fear of gaining weight.

    A lot of people assume that those with BDD are vain and love themselves but when the sufferer is obsessing over how they look, its not because they love themselves. They don't feel pride or love for themselves when they look in the mirror, they feel disgust, shame and utter panic. They don't believe looks are what makes a person, they just believe their flaw has to be dealt with and a lot of the time, they never find a solution to 'fixing' their flaw. They find a way of dealing with the condition more. This is the first time I have really opened up about BDD. None of my friends know I have it, just my mum and partner because I know there's so much crap going about like "oh you just love yourself", "you're just fishing for compliments" and things like that.

    To my friends, they think I have just OCD and panics, nothing more. I may be fully open about BDD one day, but its not today - except for this blog.I've had it all my life as far as I know. It got worse when I dyed my hair blonde this year and I hated it and dyed it back to ginger which I had been for 5 years before going blonde and as soon as the roots grew in, I automatically thought I looked like an idiot because the lengths of my hair were a light ginger and when I dyed my roots, they were a darker browny ginger and I felt like I looked like an idiot. I spent hours looking in the mirror, taking pics on my phone and when I was at my worst, I was asking my bf and my mum if I looked stupid no joke, no less than 50 times a day.

    If you look at my phone, you will see a folder dedicated to pics of nothing but my roots and hair. I'll add a pic so you can see what I perceive my flaw to be. My hair is now red. I dyed it red thinking that would maybe help but guess what, it didn't. I am debating whether to go back to my natural dark brown hair for the first time in 13 years to see if that helps but I am in two minds. Would that be giving into BDD or would it give me the break off it that I need? The distress, anxiety, shame and panic experienced with BDD is just as strong as what I experience with OCD. I get panic attacks over it, can't sleep, spend hours daily looking at the pics, checking my hair in the mirror, looking at dyes I should try and at my worst it made me feel suicidal and I was worried I would do something such as cutting my hair off on the spur of the moment which I know would only cause more problems.I know that it sounds like I am vain and all that jazz on first glance.

    I am content mostly with how I look. I'm certainly no supermodel but I am quite confident with my looks in general but BDD is with my hair and I think it stems from the lack of control fear I have from OCD. I feel like if I can't control how my hair looks, I am weak. There's such a giant part of OCD that is based on a fear of not having control. I do feel pathetic at times for having BDD because you realise there are so much more important stuff to worry about than how you look but then I have to remember, its tied into an illness I have. Its not me being vain or shallow, I am ill.Here's the flaw and I'll show you the folder on my phone as well. I know to everyone else, it'll look fine, some people would even pay to have their hair like that and if I saw this on anyone else, I wouldn't think it looked stupid at all but I have BDD and OCD, so all that goes out the window when its my hair and body.

    OCD and BDD take up my entire life and day. I'm either obsessing over my flaw and feeling shame and dread over that, obsessing over contamination or scared to think in case I make something bad happen and then getting highly anxious or having panic attacks.

    Like I said, this is the first time I have openly spoke about BDD and I am adding pics of my flaw which sounds silly, but its a big deal to me and I never thought I would openly do it because I know how silly and shallow it sounds to those who don't understand the condition but here I go.

    Thanks for reading xx

    FireFreezer77

    TSR photo uploader isn't working so I've uploaded them through tiny pic -
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    (Original post by Spock's Socks)
    Howdy everyone today's post will be a bit more on OCD and I'll be introducing BDD. If I don't ramble on and bore y'all too much then I might go into my relationship a bit and be honest about it affects both parties in a relationship when a partner has such a developed mental illness.

    I feel that no matter what I write or say, it'll never get across just how bad OCD is for me. I try to imagine myself as someone who has never suffered from it and try to imagine what they must think it feels like and it doesn't sound that bad. Words can never describe how painful pain is, or how terrifying a panic attack is or just how much grief can overtake you - you don't know exactly how anything feels until if or when you are in that situation. I wouldn't wish panics or OCD on my worst enemy and that is saying something.

