Category: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(Page 1 of 3)
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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.
My OCD is germ contamination thatstarted 38 years ago but was diagnosed in1992.
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)
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, 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.
Reminders of the trauma and grief I endured
My Personal Belonging Being Touched
Being Touched (Hugs)
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)
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)
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.
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.
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.
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 Sclerosisand 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.
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.
Many neurodevelopmental conditions can often co-exist together, although can be treated in different ways.
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.
Procrastination is the act of delaying or putting off tasks until the last minute, or past their deadline. Some researchers define procrastination as a “form of self-regulation failure characterized by the irrational delay of tasks despite potentially negative consequences.” According to Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago and author of “Still Procrastinating: The No Regret Guide to Getting It Done,” around 20% of U.S. adults are chronic procrastinators.
Normally I am a well-organized individual and keep a business journal of things to do which I tick off once completed. But lately, even the to-do lists just lie there collecting dust.
I would much rather surf the net, watch movies and documentaries, and daydream rather than tackle more important issues. I find I can waste my whole day away simply doing nothing.
I lack motivation and enthusiasm and what once interested me no longer has the same appeal.
I think the only way I can get out of the rut I am in is to set goals because if I carry on like a robot I will not reap my rewards.
I have to stop worrying and think where there is an obstacle there is a solution to each problem and rather than avoid it tackle it head-on, with the attitude whatever will be will be. I am fortunate I can write so if there is a problem I can communicate in writing. My writing skills are my superpower.
If something is too hard to complete in one go, break it down into smaller modules.
As an example, I have a client that wants some articles written, and although I have semi-written them they go over the word count quota in which I am finding it difficult to make it shorter, hence am avoiding this person. I should by rights just say the articles will cost more than what he is prepared to pay or just accept his offer and not do any more work for him.
I am guilty of this, I may do everything than the task at hand. I may spend more time watching Netflix than doing my work. I sometimes lack motivation especially when I have things on my mind which are worrying me. People tend to procrastinate and waste countless hours on trivial pursuits (watching TV, updating their Facebook statuses, shopping online) rather than doing actual work or focusing on more important things.
Regardless if you have deadlines to meet and are putting off finishing a project for work, avoiding homework assignments, or ignoring household chores, procrastination can cause significant repercussions and have a major impact on your job, your grades, and your life.
Sometimes people have mental blocks and sometimes if something is troubling them they may avoid doing what urgently needs to be done.
Rather than run away from the problem tackle it head-on. There is no use trying to sweep it under the carpet because it will always be in the back of your mind.
You need to find the strength to deal with it.
Never leave things to the last minute, because if you do you will make things worse for yourself, you will make errors because you are hurrying and may not put all your thought into whatever you are trying to achieve. Students especially should give plenty of time to research, study, and understand.
Putting things off to the last minute may not give you ample time to finish the job.
You essentially will get yourself more worked up and stressed whereas if you had done it sooner you would not be in a fluster.
Don’t assume that projects won’t take as long to finish, this can lead to a false sense of security when you believe that you still have plenty of time to complete the tasks.
Staying focused and tackling undesirable jobs can help the job to be done quickly even though you may not always feel motivated. The reality is that if you wait until you’re in the right frame of mind to do certain tasks (especially ones you are not particularly looking forward to), you will probably find that the right time may never come and the task will never be completed.
A report published in 2007 on a meta-analysis in the Psychological Bulletin found that an outstanding 80% to 95% of college students procrastinated on a regular basis, especially when it came to completing assignments and coursework. According to researchers, there are some major cognitive distortions that lead to academic procrastination.
Students tend to:
Be bad at time management and may overestimate or underestimate how much time they have left to perform tasks and
Assume that they need to be in the right frame of mind to work
What Is Cognitive Bias?
Stress and depression can cause procrastination. It is the ability to avoid doing something that may urgently need doing and preoccupying one’s mind with something else that may be trivial. Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and a lack of energy can make it difficult to start (and finish) the simplest task. As an example, I have so many projects waiting to be written and I keep putting them off. I find I am a daydreamer and somehow am willing the projects to miraculously get written by themselves. I have decided to get this post published otherwise it would have lingered in my drafts. Depression can also lead to self-doubt. When you can’t figure out how to tackle a project or feel insecure about your abilities, you might find it easier to put it off.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
MY OCD is germ contamination, but I do have traits of perfectionism to make sure my articles are well-written and proofread before publication.
