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Category: Intrusive Thoughts

Anxiety and Panic Attack, Personal Perspective

Anxiety and Panic Attack, Personal Perspective

Article Written and Published 9th December 2022 19.45 pm

This is a health update on how I am feeling today. It started off with Evri supposedly delivering two expensive parcels to my property with a photo of what looked like the side of a package and the pavement.

When I received the email I immediately went downstairs because I live in a First Floor Flat only to find nothing in the communal area, so my initial thought was to buzz my neighbor to see if they heard the buzzer go (seeing as I am partially deaf) and the woman said she did not hear anything. I then went outside and could not see anything.

So now I am starting to panic, I could feel my heart pumping faster and I started to shake.

Although this post is not entirely a medical guide I will still include a few links should you need to research further.

The symptoms I had were:

  • Shortness of breath or hyperventilating
  • Fastened heartbeat
  • Feeling ill and lightheaded
  • Feeling out of control or like you’re about to die (a distinctive sign of a panic attack!)
  • Tingling sensation in your fingers or lips
  • Shaking and sweating 
  • Chest pain 
  • Tearful
  • Anxious
  • Feeling out of control

Fear, Anxiety & Panic Attacks

My Anxiety

I continued the small talk and asked if they had sorted the problem with British Gas chasing them for £2K even though they have only lived in the property for two months if that. Now, this is the bit that started alarm bells ringing because I am in communication with British Gas who have said my address has been reverted back to Ground Floor on the 8th of November 2022 where the debt is (which has nothing to do with me). I was even told by British Gas that my meter was associated with the building rather than the flat according to the national database. I have not had any problems for 23 years and all of a sudden I am.

  • I am feeling very anxious over a lot of things right now. My brother and his wife and son are coming to the UK for Christmas and although it would be nice to see them, I am anxious because I do not know how well I can cope with my OCD. Furthermore, they expect me to travel which is a journey of 3 hours and I need to go to the loo every hour. Public toilets are out of the question. I can cope with my disability at home but doing what I do is humiliating and embarrassing when it’s done in front of other people that do not understand.
  • I feel anxious just in case they make a diversion and want to come to my home, I have anxiety issues when workmen and contractors come in let alone anyone else. If I had more money I would make the place look more liveable but as it stands it’s I place I work and lay my head to sleep.
  • Although I have agreed to meet with my brother, he does not realize the ordeal I have to go through to get from A to B, It is stressing me because he is not taking my disability seriously. I am already leaving my comfort zone and am testing my OCD thresh-hold. My daughter said if I do this now I won’t have to go through this again for a while. So fingers crossed on how well I cope with my disorder.

So going back to my missing parcels they were wedged between the pavement and the bin where anyone passing by could have swiped. Nice one Evri part of the Hermes group shower of company.

I feel very on edge and feel very tearful. My tolerance levels are nil. I have no patience and am very irritable. Put it this way I found one last valium that I saved in case of emergencies which was prescribed donkey years ago. I still feel my heart racing and the valium pill did jack sh#t 💩 to calm me down.

A few hours have now passed since the fiasco with the courier this afternoon and writing how I feel down has actually helped to a certain extent.

It’s easy to say don’t worry, or things will be ok, but unless you are walking in my shoes it’s hypocritical for someone to judge.

“I will continue carrying on, one step at a time, until one day the universe manifests my desires”.

I believe one day I will have everything I dreamed of. I believe nothing stays in the same place forever. I continue to keep myself busy, to stop myself from thinking about my past. I have set myself goals that I will strive to achieve and from this, I will be able to eradicate my memories. I will be able to help others to also put their past behind them and learn to overcome their fears. Everyone has down days even the richest people on the planet and everyone has a story to tell. The trick is learning to love, respect yourself and learn to forgive. My therapy is called “writing”, this can be a letter, a diary, a blog, or a book.

Writing releases the tension and puts it out to the universe, it is up to God to punish the perpetrators that have hurt you, whilst allowing you to rebuild your life.

“I carry a battlefield of wounds and from my own personal experiences will tell my story”.

My Book Is Coming Out In 2023

“Like a Pheonix, From the ashes, I will rise and God help anyone that stands in my way. I am a survivor warrior and am iRenata”.

#anxiety #panicattacks #depression #uncertanty #insecurity #lowselfesteem

PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Personal Story.

Image Credit www.pexels.com

PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Personal Story.

Over the years I have endured many traumatic events, including domestic violence, the death of close family members, a car accident, and other life-changing incidents.

I have written articles about grief and how I have coped over the years plus I have cited source information on proven ways to help with, depression, anxiety, and stress disorders.

I have moments that trigger memories of past events like the time a criminal investigation officer (CID in 2011) walked into my property with another officer without knocking, being threatening, and taking my 10 yr old daughter into the kitchen, by himself to get her version of events, whilst I had the other officer talking to me in the living room because I would not press charges against the person that assaulted me. I ended up reporting him to the Police Ombudsman and he was demoted as a consequence.

So for anyone that comes into my property unannounced I start to get panic attacks and feel nauseous (28/11/22).

People who do not know my history and have not walked in my shoes have not got a clue what I have gone through, hence I plan to write my autobiography in order for the world to know so that people stop judging me.

Yes, I get judged because of my disabilities but it is because of the trauma that I have endured is why I have the disabilities.

I suffer from cerebellar atrophy, (head trauma). I also suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, and intrusive thoughts. I have a bad knee from it being kicked seven times until it dislocated.

My therapy is to motivate and empower myself and learn about the mind. I am studying for a diploma in neuroplasticity and psychotherapy. I do not plan to change my career path, I just want to understand more about how the brain works and how I can re-wire my mind. This is just a personal goal.

I must admit I was shaken up today when I saw someone on the stairs but have got gradually over it by keeping myself busy as the day has progressed.

I tend to do a lot of research and writing so what happened a few hours ago is now in the past, although it was an unpleasant experience, which triggered my past memories, thus prompting me to write this article.

