OCD Awareness Week 2016 (9th-15th October)

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    Ugh it won't let me link my blog at the moment.
    Shall do it later.
    Includes my experiences with OCD!
    All parts are linked in first post
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    (Original post by FireFreezer77)
    Ugh it won't let me link my blog at the moment.
    Shall do it later.
    Includes my experiences with OCD!
    All parts are linked in first post
    Have you tried just coping and pasting the link to your blog from your address bar? It wouldn't link my blog any other way.

    Feel free to copy and paste any relevant parts of your blog if you like thanks for taking part in the awareness week

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    (Original post by Spock's Socks)
    Have you tried just coping and pasting the link to your blog from your address bar? It wouldn't link my blog any other way.

    Feel free to copy and paste any relevant parts of your blog if you like thanks for taking part in the awareness week

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Yeah I've tried that but my phone wont let me paste it here :/
    Yeah I think that's the only way, ill do it later when I'm on my iPad

    I might do that but it'd be easier to just link it really. I've no idea what's in it anymore
    No worries!
    It's important to me!

    Also no idea if this will interest you or not, but ill be working in a psychiatric ward for the next few months (our company is refurbishing it).
    Kinda excited tbh, hoping to be able to speak out about my issues at some point (I know mine aren't as severe as the patients though)
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    (Original post by FireFreezer77)
    Yeah I've tried that but my phone wont let me paste it here :/
    Yeah I think that's the only way, ill do it later when I'm on my iPad

    I might do that but it'd be easier to just link it really. I've no idea what's in it anymore
    No worries!
    It's important to me!

    Also no idea if this will interest you or not, but ill be working in a psychiatric ward for the next few months (our company is refurbishing it).
    Kinda excited tbh, hoping to be able to speak out about my issues at some point (I know mine aren't as severe as the patients though)
    That sounds really interesting let me know how it goes

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    Hey guys and welcome to day 3 of the awareness thread :woo:

    Today's topic will be a fairly light one but will also be very educational to those who don't know about OCD. Feel free to post as many facts as you like, one or a hundred, its up to you I'll post a few

    Day 3 - post a fact about OCD

    1. The average age of diagnosis is 19 years old
    2. OCD is an anxiety disorder. A lot of people seem shocked by this.
    3. Although the exact cause is not known, experts believe that OCD may be caused in part by an imbalance of a chemical in the brain called serotonin
    4. OCD affects men and women equally
    5. Some famous sufferers include Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz and Charles Darwin

    Thanks again to everyone who has contributed so far and I look forward to the rest of the posts from awareness week
    :hugs:


    Also guys, I could use your help.

    On Friday I have been asked to make a separate thread for media portrayals of OCD and how they are often misrepresenting OCD as nothing more than someone who is picky or neat. I have a few examples of such characters from various shows and movies but if anyone could recommend me any forms of OCD they have seen in the media, both correct and incorrect interpretations, that would be most appreciated :yep:
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    Link to FireFreezer77's blog on OCD. Its a very informative read

    (hopefully the link works this time )

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=4022047
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    (Original post by Spock's Socks)
    Link to FireFreezer77's blog on OCD. Its a very informative read

    (hopefully the link works this time )

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=4022047
    Youre a star!
    Thanks so much!
    :hugs:
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    (Original post by FireFreezer77)
    Youre a star!
    Thanks so much!
    :hugs:
    Oh shush you :teehee:

    You're very welcome and I hope you are doing ok today
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    (Original post by Spock's Socks)
    Oh shush you :teehee:

    You're very welcome and I hope you are doing ok today
    Hehe You know its true!

    :hugs:
    Surprisingly I am today tbh! Been a good day overall in all areas!
    Hope you've been ok today!
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    Day 4 - Busting a myth about OCD

    "There’s a common misconception that if you like to meticulously organize your things, keep your hands clean, or plan out your weekend to the last detail, you might be OCD. In fact, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is a serious psychiatric condition that is frequently misunderstood by society and mental health professionals alike." Source:TED

    I could sit here all day and write about the many myths I've personally known people to believe about OCD but I'll keep the post short and only add one or two so people can add their own facts about OCD and hopefully bust a few incorrect myths about the condition

    Myth - OCD is just about cleaning, hand-washing and being a “germaphobe.”
    Fact - Not all OCD fears relate to fear of germs or becoming sick from germs. Other common obsessions from OCD can relate to fear of contamination from poisonous substances, fear that you will harm yourself or others, fear of unknowingly committing a crime, fear that you are a paedophile, fear that you could be homosexual and a million other things. OCD doesn't just stick to having a fear of germs, despite what many people think.