    I remembered one big time with OCD that happened last year which was the first step in me quitting uni. It sounds utterly stupid and I cringe remembering it but this is how illogical OCD can make you, yet you are still logical at the same time. Its a paradox. I was studying biology at uni (Open Uni since I left college due to panic attacks and was housebound when I started uni 3 yrs ago) and I was asked to do a report on snakes. I can't remember the exact topic I was to write about but it was about snakes and one part was reading up about the properties of venom and all of a sudden all I could think was "the venom has seeped through your phone and into your skin and now you are going to die. Washing your hands wont help. You're going to die, you deserve to die for being so stupid and getting yourself into this mess" and all that jazz. I knew it was absolutely impossible that venom was on me and could be transferred through my phone. How far fetched and unbelievable it was only added to my distress because I knew it was impossible but OCD was telling me no. So I washed my hands for half an hour, scrubbed my phone for 10 mins with wipes and I watched myself for 2 hours to see if anything happened to me though logically I knew nothing would. To this day, I still watch myself every time after I eat or drink to see if I become drugged, take a reaction or it makes me sick or kills me. I am even like this with foods I have ate a million times before. A lot of the time it puts me off eating because I can't be bothered with the anxiety that I know will come if I do eat. That's a big reason why I lost 2 stone last year. I am gaining it again though slowly. I've gained 10 pounds again.

    To me, OCD is like a full time job where you don't get any minutes off let alone days off and your boss is on your case constantly bringing you down, pestering you, abusing you, makes you do things that are unnecessary and you can't escape from it.

    Ok, so onto BDD. I didn't get diagnosed with this until recently as I always just put it down to another symptom of OCD and not a separate condition. Body Dysmorphic Disorder is an anxiety based mental disorder just like OCD and shares a lot of similar traits and symptoms. You can have OCD or BDD without the other but its common to have both. The main part of BDD is that the sufferer becomes preoccupied and obsessed over a perceived flaw in their appearance which can be a flaw in their height, weight, face, hair - basically any part of their body. There is also a kind of BDD that relates to how the sufferer perceives their muscle mass as well, which some body builders suffer from. The flaw that the sufferers obsesses over may be a slight imperfection or could be non existent in reality but its very real to them. The sufferer can spend hours checking their appearance in the mirror, try to hide their flaw with make up, hats, clothes, take pics of their flaws and constantly look at them, ask for reassurance from loved ones, spend more time at the gym, get plastic surgery, avoid eating certain foods for fear of gaining weight.

    A lot of people assume that those with BDD are vain and love themselves but when the sufferer is obsessing over how they look, its not because they love themselves. They don't feel pride or love for themselves when they look in the mirror, they feel disgust, shame and utter panic. They don't believe looks are what makes a person, they just believe their flaw has to be dealt with and a lot of the time, they never find a solution to 'fixing' their flaw. They find a way of dealing with the condition more. This is the first time I have really opened up about BDD. None of my friends know I have it, just my mum and partner because I know there's so much crap going about like "oh you just love yourself", "you're just fishing for compliments" and things like that.

    To my friends, they think I have just OCD and panics, nothing more. I may be fully open about BDD one day, but its not today - except for this blog.I've had it all my life as far as I know. It got worse when I dyed my hair blonde this year and I hated it and dyed it back to ginger which I had been for 5 years before going blonde and as soon as the roots grew in, I automatically thought I looked like an idiot because the lengths of my hair were a light ginger and when I dyed my roots, they were a darker browny ginger and I felt like I looked like an idiot. I spent hours looking in the mirror, taking pics on my phone and when I was at my worst, I was asking my bf and my mum if I looked stupid no joke, no less than 50 times a day.

    If you look at my phone, you will see a folder dedicated to pics of nothing but my roots and hair. I'll add a pic so you can see what I perceive my flaw to be. My hair is now red. I dyed it red thinking that would maybe help but guess what, it didn't. I am debating whether to go back to my natural dark brown hair for the first time in 13 years to see if that helps but I am in two minds. Would that be giving into BDD or would it give me the break off it that I need? The distress, anxiety, shame and panic experienced with BDD is just as strong as what I experience with OCD. I get panic attacks over it, can't sleep, spend hours daily looking at the pics, checking my hair in the mirror, looking at dyes I should try and at my worst it made me feel suicidal and I was worried I would do something such as cutting my hair off on the spur of the moment which I know would only cause more problems.I know that it sounds like I am vain and all that jazz on first glance.