In hindsight, I should lock my flat door when I am inside but there is an outer door that a visitor must come through before opening my door. I am curious what would have happened if I was not home because obviously this entity must have had keys to get in or the flat below me let them in. However, if I was not home they would have needed keys to enter my flat.

There should be a law that no one should enter the property without the tenant being present because what is to say that a contractor does not help themselves to valuables? You would have no proof they stole anything unless you had CCTV installed”. Yes, I may be accused of being distrusting, but over my lifetime I have been very trusting and people have abused my trust.

Overview – Post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening, or distressing past events.

Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks and may experience feelings of isolation, social disconnection, irritability, anger, and guilt. People often have trouble sleeping, such as insomnia, and find concentrating difficult. These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life.

Changes in Physical and Emotional Reactions

Patients are characterized by having:

  • Anger issues, short tempers, jumpiness, and irritability
  • Zero tolerance
  • Short attention span, with no patience
  • Paranoia
  • Panic attacks
  • High blood pressure or hyperventilation
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Muscle tension
  • Nausea or diarrhea

Cognitive and mood symptoms

  • The negative outlook on life, yourself, and others
  • Loss of hope for the future
  • Lapses in memory about the traumatic experience
  • Self-blame and guilt
  • Losing interest in previously enjoyable activities
  • Detachment from family members

For a PTSD diagnosis, a person must experience one or more re-experiencing symptoms and one or more avoidance symptoms. Also, they will need to display two or more changes in physical and emotional reactions and two or more cognitive and mood symptoms.

Risk and Resilience Factors

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, stress, and substance abuse often accompany post-traumatic stress disorder. Additionally, there are risk factors that can increase the likelihood of experiencing symptoms of PTSD, such as:

  • Genetics
  • Childhood trauma
  • A history of alcohol and drug abuse
  • No support system or social interaction following traumatic events
  • Experiencing prolonged trauma
  • High levels of stress in everyday life
  • Mental illness in oneself or relatives
  • Careers that have a high risk of exposure to a traumatic event, for example, military servicemembers or first responders
  • Gender: women are more likely to experience certain symptoms of PTSD
  • A domino effect of consequences, such as grief from separation from a partner, not having anyone to turn to, and losing a job, following a traumatic experience

Resilience factors that reduce the risk of having PTSD following traumatic events include:

  • Having a support group
  • Seeking out therapy
  • Keeping busy
  • Having healthy personal relationships
  • Being able to control reactions related to fear and anger
  • Early intervention and PTS treatment, before it develops into a disorder
  • Having social and emotional support from an early age
  • Having positive coping mechanisms

Causes of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Any situation that a person finds traumatic can cause PTSD.

These can include:

  • the sudden death of a loved one
  • a breakup with a partner
  • serious road accidents
  • domestic violence, such as sexual assault, rape, mugging or robbery
  • serious health problems
  • childbirth experiences, miscarriages

PTSD can develop immediately after someone experiences a disturbing event. Sufferers of trauma may have symptoms of PTSD for many months or years.

PTSD is estimated to affect about 1 in every 3 people who have a traumatic experience, but it’s not clear exactly why some people develop the condition and others do not.

Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

People who experience multiple traumatic events in the course of their lifetime from situations such as severe neglect, abuse, or violence, may be diagnosed with complex PTSD. Complex PTSD can cause similar symptoms to PTSD and may not develop until years after the event. It’s often more severe if the trauma was experienced early in life, as this can affect a child’s development.

When to get medical advice

After you have experienced trauma you may feel life unbearable and very overwhelmed with the feeling the whole world is crashing down around you. You must seek professional help as quickly as possible to try and get your mental health under control. It’s normal to be very upset and confused.

The best thing you can do other than to see your doctor is to distract yourself and make yourself busy. Distractions could include, art therapy, going for a walk, meeting people, reading, and learning a new skill. Join support groups online if you feel you cannot interact physically.

You should speak with your GP first who can refer you to mental health specialists and advice you on all your different options for getting therapy.

I have in my time gone to psychiatrists and have also done CBT therapy but for me personally learning how to block out intrusive thoughts through accredited courses helps me to become an expert on how my mind works and what I can do to get better.

Learning is not for everyone, but as long as you write your thoughts down and release them to the universe you are one step closer to recovery.

How post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is treated

PTSD in many cases can be treated, even when it develops many years after a traumatic event.

A person suffering from anxiety and depression has to want to recover. It cannot be forced. It is a gradual process and it takes time. A person needs to take small steps, a day at a time.

Food for thought -This is more so for people who have done your wrong, abused, and hurt you. If you are a believer in God you may want to get the quote from Mathew 6 in the Bible that is to forgive the person that has done you wrong, thus God will forgive your sins and will take care of the rest. Who is more powerful than you to take revenge on the person that has hurt you, God of course…

Any of the following treatment options may be recommended:

  • watchful waiting – monitoring your symptoms to see whether they improve or get worse without treatment
  • antidepressants – such as paroxetine or sertraline
  • psychological therapies – such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)

Final Thoughts From The Editor

Do check out our useful links page and if you are suffering from depression please visit: 24/7 Depression Hotline | NationalDepressionHotline.org

#intrusivethoughts #PTSD #anxiety #depression #isolation #grief #trauma #therapy #psychotherapy #cbt

Rose Cartwright & Aaron Harvey’s Stories of OCD

Rose Cartwright & Aaron Harvey’s Stories of OCD.

Upon doing some research on stories of OCD I can across this article written by Brigit Maguire where Rose Cartwright and Aaron Havely Founders of Made of’ Millions’ talk about OCD.

How I Finally Learned to Manage My OCD Symptoms (prevention.com)

As Rose says she feels she can never be totally free from OCD but has learned to manage it.

Personal stories of OCD help to analyze why we develop this disorder and how we can overcome it.

Rose is a mental health advocate, Made of Millions cofounder, creative director, screenwriter, and the author of Pure, a memoir turned Channel 4 TV show. Her 2013 article titled Pure OCD: A Rude Awakening helped launch lesser-known manifestations of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder into the mainstream.

https://www.madeofmillions.com/articles/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-ocd

If you have your own personal story to tell just drop us a line using the form below:

#ocd #obsessivecompulsivedisorder #mentalhealth #pureo #intrusivethoughts #anxiety

My OCD, My Story!