    Compulsions come in all shapes and forms too. A common compulsion is excessive hand washing or bathing but other forms of compulsions are mental compulsions e.g you must do things in a certain time or way or you fear something bad will happen and you feel like your life depends on you completing this compulsion, repeatedly check things - this can be anything. It can be checking the door is locked numerous times, checking something on your body over and over for fear you might have a disease, checking the cooker is off over and over, hoarding, avoidance of situations you feel will trigger your OCD and many, many more.


    This is a very good video that debunks further myths.


    Feel free to add your own myths that you have personally heard from others regarding OCD, especially those that have maybe been said to you.
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    I have a question for you all, both sufferers and non sufferers are welcome to answer

    So you may have seen t shirts, jumpers, posters etc lately saying "I have OCD - Obsessive Christmas Disorder!" or even things like "OCD - Obsessive Cat Disorder", "I have CDO - Its OCD but the right way around". These kind of items have become popular in recent years and as you can imagine, they have created a backlash among many.

    How do you guys feel about this? I can take a joke with the best of them and I'm not easily offended but I do feel its wrong to trivialise an illness that already has so many misconceptions and I kind of feel like doing this only adds to the misconceptions and plays down the seriousness of the condition. If OCD stood for a serious physical disease, say a cancer, I personally feel like people wouldn't be so quick to make jokes about it.

    There's no right or wrong answer but any input you could give would be very much appreciated and I will be using the answers along with my thread on media portrayals of OCD on Friday
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    (Original post by Spock's Socks)
    I have a question for you all, both sufferers and non sufferers are welcome to answer

    So you may have seen t shirts, jumpers, posters etc lately saying "I have OCD - Obsessive Christmas Disorder!" or even things like "OCD - Obsessive Cat Disorder", "I have CDO - Its OCD but the right way around". These kind of items have become popular in recent years and as you can imagine, they have created a backlash among many.

    How do you guys feel about this? I can take a joke with the best of them and I'm not easily offended but I do feel its wrong to trivialise an illness that already has so many misconceptions and I kind of feel like doing this only adds to the misconceptions and plays down the seriousness of the condition. If OCD stood for a serious physical disease, say a cancer, I personally feel like people wouldn't be so quick to make jokes about it.

    There's no right or wrong answer but any input you could give would be very much appreciated and I will be using the answers along with my thread on media portrayals of OCD on Friday
    These things make me so angry!
    I hate it when people joke about OCD because its no joke!
    I think those types of shirts etc should be banned!
    Mental Illnesses are a serious thing and working in a psychiatric ward, I know how serious they can really be!

    I know you know my thoughts Miss Spock but one is just answering said question

    And your other post:

    You're very correct in what you're saying there!
    OCD is so varied and can be pretty much anything really.
    Mine is partially cleaning based and partially intrusive thoughts. Along with many other things it must be said.
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    (Original post by FireFreezer77)
    These things make me so angry!
    I hate it when people joke about OCD because its no joke!
    I think those types of shirts etc should be banned!
    Mental Illnesses are a serious thing and working in a psychiatric ward, I know how serious they can really be!

    I know you know my thoughts Miss Spock but one is just answering said question

    And your other post:

    You're very correct in what you're saying there!
    OCD is so varied and can be pretty much anything really.
    Mine is partially cleaning based and partially intrusive thoughts. Along with many other things it must be said.
    Thanks for answering! Your input is very much appreciated :yep: I'll be sure to tag you in the media portrayals thread on Friday this thread will still be going on as normal, the mods just wanted me to make a separate thread for that one topic
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    (Original post by Spock's Socks)
    Thanks for answering! Your input is very much appreciated :yep: I'll be sure to tag you in the media portrayals thread on Friday this thread will still be going on as normal, the mods just wanted me to make a separate thread for that one topic
    No worries! Always happy to provide input on OCD matters!
    Ok Thankyou!
    Good to hear it! Great thread! Very good indeed
    Ah I see, although that is more awareness as two threads = higher chance of people seeing it :yep:
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    Day 5 - Offering a coping tip for OCD

    This awareness week has went in fast :eek: only two more days left

    Today we will be talking about coping tips. We all have our own ways of dealing with our conditions, mental and physical ones and some of them might be quite understandable and other coping tips might be a more unique. When you suffer from OCD, your first line of coping is to give into a compulsion. It feels natural to do it and sometimes it can feel like your life depends on giving into a compulsion but to ultimately treat and manage OCD, not giving into compulsions is the goal. Its not easy and can't be done overnight. Giving into a compulsion may provide a small amount of relief but it doesn't last long and if you get to the point I got to, after a while compulsions offer no more peace and this causes more distress but it also shows that you have to get on with how you feel without compulsions and show your mind that they aren't actually needed to calm down. So what little coping tips can we do to help us in recovery or when we fall in a setback?