OCD is often linked with maladaptive perfectionism, which causes fears and anxieties about not messing things up or making new mistakes. It can also lead to doubts about whether you are doing something properly and worrying about what others may think of you or their expectations of you.
I am usually very organized and decisive although it is said that people with OCD also often have a propensity toward indecision, causing them to procrastinate rather than make an active decision. (This is true to a certain degree for me, because if I am anxious about a certain task I may avoid doing it or postpone it to the very last minute).
Research has found many adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) find it hard to concentrate and thus struggle with procrastination.
A person who is not focused and is distracted with intrusive thoughts can find it hard to get started on a task, especially if that task is difficult or not interesting to them.
Is Procrastination a Mental Illness?
Although procrastination is not defined as a mental illness, in some cases, it may be symptomatic of an underlying mental health condition such as depression, OCD, or ADHD.
Why Do You Procrastinate?
When it comes to procrastination we often come up with a number of excuses to justify why we avoid doing things. According to researchers, there are 15 key reasons why people say they procrastinate:
Being unsure of what needs to be done
Being unsure of how to do something
Avoiding wanting to do something
Not bothered if it gets done or not
Not bothered when something gets done
Not being in the mood
Leaving things till the last minute
Thinking that you work better under pressure
Believing that you can finish it at the last minute
Lacking the motivation to get started
Not remembering to start something
Using sickness or poor health as an excuse
Believing that the best time to start is at the right moment
Thinking you need time to plan the task
Postponing one task in favor of working on another
Types of Procrastination
Some researchers classify two types of procrastinators: passive and active procrastinators.
Passive procrastinators: Postpone tasks because they have trouble making decisions and acting on them
Active procrastinators: Postpone tasks deliberately because working under pressure allows them motivated
Perfectionist: Avoiding tasks out of the fear of not being able to complete the job perfectly
Dreamer: Postpones or avoids tasks because they cannot complete the job thoroughly
Defier: Someone that believes their time cannot be dictated and they are in full control
Worrier: Postpones or Avoids tasks out of fear of change or leaving the comfort zone.
Crisis-maker: Postpones or avoids tasks because they like working under pressure and cannot deal with the stress
Overdoer: Someone that takes on too many jobs which may become overwhelming and may struggle to find time to start and complete one job never may several
Procrastinators vs. Non-Procrastinators
“Non-procrastinators do not have a care in the world they are very focused individuals that have good time management and can work under pressure and to deadlines. Non-procrastinators are assertive with strong personal identity do not care what others think about them. According to psychologist Piers Steel, people who don’t procrastinate tend to be high in the personality trait known as conscientiousness, one of the broad dispositions identified by the Big Five theory of personality. People who are high in conscientiousness also tend to be high in other areas including self-discipline, persistence, and personal responsibility.
When procrastination becomes chronic, it may begin to have a serious impact on a person’s daily life and this can become a serious issue. In such instances, it’s not just a matter of having poor time management skills, it’s a major part of their lifestyle.
Procrastinators may avoid paying their bills on time, may come into work late, or delay starting assignments until the night before the deadline, this could include delaying gift shopping until the day before a birthday, and even filing their income tax returns late.
Procrastination can have a serious impact on a person’s daily life routine, this, in turn, can cause serious health issues including mental health. Social, professional, and financial well-being can be affected including:
Significant higher levels of stress and illness
The increased burden placed on social relationships
People not understanding which leads to resentment from friends, family, co-workers, and fellow students
Financial Difficulty from the consequences of late bills and late payment charges.
Re-wire your mind, control your thoughts and stay focused.
Create a critical time path and map out each task in a journal or calendar, and set reminders.
Create a to-do list: To help keep you on track, consider placing a due date next to each item.
Take each step at a time, do not rush, and tick off each completed task. Take baby steps: Consider breaking down the items on your list into small, manageable steps.
Have time to meditate for 5 mins in the morning and 5 minutes before you go to bed.
Recognize intrusive thoughts and the warning signs, pay attention to any thoughts of procrastination and do your best to resist the urge. When you have a negative thought quickly put that thought into your imaginary bin and quickly replace it with a positive thought.
Create a tranquil setting where you cannot be disturbed. Eliminate all distractions including social media if you do not use them for business use.
Be self-disciplined, be assertive, and try to work slowly and take one task at a time.