My OCD the Story of Renata Entrepreneur

My OCD is germ contamination that started 38 years ago but was diagnosed in1992.

This surgery has moved and DR Dolben has retired. My medical records including this letter would be on the system. My medical records are now held at Meddygfa Albany Surgery 219-221 City Road Roath Cardiff CF24 3JD and the head Doctor is Dr. Capatana.

Symptoms

In the beginning, I started to adopt unusual habits I did not understand what it was or why I was doing it other than I had to release the impulsive urge otherwise it would torment me. There was no internet back then so could not google it.

Looking back now my mother had similar traits but not as bad as me and some were a little different.

When I tried telling my mother in her later years she was in complete denial. My father was not happy because he did not know what OCD was and did not like me whipping out Dettol Surface Spray every five minutes and simply thought I had a screw loose.

What is OCD

OCD is a common debilitating condition affecting individuals from childhood through adult life. There is good evidence of genetic contribution to its etiology, but environmental risk factors also are likely to be involved. The condition probably has a complex pattern of inheritance. Molecular studies have identified several potentially relevant genes, but much additional research is needed to establish definitive causes of the condition. Genetics of OCD – PMC (nih.gov)

Hereditary OCD.

My mother had OCD, for example, when we came home from school my mother would make us stand in a small area in the kitchen to take our shoes off, we would then have to go upstairs immediately and stand on a newspaper to take our uniform off and get changed.

My mother had a habit of checking the soles of our shoes or even guest shoes as no one could come into the house without taking them off in the corridor. I reckon if anyone caught her doing what she did they would be mortified.

All grocery shopping would have to be washed with detergent before it could go in the cupboards. Obviously, some foods such as bakeries would have the outer packaging wiped with a dishcloth.

My mother had problems with newspapers and mail (just like me), she was careful how she opened them, everything had to be in a certain place and could not be touched unless it was in a certain area of the house and we would have to discard the outer envelopes and wash our hands.

My father’s jacket would always be inspected for dirt, especially on the hem and sleeves after he hung it up. I think her OCD put a strain on their marriage, although I think they had problems way before she developed the disorder which I believe was a direct consequence of how my father treated her.

Ongoing studies point to a genetic defect in the way the front area of the brain communicates with deeper areas. These deeper structures use serotonin, a chemical messenger. Images of the brain in some people with OCD show that these defective communication circuits work more normally with serotonin-based medications or cognitive behavior therapy. OCD Causes: Is OCD Genetic, Hereditary? | HealthyPlace

The start of my OCD symptoms.

I was 21 when I started to develop OCD traits, it was whilst I was in a relationship with someone who took advantage of his position in a Bank he worked in, and any attractive-looking female customers he would look for their names, addresses, and phone numbers up and phone them to ask them out for dates (obviously this would never be allowed to happen now because of GDPR but as I got more suspicious that he was playing away I phoned the numbers that he would leave lying around and the women would confirm that they went out with him. It is amazing no one reported him because he is now a regional bank manager thanks to me finding the job in a job center and applying on his behalf somewhat 38 years ago.

The straw that broke the camel’s back.

I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was when out of the blue with no notice at all he said it was over between us. To be honest I was madly in love with him (he looked like a young version of Tom Cruise a spitting image of Top Gun Movie 1 and now looks more like David Cameron MP (Yes I have looked him up and blocked him). I would have taken a bullet for him (my ex not the MP), regardless of what he did.

In my heart, I forgave him as long as we would stay together, but pressure from his parents especially his mother did not approve of me as the daughter of a working-class immigrant who wanted her precious son to have a more upper-class suitor. His sister was also never a fan because it was her boyfriend that arranged a blind date that got us together and at the last minute bailed only to ask her brother to take his place. I was not aware of how much grief this would cause, and I would have been pissed if the roles were reversed and it happened to me, so did not blame her for being angry. She ended up breaking up with her boyfriend after that.

I knew at heart of hearts there was something very seriously wrong in our relationship (with my ex) and that he was a player. I started to wash my hands and body in ‘Dettol Antiseptic Disinfectant’ liquid, which either would be undiluted on my hands or mixed in my shower gels and shampoos because I believed I wanted to wash the other women’s scent off me when he was intimate with me.

To this day I will only use Dettol Brand, I use it when I bathe and also when I wash my clothes. It cannot be any other brand other than Dettol.

I think what escalated my OCD was when I found out he was visiting brothels and he caught an STD, by that time we were not having sex but the thought of him having crabs grossed me out. It’s a long story about how I found out and it will be in my autobiography when I publish it.

I then started to be very vigilant about my surroundings, I started to have the shower curtain outside the bath, which would cause the floor to get wet and also get him angry, which in turn caused arguments. I could not stand the shower curtain clinging to me as I was showering and to this day I have not changed this habit. I now have a glass folding door fitted in my own bathroom.

After we broke up I think I must have had a nervous breakdown. I thought my life was over and I so desperately wanted him back, I realized why he no longer wanted to be with me because he met someone that worked at the bank (I believe everything happens for a reason, had I not found him that job, things would have maybe turned out differently) but looking at it now he did me a favor. I then decided to move away so that I would never bump into him again. I have since blocked him on all social media so if he was ever to look me up he would never have a hope in hell of ever speaking to me.

Coping with OCD over the years.

Over the years and depending on what was going on in my life I have good days and bad days but I learned to cope and adapt.

I did keep my OCD hidden for many years as I was very embarrassed to admit there was something wrong with me.

It was when people in public places bumped into me (busy towns) I started to have an issue with social connection. When using public transport I hated people sitting next to me. It got to the stage I would avoid buses altogether and it really rattled me when someone would push past me or if they bumped into me (say sorry) my argument would be if I was a car and there was a collision they would be doing more than apologizing.