    I am content mostly with how I look. I'm certainly no supermodel but I am quite confident with my looks in general but BDD is with my hair and I think it stems from the lack of control fear I have from OCD. I feel like if I can't control how my hair looks, I am weak. There's such a giant part of OCD that is based on a fear of not having control. I do feel pathetic at times for having BDD because you realise there are so much more important stuff to worry about than how you look but then I have to remember, its tied into an illness I have. Its not me being vain or shallow, I am ill.Here's the flaw and I'll show you the folder on my phone as well. I know to everyone else, it'll look fine, some people would even pay to have their hair like that and if I saw this on anyone else, I wouldn't think it looked stupid at all but I have BDD and OCD, so all that goes out the window when its my hair and body.

    OCD and BDD take up my entire life and day. I'm either obsessing over my flaw and feeling shame and dread over that, obsessing over contamination or scared to think in case I make something bad happen and then getting highly anxious or having panic attacks.this is the most recent pic of my hair.

    Like I said, this is the first time I have openly spoke about BDD and I am adding pics of my flaw which sounds silly, but its a big deal to me and I never thought I would openly do it because I know how silly and shallow it sounds to those who don't understand the condition but here I go.

    Thanks for reading xx

    FireFreezer77

    TSR photo uploader isn't working so I've uploaded them through tiny pic -
    http://tinypic.com/r/om51/9
    http://tinypic.com/r/29cqiqb/9
    Thanks for sharing! Following this thread from now one Sharing your struggles with mental illness is very brave, and helps to break down all the stigma that surrounds it! I have a question though: How do you distinguish between BDD, the yet unclassified "Orthorexia", and EDNOS / OSFED?
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    (Original post by clockworkbella)
    Thanks for sharing! Following this thread from now one Sharing your struggles with mental illness is very brave, and helps to break down all the stigma that surrounds it! I have a question though: How do you distinguish between BDD, the yet unclassified "Orthorexia", and EDNOS / OSFED?
    Hey thanks! Hope you enjoy the thread! I may add another post later but if not, I will tomorrow

    That is a good question and tbh, I don't really know. I know with BDD and a lot of eating disorders, there are very similar crossovers and it can be hard to tell where an eating disorder begins and where BDD ends. I don't really have any experience with eating disorders but I know many people on here do and hopefully they can answer the question fully
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    (Original post by Spock's Socks)
    Hey thanks! Hope you enjoy the thread! I may add another post later but if not, I will tomorrow

    That is a good question and tbh, I don't really know. I know with BDD and a lot of eating disorders, there are very similar crossovers and it can be hard to tell where an eating disorder begins and where BDD ends. I don't really have any experience with eating disorders but I know many people on here do and hopefully they can answer the question fully
    Thank you I had a two year experience where I was extremely obsessed with food and weight. So I was just wondering. I don't know a lot of people with BDD but I can easily see how BDD and OCD go together. OCD likes to bond with the awfullest things (anything from perfectionism to depression)! Your OCD sounds rather serious, and I really wish you all the best even though it may be very, very hard. A lot of people don't understand that while you understand certain things are illogical, you can't help but feal absolutely compelled to avoid them / get them away / do something about it. xx
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    (Original post by clockworkbella)
    Thank you I had a two year experience where I was extremely obsessed with food and weight. So I was just wondering. I don't know a lot of people with BDD but I can easily see how BDD and OCD go together. OCD likes to bond with the awfullest things (anything from perfectionism to depression)! Your OCD sounds rather serious, and I really wish you all the best even though it may be very, very hard. A lot of people don't understand that while you understand certain things are illogical, you can't help but feal absolutely compelled to avoid them / get them away / do something about it. xx
    Thank you I wish you all the best too. Are you in a better place now in regards to your OCD? Xx