Reward yourself with a self-gift for every task completed, it could be a simple bar of chocolate to a more expensive present you have been meaning to buy yourself. Knowing that once you have completed your task and looking forward to receiving your well-deserved purchase makes the job even more worthwhile.
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.
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.
I am under a tremendous amount of stress for the following reasons:
I have an ongoing dispute with British Gas and it is currently being investigated by the ombudsman.
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.
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).
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.
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 forhypnosis 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.
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:
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.
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.
Will my daughter’s health deteriorate (she suffers from multiple sclerosis)?
Will my health ever improve?
Will I ever be happy and in a happy place?
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 usare they disappointed in me or are they happy that I am doing everything I can to turn my life around?
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).
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.
Domestic Violence is not always instantly visible as a person of violent tendencies, they may be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and he/she may look innocent at first. They may try to reel you in with their charm and charisma. You may think you have struck gold and they will wait until your feelings turn to love, before they strike. They will then have ultimate power over you.
Extreme jealousy, and paranoia, often with accusations of cheating, going to the lengths of stalking.
Embarrassing or shaming you privately and publically.
Controlling who you spend time with or talk to.
Consistently humiliating, belittling, criticizing, and putting you down.
Blaming you for their behavior, (everything is your fault after all (NOT)).
Being in denial, plying down their actions, and making out you are exaggerating.
Controls your finances and gives you little or no money at all.
Physically abuses you by punching, spitting, pulling hair, and pushing you. Damages or destroys your valuables and electronics, Hurts you, or threatens to do physical harm to you or other members of the family.
Tries to turn your children against you with manipulation.
When the victim reaches out to you do give them all the support they need. If they just want to talk lend them your ear. Do not give false promises you will phone and then you don’t. Do not try to brush it under the carpet and make it look trivial or avoid talking about it. If a friend or family member is in an abusive relationship, it’s important to know common warning signs and how to help, and it’s important to be a true friend that actually cares.https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/why-people-do-not-care/ . I will give you an example I sent a sensitive email to three people in my close network of family and friends and not one of them although they did acknowledge reading it never once tried to talk or listen. I once reached out to my deceased brother’s partner to give me a safe place and she never contacted me ever to see if I was ok. If I had gone somewhere where I felt secure I would have avoided the beatings I endured while staying in my own home.
Warning signs of domestic violence:
The victim may become more withdrawn and you hardly ever see or talk with them anymore. They may develop social disconnection and fear of leaving their home.
The victim may make excuses about socializing.
The victim may start blocking everyone they know on social media (the abuser usually wants access to the victim’s social media accounts and will control the account.
The victim’s personal hygiene may be affected, where they once cared about how they looked, they now do not care.
The victim’s home may become uncared for and unclean.
The victim will develop mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, grief, and OCD.
The victim may still be in contact with their partner even when they are not together. For the victim, there could be a glimmer of hope that the abuser may turn over a new leaf but in reality, this will never happen.
Their partner controls many of their actions including finances, or how long the victim can be out of the house or on the phone.
The abuser makes fun of the victim and embarrasses them in front of you.
The victim may make excuses to you and defend the abuser saying that it was really their fault that things escalated. (It is never the victim’s fault and they are kidding themselves if they say it is).
How to help:
Offer help but keep your distance. You do not want the victim to clam up.
Offer your ear and listen without being judgmental.
Do not give your opinion. Unless you are a professional expert in the field of domestic violence, your opinions are not of consequence. Don’t say things like “If I were you, I’d leave!” or “I wouldn’t put up with that behavior.” This could cause your friend or family member to withdraw or not see you as someone who can help. Instead, listen and become someone they confide in.
Do not judge or degrade the abuser. This can often backfire and the victim may become defensive. After all, you do not know the whole story or the abuser for that matter so who are you to judge?
Do not blame the victim for not leaving, in some cases, the abuser could be an unwanted guest in the victim’s home. the relationship. It is sometimes more complicated to leave all your belongings behind to flee to safety.
Do let the victim know you are concerned for their safety and you will be there no matter what, regardless of what time of day or night it is or what you’re doing. If the victim is in danger then it is an emergency and you have to drop everything and take action, whether it is phoning the police or rescuing the victim and taking them to a safe place.
Connect the victim with local resources who will be able to provide support.