I would find it hard to go to restaurants and cafes and have my own set of cutlery. I became vigilant about how the server served the drinks and how close to the rim of the glass their fingers would be. I ended up drinking from straws. I have been known to clean the seat before sitting down, this would get people to give me funny looks. Imagine sitting on a seat where the previous person has sat who may have tram lines in his or her undergarments.

My OCD is germ contamination. My impulse is not to touch unsanitized objects and my compulsion is to clean and disinfect whatever I am in contact with.

I have now opted out of socializing, it’s embarrassing to wear latex gloves in public. There is a stigma attached to people that behave differently from the rest of the batteries in the matrix. The chances of being judged or ridiculed are too much for me to bear.

I prefer to live behind a computer screen than interact with the outside world.

Don’t get me wrong I would venture out if I had to, but try to avoid it as much as possible. I would take extra precautionary measures and try to overcome my anxiety.

I have all my groceries, prescriptions and shopping delivered. There is nothing I cannot do but it all has to be done online. All statements and invoices are online.

I also have a problem with flies (fruit flies in particular) but flies in general that sits on dog poo and then sit on your surfaces really turn my stomach. In the summer months, I am armed with fly spray by the dozen.

My Compulsions

My compulsions, I do try and fight as much as I can, say, for instance, if I have touched something by accident, I will go and change my clothes. However, there have been instances where I have not been able to sanitize expensive things and have had to through them away. I remember when my daughter was little and she stepped in dog poo, I ended up throwing out her shoes.

I cannot share my bath with anyone else other than my daughter. I cannot let anyone touch anything that belongs to me such as a laptop, books, or that kind of thing.

I cannot have someone sit next to me or touch me. Even my daughter’s cat knows not to jump on my seating area, although if he has brushed himself by accident against me I immediately have to take my leggings off to be washed.

I go through about 1000 pairs of gloves per month and use two bottles of 750 ml antiseptic disinfectant a week. I spent about £800 on this alone last year (I know this from doing my tax return).

The more stressed I am the worse my OCD gets. If people put pressure on me and cause me stress and anxiety the more it flares up.

My Triggers

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Reminders of the trauma and grief I endured
  • Intrusive Thoughts
  • My Personal Belonging Being Touched
  • Germ Contamination
  • Being Touched (Hugs)
  • Flies (Insects)
  • Dog Poo (cat poo or bird poo is not so bad, it is dog poo that is a trigger for me)
  • Animal Hair (especially dog hair)
  • Shaking Hands (how many people actually wash their hands when they go to the toilet)
  • Kissing
  • Sharing Plates of Food
  • Public Places that are not sanitized
  • Half-finished projects or errors that need correcting (I cannot leave an error for another day I have to correct it there and then)

Different Kinds Of OCD

As the internet evolved I started learning more and more about the different kinds of OCD. https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/different-types-of-ocd/

I was also surprised by how many famous people have OCD (alive and dead)

https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/category/famous-people-with-ocd/

MPs Charles Walker and Kevan Jones tell of mental health issues – BBC News

Social Disconnection

It is not that unusual for entrepreneurs to socially disconnect: https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/social-disconnection-entrepreneurs/

Keeping grief hidden can be a survival strategy after suffering a bereavement. New research shows that the social disconnection caused by concealing feelings of loss can increase psychological distress.

Social Disconnection is not always about OCD it could relate to other psychological distress disorders.

Every person on this planet will endure grief at some point in their lives. It will depend on how they cope which will determine the final outcome.

My Therapy.

I find that scripting in a journal helps (I do it online but you can do it in a book, it’s down to personal preference at the end of the day) to get whatever off my chest. I have also tried meditation and hypnosis and you need to stick to it and do it religiously for it to work.

I have tried psychotherapy and CBT therapy and it only works in the short term. Speaking to shrink every week having to talk about the things you would rather forget is counterproductive. As for CBT, it is a therapy to change your thought process and resist the urge of the compulsion, the only way this kind of therapy works is under hypnosis which the NHS does not provide, and if you try and do it yourself you have to religiously work at it (miracles do not happen overnight).

I have self-hypnotized myself successfully although it is short-lived because I have to do it every day or a few times a week, in which I do not have the time for, considering I am working all day I am too tired and just want to go to sleep.

I also take prescribed medication, not that it helps my OCD in fact all it does is help me fall asleep. I would not mind doing clinical trials of magic mushrooms (Psilocybin) which I have heard can help sufferers with OCD. It is illegal to harvest or use them, without medical supervision. They are considered Class A drugs.

Magic-mushroom drug can treat severe depression, trial suggests – BBC News

How Magic Mushrooms Can Resolve OCD – Happy Herb Company

The campaign to use magic mushrooms in OCD treatment | Psychonaut Care

How Psilocybin Mushrooms Can Treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) (sagebrains.com)

Magic mushroom compound performs as well as antidepressant in small study | Imperial News | Imperial College London

I keep myself busy and I am constantly learning about my disease so that I can not only help myself but help others like me.

I try to resist my urges as much as I can.

Germ Contamination

I am very vigilant about germ awareness and cross-contamination.

Motivating & Empowering & Advocate of OCD

I am an advocate for people with OCD. This is one of the reasons why I built this site to help people not only with mental but physical disabilities.

My daughter has Multiple Sclerosis and there are certain things she finds difficult to do so I arrange her appointments and respond to her every whim at least five hours a day. I am her personal assistant and care for her needs. I support her not only as her mother but also as her carer. Just because I have OCD does not stop me from doing things inside my home, with PPE. I can help her with getting in and out of the bath, just like any nurse wearing PPE clothing, such as disposable gloves and disposable hygiene coats. I can also cook and clean for her and help with anything she needs. Because of her immunosuppression, it is an added bonus that I keep our home sanitized and germ-free.

She is the assistant editor of this site. She suffers from excruciating pain which is one of the symptoms of (MS). and she is on the highest dosage of medication possible to be prescribed on a monthly basis.

In fact, altered functional connectivity between the cerebellum and cerebral networks involved in cognitive-affective processing in patients with OCD provides further evidence for the involvement of the cerebellum in the pathophysiology of OCD & MS and is consistent with impairment in executive control and emotion.