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    (Original post by Spock's Socks)
    Thank you I wish you all the best too. Are you in a better place now in regards to your OCD? Xx

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    At the moment my biggest problem is GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) - anxiety worsens a lot during examination times, and to top if off I'm struggling to get separate invigilation and extra time from my examination board, for no reason known to me - even though I have called, e-mailed etc. and gone through their official process. Otherwise I am okay though - the OCD is fine at the moment. I don't have it as severely as you do, I just also get the "magical thinking" so there are a few things I avoid (black socks, choosing the wrong teacup) and I always find words I don't like interrupting my thoughts. And you? Are you doing okay at the moment?
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    (Original post by clockworkbella)
    At the moment my biggest problem is GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) - anxiety worsens a lot during examination times, and to top if off I'm struggling to get separate invigilation and extra time from my examination board, for no reason known to me - even though I have called, e-mailed etc. and gone through their official process. Otherwise I am okay though - the OCD is fine at the moment. I don't have it as severely as you do, I just also get the "magical thinking" and I always find words I don't like interrupting my thoughts. And you? Are you doing okay at the moment?
    Exam times are bloody stressful, even more so when you have mental health conditions. Best of luck with everything I have GAD too but compared to everything else, its more just in the background with me but I know how much it can take you over.

    Sorry to hear you have magical thinking too though it's nice to hear I'm not alone as so many people, even those who have been diagnosed with OCD, have never heard of that symptom!

    I'm doing OK thanks. OCD and BDD are my main problems and have been for a while now. I just try and take each day as it comes. I get my good days and bad days but lately I've been coasting and having neutral days and I can deal with that

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    (Original post by Spock's Socks)
    Exam times are bloody stressful, even more so when you have mental health conditions. Best of luck with everything I have GAD too but compared to everything else, its more just in the background with me but I know how much it can take you over.

    Sorry to hear you have magical thinking too though it's nice to hear I'm not alone as so many people, even those who have been diagnosed with OCD, have never heard of that symptom!

    I'm doing OK thanks. OCD and BDD are my main problems and have been for a while now. I just try and take each day as it comes. I get my good days and bad days but lately I've been coasting and having neutral days and I can deal with that

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    Thank you! I hope everything goes well

    Good to hear about the neutral days, they may not be good days but they are always better than bad days! Remember to take care of yourself! I see you have cats as well, I have one. Just love them - they can be very intelligent and wonderful creatures (*cat lady vibes*) 😬🙂 Mine got rescued during a storm when he was around 6 weeks old! And yours? What are their names?
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    (Original post by clockworkbella)
    Thank you! I hope everything goes well

    Good to hear about the neutral days, they may not be good days but they are always better than bad days! Remember to take care of yourself! I see you have cats as well, I have one. Just love them - they can be very intelligent and wonderful creatures (*cat lady vibes*) 😬🙂 Mine got rescued during a storm when he was around 6 weeks old! And yours? What are their names?
    Mine are called Rambo, Nibbler, Regan and Pixie Rambo usually gets called Ramblob though because he's a little fatty him and Nibbler are 10 and they are bro and sis from the same litter and Regan and Pixie turned one last months and they are both sisters. I got Regan and Pixie from a local animal shelter and Rambo and Nibbler I rescued when their previous owners couldn't look after them any more. Regan's named after the kid from The Exorcist suits her well, she's a little demon

    I love my kitties so much. They help me through my darkest days more than anything I had another cat called Mylo and a Yorkshire terrier called Toby but they both died last yr

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    Got therapy tomorrow. If you've been keeping up my the blog or my therapist thread, you'll know I'm dreading the appointment I'll update the blog tomorrow with what happens and also another topic post

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    Just a question, how does BDD work? I've heard of it but don't know anything about it


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    (Original post by nottoblameok)
    Just a question, how does BDD work? I've heard of it but don't know anything about it