Children Trapped In The Middle of An Abusive Relationship With Their Parents.
Domestic violence, research has shown that children who have witnessed domestic violence have the same life-long mental health effects as if they had experienced the abuse directly. UNICEF reports that over 275 million children worldwide have witnessed domestic violence.
Children who have witnessed domestic violence often experience long-term physical and psychological effects. Research has found they have 40% lower reading levels. They are at increased risk for PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Children who witness domestic violence are also at risk for physiological effects later in life, such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, the Surgeon General of California, discusses this link between childhood trauma and toxic stress and the ongoing physical effects in her book The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity and says even sleeping infants can experience negative psychological effects of being in prolonged toxic stressful situations.
How can a child recover from experiencing or witnessing domestic violence?
Help children feel safe, give them 100% of your attention and make them feel special.
Talk with your children and teach them the abuse is wrong it was not their fault or yours, and that what they experienced or witnessed was the fault of a very unwell person that may need help.
Have children talk about what happened with a trusted adult and a professional therapist.
If you or anyone has been affected by Domestic Violence and wants someone to talk to just drop us a message using the form below. If you do not want to give your real name, that’s OK too, we do not ask questions we are just here to listen.
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.
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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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).
“People who shy away from people with mental health disorders or disabilitiesand label people as damaged goods usually have their own demons to contend with”.
I need to vent and let off steam before I blow a gasket.
The last few months have taken a toll on my health. As most of you know I am the Editor of ‘Disability UK – Disabled Entrepreneur Online Journal’ and have come to near enough a standstill with my business because of my health.
My Disabilities are Invisible.
I sometimes am so depressed it takes a lot of effort to do anything, these days.
Renata’s Online Journal Health Report
The following is a snippet of what I am going through.
I am disabled, I suffer from Cerebellar Atrophy, OCD, and Depression so it is no surprise that I have highs and lows. Yet most recently I have been experiencing very bad lows.
I do not have a support system and my GP is as useful as a chocolate fire guard. https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/gp-doctor-negligence-evidence/ To understand my health you will have to understand how the last few months have been for me and what I have gone through and am still going through.
I have been through war and back with ‘British Gas’, which I have reported to ‘Ombudsman’ who in turn report to ‘OFGEM’. ‘British Gas’ caused me humiliation, intimidation, harassment, and emotional distress.
In another incident I had 40 emails from a credit card issuer (situation now under control), again I have experienced, humiliation, intimidation, harassment, and emotional distress. (They gave me £100 as a gesture of goodwill, with the understanding that if I endure more harassment I will report them to the Ombudsman). I know what they will say but she accepted the £100, which is just a band-aid on a gaping wound.
Most recently my laptop started having a blue screen and eventually died, I have not been able to do anything online for about a week. I have simply used my phone to read and reply to emails and do research. This started making me sink into a very dark place.
I then had a brand new computer and not even a week old I ended up with a BSOD, you just can’t make this stuff up. https://marketingagency.cymrumarketing.com/2022/08/24/lenovo-or-windows-fault-blue-screen-of-death-bsod-2022/
I have lost clients due to the rise in the cost of living and them not being able to afford their websites. (No help for small businesses I hear your cry, and yes the rich get richer and the poor get poorer).
I am very depressed.
My OCD has spiraled off the ricker scale.
I have intrusive thoughts.
I have no patience.
I have panic attacks.
I hate noise, anything from traffic to car doors opening and closing.
The only way I will interact is online.
I do not answer my phone, which no doubt has cost me a lot of business.
So there is a knock-on domino effect when people are so robotic and irritating to the point if I could shove my fist down the other end of the line or across the computer screen, I would.
I am not in a good place right now because I am struggling to stay positive and optimistic. I have been studying neuroplasticity and I should stick with it because something I thought about, the next day materialized. Therefore I need to heal and start caring about myself rather than neglecting myself.
I plan to write a book about my life, this will no doubt open a can of worms, not only for me having to recall things that I would rather not remember but for the people that have done me wrong. My book will mention all the highs and lows and perhaps it may help people to avoid the same mistakes I made, in my relationships, and in my career, not only how everything over the years has affected my health and how I am trying to heal.
“I want to make a difference in this world and help people like me or worse off than me”.
I may not physically want to interact but a virtual connection I am fine with, although I won’t be doing anything for a few weeks because I need to recover from all the trauma I have had to endure over the last few months.
