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OCD Awareness Week 2017 (8th-14th October) Watch

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    Hey guys!

    "OCD Awareness Week aims to raise understanding and awareness of what OCD is and how it affects people. OCD Awareness Week is a global effort to educate people and work towards removing the misunderstanding and stigma of this seriously debilitating condition." - University of Kent

    "Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a serious anxiety-related condition where a person experiences frequent intrusive and unwelcome obsessional thoughts, often followed by repetitive compulsions, impulses or urges." - OCD-UK


    So since its now officially OCD Awareness Week, I thought a thread would be rather fitting for it Last years awareness week was very successful :yep:
    Over the next week, this thread will be used for general chat about the condition and also highlighted topics to discuss each day as well such as - personal experiences of OCD, coping tips, busting myths surrounding the condition etc. Self help and information links will be added as well. Feel free to mention any sites, blogs, videos you have personally found helpful as well

    Here's a layout of the topics of the week ahead. If you feel any other topic relating to the condition should be mentioned then feel free to discuss it

    1. Sunday 8th October - Talking about OCD in general plus sharing experiences
    2. Monday 9th October - Post a fact about the condition/debunk myths
    3. Tuesday 10th October - Discuss treatment for OCD e.g meds, therapy
    4. Wednesday 11th October - Discussion on how the condition is treated as a joke, quirk or gimic
    5. Thursday 12th October - Discuss tips for coping with OCD
    6. Friday 13th October - Reviewing a media portrayal of OCD
    7. Saturday 14th October - What do you think could be done both by health care professionals and friends and family to help OCD sufferers more?


    Some useful sites for more information on the condition include -
    OCDUK.org - The UK's leading charity on OCD and related conditions such as BDD. They also have a forum for sufferers too.

    NoMorePanic - UK based anxiety forum. Helpful to those suffering from any kind of anxiety disorder, including OCD.

    topuk.org - UK based website dealing with phobias and OCD


    There are also free activities and lectures going on across The UK this week for OCD Awareness Week. You should be able to find the locations on OCDUK.org

    So lets get this thread on the road! First post will be about giving tips and sharing my own experience on first opening up about the condition, both to friends and family and public on here and social media.

    As always, feel free to ask questions, add any input or if you would like to talk privately, feel free to mail me.

    You can post anon in this thread :hugs:
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    #1

    I LOVE THIS. I was diagnosed with OCD this June but have learned that I've had OCD tendencies since 2011 - 6 years! I can manage myself much better now after learning about OCD more. I'm leading a much happier life at the moment.

    However, I'm just about to apply to uni for medicine but I'm having serious OCD doubts and I'm getting so anxious. I'd love some advice, please.
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    Sunday 8th October - Talking about OCD in general plus sharing experiences

    So for todays topic, I'll just talk a bit about my experience with the condition. I wont go into too much detail as many people already know my story with OCD on here plus last year I wrote a long blog (more like a novel :laugh: ) on here that you can read if you want a nosy

    So for now, here is the jist.

    Spoiler:
    Show

    I was diagnosed with OCD at around 5 or 6 and started therapy for it soon after. I've been in and out of therapy most of my life due to this condition and a few others and I've yet to find one that really helps. I am due to start Compassion Focused Therapy for the first time on Tuesday. My mum was also diagnosed with OCD along with biploar disorder in her teens.

    For me, my symptoms are pretty rigid and don't change much. I suffer from obsessions, compulsions and 'magical thinking'. My obsession usually relate to my health, paranoia about others and that something awful will happen to those I love and it'll be my fault. My compulsions relate to these obsessions such as I am terrified I have some horrible illness so will spend literally hours every day checking my body all over - feeling all over for lumps to the point I am bruised and in pain, spend hours Googling symptoms, taking pics of my body and comparing them to previous ones I've taken, checking for symmetry within my body etc and other checking compulsions such as checking constantly that I haven't locked my cats in a room by accident or that I didn't forget to lock my front door or switch the cooker off. Magical thinking is a symptom of OCD where you feel that you will or have caused something bad to happen just because you thought it, even though logically you know that isn't true whatsoever. I am awake for about 12-16 hours a day and my compulsions take up on approx 6-9 hours of the day (sometimes more, sometimes less but they are there every single day). Even when I am doing something or if I am out, compulsions still find a way of forcing themselves and you find ways to be able to do them without other people noticing so they can't stop you. Compulsions only help fuel the fire though but you don't see that at the time.

