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.
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.
- Intrusive Thoughts
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 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.
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 us are 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 & 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