This all goes towards documenting my health so that it all gets put on the NHS database. There is a reason behind my madness.
It saddens me that the people I have reached out to on a personal level, who said they were going to get back in touch never have. I assume that they have reached their own conclusions and do not want to interact with someone that has disabilities. I suppose they see me as damaged goods, but labeling someone in such a way is not only hurtful but incorrect because we all have something going on in our lives thus we can all be labeled the same way. In fact, it will be hard to find a person that has not been screwed over in some way or another and how it affected them mentally. Usually, people who shy away from people with mental health disorders have their own demons to contend with and cannot handle yours. I do not see myself as damaged I see myself as someone who can overcome obstacles and then write about them. Just because I am having a bad day today does not mean I will be having a bad day tomorrow. No two days are the same. Yes, I have disabilities but there are millions of people in the same boat as me or worse off. You need to find the strength to make your story your superpower. Everyone has a book waiting to be written. There’s No Such Thing As Being “Damaged Goods” In A Relationship—Here’s Why (bolde.com)
I am like a bear with a sore head at the moment, as a consequence, I avoid talking over the phone as much as possible. When I do have to call people, as an example the other day, I nearly bit an IT engineer’s head off when I was having trouble accessing my site. I did apologize afterward about my outburst but I have a very short fuse and my temperament is not great, I can come off at times as being rude, (I try not to be, but cannot help it if people push my buttons). However, I also get very obnoxious, patronizing, and condescending individuals and all I want to do is punch their faces. I am no good at interacting physically, which is fortunate.
I have reported ‘British Gas’ to the Ombudsman and have to wait on an outcome. I feel very lethargic and am finding it hard to be optimistic right now. I should stay positive but is hard when I have to deal with some things that cause my health to worsen. It is as if I make one step forward and two steps back.
My OCD has gone through the roof and where I was making progress the last few months have basically thrown all my hard work away. Having a mental health disorder like depression which causes an onset of intrusive thoughts causing you to have compulsions to ease the anxiety. it is a vicious circle. and that is why I do not interact physically.
PIP Personal Independence Payment Delays And The Repercussions On Mental & Physical Health.
Disclaimer Scotland: People in Scotland will no longer be able to make a new claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from August 29 when the benefit will be replaced by Adult Disability Payment (ADP) in all 32 council areas across the country. At present, 13 local authorities are now offering ADP to adults over 16 and under State Pension age living with a disability, long-term illness or a physical or mental health condition.
Most people don’t like complaining and will not make a formal complaint about anything let alone the DWP, because they believe it would be a waste of time and could cause a knock-on effect on their other benefits. For those that do complain and, after many months of pursuing, end up giving up. The ones that are determined come away with a pathetic apology and feel they have hit a brick wall. They accept the mediocre admission by the DWP or Atos, Capita, that these organizations made a mistake and nothing else happens, their mental health is simply disregarded without a second thought.
ANN ABRAHAMS – REPORT
However, the most recently released report reveals that a tiny number of people pursue their complaints further and end up being awarded large sums in compensation. The report is called ‘Small mistakes, big consequences’ and is written by Ann Abrahams, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. Ann Abraham should be a name that should stand out as well as your local MP.
“Remember nothing happens quickly after all these people are not in a hurry to find money to put food on their tables, only you are”…
Your illnesses and disabilities should be corroborated with medical evidence and letters from GPs and consultants. This payment is to help with your daily living and is not an alternative to being a benefit bum and living off benefits. This payment is for people who truly deserve the extra money because of their disabilities. The reason why the Government is clamping down is because of too many fake, lazy individuals that see this as free money.
Citizens Advice said: “PIP, which can see people with an illness, disability or mental health condition receive up to £157 a week, is a lifeline for millions of people, yet the government is playing with people’s lives and their health.
There are currently around 327,000 Disabled people on the waiting list, with an average waiting time of five months. Citizens Advice projects this means £300 million of payments that would be awarded are being held up, after all the government needs to look after themselves first before thinking about the other half of the population. You are not their priority, although you should be.
“Waiting for this payment is having a huge impact on people’s lives. Delays in assessment mean that support is held up, forcing people into impossible choices as they try to make ends meet.”
People are facing humiliation as 1 in 5 people have needed to go to a food bank in the last 3 months who have also had an issue with PIP. Many of those waiting for a decision will also be eligible for the £150 disability benefits cost-of-living support payment but are unlikely to get it before October’s mammoth energy price hike.