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    I've explained it in the post from earlier today as best as I can. I can't think of any other way to describe it as I find it hard to understand it myself sometimes I'll add some useful links though for you, they can explain it it better than I ever could

    http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/body-dy...roduction.aspx

    http://bddfoundation.org/

    http://www.mind.org.uk/information-s...-disorder-bdd/

    Hope these links help

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    Spock's Socks
    This is an amazing, very well written post!
    I'm sorry to hear how tough things have been for you! I've only had OCD the past 2 years and it's been hell. I can't imagine what it's been like living with it for your whole life! You've done incredibly well to fight it and put up with it! I sure hope you can overcome it in the very near future because you don't deserve to be going through this!
    Now that you've explained BDD I feel like I've seen it somewhere before. I think there was a TV show on about OCD and there was someone on there who would spend hours looking in the mirror to make sure they looked perfect! It must be so time consuming but I know you can't help it! Heck, I have to stare at words until they look right before I can look away and go do something else! I completely understand what you're going through and I know how hard it is!
    Hopefully you can get a new therapist sorted out and begin to make some major improvements!
    What you said about avoiding eating due to nt wanting to experience the anxiety really struck me. I know what that's like. You know what will happen so you avoid doing it so you can be free for a little while longer (well as free as you can be, OCD as you said I'd like a full time job and it's always there pestering you).
    Thankyou so much for sharing this. It's extremely well written and I look forward to reading the next post!

    PS: Thanks for tagging me
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    (Original post by FireFreezer77)
    Spock's Socks
    This is an amazing, very well written post!
    I'm sorry to hear how tough things have been for you! I've only had OCD the past 2 years and it's been hell. I can't imagine what it's been like living with it for your whole life! You've done incredibly well to fight it and put up with it! I sure hope you can overcome it in the very near future because you don't deserve to be going through this!
    Now that you've explained BDD I feel like I've seen it somewhere before. I think there was a TV show on about OCD and there was someone on there who would spend hours looking in the mirror to make sure they looked perfect! It must be so time consuming but I know you can't help it! Heck, I have to stare at words until they look right before I can look away and go do something else! I completely understand what you're going through and I know how hard it is!
    Hopefully you can get a new therapist sorted out and begin to make some major improvements!
    What you said about avoiding eating due to nt wanting to experience the anxiety really struck me. I know what that's like. You know what will happen so you avoid doing it so you can be free for a little while longer (well as free as you can be, OCD as you said I'd like a full time job and it's always there pestering you).
    Thankyou so much for sharing this. It's extremely well written and I look forward to reading the next post!

    PS: Thanks for tagging me
    Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog I'll add another post tonight after therapy. My appt isn't until 4pm which sucks. I prefer when its early so I can get it over with quick

    I'm glad that you could relate to what I said even though it sucks you're in the same boat as me. You feel so alone with OCD and its a relief when someone says they know exactly how you feel. Would you say you're cured of OCD now? Or do you still have it but it's so much easier to deal with now?

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    (Original post by Spock's Socks)
    Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog I'll add another post tonight after therapy. My appt isn't until 4pm which sucks. I prefer when its early so I can get it over with quick

    I'm glad that you could relate to what I said even though it sucks you're in the same boat as me. You feel so alone with OCD and its a relief when someone says they know exactly how you feel. Would you say you're cured of OCD now? Or do you still have it but it's so much easier to deal with now?

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    Its ok, its a very good read!
    Ah nice one! Il give it a read when i get time to!

    I totally understand what youve said here! And im just happy to know im not alone, although im not happy that you have to experience it too!
    I agree it is a relief!
    Im no where near cured! Im hopefully gonna start seeing a psychologist now as a normal therapist cant cure me
    Part of it is easier to deal with but my contamination issue isnt!
    I can only use one of my hands now until i shower later because i had to touch something that is the worst trigger for me! So im only left handed today because of this! I feel like crying atm!
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    (Original post by FireFreezer77)
    Its ok, its a very good read!
    Ah nice one! Il give it a read when i get time to!