    For example, as many of you know, my grandpa recently got another match for a kidney transplant and just before he was wheeled down to surgery, the surgeons came in and told him the op couldn't go ahead as they found a mass on his lung. Before we got the news about the lump, I said to my family "knowing our luck, this is too good to be true and something will stop this op" as he had 4 other matches in the past and they all fell through for different reasons and when we got the call about the lump, OCD made me feel like I caused that because I thought and said that something would happen and this led to feelings of guilt, worry and self harming. It also made the compulsions stronger because I felt as though I caused it and had to be more careful.


    [/i]

    So there's a little bit of my experiences with it, if you have any questions please feel free to ask. Nothing is off bounds when it comes to this condition as I want people to know the true extent of it.
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    Can I just say this is amazing? Doing this off your own back too.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I LOVE THIS. I was diagnosed with OCD this June but have learned that I've had OCD tendencies since 2011 - 6 years! I can manage myself much better now after learning about OCD more. I'm leading a much happier life at the moment.

    However, I'm just about to apply to uni for medicine but I'm having serious OCD doubts and I'm getting so anxious. I'd love some advice, please.
    Glad you like the thread! :hugs: I hope you find it usual over the next week I hope someone can give you some advice regarding your uni worries. What is it you are mostly worried about? OCD can make us doubt everything

    (Original post by Deyesy)
    Can I just say this is amazing? Doing this off your own back too.
    Thanks :hugs:
    Spoiler:
    Show
    I'm a Hufflepuff too :teehee:
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    Love it! OCD needs more awareness. :yes:
    I was ignorant enough about OCD at one stage that I didn't even recognise I had it myself and once I started to work it out and brought it up with my counsellor she told me (without even asking why I thought it) that I didn't have OCD. Luckily the wonderful people of the internet kept me on the right track, I saw a psych and I got a diagnosis in the end.
    Because of random people on the internet I got diagnosed and the justification that I was not crazy and that I was not alone. That shows what projects like this can achieve and how amazing the people taking part are.

    Lets do this!

    Story time (what, you thought that was enough? Nah. That was just the blurb.)
    I was always a little odd as a kid, doing things in a specific way and counting wotsits. Around GCSE/ college time that turned into something much bigger. I was counting every step, flicking light switches up to 26 times, sanitising my hands at every turn and more. It was madness, but that wasn't all. I was also developing some ever darkening thoughts. It took me a long time, but I eventually realised that this was not just being a teenager and that it was something I should get help with. That's something the people of TSR actually had a big part in.
    Even then, it took a lot of pushing to get anywhere. Anybody I told kinda fobbed me off with the teenage excuse or something like that. Thankfully my dad was not one of those people. He looked into things and found out I was covered on his insurance. Now all my doctors had to do was write a referral and they could manage that.
    I saw a psych who diagnosed me with depression and OCD and worked with me to find the right treatment. It was a process, but after a few years I can safely say I'm better. The biggest turning point for me was realising I wasn't crazy. After that I knew I was fighting the OCD and not myself. I had something to fight now and that made all the difference.

    In that process I also got diagnosed with ADD and Dyslexia and I've now worked out that the depression I had at that time pushed me and my quirks from those into a more full blown OCD. Thankfully my OCD left as it came and is now back at a very minimal level. It will flare up a bit if I'm stressed, but I am in control.
    I feel so lucky about that because that OCD was the most difficult thing I have ever faced (and probably ever will). I spent every night fighting with my own mind over things I knew made no sense and every day with my mind forcing me to do stupid things. My own mind was destroying me and there was damn near nothing I could do about it.