There are more people coming to Citizens Advice for help with PIP than with any other issue in fact an astonishing 41% more than any other issue.
Around 150 people are contacting advisors at Citizens Advice every hour for one-to-one help, and its webpage on “How the DWP makes a decision on PIP claims” had 27,700 page views last month, up 56% year on year.
Citizens Advice is calling on the Government to take urgent action to relieve pressure in the system and help get money to people who desperately need it. It is calling for an emergency plan from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to urgently tackle this backlog, including reducing the number of claimants required to have a medical assessment, which is the main reason for these delays – and extending the award period so people have to reclaim less often.
In March, Disability News Service (DNS) reported how the backlog of disabled people waiting for a PIP assessment had more than trebled in the last five years, from 88,500 in October 2016 to nearly 312,000 by December 2021.
DNShas also reported on similar problems with the Access to Work system, with DWP figures showing the number of disabled people waiting for decisions on their applications has more than quadrupled in a year from just 4,890 in March 2021 to 20,909 in March this year.
One of the ways the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is dealing with the lengthening PIP assessment backlog is by providing temporary (3 months), short-term extensions to PIP claimants who are waiting for their benefits to be reviewed.
Editors’ Opinion –“Do they not have enough unemployed people to do a bit of paperwork? How about outsourcing the work would be another idea and finally only appraise the people that have medical evidence to corroborate their illnesses”?
The Government is purposely dragging its heels in order to save money.
“This is Evil, a Disgrace, and a Shambles”.
Vicky Foxcroft, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people said:
“With the cost-of-living crisis hitting disabled people particularly hard, it is shocking this government has not got a grip of the PIP backlog, which has been going on for months now”.
“Short-term fixes aren’t enough anymore. Disabled people deserve so much better than this; Tory ministers need to get a grip on this backlog, especially given the impact it is now having on other benefits for disabled people.
“A future Labour government would invest properly in disabled people, ensuring they had the support needed.”
A DWP spokesperson said:
“We closely monitor the progress of PIP cases awaiting assessment and take all steps possible to ensure claimants receive the vital support they require”.
“We can and do make in-house decisions on award reviews without referral to assessment providers where necessary and use a blend of phone, video, and face-to-face assessments to ensure support is given as quickly as possible.”
People Who Suffer From OCD
Daily Living Descriptor 6– Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
The Upper Tribunal has recently made a decision (CPIP/3760/2016) about how people with OCD can claim points under PIP.
Therefore there has been some confusion about people with OCD, who usually can do an activity perfectly well, but have to do it over and over again or in particular ways or at particular times.
(Assessors who are not specialized in diagnosing OCD or any other illness should not have any input about the claim – just because they have passed e-learning does not make them any more qualified than you or me).
The PIP descriptors and the regulations didn’t deal with this sort of situation very well and so lots of people with OCD lost out on awards. Now the Upper Tribunal has looked at the issue and made a judgment that will help people with OCD to earn points for PIP.
WHAT THE UPPER TRIBUNAL DECIDED
The Upper Tribunal case was about a person who took a very long time to get dressed because their OCD meant they had to repetitively try on lots of different outfits until she found one she was happy to wear. The DWP argued that this long time didn’t count for the purposes of PIP because it was just the person’s choice to try lots of clothes on. The Upper Tribunal, however, held that because the person’s hesitations and repetitive behavior were ‘the consequence of her health condition’, she was entitled to points because it took her more than twice as long as a non-disabled person to dress. But the UT did say that if the longer time had not been a consequence of her health condition, she would not have been entitled to points.
This decision is important because the principle that delays in being able to complete a task because of the consequences of a mental health condition like OCD can be applied to all descriptors, not just dressing. So a person with OCD who can eat perfectly well but who takes an hour to eat because of obsessive rituals about arranging the table, or a person who can wash perfectly well but who does so eleven times three times a day, could claim points under those PIP descriptors.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU
If you have OCD for example and have obsessive rituals or other behavior which means that you take much longer to do activities of daily living like cooking, eating, dressing, and so on, then you now can use this Upper Tribunal decision to strengthen your argument for claiming PIP.
Note that you will still have to be able to show that you have been diagnosed with OCD or a similar mental health condition and you do in fact have behavior that means you take much longer than a non-disabled person to complete daily living activities. Good strong evidence from people who know you will be needed.