    Tip #1 - learn as much about both OCD and anxiety in general. There are so many books, videos, sites about the conditions and I do believe doing your homework can really help. I found the works by Dr Claire Weekes to be paramount in my treatment for both OCD and related anxiety disorders such as panic attacks and agoraphobia. She put things in a way that was easy to understand, even when you are in a highly anxious state and she was also very empathetic but firm. She too had suffered from a nervous breakdown so knew from personal experience what it felt like and was what needed to be done to get out of that rut as well as her medical background. We all get told that anxiety, no matter how distressing and scary it feels, it is never physically dangerous to us and it wont kill us or make us go crazy, despite how well it makes us think it will. Reading up about the conditions and listening to other peoples experiences will hopefully help you come to terms that anxiety is nothing more than a feeling but its a long road to get to that stage and even I still slip up occasionally.

    Tip #2 - Exposure. Now this is a hard one. ERP (Exposure and Response Prevention) is the most common form of therapy for OCD and it involves us gradually exposing ourselves to our fears and learning to become comfortable in the anxious state we are left in after the exposure without needing to give into a compulsion. A good example of this would be of someone who is scared of germs and the therapist would ask them to touch something they felt was the least contaminated and see if they feel the need to give into a compulsion such as washing their hands. After the patient was a little more comfortable, they would move onto more contaminated objects and of course, the anxiety in the sufferer would rise but with the hope of starting small and showing they had the power to not give into a compulsion and nothing bad happened, would hopefully give them the strength to tackle the more contaminated object. Its a long road with this kind of therapy and it is usually very effective but as you can imagine, is very distressing in the beginning.

    You don't have to go to a therapist to do this kind of exposure. You can do it alone but if you do, I would advise starting slow and small, especially if you anxiety is very high. I had to do this myself as therapy was taking too long. I was scared to touch certain things, eat certain things, say certain things etc so I started with one thing first. I started with touching something I felt could be contaminated but probably wasn't and even though I knew it was most likely fine, my anxiety was still sky high and it was hard for me to sit there and not go and wash and I took panic attacks but I knew I had to sit with it. Within an hour, the feelings had passed and I felt a sense of relief and pride. It was the first small step. I eventually worked my way up to the ultimate fear which was food.

    Tip #3 - General coping tips. Some things I have found that have helped me during bad attacks of anxiety, OCD or depression are the following - exercising - even just a ten min walk around the block or a walk down the beach, talking to people such as my mum and partner as well as people online, colouring in - there are plenty of free apps that are good for colouring in as well as the paper and pen kind of colouring in, going for a long hot bath with my candle on, gaming, cutting out caffeine and booze and replacing them with water, fruit juice and smoothies and trying to get outside once a day.

    So what tips do you have for coping with OCD or any other anxiety disorder?
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    Day 6 - media portrayals of OCD

    I had intended to make a separate thread on this topic but I've not been feeling too good with a cold for the last day or so, so I've decided to just keep it to this post. I'll make a thread about it soon though probably as I do feel its an interesting topic :yep: I may also make a thread asking what people think of those "OCD - Obsessive Christmas Disorder" etc kind of items as I received a lot of feedback as to what people think about them.

    Can any of you think of any correct or incorrect interpretations of OCD in the media?

    I'll included some links on the subject Sorry for this being a not so informative post today but I feel like death warmed up hoping to be back to my normal, OCD awareness self tomorrow :yep:

    http://www.ocduk.org/ocd-in-the-medi...eek-discussion

    http://psychcentral.com/blog/archive...-in-the-media/

    http://beyondocd.org/information-for.../what-ocd-isnt
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    (Original post by Spock's Socks)
    Day 6 - media portrayals of OCD

    I had intended to make a separate thread on this topic but I've not been feeling too good with a cold for the last day or so, so I've decided to just keep it to this post. I'll make a thread about it soon though probably as I do feel its an interesting topic :yep: I may also make a thread asking what people think of those "OCD - Obsessive Christmas Disorder" etc kind of items as I received a lot of feedback as to what people think about them.

