OCD, anxiety and stress self-help

The last fight – a loss that I’m uncertain can be recovered

This week has been the single hardest experience of my life. I lost my partner due to a mental disorder that I thought I was gaining control of. I lost the love of my life to a mental disorder that changes me, that controls me. People can change, but sadly for the negative. When someone goes from good to bad at no fault of their own, is that a Leopard changing its spots? Or, is it when they go back to who they truly are?

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Chapter 4: Another brick in the wall – Part 2

OCD Book - I have special powers, I have Opened Closed Doors

OCD Book – I have special powers, I have Opened Closed Doors

Locus of control

Locus of control is a theory developed by Julian B. Rotter in the early 50s. That’s not what is important though, what is important is how individuals, like yourself, understand and feel how events affect them. There are two aspects of locus on control, internal and external. The former is where one believes events that occur (regardless of what they are) are controlled by themselves, whereas the latter is where an individual feels events are controlled by external sources.

Your control is the backbone of all anxiety, fears, stresses, phobias, depression, OCD and absolutely everything emotional that goes on inside that mind of yours. Thus, if you learn the basis of locus of control, you’ll be that one step further in learning to manage your OCD.

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Chapter 4: Another brick in the wall – Part 1

OCD Book - I have special powers, I have Opened Closed Doors

OCD Book – I have special powers, I have Opened Closed Doors

This is going to be a shocker to a lot of you that read this chapter, as it was for me. This chapter is not about Pink Floyd… *shock horror*.

When you read this try to be as open minded as possible. A lot of what I have written is closely related to all people that suffer with OCD but this chapter in general relates to a wider audience, in fact, it relates to pretty much everyone.

People as a whole are defined by their belief system. It drives their personality and the majority of all their living experiences. In turn, your belief system is built upon your experiences in life, which are defined by internal and external events and whether you believe you or an external source controlled these experiences. This is also known as your locus of control.

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Anticipatory anxiety: Maybe and Possibly

Anticipatory anxiety: Maybe and Possibly

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The worst form of anxiety to experience is anticipatory anxiety. Here is an excerpt from my post about what anticipated anxiety is.

When you worry about an experience or situation you will be in, in the future, this is anticipated anxiety. Examples would be worrying about a flight you have to take tomorrow, or worrying about an important meeting you have in a couple days time.

I consider anticipated anxiety the worst form of anxiety, because the more you worry about something, the more your anxiety builds, the more your anxiety builds, the further you will worry. It becomes a vicious circle.

Fears that are associated with ones anticipated anxiety are more often than not perceived. This is where you believe something could happen and you worry about it, regardless of the fact that it is only a possibility, and may not happen at all.

Maybe” and “possibly” are two words you really need to concentrate on in order to lower, if not completely diminish your anticipated anxiety. This is done by being able to think a little more rationally in a given situation, and in this post I will help give you the tools you need to accomplish this.

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Chapter 3: Doom and Gloom – Part 2

OCD Book - I have special powers, I have Opened Closed Doors

OCD Book – I have special powers, I have Opened Closed Doors

Why did I break down?

Having been in the toilet for 25 minutes to just urinate, having washed my hands far too many times was not the biggest of issues that I was facing. What I was facing was being in a room that I felt unsafe in, that I couldn’t get out of without some serious concentration. Concentration that was lacking, because my mind was full of crazy, obsessive and intrusive thoughts. Thoughts that were overpowering my mind so much that the only thing I could do was cry.

To be completely honest, it’s not nice for me to admit that I broke down crying. I was (at the time) a 24 year old man with a professional job, a house and a good (ish) life. In fact, to many that’s shameful. Hell, go ahead, call me a pussy if you can’t comprehend or understand what I was going through, but take your worst fears, amplify them by emotions and anxiety and you’ll be half way to feeling how I was then, and also many of those that suffer with OCD too. It’s not nice, it really isn’t.

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Chapter 3: Doom and Gloom – Part 1

OCD Book - I have special powers, I have Opened Closed Doors

OCD Book – I have special powers, I have Opened Closed Doors

Without a doubt, this chapter is very personal to me as it describes one of the biggest, strangest and soul destroying moments of my life. Throughout this chapter you will see why I decided I needed to help myself.