    I totally understand what youve said here! And im just happy to know im not alone, although im not happy that you have to experience it too!
    I agree it is a relief!
    Im no where near cured! Im hopefully gonna start seeing a psychologist now as a normal therapist cant cure me
    Part of it is easier to deal with but my contamination issue isnt!
    I can only use one of my hands now until i shower later because i had to touch something that is the worst trigger for me! So im only left handed today because of this! I feel like crying atm!
    Sorry to hear you're having a tough time today with your contamination fears. I've been there too where I could only use a certain hand until I could wash or bathe. Sounds silly to others but you'll fear you'll get sick or die if you use the contaminated hand

    Good luck with seeing a new psychologist are you on a waiting list? Talking of therapy, guess who cancelled on me today for the the 3rd time?! I'm gonna be 30 by the time I finish therapy with her :laugh:

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    Its improved a little since the last post which is good. Ah ok then, you know what im on about then! Yeah it may silly to others but its a huge deal to us!!

    Thanks! Im not yet but i do need to get that sorted! My doctor reccomended that i see a psychologist instead of a therapist.
    Wow thats really bad of her! Are you gonna get them changed now?
    Wow i really hope you can get that sorted out!!!
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    No big long post tonight as I am currently going through yet another migraine and I'm finding it hard to string words together, let alone type a lot but I'll write a blog post tomorrow it'll be on panic disorder and how each condition has affected me, my relationship and family life.

    This is my third migraine in less than a month. I used to only get them once or twice a year so I'm kinda worried about them
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    Hey everyone. My migraine is pretty much gone and I am feeling a lot better compared to earlier so thought I'd add a post. So as I said earlier, this post will be about panic disorder and then how everything affects my life, relationships and everything else. Here it goes '

    I had panic attack through my OCD all my life, especially as a child but I didn't recognise that these were panic attacks. I thought it was OCD. They felt horrible and made me feel like I was dying but they didn't really worry me as I always had them while in the middle of an obsession or when a compulsion wouldn't work to relieve my anxiety so they were expected. I didn't actually realise they were panic attacks until I developed panic attacks back in 2012 when I was 19/20.

    Panic disorder is when you have repeated panic attacks and you fear the next attack so you try and avoid having another panic so you stay in, avoid triggering places or people. Agoraphobia is the fear of being away from home or safe place and fear of being in a place you can't easily escape from such as a busy shop, a queue.

    I was sitting in a college class one day and everything was fine. My OCD was almost non existent that day and I was just sitting in class minding my own business and doing my work and then out of nowhere the room started spinning, my heart was pounding, I couldn't talk, I felt such an overwhelming sense of dread and I instantly got out my seat and ran out the room and went to the toilet. I instantly felt better the minute I got out that classroom. At that time, I didn't realise I had a panic attack even though I had felt similar feelings through OCD before. Me being me, I assumed I had been drugged instead.

    The reason panic attacks from panic disorder got to me more than any from OCD at that time was because I expected to feel them with OCD but these panic attacks I was now getting happened totally out the blue for no reason instead of when OCD was acting up and that is what scared me because I felt like I would never be free from anxiety or panics - be it from OCD or panic disorder.So I then started to get panic attacks in every biology lecture (I was in a biology class when the first one happened), then it was during every college class, then it was on the way to college on the train, then they started happening in town or outside and then it got to the point I was getting them in the house but I couldn't even get out the house.

    At my worst, I couldn't even make it to my bins outside my house. So I was getting these panics when my OCD was calm and my obsessions weren't in full swing and then the slightest thing would trigger my OCD and then I would have OCD induced panics.I was housebound for 6 months. I made it out the house during that time about 3 times in total and one time will always stick with me. It was Christmas 2012. Me and my partner went over to my mum's for Christmas day and all my close family were there and they were understanding about my panic attacks as they have all experienced them before, especially my mum and gran who have both been housebound from them too at points in their life. We got a taxi over and in the taxi I was howling in fear, tears streaming down my face. You would think I was dying and it was only a 5/10 min car ride to my mum's. When I got there, I said hello and then ran upstairs to my mum's room and pet my cat and I stayed upstairs with my boyfriend for 3 hours and even ate my Christmas dinner up there because I kept having panic after panic and eating in front of people was a big no,no that day. In this pic, I came down and sat with them for 5 mins and you can see my face is red from crying and my whole posture is totally different from how you see me now. I am like a timid mouse there Attachment 528085