    Honestly, looking back I wouldn't change anything. It sucked a whole load, but I recovered and by going through that I've learned so much. It's also part of what brought me close to my bf because he was somebody I could talk to so openly and honestly and he was nothing but supportive. I am who I am today because of those challenges and I like me.

    Well that's me. I hope it makes sense. I'm all for spreading awareness so if anybody has any questions please feel free to ask.
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    (Original post by Kindred)
    Love it! OCD needs more awareness. :yes:
    I was ignorant enough about OCD at one stage that I didn't even recognise I had it myself and once I started to work it out and brought it up with my counsellor she told me (without even asking why I thought it) that I didn't have OCD. Luckily the wonderful people of the internet kept me on the right track, I saw a psych and I got a diagnosis in the end.
    Because of random people on the internet I got diagnosed and the justification that I was not crazy and that I was not alone. That shows what projects like this can achieve and how amazing the people taking part are.

    Lets do this!

    Story time (what, you thought that was enough? Nah. That was just the blurb.)
    I was always a little odd as a kid, doing things in a specific way and counting wotsits. Around GCSE/ college time that turned into something much bigger. I was counting every step, flicking light switches up to 26 times, sanitising my hands at every turn and more. It was madness, but that wasn't all. I was also developing some ever darkening thoughts. It took me a long time, but I eventually realised that this was not just being a teenager and that it was something I should get help with. That's something the people of TSR actually had a big part in.
    Even then, it took a lot of pushing to get anywhere. Anybody I told kinda fobbed me off with the teenage excuse or something like that. Thankfully my dad was not one of those people. He looked into things and found out I was covered on his insurance. Now all my doctors had to do was write a referral and they could manage that.
    I saw a psych who diagnosed me with depression and OCD and worked with me to find the right treatment. It was a process, but after a few years I can safely say I'm better. The biggest turning point for me was realising I wasn't crazy. After that I knew I was fighting the OCD and not myself. I had something to fight now and that made all the difference.

    In that process I also got diagnosed with ADD and Dyslexia and I've now worked out that the depression I had at that time pushed me and my quirks from those into a more full blown OCD. Thankfully my OCD left as it came and is now back at a very minimal level. It will flare up a bit if I'm stressed, but I am in control.
    I feel so lucky about that because that OCD was the most difficult thing I have ever faced (and probably ever will). I spent every night fighting with my own mind over things I knew made no sense and every day with my mind forcing me to do stupid things. My own mind was destroying me and there was damn near nothing I could do about it.

    Honestly, looking back I wouldn't change anything. It sucked a whole load, but I recovered and by going through that I've learned so much. It's also part of what brought me close to my bf because he was somebody I could talk to so openly and honestly and he was nothing but supportive. I am who I am today because of those challenges and I like me.

    Well that's me. I hope it makes sense. I'm all for spreading awareness so if anybody has any questions please feel free to ask.
    Was literally just about to tag you in this
    Thanks for sharing your story and looking forward to everything else you contribute to the thread over the week :hugs:
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    (Original post by Rum Ham)
    Was literally just about to tag you in this
    Thanks for sharing your story and looking forward to everything else you contribute to the thread over the week :hugs:
    I'm just too quick.
    I think it's great you've done this. I didn't even know it was OCD AW. I'm looking forward to Wednesday's topic. I have some mixed views on that one so it'll be interesting to see what others think.
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    why was my post deleted?
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    (Original post by Kindred)
    I'm just too quick.
    I think it's great you've done this. I didn't even know it was OCD AW. I'm looking forward to Wednesday's topic. I have some mixed views on that one so it'll be interesting to see what others think.
    Thanks
    Yeah I am looking forward to that topic too. My views on it are mixed too, especially with gift items that say things like "I have OCD - obsessive cat disorder" and things like that. On the one hand, I can take a joke and I'm not easily offended but then on the other hand, there would be an outrage if this was a reference to a physical illness but yet for mental health problems, its fine. I'll no doubt go on a rant about it on Wednesday
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    (Original post by study beats)
    why was my post deleted?
    I didn't see your post but if you have any questions, here is the place to ask regarding deleted threads or posts
    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/hel...community-team
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    (Original post by Rum Ham)
    Thanks
    Yeah I am looking forward to that topic too. My views on it are mixed too, especially with gift items that say things like "I have OCD - obsessive cat disorder" and things like that. On the one hand, I can take a joke and I'm not easily offended but then on the other hand, there would be an outrage if this was a reference to a physical illness but yet for mental health problems, its fine. I'll no doubt go on a rant about it on Wednesday
    You've hit right on my issue too. We can get into it on Wednesday.
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    A lot of the time what people believe is OCD, is actually closer to being the personality disorder OCPD. To a person who doesn't really know much about OCD, its easy to see why they may think this is actually what OCD is but in truth, while there may be some similar traits, the conditions are very different.

    Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) reflects a chronic, maladaptive pattern of dealing with other people and life challenges characterized by:
    • an excessive need for perfection and control over all aspects of your environment
    • preoccupation with details, rules, lists, order or organization to the extent that you often forget the major point of the activity
    • excessive devotion to work at the expense of time spent with your friends or family
    • rigidity with respect to matters of morals, ethics, or values
    • an inability to get rid of items that no longer have value
    • a miserly spending style towards both you and others
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    Hi guys

    Monday 9th October - Post a fact about the condition/debunk myths

    Facts about OCD -
    *It is the 4th most common MH disorder after depression, alcohol/substance abuse and social anxiety
    *World Health Organisation (WHO) ranks OCD in the top ten of the most disabling illnesses of any kind, in terms of lost earnings and diminished quality of life

    Debunk a myth -

    MYTH: OCD is just about cleaning, hand-washing and being a “germaphobe.”

    OCD is a heterogeneous disorder — in other words, it manifests differently in different people. In fact, only a portion of individuals with OCD are afraid of germs or have compulsions related to keeping themselves (and their world) clean.

    Common fears, or obsessions, in people with OCD include:

    -Fear of germs or contamination
    -Fear of committing a sin
    -Fear of harming themselves or others
    -Fear of a loved one dying
    -Fear of certain numbers, colors, words, etc.
    -Fear of becoming a sexual predator

    People with OCD perform rituals to mitigate the anxiety associated with their obsessions. These are known as compulsions.

    Common compulsions in people with OCD include:

    -Counting
    -Repeating certain movements
    -Hand-washing
    -Praying
    -Cleaning excessively
    -Checking doors are locked, cookers are off, check their body for illness
    -Hoarding
    -Tapping or touching objects

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    Also another activity for today - describe OCD in one word.

    'Consuming'
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    I start my new therapy tomorrow - Compassion Focused Therapy. Its mainly for another problem of mine (CPTSD) but I am hoping it may help OCD as well. Do any of you guys have any experience of this therapy? I'll talk about how I got on after the appt which ties in well with Tuesday's theme and will discuss other treatments I've had in the past
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    (Original post by Rum Ham)
    A lot of the time what people believe is OCD, is actually closer to being the personality disorder OCPD. To a person who doesn't really know much about OCD, its easy to see why they may think this is actually what OCD is but in truth, while there may be some similar traits, the conditions are very different.

    Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) reflects a chronic, maladaptive pattern of dealing with other people and life challenges characterized by:
    • an excessive need for perfection and control over all aspects of your environment
    • preoccupation with details, rules, lists, order or organization to the extent that you often forget the major point of the activity
    • excessive devotion to work at the expense of time spent with your friends or family
    • rigidity with respect to matters of morals, ethics, or values
    • an inability to get rid of items that no longer have value
    • a miserly spending style towards both you and others
    THIS!

