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TOPIC TITLE: FRUM PEOPLE WITH OCD
Created On 8/16/12 2:58 PM
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his8sm
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8/16/12 2:58 PM
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Hi
Does anyone frum with OCD want to discuss this condition and give chizuk- I have had it under control for some years but relapsed recently and its very tough
 
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HopefulMommy
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8/16/12 10:18 PM
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How are you doing? Are you back from Israel?
 
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ayelet_hashachar
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8/19/12 10:25 PM
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I have some OCD tendencies...When something bothers me, my mind cannot let it go; it torments me 24/7... energy and thoughts wasted on obsessionality, paralyzing self-doubt...self-deprecating thoughts intrude and stop me from thinking clearly...hard for me to throw things out, embarrassed at being such a "pack rat"...

Ha-shem created me with this neurochemical imbalance. He could have easily created me without it. So there MUST be a very good reason- I see my OCD, anxiety etc. as my life's nisayon- because, you and I know dealing with these conditions is a life's work. As it says in Pirkei Avot: We are not expected to complete the entire job, but neither are we exempt from trying. As long as we are trying, working on ourselves, we are doing our job.


-------------------------
Let's just say G-d knew I had a sense of humor.
 
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HopefulMommy
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8/20/12 12:43 AM
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I also tend to obsess about things. I used to doubt myself and check everything too much, but I've worked on that a lot in therapy. Sometimes during a panic attack I get this feeling of, how do I know that I'm really here, and that I'm supposed to be here, and that this is real and I'm not imagining things, and so on.
 
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his8sm
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8/20/12 2:50 PM
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hi
thank you both for your honest comments
yes, i am back from israel and it was a very stressful time, family wedding, a flat tyre, a blowout on the highway, hot weather and in the midst of my worst ever attack of ocd in 12 years but I survived somehow, and even though the week after was also hard i am slowly getting there

my therapist who i had a four year absence from and who isnt the sympathetic type (prob what i need) said something interesting and showed me a video from a guy called syd Banks. My therapist is charedi and said anything emes is simple and straightforward, look at the gedolim simple in their approach and outlook- these thoughts are sheker, totally complicated and twister- but thats all they are, thoughts, they arent reality, he then showed me this dvd which surprised me as it was goyish person, but he essentially said its just a thought...... i dont know why only the therapist seems to calm the thoughts down

so anyway, today i ve tried to think (and ive had loads of obsessive thoughts) its just a thought.....and let it run over me, because all obsessions have a life span (normally till the next one comes about!! seriously!) so maybe that can help you both
medication definetely helps, ive come to that conclusion because its only when ive come off it that ive had this relapse! ive finally accepted i have a proper illness which i shouldnt be afraid of..nor should i be afraid of my medication or the stronger medication i was once offered but turned down cos i was scared (even though its for use for my ocd off-label and not for other conditions)

.but i sure do wish society wouldnt be so prejudiced because last week i felt as ill as someone who had say, g-d forbid, a physical illness, but i couldnt bring myself to call into work sick..

as for hashem giving this to me, that i have trouble with- last two weeks ive hardly been able to daven, learn, and i cant understand why hashem would want that, but ive got to accept it
 
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gad
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8/21/12 12:02 AM
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hope to hear good news soon
 
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HopefulMommy
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8/21/12 12:17 AM
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Mazel tov on the family wedding! Those can be very stressful, though. Glad to hear that you're feeling better!

Yes, recognizing that they are just thoughts and letting them wash over me like a wave is what I did in CBT also.

Maybe Hashem is giving you a test. If you're unable to daven and learn as usual, do you miss it? Do you feel sad about it? Like the Gemara about goyim kicking the sukkah because it was too hot.
 
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his8sm
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8/21/12 3:12 PM
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hi
the problem with this darn obsessions is sometimes I wonder, is G-d playing with me.
My therapist told me I dont need to take extra measures to protect myself, but then Im walking in town and feeling good, not looking at anything and then I see something out of the corner of my eye which I have a trigger to- why o why i wonder!
 
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HopefulMommy
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8/21/12 9:27 PM
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Not sure if I understand what you mean, but if you see something that triggers you it's not your fault. The Tanya says that when a person experiences an unwanted thought he shouldn't blame himself because he doesn't have control over his thoughts. Instead, he should rejoice at the opportunity to let go of the thought, to not focus on it, which is an act of doing Hashem's will. Don't push it away, though. It will only make it worse. Just let it wash over you and leave.
 