Stress & Cognitive Function. | DISABLED ENTREPRENEUR – DISABILITY UK

My daughter has a problem with symmetry and even numbers.

Just because you have a disability you still can strive to follow your dream even though you may have limitations there is usually a solution to every problem and you can overcome obstacles. There is nothing you cannot do if you put your mind to it.

Final Thoughts

Many neurodevelopmental conditions can often co-exist together, although can be treated in different ways.  

https://www.lanc.org.uk/related-conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder/

OCD rears its ugly head when you find it difficult to cope with life, OCD can be the onset of trauma and grief.

Stress, Anxiety, and everyday struggles can cause your OCD to get worse especially when people try to undermine, humiliate, and judge you. Try to not let anything get to you and if you want your own space to write your own personal story, just drop me a line below and I will create a landing page, free of charge. Whatever your disability may be mental or physical you can write to your heart’s content about yourself and your daily struggles. People love reading stories they can relate to.

Since coming out as an OCD sufferer I have been made to feel as if I am bonkers by Personal Independence Payments (PIP). They have made me feel like I have no authority to speak on disabilities even though I am the Editor of this website and have a Diploma in OCD hypnotherapy. I do not practice hypnotherapy and only took the course to help me. As I mentioned previously for hypnotherapy to work it is a process that has to be done religiously on a regular basis. You cannot just hypnotize yourself in one session and expect miracles.

Whilst practicing hypnosis I have got myself into a very relaxed state.

It has helped me to a certain degree to resist my compulsions but has not eradicated my germ contamination obsession problem.

Furthermore, another day comes with more added stress and anxiety and I feel all my hard work has been a waste of time whereby I have just gone back to square one. I really should practice hypnotherapy every day for it to make some difference, yet never seem to find the time. My business comes first, as that is what pays the bills and brings food to the table.

I am not going to let PIP get to me, as a lot of the assessors have fewer qualifications than ‘Greta Thunberg’ who also happens to suffer from OCD. Discussion of Greta Thunberg, OCD, & Polarization | Dave Armstrong (patheos.com)

Renata Hypnotherapy Diploma

Use the contact form below to drop me a line:

#obsessivecompulsivedisorder #ocd #mentalhealth #intrusivethoughts #germawareness #germcontamination #ocdcymru

Stress & Depression are the root cause of OCD.

Up to ½ million people in the UK have work-related stress often resulting in illness. Up to 5 million people in the UK are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ stressed through work. ‘Stress, depression, and anxiety are the second most commonly reported work-related illnesses. https://www.stressuless.com/stress.html

Stress & Depression are the root cause of OCD.

Depression may be related to the personal stress developed at home or work. Depression may result after the onset of OCD as in the article below but Depression can also be the result of traumatic events in a person’s life such as Grief which causes a Domino Effect.

Depression | OCD-UK (ocduk.org)

The Link Between OCD and Major Depressive Disorder (verywellmind.com)

What Can Trigger a Depressive Episode? | White Light Behavioral Health (whitelightbh.com)

Renata’s Online Journal Health Update.

I will talk about 5 things relating to me and how they are impacting my life and what I am doing in terms of therapy.

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • OCD
  • Intrusive Thoughts
  • Depression

Stress

I am under a tremendous amount of stress for the following reasons:

  1. I have an ongoing dispute with British Gas and it is currently being investigated by the ombudsman.
  2. I have clients dropping like flies because they no longer can afford to pay for their websites due to the price rises of the cost of living.
  3. I am concerned about the stability of a brand new computer that the manufacturer refused to replace or give a refund for. (I am tired of all the arguing I am having to do).
  4. The uncertainty of what the future holds,

I wrote a letter 15 pages long to my GP (Doctor) after I received a letter to make an appointment for my annual medication review, but they could not send me a letter when I wrote to them (9 pages long) in May 2021. I sent both letters via email and both letters were acknowledged and put on the system with a response that a clinician will contact me…I am still waiting for a reply to my letter.

There is a clue in the 4 points I mentioned that can narrow down to the underlying root of how I am feeling, albeit I am also suffering from the aftermath of the domestic violence I endured on top of the daily stresses.

Anxiety

SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY 

Anxiety may present with any of the following symptoms:

  • Nervousness (I do get nervous when I have to do things I am unfamiliar with relating to work or have to start a dispute to the point I actually feel sick).
  • Being overly and constantly worried (I try to keep myself busy so that I do not have to think too much about my problems).
  • Restlessness (I cannot sit and do nothing, I have to do something, I cannot do idle chitter chatter, I think sitting at a table talking nonsense whilst socializing is a waste of time, I would much rather learn something or turn the wheel to generate business than attend social gatherings -although I cannot at the moment because of my social disconnection issues).
  • Feeling a lump in your throat (If I recall experiencing fear or being in fight or flight mode I have experienced an uncomfortable feeling of finding it hard to swallow).
  • Difficulty concentrating (I have noticed that I cannot concentrate on reading books, it’s as if my mind wanders).
  • Fatigue (I am tired usually when I wake from the interrupted sleeping pattern and a combination of taking my med, so I counteract this by drinking energy drinks that are high in caffeine).
  • Irritability (I am only irritable if things do not go my way).
  • Impatience (I have a short fuse, I do not have patience and I can be rude at times although I usually do apologize I get irritable of people play me to be a fool. people should be careful to insult my intelligence).
  • Muscle tension (Not that I have noticed other than back pain or electricity shooting in the back of my neck but that could be related to Epidural Analgesia).
  • Insomnia (I take medication to send me to sleep otherwise my mind would be racing all night long and I would not be able to sleep).
  • Excessive sweating (Not that I have noticed personally)
  • Shortness of breath (If I have a panic attack, if I am extremely anxious, or if something has really upset me to the point I am becoming a nervous wreck I have been known to have a shortness of breath especially if I have been in a fight or flight mode due to domestic violence).
  • Stomachache (My mother suffered from stomach problems I always thought she was intolerant to certain foods but as I reflect my stomach is normally fine).
  • Diarrhea (Energy drinks do that but the way I relate to this it helps to flush all the toxins out and helps with weight gain).
  • Headache (If I get really stressed my head will thump).
  • Appetite changes (I have not noticed an increase or decrease in appetite but sometimes crave chocolate, but don’t we all).

