Thursday, 10 October 2013 0 comments

Reassurance pt.1

In recognising that I crave reassurance in the depths of my OCD, I have come to realise that it is something I have always sought even outwith the OCD thoughts.

I have always required the reassurance of someone else telling me something was done right or was done well. The reassurance does not need to come through words, but in written forms and physical contact. The praise of someone else is to help me feel acceptable or worthwhile. Without it Paranoia and anxiety set in.

We all need reassurance from time to time. It can be the one kind word or the little pick me up that we require to help us carry on. When the search for reassurance becomes habitual or compulsive, this is where it becomes an issue.

I can’t begin to categorically say that this predisposition/weakness is a characteristic that contributes to the development of OCD or if the presence of OCD has led to the development of this trait. I will probably never know what came first.

There are key sources that I have turned to for reassurance within the last 15 years –

1) Church leaders (confessions that occur repeatedly)
2) Family members (confessions and just generally pouring out my thoughts)
3) God (in prayer or fasting, then trying to make deals with God)
4) Friends or colleagues (
5) Internet diagnoses (Google is not always your friend)
6) Medical books (but you then find other illnesses you might have)

I’m sure there are others.

I have successfully received reassurance from each of these sources on different occasions. Each have been successful in fulfilling the need for reassurance, but I have found that no matter how many times I can be reassured of something, the next time I face the thought or situation again, any former reassurance received is useless. The reassurance needs to be more definite the next time and maybe repeated several times. It’s a bit like taking a drug, you build up a tolerance and need more to get ‘high’ or to ‘come down’.

Any previous belief in statements of reassurance once received can easily be dismissed. In fact you can believe that the original reassurance must have been wrong, despite the fact you want it to be right. So any previous reassurance becomes fuel to the fire of OCD as it never actually changes anything.

The difficulty that ensues is that you have an Obsessive thought that needs reassurance to quell the anxiety, but you just have to deal with it another way. We have to learn new ways of looking at and dealing with the emotion and distress caused.
Monday, 7 October 2013 0 comments

General Conference and 'coming out the OCD closet pt2'

So Elder Jeffrey R Holland's talk was great. It's not earth shatteringly new, and anyone who has any experience of mental health challenges would hopefully already feel this way, but it is great that the subject has been approached by an Apostle for those who maintain scepticism about mental health challenges.

The real question is, if it's ok to admit to these things, should I take this as another incentive to come out of the OCD closet? I'm still in two minds about it.

I am more settled with the idea of 'coming out' but I think there has to be an appropriate context. I mean I don't want to just stand up in Testimony meeting and announce it. I feel it has to be done in a constructive and unselfish way. I am not telling people for my benefit as I am ok with my personal challenge and I'm not looking to get support or pity or praise. I feel it might be of use to someone else to not feel so alone in their despair, and if it can help someone else then that's just a bonus.

On another note, I wonder if this is a topic that might benefit from a ward fireside or something as there are others who have experienced such challenges. There is a Gospel centred approach to overcoming these challenges and it might be a good focus for a motivational, uplifting fireside?

Check out this talk if you haven't already....