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his8sm
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8/22/12 3:32 PM
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i guess in a nutshell i have contamination fears and sometimes i notice things red marks, etc...not rational, but OCD isnt
anyway, ive been told about the three principles school of thought and thats the video I told U I was shown by my therapist, essentially saying what you say, its just a thought, let it wash over you, well people have good and bad thoughts too, maybe I have more, but the thing is well people dont react to the bad thoughts, thats the key

I hope you are well
 
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his8sm
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8/22/12 3:41 PM
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btw, i read your struggles on the other page and I sympathise. interestingly, here in Europe, in 12 years,ive never once been offered anything like Xanax or a tranquiliser, its not the done thing.

ive taken in the past 12 years at different times Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Luvox, Escitalopram, Venlafaxine, and certainly in OCD, one tablet can work when another doesn't for someone else but there are plenty of options especially if Side effects occur- ie PAXIL worked for me, but side effects, so I changed to Zoloft, which did not work at all for me...so now im on Luvox, which does help when it kicks in.
i wish you well.
 
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HopefulMommy
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8/23/12 12:15 AM
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Thank you for the sympathy. That's interesting that Xanax is not prescribed in Europe. I didn't take it today. I'm hoping that I won't need it too often.
 
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HopefulMommy
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8/23/12 1:03 AM
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I hate that CBT refrain of "everyone has these thoughts, but healthy people don't react to them." When I was in CBT, I was young and vulnerable, and it just made me feel that it was all my fault. It's just not true. Healthy people don't feel such intense emotions around those thoughts.

By the way, the Rambam says in Shemone Perakim that we're not responsible for our thoughts.
 
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his8sm
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8/23/12 3:34 PM
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Hi
its not they don't prescribe such drugs its just I reckon I would have to beg for them, I think the idea is they would rather anti-depressants work long term than short term drugs which can be addictive, but I reckon they do offer them to severe patients, I just never did get offered any
They tend to prescribe very conservatively here unless you go to a Psychiatrist, who I went to a few times, who tend to be more flexible and willing to mix and match.

 
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his8sm
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8/23/12 3:40 PM
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yes, I am not doubting what you say, i just think sometimes i take comfort from such theories
remember, your talking to someone who has been plagued by intrusive thoughts for years and even as a young child, I remember things really bothering me.
Ive never told anyone this but I had this compulsive prayer I said in bed when I was maybe 8 I would have my door open a certain amount and look at the stairs in my house and say, hashem,please let me live till 100-120, please let me live till tommorow!!- I cant believe I did that because Compulsions dont affect me as much as pure obsessional fears. anyone I would then turn over and go to sleep, but i remember always doing it.

my grandmother passed away on Yom Kippur and I remember being about 8 and looking up at this huge aron hakodesh in a big traditional shul and imaging when someone dies ,its eternity they are up there for, and clearly, I couldnt get my head round that mind blowing concept, who could!!!

so whilst I wasnt clinically ill until I was 21, the background was there for obsessional thinking. I remember Chemistry classes at aged 11 when the teacher said whatever you do, dont get acid on your hands, and I remember being terrified and thinking,how can they allow kids to do these experiments!!!

so there is the background, ive suffered even today intrusive thoughts and I am a bit miffed that these things bother me and dont bother other people- what im learning those, is to stop seeking reassurance because the tablets help me fade out the obsessions- again, i know another one is just around the corner so why worry about this one, lol- seriously, those tablets put seretonin into my head which is clearly lacking, so i can function alot better- it proves to me its a chemical illness and not my fault! I just wish hashem would give me a break with the triggers! ive had about 5 this week!
 
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HopefulMommy
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8/23/12 5:28 PM
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You sound like you're the only one in the world with these issues. You're not . I've had similar issues for as long as I can remember myself, and so did another sibling. Runs in the family. When I was maybe two or three I had this recurrent nightmare that there was a huge button in my mouth, and i was almost choking. For most of my childhood I refused to wear clothes with buttons. Even now, I still feel like washing my hands, and usually do, after buttoning mine or kids' clothes. I know it makes no sense whatsoever. I'm sharing this just to show that you're not alone.
 