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder that causes distress to the sufferer, it may be a recurrent pattern of unwanted thoughts (obsessions) such as germ contamination that lead to repetitive behaviors (compulsions) such as to disinfect and quarantine. Obsessive thoughts are uncontrollable fears, ideas, sensations, or impulses that trigger extreme distress.

Because I am stressed my OCD is more visible. I may have to change my clothes multiple times in the day if I think I have brushed past something by accident. I am unstable in keeping my balance (cerebellar atrophy).

I go through about 500 pairs of disposable gloves a day and find it hard to touch things with my bare hand without disinfecting them straight after with Dettol. It has to be Dettol as the other brands I cannot get my head around that they will do the same job even though they claim they do, maybe it is my OCD that makes me think this way.

I have a quarantined area where no one can step foot apart from me, not even my daughter can touch anything that I deemed to be sanitized. I am really sad that I cannot give my daughter a hug, I really wish I could but something stops me. I know it is not her it is me and one day I will be in a better place because in the 30 years I have suffered with OCD I have managed to control it to the point it was not so prominent until I had an onset of traumatic events that caused it to come back again with a vengeance.

I am 100% convinced if I did not have stress, did not endure traumatic events, and if I did not have depression because of the stress and I was in a HAPPY PLACE my OCD would be under control. I would not say it would be 100 % cured because depending on my stress levels it would never be totally eradicated. Some people can deal with stress better than others. Some people, smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol and take recreational or prescribed drugs. I only take prescribed drugs for my OCD and they do not work other than sending me to sleep.

I am always on the lookout for different ways I can control my OCD but I have only found hypnosis and meditation to help with the healing process. I am studying neuroplasticity and how to rewire our brains.

In order for hypnosis to work, it has to be done consistently, you will not be cured in a day, week, or month. This has to be a daily occurrence until you start noticing a change. I have completed my diploma for hypnosis and yes I did hypnotize myself successfully but I need to do it every day and with work commitments and everything else that is going on in my life I am too tired and end up falling asleep. You should do hypnosis just before you do to sleep or when you wake up. Other times you can do it during the day without distractions and religiously around the same time of the day.

Although I can do hypnotherapy I do not practice it and have never tried to do it on anyone else.

Renata Hypnotherapy Diploma
Certificate of Completion.

https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/category/obsessive-compulsive-disorder/

Intrusive Thoughts

I live in rented accommodation and have lived in the same property for 24 years. Although I have had money in the past to buy a property I was never focused and did not understand the consequences of my actions in planning for the future. I lived in the moment and never planned my life ahead.

My intrusive thoughts are:

  1. Will my abuser return to the UK to pay me a visit? (That is part of the reason why I have not left my home because I am scared he may be lurking around.
  2. Will I crash and burn and lose everything? ( I got robbed a few years ago and all my valuables were stolen. I have replaced the majority of things and do not want to lose them again.
  3. Will my daughter’s health deteriorate (she suffers from multiple sclerosis)?
  4. Will my health ever improve?
  5. Will I ever be happy and in a happy place?
  6. Thoughts that cause triggers like the death of Queen II, and although the news is sad and I know a family is grieving, it has however revived memories of my parents and my brother passing which has made me have thoughts such as if our loved ones are watching over us are they disappointed in me or are they happy that I am doing everything I can to turn my life around?

Depression

Symptoms of Depression are:

  • Continuous feelings of low mood and/or sadness (I try to keep myself busy so that I do not have time to dwell too much on all the things that have gone wrong in my life).
  • Feeling hopeless and helpless (Yes I do feel hopeless at times but I always try to find the energy to fight until I reach my goals -yes I have set goals, you have to, you need to have a plan).
  • Having low self-esteem (When I wake it is like one of those movies where the person dies and comes back again and nothing has changed, well it is like that for me, I eat, sleep and repeat and nothing changes).
  • Feeling tearful constantly (I cannot say I am tearful it takes a lot to push my buttons although British Gas (Energy Supplier) did drive me to tears, so I reported them).
  • Feelings of guilt (I feel guilty for squandering my money. Had I been focused and taught how to manage my money I would be in a different place now, but you learn the hard way I have many regrets and if I could turn back time with what I know I would have done things differently knowing what I know now. I feel guilty for being stupid with my finances and the people that I trusted). I also feel guilty for distancing myself and perhaps not contacting people sooner that have now passed away (old people).
  • Feeling irritable (I only get irritable if things do not go my way or if I have to deal with stupid people)
  • Having no motivation or interest in hobbies and interests (I have plenty of things to keep me occupied, the websites that I own and manage for my clients keep me busy, never mind my content writing. I am motivated because I have gotten this far so I am not going to give up even though when I wake it takes me a minute or two to tell myself that today may be the day that things change for the better, so I carry on).
  • Being indecisive (I sometimes procrastinate over things such as whether should I start a certain project or not, or if can it wait and I end up putting it off again and again).
  • No real enjoyment in life (I live on the internet my physical self is just a vessel that keeps me going. I do not think of my life in the physical sense I have socially disconnected from the outside world other than for the couriers and workmen that come to the property and I am happy this way. Would I do things differently if I did not have OCD or feared ever crossing paths with the people that caused me harm, I don’t think so. I am happy in my own company)
  • Feeling anxious and/or worried (My mother was a worrier and I must take after her, she also had undiagnosed OCD. Yes my intrusive thoughts do sometimes get in the way, hence I keep myself busy so that I do not have time to think).
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or suicidal feelings (This is furthest from my mind. I was at my lowest and for a millisecond it did cross my mind when I endured all the physical and mental abuse from my abuser but I told myself if I quit he would win so I turned my thoughts around to show him that everything he said was wrong and that I would be successful and he would live to regret treating me the way he did).
  • Loss of appetite – although sometimes can see an increase in appetite (I see food as energy when I am hungry I will eat, I do not watch my calories and try to eat healthy most of the time, I have no problem with my appetite, in fact, I should really lose a bit of weight considering I do not exercise because (a) I do not venture out (b) My knee pain would be too excruciating to walk very far).
  • A general lack of energy (Because of my medication, I feel so tired when I wake so I counteract that by drinking energy drinks that are high in caffeine which causes a domino effect and causes me to have an overactive bladder)
  • Low sex drive.
  • Trouble sleeping (I do have trouble sleeping but that is alleviated with the prescribed medication, however with the interruptions to my sleep because of my overactive bladder I find when I wake I am very tired so have to drink energy drinks to keep me awake).
  • Avoiding social interaction (I have social disconnection issues and I prefer my own company)
  • Difficulty maintaining family relationships (I do not have any close relatives living in the UK other than my daughter and we have a close bond, my brother and all his children live in the USA, I guess it must be very hard for their mother who lives in the UK).