    OCPD is where I think a lot of confusion comes from. They are people who are clearly different and more obsessive so it's assumed they have OCD. These are the people who seem to be shoved in the media all the time in interviews and on that dumb show Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners.
    I watched an interview at one point where a woman was saying how she loves her OCD and it helps her with her business. As far as I could tell she had no diagnosis and her symptoms were far more reminiscent of OCPD which to really dull it down is just being a bit anal with things (when compared to full blown OCD at least). I'm sure it can pose a challenge for a lot of the people who have it, but it seems far less illogical than OCD and it also seems it's a lot easier to learn to work with it.
    This also seems to be the case for the OCcleaners in that dumb show (have I mentioned how dumb it is?). There's the clear implication that they have OCD and yet I believe only one of them in the show's history has had a diagnosis and looking at it for the short time I did (I had to rage quit pretty soon) it seems they are yet another case of OCPD being taken as OCD.

    This really emphasises and encourages a lot of the myths behind OCD like it being obsessive cleaning or something you can control/ use to your advantage.
    I would have thought the first thing you would do as TV network/ news channel when showing an OCD person is actually check they have freaking OCD.
    It's like me interviewing a WW2 survivor and them being some 14 year old I found at the local school in a fake beard! He's not a war survivor and that's not OCD!

    Mini rant over. It's just annoying how people (/brands) can so easily claim OCD while people with OCD have to go through a complicated process to get diagnosed and receive help.

    Next instalment in the Kindred rants about OCD series: Debunking Myths.
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    Obsessive Compulsive Myth Busters!!

    Cleaning is a big one, but RumHam has covered that so I'll take... It can be an advantage/ you can work with it.
    This is going to be another OCPD rant because I think that's where this one comes from. Learning to work with an essentially perfectionist personality is something I imagine could be quite easy and rewarding. I'm sure there are some people who find OCPD harder to live with (especially when it comes to not being able to get rid of things and those sorts of symptoms), but on the whole it seems like something that is a lot easier to work with.
    OCD on the other hand is far more intense and illogical. I can't see how you could possibly learn to work with your brain screaming to do some crazy thing or else you'll be in intense discomfort or have your family burn in a fire. There's little to no logic behind OCD and it doesn't tend to ever do what you want it to. Needing to moisturise my hands any time I touched anything sure didn't help my productivity at college and nor did my mind constantly being overrun with counting.
    And I really can't see any way to turn compulsively flicking light switches into anything productive.

    Bonus round: You can use logic to fix it/ think your way out of it. So I've already mentioned how OCD is so illogical and you might think that because of that logic would be a good cure... well not quite. Therapies like CBT ca be very successful with OCD and do involve a fair amount of logic, but it's deeper than just that.
    When I say using logic to fix it here I'm more talking about people who just say "but that makes no sense" and think that's going to cure it or the idea that thinking yourself out of it is a simple and quick fix.

    Although more logical thought patterns is a big part of helping OCD it's a long and difficult process. It's not the sort of thing that you can just snap out of. I had somebody tell me how sanitising my hands on a regular basis didn't help fight off illness and if anything weakened your immune system because it wasn't exposed to harmless amounts of germs. Yep. That's all well and good, but that's not why I did it. I did it to stop my hands feeling uncomfortable. The logic of germs played no part in it and knowing how stupid it was just served to make me hate myself for being so dumb.
    I spent a fair few sleepless nights fighting with my head using logic and every time I lost. Why? Cos it didn't care about logic. It's like arguing with an idiot- you can never win because they will never accept your argument.
    Each time I tried to use logic to work my way out of something it just served to remind me how stupid what I was doing was. It never actually helped.

    I was very lucky because my depression is what made my OCD an issue and once my depression was dealt with so was my OCD. I am so glad because I honestly don't think I could have won against it, even with therapy. I did have some CBT therapy for it, but even then I achieved nothing. I just couldn't fight my own brain. It was like trying to think my hair blue- it just wasn't going to happen. The only luck I ever had was letting myself do the less intrusive things so I had a bit more strength to cope with the more intrusive ones.