What you will read next details a situation my OCD put me through. I have written it as if I am there now, but also as I see it now. Now, I’ll say this with up-most certainty: it’s OK to laugh, please do. In fact I laugh regularly about it. But, at the time, it messed me up royally, was confusing and somewhat detrimental to my life.

To put you in the “scene”, I was up in London working on a contract with one of the biggest sports organisations in the UK. I loved working there, I got on with everyone and of course; I was doing what I do best, programming. While the times I detail below are not 100% accurate, they are pretty close, as I wrote them down on the train home.

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My journey as a perfectionist by Lilly Barlow

My journey as a perfectionist

Photo Credit: `James Wheeler via Compfight cc

I have read and reread this blog and in my mind it is not perfect…You see my name is Lilly and I am a perfectionist.

I live every day with the demons of GAD, every thought I have escalates out of control. I will walk into a room and be totally convinced I am the fattest, ugliest most stupid person in the whole room and every single person is talking about me.

Every conversation I have with my Peers starts with “What have I done wrong?” and “Are you sacking me?”. It is exhausting, debilitating and has over the years destroyed every shred of self-esteem and confidence I have struggled to find. It stops me socialising and having the most basic of relationships with friends or family. I have a huge, massive wall that is impossible for anybody to penetrate.

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Chapter 2: It’s time to break it, break it down – Part 2

OCD Book - I have special powers, I have Opened Closed Doors

OCD Book – I have special powers, I have Opened Closed Doors

Fear and worry

Everyone in the world fears something, and they worry too. That annoying, abusive bully you had picking on you at school, or knew someone being picked on by, well; he’s scared of something because his drive to bully will be in direct correlation with something that has or is happening in his life. Whether that be some extremely awful parents, their parents not being there for them, or just the fact that they don’t actually have any real friends and so need to bully to gain respect, that person is fearing something.

For those of us with OCD, our fears and worries drive our OCD and our OCD drives our fears and worries. There it is again, a vicious circle, just like anxiety. We need break this continuous cycle I keep bring up, but how do we do this? The most simple way to do this is to break through what is known as the fear and worry “wall”. The first step is understanding what we fear and why we fear it. Then we can knock down this “wall of fear” and escape. The first bricks are without a doubt the hardest to break through, but like with any wall, once you take out a few bricks, the rest will follow more easily

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Chapter 2: It’s time to break it, break it down – Part 1

OCD Book - I have special powers, I have Opened Closed Doors

OCD Book – I have special powers, I have Opened Closed Doors

I guess the only way to really start my journey is completely understanding what OCD is, so it’s time to break it down into small, manageable chunks. I’m doing this for a better understanding and as a reference. You see, all the information I have in my head is overwhelming and that and OCD together is a bomb waiting to go off. Have you ever felt like that before?

There are many takes on what OCD is and how it affects people and importantly, what we can do about it. This ebook is my take on OCD, thus, I will give you my view. But right now, let’s start by taking an excerpt from Wikipedia as so we have something to work with.

Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts that produce uneasiness, apprehension, fear, or worry; by repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing the associated anxiety; or by a combination of such obsessions and compulsions. Symptoms of the disorder include excessive washing or cleaning; repeated checking; extreme hoarding; preoccupation with sexual, violent or religious thoughts;relationship-related obsessions; aversion to particular numbers; and nervous rituals, such as opening and closing a door a certain number of times before entering or leaving a room.

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Take Omega 3 to reduce anxiety

Omega 3 anxiety

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In addition to the other countless health benefits associated with these fatty acids, Omega 3 has been proven to help reduce anxiety and OCD. If you know nothing about Omega 3, this post will cover enough for you to understand that you should be getting more in your diet.

While I am unsure as to how these fatty acids actually help, I started to take Omega supplements on a daily basis after I was introduced to the benefits by a colleague. I have seen some great results from the increased consumption of Omega 3 and so will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

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