You will also have to show that your behavior is a consequence of your mental health condition and not just your own preferred way of doing things. Showing that you can’t change the way you do things even if it is against your interests will be useful – eg that you miss appointments because you can’t get there in time owing to a dressing ritual.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF OCD
OCD is a very complicated illness it is not just about washing or checking or taking too long to shower, dress or cook food. It may be the fear of germ contamination (as I have). I know logically we are surrounded by germs but the thought of contracting something or being harmed through direct contact with an unsanitized area does not bear thinking about. I am cocooned in my own surrounding where I can keep my intrusive thoughts under control as best I can. My disabilities are not just OCD, they are Depression, Social Disconnection, and Cognitive Impairment (Cerebellar Atrophy) to name a few.
As with everything, it all takes time and you are not a priority.
Upper Tribunal decisions take time for your claims, mandatory reconsideration, and appeals, and it may take some months before DWP and assessors finally make the decision.
Unfortunately for you, this causes considerable stress on your mental health and pressure on your finances. You can either suffer and do nothing other than wait or you could complain.
If your appeal is taking longer than expected you have grounds to contact the ombudsman.
If you have been treated unfairly and given the DWP and Tribunal time to respond and they have not within the timeframe then you need to start getting all your evidence together to build a case. You can take it even further and take it to an Ombudsman (Last Resort).
The PIP system is flawed, it employs people who are not qualified in the field of the illness (one needs to be a specialist in the field and should undergo years of training as well as qualifications to determine what the claimant is suffering from). The system is designed to degrade people and to make them unwell. The more people that become unwell the more money Big Pharma makes and that is how the world goes round.
Making a Complaint
Do exhaust all avenues of complaint procedures before contacting the ombudsman and do collate as much evidence as you can. If you have a blog or social media page share it with the people I have mentioned in this article. People usually take notice if you have a professional site and you know what you are talking about.
If you want our help and need a letter we can send you a template with all users, names, and addresses and you fill in the blanks. Our template letters are £5.00 and you will get a download link once the payment has been processed, if you want us to write the letter for you it will cost £25 per 1000 words. Your privacy and data will be safeguarded with a non-disclosure agreement.
PIP Mailing Address is:
Personal Independence (2), 2 Mail Handling Site (A), Wolverhampton., WV98 18B
0800 121 4433 ( be prepared to wait 45 minutes to be put through)
** Just to explain when I spoke to PIP today over my daughter’s award the woman said that my daughter or I would have to submit evidence by post. Knowing they had an email I said could it not be done electronically (I bit my tongue about saving the environment) and the woman I spoke to blatantly lied and said there is no email address.
The amount of time I had to wait to be put through could easily cause someone who has multiple sclerosis or any other auto-immune disease and suffers from bad stress and anxiety to easily relapse. Furthermore, I do not know who they employ because I had to spell ‘Alemtuzumab‘ out even though I clearly told the woman the word can be found on www.lemtrada.com.
I am not looking forward to the assessment my daughter is due to have because if they make my daughter perform like a circus monkey that will mean I will have to intervene. My daughter documents her health in her online journal on this platform. I am not looking forward to having to deal with these people.
OCD Cymru would be ideal as a personal blog for someone suffering from OCD, a charity, or a business.
I bought this domain a few years ago in the hope of turning it into a site dedicated to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), however, as times move on I decided to develop a site for general disabilities, so this domain www.ocd.cymru is for sale. I do use the domain to promote my articles but I also have a sub-directory.
OCD is very personal to me because I suffer from this disability. If you follow my online journal you will be able to read how I manage my OCD and how people can affect my illness day to day.
You can read all about the articles I have written on OCD here.
Micro-dosing Psilocybin Mushrooms improve mental health after one month.
Suffering from mental health issues for over 30 years now and being prescribed the same medication year in and year out without any significant improvement one must look at alternative ways to heal.
I suffer from anxiety, stress, depression, panic attacks, social disconnection, and OCD.
The NHS has failed me because month after month my symptoms do not improve, and I must resort to self-help to get through certain days.
I have never explored or ever taken psychedelic drugs and it was only by watching a documentary on Netflix “How to change your mind” that I started to realize there are diverse ways to treat my disorder.