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his8sm
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8/24/12 5:30 AM
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Thanks for being brave enough to share that
I don't think it matters what the content is and I certainly don't judge on it
My condition is not rational and I also have a hard time understanding people with other types of ocd like tapping turning the lights on four times say
What matters is the dynamic and the fact it makes us give it a credibility it doesn't deserve
Is your family supportive
Here having such a condition is still much more of a stigma than in america. I tell nobody I am on medication unless I have to
I liked the article was it posted by you from chabad site of a tow truck the thing is because I hide the condition in public its not as if I'm out there helping others


 
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gad
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8/24/12 7:48 AM
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although the following link is for a specific situation, i think that some of the ideas might be helpful

http://www.mikvah.org/article/mikvah_and_obsessive_compulsive_disorder

have a good shabbos
hope to hear good news
 
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HopefulMommy
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8/24/12 12:50 PM
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Wow, Gad, thank you for posting the article. This woman is amazing, to go out of her way so much to help the women with OCD. Don't ask me how much time I used to spend getting ready for the Mikva when I first got married. I've gotten much more laid back about it over the years.

I had a teacher in school who told me that I don't need to be so nervous about halacha. She said she used to be like that, and that's what her father told her. That really helped me.
 
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HopefulMommy
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8/24/12 1:01 PM
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His8sm, I don't think I'm being very brave. I'm not telling you my name . I also don't tell people that I'm on meds, except for very few.

OCD tendencies are not my biggest problem. As I said to my T once, if I don't feel that I want to die I can live with that.

I think you need to relax a bit about your condition. Lots of people have it. It doesn't mean that you are defective in some way, or that you're less valuable as a person. It's your nisayon, and part of your avodas Hashem is to accept the challenge and grow through it. And don't forget to use your sense of humor .

As for helping others, you can do it anonymously on this forum.

 
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his8sm
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8/24/12 1:23 PM
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thanks- I would like to help more people
who is your T? Tatte? I presume u suffer more from depression itself
my condition came out in New York in August 2000- I just felt ill when it had been my ambition to go to New York- not so much as obsessions but feelings I could see inside m head and couldnt stop the images and it followed panic, in otherwords, i feared i was losing my mind- at a time I should have been at my happiest
i have been chilled about my condition for years but its this relapse for the first time in 4 years which hit me badly
 
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HopefulMommy
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8/24/12 2:24 PM
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T stands for therapist.

That experience in NY must have been horrible. I'm sorry you had to go through that.

Hope you feel better soon!
 
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his8sm
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8/26/12 9:56 AM
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thanks
no more or worse than anything else Ive been through- its just so strong sometimes, im amazed how it doesn't relent, I dont think anyone else could cope with it,but then again its my challenge!
my other challenge is not seeking reassurance that kills the obsessions short term, but long term just starts a cycle.
I have to go to the doctors next week about something which I know is sensible to go for, but then, I am faced with the easy option of easing an obsessions by asking for reassurance in another area........so difficult!
living with uncertainty is my biggest challenge, sometimes, i can do it,other times I cant...at moment, i cant!
 
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HopefulMommy
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I'm not sure I understand. Why are you living with uncertainty? Isn't it better to ask the doctor, so that you can be certain and tell yourself that there is nothing to worry about?

The sibling I mentioned sometimes calls me and asks for reassurance about some decision that was already made. I usually say that once the decision is made it is not productive to go back to it, unless some new information comes up. It's enough to believe that we've done our best with the facts that were available when making a decision.
 
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his8sm
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8/27/12 1:59 PM
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Hi
I think the idea is, about ocd, you ask for reassurance,even when you know what the answer will be, but its compulsive and your also asking about scenarios that "might have happened" I know this sounds weird but as an extreme example and not something that bothers me now, before I was diagnosed and "normal" I was in Israel in flip-flops, and a cat walked past me, for that night, I wondered, did it bite me, obviously I knew it hadn't but I then had false sensations and for the night I wondered about rabies......anyway, you cant go to a doctor and go, hi, a cat walked past me and i felt something, now Ive no evidence I was bitten but if i was......... thats OCD for you, doubt over whether something "might" have happened or then if it does, will you catch A,B,C

I can drive past someone and then notice a pedestrian..... I may look back, maybe I think I hit someone, should I drive back? these are a few things that your mind can play tricks on you about....
the below article may explain that reassurance can be addictive to an OCD Sufferer

Now, I do need to go to the doctors about an issue this week, and inside, I know it makes sense to get it checked out, its sensible to just get it checked, unlike some other things where I know the answer before I go...I know it sounds strange, maybe the below will help you understand it.

http://www.ocdla.com/blog/reassurance-seeking-ocd-anxiety-597
 
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HopefulMommy
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8/28/12 2:18 AM
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I know what you mean about driving and looking back. When I was younger I used to get these anxious thoughts all the time, doubting myself about everything. Like, going to someone's house because they invited me, and on the way, getting worried that maybe I misunderstood, maybe they're not expecting me, maybe they'll be surprised to see me, and so on.
 