    Can any of you think of any correct or incorrect interpretations of OCD in the media?

    I'll included some links on the subject Sorry for this being a not so informative post today but I feel like death warmed up hoping to be back to my normal, OCD awareness self tomorrow :yep:

    http://www.ocduk.org/ocd-in-the-medi...eek-discussion

    http://psychcentral.com/blog/archive...-in-the-media/

    http://beyondocd.org/information-for.../what-ocd-isnt
    This week is going by so quickly! :eek: I've really enjoyed it so far. I feel like I've learned a lot! It's not something I suffer with myself, but something my brother does, and I definitely feel better equipped to discuss it with him. Hearing other people's experiences has helped a lot, compared to just reading off the internet I hope you feel better soon!
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    (Original post by chelseadagg3r)
    This week is going by so quickly! :eek: I've really enjoyed it so far. I feel like I've learned a lot! It's not something I suffer with myself, but something my brother does, and I definitely feel better equipped to discuss it with him. Hearing other people's experiences has helped a lot, compared to just reading off the internet I hope you feel better soon!
    It really has flown in! :eek:

    Thank you so much for keeping up to date with the thread! It really means a lot when people say they have learned a lot about OCD from what I have said/wrote :hugs: I'm so glad its helped you feel more better equipped to discuss it with your brother!

    Tomorrow's topic will be the last its all about how family and friends and also doctors and other mental health care professionals can help OCD sufferers, feel free to post tomorrow if you like would be interesting to hear how you help your brother. I'm going to add a paragraph from my own partner on the subject.

    Thank you :hugs: hope you're doing better now from the last few days too
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    (Original post by Spock's Socks)
    It really has flown in! :eek:

    Thank you so much for keeping up to date with the thread! It really means a lot when people say they have learned a lot about OCD from what I have said/wrote :hugs: I'm so glad its helped you feel more better equipped to discuss it with your brother!

    Tomorrow's topic will be the last its all about how family and friends and also doctors and other mental health care professionals can help OCD sufferers, feel free to post tomorrow if you like would be interesting to hear how you help your brother. I'm going to add a paragraph from my own partner on the subject.

    Thank you :hugs: hope you're doing better now from the last few days too
    I'll definitely see if I can put my thoughts into words Looking forward to tomorrow's post!

    I am, thanks. Definitely perked up a bit
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    We are onto the last day of Awareness Week now! Can't believe how fast the week has went in :cry2:

    So here's to the last topic of discussion -

    Saturday 15th October - What do you think could be done both by health care professionals and friends and family to help OCD sufferers more?



    Personally, I think the best thing anyone can do be it friends and family or medical professionals, is to listen empathetically. Too often sufferers get told they just need to "man up", "get on with things", get reminded that "there's worse people out there than you" or the classic "just calm down". People often forget that its an actual disorder and not just a case of 'being a little bit anxious'. From my own experience, people close to me have become frustrated by me at times because what I can say, do or think can be highly illogical and even though I know how crazy it sounds, I can't stop it but they think because I know how absurd it is, I should be able to nip it in the bud. If I could do that then I wouldn't have a disorder, would I?

    I think it is extremely important for family and friends to educate themselves on OCD. You don't have to be an expert by any means but you have to know some key facts because you can help someone suffering, imo.

    One way of helping OCD sufferers, which won't feel like help to the sufferer but will help them so much in the long run is to not let them get you involved in their compulsions. So many of us with OCD seek constant reassurance and this may become a compulsion. We may worry we have a lump in our body so we constantly ask someone to check it for us, we might worry food is contaminated so we ask someone to take a bit first, we may think we have left the cooker on at home so we ask someone at home to check and so on. Giving into their reassurance seeking sometimes is fine but a lot of the time, carers can fall into the trap of giving into all or most of the reassurance compulsions. This can be out of habit or because of the distress not giving in would cause the sufferer. Not giving in to compulsions is the ultimate goal of treating OCD and sometimes the first step is for carers to not give in first, before the sufferer can learn to tackle their own compulsions on their own. Its a kind of 'cruel to be kind' and 'tough love' approach because the sufferer won't see it as you trying to help at first but through time, they will.

    Is there anything you feel that people could do more to help sufferers of OCD?

    A huge thanks to everyone who has taken part in Awareness Week, it really means a lot to me and I hope you have all enjoyed it and feel more informed on OCD now :yep: Its always Awareness Week for me so feel free to contact me any time if you ever have any questions, queries or advice

    :wavey:
 
 
 
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Updated: October 15, 2016
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