Psilocybin mushrooms: commonly known as magic mushrooms, mushrooms, are a polyphyletic informal group of fungi that contain psilocybin which turns into psilocin upon ingestion. Biological genera containing psilocybin mushrooms include Copelandia, Gymnopilus, Inocybe, Panaeolus, Pholiotina, Pluteus, and Psilocybe. Wikipedia
The study published in Nature: Scientific Reports has observed significant benefits to mood and mental health after one month of micro-dosing psilocybin mushrooms.
Mushroom microdoses saw greater improvements across the DASS domains of Depression, Anxiety, and Stress. The study found that the microdose cognitive efficacy was higher performing in people aged under 55.
The study looked at 1133 people over the course of two years. All subjects were over 18 years old, able to read in English, and had access to an iPhone iOS device where participants recorded their results. Scientific Reports is a peer-reviewed, open-access scientific journal published online by Nature Portfolio.
The study was conducted by a team of experts in the fields of psychology and mycology: Joseph M. Rootman, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC, Canada; Maggie Kiraga, an employee of Quantified Citizen Technologies. Pamela Kryskow, a member of the clinical advisory board of Numinus Wellness, co-founder of MycoMedica Life Sciences, and on the Scientific & Medical Advisory Board; Kalin Harvey; Paul Stamets, who founded Fungi Perfecti, LLC; Eesmyal Santos-Brault; Kim P. C. Kuypers; and Zach Walsh, a member of the Advisory Board of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Canada and MycoMedica Life Sciences.
The reason GPs are not willing to advise or prescribe holistic medicine is that it would cost the Big Pharma Industry big bucks. If people could cure themselves after a month of using natural plant-made drugs the pharma companies would soon feel the pinch. I wrote previously what your doctor won’t tell you.
I have concluded my own doctor is as useful as a chocolate fire guard.
Even if my doctor could not prescribe ‘Microdosing Psilocybin Mushrooms’ she could have at least told me about it and recommended where I should go to get it. According to the UK, it is still not legal and a petition was made but coincidently because of a General Election in November 2019 it was closed, well all I can say is someone should restart it again: https://petition.parliament.uk/archived/petitions/260806
All I know is that Imperial College London is doing research into the benefits and negative effects of psilocybin and other psychedelic compounds. I only say this as I reside in the UK but other parts of the world will have other studies, where you need to do your own research to find out who is doing it closer to your area.
In the most rigorous trial to date assessing the therapeutic potential of a ‘psychedelic’ compound, researchers compared two sessions of psilocybin therapy with a six-week course of a leading antidepressant (a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor called escitalopram) in 59 people with moderate-to-severe depression.
The results, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, show that while depression scores were reduced in both groups, the reductions occurred more quickly in the psilocybin group and were greater in magnitude.
As a consequence, I blame the NHS and the powers that be for not giving me the right support and ultimately making my condition worse.
Similar to abortions, who has the right to say what you do with your body?
It is your body and how you treat is your business and no one else’s unless you are out of control.
What a person consumes is on them if they are of sound mind. Why make alcohol and cigarettes legal when they cause, liver failure or cancer. The reason why is because ‘Big Pharma’ relies on you becoming unwell. Whilst if everyone was cured they would not be laughing all the way to the bank.
People treated with psilocybin – named ‘COMP360’ by its developers, COMPASS Pathways PLC – showed marked improvements across a range of subjective measures, including in their ability to feel pleasure, and express emotions, greater reductions in anxiety and suicidal ideation, and increased feelings of wellbeing.
Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, Head of the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial, who designed and led the study, said: “These results comparing two doses of psilocybin therapy with 43 daily doses of one of the best performing SSRI antidepressants help contextualize psilocybin’s promise as a potential mental health treatment. Remission rates were twice as high in the psilocybin group than in the escitalopram group.
“One of the most important aspects of this work is that people can clearly see the promise of properly delivered psilocybin therapy by viewing it compared with a more familiar, established treatment in the same study. Psilocybin performed very favorably in this head-to-head.”
As suggested by the Imperial College London / Thomas Angus; Psilocybin capsules: warn that while the initial findings are encouraging,patients with depression should not attempt to self-medicate with psilocybin.However, I will be writing to anyone that is doing clinical trials with the view of volunteering.
I am therefore going to be on the lookout for clinical trials in my area, we can only wait and see. I could have been cured years ago, instead of being kept as a lab rat.
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