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his8sm
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funnily enough, first times in years i felt the need to drive back past where i was as i i saw a cyclist next to me and when i looked back didnt see him!
anyway, i would say luvox has been fantastic so far for anxiety, its just not tackled the Obsessions yet, it did previously but i think i need the dose to be higher for that to take effect! funny how it worked so well i was down to nothing on it, but now ive relapsed i feel the need to go higher
do you work? i do, and actually although its good to be busy, i find i am worse at work!
 
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HopefulMommy
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8/29/12 1:11 AM
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I've been mostly busy with my family, and when I work, I work from home, which is actually more relaxing for me than running around getting things done. I don't think it matters what I'm doing. It seems to be chemical. Sometimes I get these anxious thoughts and sometimes I don't.
 
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his8sm
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I would love to work from home! would be perfect for me but i cant find anything to do from home that would pay- any ideas!!!
how r u feeling this week
ive upped my meds slightly- hopefully will work
how long have u been on meds?
ever thought about vitamin supplements/diet to help
i was trying that before i went back on meds, would love it to be possible but dont think i have the luxury of experimenting
sometimes i wish doctors did more thorough checks to see what im lacking, as its surely chemical with me, but i reckon a very in depth medical could tell if im a certain vitamin short etc
 
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HopefulMommy
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8/30/12 11:39 PM
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What do you do? There are computer jobs that let you work at home.

I don't do anything that would provide a reasonable income. Just stuff on the side, writing, translating sometimes.

I've been totally exhausted this week, but I've been doing a lot. I'm trying to give myself more breaks.

I've tried just about any natural thing out there during the years when I was having babies. Now I think I might be done, or taking a long break, so I'm on meds for the first time in my life. I started taking them Shavuos time. They're more effective than the natural stuff.
 
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his8sm
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im an assistant manager in a department- financial services- i am partly qualified and have multiple degrees- so I have the qualifications but not the confidence to move higher up the ladder, im on an average wage, i think i should be doing better but my current job is low pressure, fairly low stress, allows me to leave early on friday, etc etc, so ive not moved, i dont think now is the time to move until im more stable,which is coming,tablets are kicking in, apart from possible side effects
anyway, computer jobs, work from home,i need a guaranteed income to pay the mortgage and whilst im on an average wage,its still fairly decent, just maybe not what i want to be on for someone as qualified as i am!! anyway, parnassah is all in hashems hand!
its v admirable u didnt take tablets till u felt u had to- i mean you tried all natural stuff, in a way, i wish i had before i started paxil in 2001!!! paxil btw was great for me i felt the most normal ive ever been but had tremendous side effects, i dont know if i trialled some of the earlier drugs well enough, i had a not so good doctor then,so i went on zoloft which you are on,but gave up at a low dose, but we all know these things are trial and error and take time!
i took prozac for many years,worked good at first but basically stopped working!!!

anyway, i feel now the obsessions fade quicker, and i can carry on with life, they dont disappear but fade more to the back of my head, after the month i had, i will take that for sure- its not ideal, but puts a lid on it
anyway, in shul today, i noticed a poster for a conference next week on the 3 principles i told you about last week, so i may go!

funny, u started shavuos i stopped taking on shavous after 12 years, felt so happy and felt fine for a month until slowly it crept back and a trigger set me off- oh well, hashem has the plan and cant doubt everything is for the good-however hard and lonely it can feel

r u chassidishe- i find great comfort in the baal shem tov teachings
 
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HopefulMommy
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9/3/12 1:02 AM
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Glad to hear your meds are working better. Maybe once you're feeling better you can consider changing jobs.

I'm not chassidish. Yet. My husband has been pulling me in that direction for many years, despite great resistance on my part , but by now I'm actually enjoying learning chassidus and finding it relevant to my life. It's so much more positive and encouraging than what I learned before.
 
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his8sm
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Interestingly enough, I got into chassidus cos i went to a chassidsh hypnotherapist, who helped somewhat a while back, an interesting guy, who got me into classical music which was soothing and then i went to a shiur from a friend of his and before u know it, im there 4 nights a week
i dont dress chassidish or act it but the philosphy i enjoy i find it soothing, and i always liked chabad to an extent,
 
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HopefulMommy
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My husband doesn't dress chassidish either, mostly because I'd freak out (what would my family and friends think?), but I wouldn't be surprised if somewhere down the line he starts, and if I get to the point of being OK with it.
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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I agree. I feel chassidus is relevant and helpful.
a lynn
 
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his8sm
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on a slightly different note, there is a mini health conference here next week i hope to attend on Innate Health and based on the three principles
I cant quite work out what the principles mean yet- my therapist showed me a DVD and its about forgetting looking at your problems but seeing them as "just a thought"
everything ive watched on you tube and the net seems to tell you how great the three principles are without telling you how to apply them, so i hope this conference shows me techniques to apply them!
 