    That day made me realise just how bad I had got and that I needed help. I had always been loud, confident, loved being around people until I got panic disorder, even OCD didn't take all that away from me to a certain extent.So the first thing I did after a good cry to my mum and partner that night when everyone else had left was make a challenge chart. I wrote down everything I was scared to do which was small things like going out to the bins to major things such as going up to Glasgow for the day to shop. I had to do each thing 5 times and grade how hard or easy the activity was each time. The first few times were 9/10 or 10/10 but each time, the score got smaller and smaller to eventually it was 1/10.

    I also started to read books by Dr Claire Weekes and listen to her audio tapes and I can honestly say that they along with the challenge chart are what got me out of being housebound and to where I am now which is a person who can go anywhere herself, goes on holiday, prefers to be outside than inside now it was hard but I am very proud of where I am in regards to panic attacks.

    I still get panic attacks every single day but now they are more of a nuisance instead of something that I dread. I still hate them and wouldn't wish them on anyone but I can deal with them now. I still get setbacks but they only last a day now instead of weeks and I haven't needed to make a challenge chart in over a year.This was me on Christmas day 2014, so a year after the awful Christmas and you can see the change. Every Christmas since the bad one has been an absolute riot and gets better every year Name:  IMG_20141225_150132.jpg
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    Ok, now onto how every condition I have mentioned has affected my life. I have also been diagnosed with depression. I don't really talk much about depression as I feel it should almost go without saying I have at least a touch of depression with the other conditions I have. It would be shocking to have severe OCD and not have some level of depression imo. I will explain how depression has impacted on my relationship though. I have also been diagnosed with CPTSD which I had never heard of until I got diagnosed with it recently. I will make a seperate post about that in a day or two. That will be a triggering post for some as I will be mentioning things that have happened to me in life.But anyway, as for my relationship. A lot of people wonder what its like to go out with someone who has a mental condition and if anyone has any questions they would like to ask my partner, please feel free to ask and I'll ask him and write his response. He's very open on the subject and like me, wants to educate and reduce stigma surrounding mental health.A bit of background - I have been with my partner Callan for 7 years now. This is our first and only relationship for both of us. I'll add some pics of us when we first started going out and what we are like now. Dunno why all the pics are adding just as a attachments but oh well Attachment 528113528115 We have lived together for 5 and a half yrs and been engaged for 3 and are planning our wedding atm.

    We've always had a strong relationship and when we tell people everything we have been through as a couple, they always seem shocked we got through it all. We haven't been through anything like abuse or cheating, don't worry! I will mention everything when I make a post about CPTSD.

    He knew from the start I had OCD and depression. He said it sucked but it made no change on how he felt about me and he would help me through and he has done every day since. I think he finds OCD the hardest to deal with because he is a very logical person and can't understand that you can't break through an obsession using logic. He finds that so hard to grasp. He's not been perfect with dealing with my illnesses. Sometimes he says the wrong thing or I take something the wrong way, sometimes he can be selfish just like me but he tries his hardest every single day and never casts my conditions back at me.

    With my depression, I feel a lot of guilt towards Callan. I feel guilty that he is with someone who is ill and will be to a certain extent all their life, I feel guilt that I maybe hold him back, guilt that I'm sometimes not as fun and bouncy as I used to be. It doesn't matter how much he reassures me or how much I see he loves me, you can't stop the guilt. When my depression is at its worse, I feel like I feel no love for him, for my family, for my cats - for anything which I know is a classic symptom of depression but its very distressing. As always though, the feelings come back once my emotions level off again. I do take my illness out on him sometimes unintentionally. I snap a lot which I shouldn't because he only ever tries to help me.

    I used to be quite a social person. I would be out all the time drinking, meet up with 10 different friends every week and all that jazz but that has stopped now. I am very social online and through text to friends but rarely meet them. I only really meet my mum and gran now. I am ok with that but it shows there has been a change in me over the yrs.
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