What Can Trigger a Depressive Episode? | White Light Behavioral Health (whitelightbh.com)

Further Reading:

My Dreams, Aspirations & Goals

My dreams, aspirations, and goals are one day to be in a happy place living a happy life, be financially free and most of all not suffering from OCD, Stress, Anxiety, or Depression. I want to one day when I retire travel the world and photograph everything I see. I want to one day be able to document my journey and leave a legacy.

I want to motivate and inspire people so that they can be led on the right path.

I will continue to do what I am doing because I sense where I am supposed to be, is the right place to be. By continuing writing and researching I not only help myself I also help others. This online journal is my therapy because it gives me a platform to voice my knowledge, thought and opinions.

My dreams are to reach my goals.

#stress #anxiety #intrusivethoughts #ocd #obsessivecompulsivedisorder #depression

How To Deal With Intrusive Thoughts

How To Deal With Intrusive Thoughts

WHAT’S IN THIS ARTICLE:

  • What are Intrusive Thoughts
  • Types Of Intrusive Thoughts
  • What You Can Do
  • Related Mental Health Disorders
  • When to Get Help

Overview:

The majority of us from time to time experience worry, anxiety, stress, depression, grief, and fear. If you are reading this and do not agree that you have never experienced any of the above, you are not being true to yourself.

Sometimes we experience unwanted thoughts like did we shut the door behind us or did we turn off the stove. This annoying thought may get stuck in our heads until we put our minds at ease. Usually, you can ignore it and move on. But sometimes, it just keeps returning.

What are Intrusive Thoughts?

Intrusive thoughts or negative thoughts are thoughts that either lingers on your mind or pop in out of nowhere. They are part of our coping mechanisms. However unwanted lingering thoughts stem from stress, fear, and anxiety. People who have suffered trauma can affect their beliefs about the future via loss of hope, limited expectations about life, fear that life will end abruptly or early, or anticipation that normal life events won’t occur (e.g., access to education, ability to have a significant and committed relationship, good opportunities for work). All these events can manifest intrusive thoughts.

Understanding the Impact of Trauma – Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)

Nearly everyone experiences Intrusive Thoughts from time to time”.

So why do these thoughts happen and what causes them?

An intrusive thought is not always related to an underlying condition. It may be caused by:

Intrusive thoughts either linger on one’s mind or simply come in out of nowhere.

These thoughts are unpleasant and unwanted and manifest in our minds, sometimes without warning or other times if we dwell on something for long periods that is worrying us.

These thoughts can sometimes be violent, sexual, or simply harmless worries.

Intrusive thoughts usually heighten when you feel, stressed or distressed, typically having an intrusive once in a while is just part of life.

It only becomes concerning if your thoughts because dangerous and uncontrollable.

In most cases, intrusive thoughts do not have any particular meaning. As long as you recognize that these are only thoughts and are controllable and harmless and that you have no desire to act on them, intrusive thoughts are usually not harmful.

However, if they’re happening often, causing significant concern, or interfering with your daily activities, it’s a good idea to talk with a doctor.

I must admit that I do suffer from intrusive thoughts occasionally, especially when I am stressed or depressed but would never act on them other than if they were related to OCD Germ Contamination. Through my learning journey, I am trying to heal. In fact, I have completed my Diploma in Hypnotherapy, and am studying Neuroplasticity.

Intrusive thoughts can range from random images to disturbing and violent ideas like punching someone in the face or hurting yourself.

(Yes I have had thoughts of punching someone in the face, but I would not go through with such a ludicrous idea because (a) my OCD germ contamination thought would kick in of actually physically touching someone, and secondly (b) it is simply a stupid thought).

Other intrusive thoughts are: did I cross-contaminate (did I touch something by accident) and does my thought warrant me to act on my compulsion such as changing my clothes because my daughter’s cat brushed past me? Usually, I try and fight the urge (CBT). Depending on how stressed I am will depend on how successfully I can resist the thought. Most of the time my germ contamination thoughts overpower me, like I said it all depends on my anxiety and stress levels.

I am aware that with OCD sometimes it is hard to fight your thoughts and you succumb to the urge. Hypnotherapy and meditation help with the process of healing.

Survivor of Domestic Violence

Whilst I was enduring emotional and physical abuse, the thought of harming myself crossed my mind, but again I knew I had to prove to the abuser that I would not be broken, no matter how many times he tried and kept saying to myself what does not kill you make you stronger. I decided no matter how low he made me feel I would not give him the satisfaction and would not give up. I decided to focus on building this site and working really hard. He eventually left with his tail between his legs because he knew he was defeated and no matter what he did or said to me was no longer working. I felt rejoiceful that he had lost his battle to destroy me and I concentrated on moving forward by suppressing all my thoughts and all the bad memories by putting the past behind me.

(I am a survivor of domestic violence, the abuser has left the country).

For anyone else experiencing intrusive thoughts, they are usually harmless as long as they can be under control. But if you obsess about them to the extent that it interrupts your day-to-day life, this can be a sign of an underlying mental health problem.

Intrusive thoughts can be a symptom of grief, stress, anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Types of Intrusive Thoughts

OCD thoughts.