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HopefulMommy
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That sounds intersting. I'd love to hear more about it.
 
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his8sm
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his8sm
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hi
how have u been
sorry not been in touch due to yom tovim
on the whole been good, slight relapse since yom kippur but to be expected i suppose
i went to a talk on the three principles by Sydney Banks, very much in line with jewish thought as the talk was given by an orthodox rabbi who advocates it
maybe u can google it, there is some stuff on you tube, my therapist (charedi) introduced me to the concept- if i had more time at moment i would read more, but as u well know, time at a premium with succos preparations
 
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HopefulMommy
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I found this: http://www.tikun.co.uk/innatehealth. Is that the conference you went to?
 
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his8sm
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hi
yes, although I only went to a mini conference, 3 hours,still it helped me- it was organised by Tikkun
also, a secular guy from La Cona, Washington State came over, Mr George Pransky, i spoke with him briefly, he has a website pransky and associated there
i find i just need the tablets in my system, dosage doesnt seem to matter too much
how have u been doing?
 
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his8sm
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Hey anyone out there got anything inspirational to say on coping with anxiety or ocd related issues
 
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Mimi1022
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I have an OCD related condition. It is a horrible disorder and I would wish it upon no one. In my personal experience it is worse than schizophrenia. I took 1mg of Xanax and b"h my compulsions went away- just today. I am taking it one day at a time and hoping for the best
 
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Shver
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Have you tried ERP (Exposure Response Prevention). It is considered
the standard therapy for OCD. However, it is not easy.
At the IOCDF convention this year there many inspirational speakers who
suffered from OCD. I think these videos are posted on their website.
 
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Mimi1022
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No I never heard of it. I did this new therapy called cognitive remediation which is supposed to help your attention span but it did absolutely nothing for me unfortunately. Oh well. I am not doing therapy right now at all.
 
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Shver
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Originally posted by: his8sm
Hey anyone out there got anything inspirational to say on coping with anxiety or ocd related issues


I once read in a sefer that a person can experience difficult times because the learning/davening during these times can
reach great spiritual heights. Many times I have found that after a few weeks of trying to maintain some level of learning,
the ocd dissipates and I experience extended periods of 'normalcy'.
I hope this helps some.


I am also interested to know about anyone's experience with ERP as part of OCD therapy
It is a very difficult process. Dr. Bonchek in his book highly recommends having a 'buddy' (non-profesional)
during this treatment.
 
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mel_08701
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9/9/13 7:57 PM
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Please take a look at the following site - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shannon-Shy-OCD-Can-Be-Defeated-Im-Living-Proof/428444560551203. It has really great advice regarding overcoming OCD. Also, Shannon Shy published a book regarding overcoming OCD which I found extremely helpful in my own struggles.
 
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Shver
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9/10/13 10:21 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions.
Facebook is normally blocked on my computer so I won't be following his blog.

Does his book cover "pure O" OCD. My major problem is that
I don't have physical compulsions only mental ones. It is very difficult
to refrain from mental compulsions. Many OCD books deal with people who
perform compulsive actions or avoidance. This does not apply as much to me.
 
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mel_08701
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9/11/13 8:45 AM
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As a long time sufferer of OCD based on Halacha scrupulosity, I have ready a very large number of books regarding OCD. There are two great books that I would recommend to read regarding pure-O OCD:
1 - The Imp of the Mind by Lee Baer - [L=]http://www.amazon.com/The-Imp-Mind-Exploring-Obsessive/dp/0452283078[/L]
2 - Overcoming Obsessive Thoughts by Christine Purdon and David A Clark [L=]http://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Obsessive-Thoughts-Gain-Control/dp/1572243813[/L]

Aside from directly dealing with OCD symptoms via reading and educating myself regarding the tactics necessary to overcome the problem, I have personally found that taking care of myself by eating healthy, exercise, and trying to get sufficient sleep has been very helpful with overcoming OCD anxiety. In fact, there is lots of scientific research showing how exercise is beneficial for alleviating anxiety.
 
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Shver
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9/11/13 6:27 PM
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Thanks for the information. I also have similar OCD issues.
I will try to obtain these books.
My schedule is really overloaded between work and chavrusos, I only
have time to exercise on Sundays. But for some reason, I still find time
to obsess.
 
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