    Disclaimer: obviously I only have my own experience and knowledge to work with. I try my best to represent everything fairly and truthfully, but I may get some things wrong. If that is the case I'm sorry and I would love if you can tell me how so I can do things better next time.
    I also realise I'm attacking OCPD quite a bit, but that's because of the confusion between it and OCD. OCPD is clearly a legitimate condition and I can see that it could cause significant stress. I am moaning about the confusion with it and OCD, not the people with it or the condition itself.
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    Tuesday 10th October - Discuss treatment for OCD e.g meds, therapy

    How do you guys manage your OCD? I have tried several antidepressants in the past but after bad experiences on each of them, I decided that self help and therapy was the best approach for me, personally. I have different kinds of therapy such as ERP, CBT and most recently, I have just started CFT (Compassion Focused Therapy) and from what the psychologist told me, sounds promising for my kind of problems.

    For you, what helps you to less the time spent on compulsions or helps tame the strength of your obsessions?
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    (Original post by Kindred)
    Obsessive Compulsive Myth Busters!!

    Cleaning is a big one, but RumHam has covered that so I'll take... It can be an advantage/ you can work with it.
    This is going to be another OCPD rant because I think that's where this one comes from. Learning to work with an essentially perfectionist personality is something I imagine could be quite easy and rewarding. I'm sure there are some people who find OCPD harder to live with (especially when it comes to not being able to get rid of things and those sorts of symptoms), but on the whole it seems like something that is a lot easier to work with.
    OCD on the other hand is far more intense and illogical. I can't see how you could possibly learn to work with your brain screaming to do some crazy thing or else you'll be in intense discomfort or have your family burn in a fire. There's little to no logic behind OCD and it doesn't tend to ever do what you want it to. Needing to moisturise my hands any time I touched anything sure didn't help my productivity at college and nor did my mind constantly being overrun with counting.
    And I really can't see any way to turn compulsively flicking light switches into anything productive.

    Bonus round: You can use logic to fix it/ think your way out of it. So I've already mentioned how OCD is so illogical and you might think that because of that logic would be a good cure... well not quite. Therapies like CBT ca be very successful with OCD and do involve a fair amount of logic, but it's deeper than just that.
    When I say using logic to fix it here I'm more talking about people who just say "but that makes no sense" and think that's going to cure it or the idea that thinking yourself out of it is a simple and quick fix.

    Although more logical thought patterns is a big part of helping OCD it's a long and difficult process. It's not the sort of thing that you can just snap out of. I had somebody tell me how sanitising my hands on a regular basis didn't help fight off illness and if anything weakened your immune system because it wasn't exposed to harmless amounts of germs. Yep. That's all well and good, but that's not why I did it. I did it to stop my hands feeling uncomfortable. The logic of germs played no part in it and knowing how stupid it was just served to make me hate myself for being so dumb.
    I spent a fair few sleepless nights fighting with my head using logic and every time I lost. Why? Cos it didn't care about logic. It's like arguing with an idiot- you can never win because they will never accept your argument.
    Each time I tried to use logic to work my way out of something it just served to remind me how stupid what I was doing was. It never actually helped.

    I was very lucky because my depression is what made my OCD an issue and once my depression was dealt with so was my OCD. I am so glad because I honestly don't think I could have won against it, even with therapy. I did have some CBT therapy for it, but even then I achieved nothing. I just couldn't fight my own brain. It was like trying to think my hair blue- it just wasn't going to happen. The only luck I ever had was letting myself do the less intrusive things so I had a bit more strength to cope with the more intrusive ones.

    Disclaimer: obviously I only have my own experience and knowledge to work with. I try my best to represent everything fairly and truthfully, but I may get some things wrong. If that is the case I'm sorry and I would love if you can tell me how so I can do things better next time.
    I also realise I'm attacking OCPD quite a bit, but that's because of the confusion between it and OCD. OCPD is clearly a legitimate condition and I can see that it could cause significant stress. I am moaning about the confusion with it and OCD, not the people with it or the condition itself.
    PRSOM
    Completely agree with everything you have written here and the OCPD rant post me and you should start a chat show ranting about all of this. We could talk for hours on this subject :laugh:

    Tomorrow's rant will be interesting! I hope people get involved with that topic as I want to hear people's views. I may make a seperate thread about that topic and ask on Twitter as well.
 
 
 
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