OCD thoughts depending what type of OCD you have. There are Nineteen Characteristics of OCD. With OCD the sufferer that has intrusive thoughts usually actions the compulsions to ease the discomfort of the thought lingering in their head, this could be from checking the door handles and switches to counting or avoiding certain numbers, objects, or people. This is a defense mechanism to protect the sufferer from their fear that if they do not carry out the compulsion something bad might happen.

Sexual thoughts.

Sexual thoughts are usually natural regardless of gender. An Intrusive sexual thought however when it becomes uncomfortable with or shocked by the thoughts and images to the point you are fixated on something, you should talk it over with a professional.

Experts say it’s best to remind yourself that these are just passing, automatic thoughts. They don’t define you in any way.

Violent thoughts.

Violent thoughts of punching someone in the face are harmless as long as you do not act on them.

Sometimes violent thoughts may have dark meanings like harming yourself or someone else. Usually, these thoughts are harmless, even repetitive as long as you have no intention to act on them. These thoughts are very unpleasant and if you feel you cannot cope you should speak with a professional or phone the Samaritans. You can also contact us and keep yourself anonymous if you prefer. These thoughts usually pass in time. But if you find yourself planning to follow your thoughts through, you need to speak with a professional to help to manage your emotions. Talk to a doctor or a therapist.

Negative thoughts.

Negative thoughts can be multiple ideas. An example you have imposter syndrome, you feel like a failure or if you think about something negative will happen because you essentially are manifesting it in your life. The more you think negatively the chances of whatever you are thinking will come true. It is best to rewire my mind. These thoughts should fade as your situation changes. But if they become overwhelming, you could have depression or anxiety. Talk to a mental health professional about how to control your symptoms.

However, science teaches us that In 1949, psychologist Donald Hebb laid out his compelling “assembly theory” of how the brain achieves this feat. It is best summarized by the mantra “neurons that fire together wire together.” Meaning what we reap is what we sow in other words if we continually think negatively eventually what we are thinking will happen. The idea is that neurons responding to the same stimulus connect preferentially to form “neuronal ensembles.”

What You Can Do


The best way to heal is to learn about the brain and our thoughts, learning about our conscious mind and our subconscious mind helps us understand the supercomputers we have (brain), yet, we only use a total of 5% of our entire human mind Keeping ourselves busy and distracting ourselves is a strategy to heal.

At the end of the day, most intrusive thoughts are just thoughts.

The only time they become a red flag or a signal that you actually want to do the disturbing things you’re thinking about is when you feel you are no longer in control.

If they bother you, you can take steps to cut down on their frequency and intensity.

You Can:

  • Evaluate your life and what is troubling you.
  • Recognize your thoughts and label them for what they are.
  • Distract yourself from your thoughts, watch a movie, read a book or do some scripting and write your thoughts down on paper in a journal or online.
  • Release the tension and share your thoughts with others. (There are groups and forums you can join or if your thoughts are overwhelming contact a professional like your doctor or phone the Samaritans.
  • Accept that they will pass eventually.
  • Listen to empowering motivational speakers like Jake Ducey or Dr. Caroline Leaf. Check them out on YouTube.
  • Give yourself time for the intrusive thoughts to fade away.
  • Be prepared for your unwanted thoughts to come back.
  • Learn about your mind and neuroplasticity and how your thoughts can be controlled.

Do Not:

  • Do not act or engage in dangerous thoughts, for example hurting yourself or someone else.
  • Do not be too hard on yourself. Try to question yourself and why you’re having them in the first place.
  • Do not just do nothing in the hope your thoughts will go away. Often distracting yourself from a situation will get your mind occupied with other things and your thoughts become suppressed.

Related Mental Health Disorders.

Sometimes, thoughts go beyond being intrusive.

Related mental health disorders associated with repetitive unwanted intrusive thoughts, could be a sign of OCD. This type of anxiety disorder causes the sufferer to have recurring, unwanted thoughts that they may not be able to control. This may be the compulsion to repeat certain behaviors or actions over and over again.

In contrast, delusional paranoid thoughts, such as thinking someone is always watching you or wants to hurt you, can be a sign of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

If you have these thoughts, talk to a psychiatrist for diagnosis and treatment options.

When to Get Help

If your intrusive thoughts become unmanageable and start to take over your life, you need to seek professional help or as I am doing am learning online, keeping myself busy all the time, and doing extensive research. I will not claim to be the next Paul Mckenna of this world and one day I would like to meet him, but I do believe hypnotherapy and meditation play an important part in the healing process. The issue with hypnotherapy and meditation is you have to keep at it, you cannot just do it once and expect miracles it does not work like that.

Although I have completed my Hypnotherapy Diploma and have hypnotized myself I have not done it enough times to actually see much of a difference hence I re-iterate that you need to be consistent with it.

The way I deal with intrusive thoughts is by scripting and using my online journal. I feel much better after I have released my energy and often anger either on paper or mostly online.

If you are finding life too difficult to bear and you are getting contact with intrusive dangerous thoughts, contact your Doctor or Emergency Services.

A doctor may refer you to a behavioral therapist, psychologist, social worker, or psychiatrist for further diagnosis and treatment.

Personally, for me, this is my own process of healing, learning, and passing my knowledge to others.

“An Investment In Knowledge Pays The Best Interest” – by Benjamin Fraklin

Remember we have a useful links page and depending on where you are in the world you have your Doctor you can contact or emergency services (112) this is the international number. In the UK we have (999) and for nonurgent (111).

Further Reading

My Daily Mental and Physical Self-Care Routine & How I Manage My Menta – Dr. Leaf (drleaf.com)

Debunking the Serotonin-Depression Theory (with Psychiatrist & Profess – Dr. Leaf (drleaf.com)

The Difference Between the Nonconscious, Subconscious & Conscious Mind – Dr. Leaf (drleaf.com)

The Great Psychiatry Fraud – Dr. Leaf (drleaf.com)

#intrusivethoughts #ocd #negativethoughts #neuroplasticity #neuroscience #hypnosis #meditation #learning