Friday, 2 September 2011

The CBT Followed By The GP

I feel like I am falling slightly behind in posting. Things that I want to post have not even been half written, just left in my mind and eventually I will get there. I feel slightly in some sort of way of a dry spell, a funk or what have you.

I eventually put on my computer and I have some catching up to do here. This is going to be slightly longer than my last posts but only because it is my first appointment back to treatment followed by my next day doctors appointment.

I had my first appointment back to see a therapist for my CBT. I wish that I could say that it went well but it felt beyond disheartening. Part of me wants to get better but I will admit that at this stage I am not always sure if I want to 'get better' I do have doubts about getting better and what my life would be like without the OCD. I know that it stops me from living but I am scared that it will take away some positive parts of my living. My creativity for a start.

I couldn't seem to answer the question of what do I want out of CBT.

I also found it difficult that I am given 6 months in total of CBT treatment and from there they will be quick to let me go back out on my own to deal with it. This is on the NHS and 'it is a limited service with a long waiting list and other people need this service too' So I was told and with already having around 3 months of treatment already this will be taken into an account of my 6 months total. Even though I found that my first therapist wasn't completely helpful and had put me off of the treatment quickly. I tried to reason with myself, thinking that it could be the OCD side of things to make me feel put off of the treatment that was being given but my attempts of looking at it in another way has made me feel very let down, especially when I am given a set time to 'get better' I can't say that 18 years of OCD can really be set straight within 6 months. I don't know if I can handle the pressure that they are putting on me. Actually. I can't handle the pressure. Before I even got myself home my Fibromyalgia syndrome was flaring up from the stress alone and I have been left in unbearable state of pain through-out my body and it isn't them left with the aftermath of it all. No, they can walk, move and lift and make their own cup of coffee and dinner and take care of themselves. I don't think that my FMS is being taken into account of the treatment. What is meant to make one thing better only seems to make the other worse during this 'progress'

The other things that I found really dishearten was being told after I tried to explain my harm and suicidal thoughts, whether they are there when I am feeling at my worst and would like nothing more than to end it all or when I am having a good day that they come out of nowhere and I find it very frightening, it is hard enough to admit to these kinds of thoughts but then to  be told that they will stop CBT all together if I am having these thoughts. It really feels like the support I am trying to get isn't supportive at all. I am just another number to these people, another case and another 6 months.

I feel like having support from other sufferers is one of the best things. To know that your not the only one out there and I would have given anything just to have that when I was growing up, to know that I wasn't the only one out there. To have a chat with another sufferer, and I say sufferer because we truly suffer. OCD doesn't make us a victim and its not a 'poor me' act. But to speak to another sufferer is helpful. A lot of positive feedback on treatment and when you need advice and help they are always quick to help. They never offer reassurance because it doesn't help and they truly know what your going through. A therapist only has training and an outsiders view and I don't feel that they can truly 100% understand how fearful life can become. No, we don't want this illness and that is what it is, an illness. I feel like they make it sound so easy to overcome and they seem to believe that it is. So to speak of talking to and building friendships with other sufferers seems to displease both therapists that I have seen. That and writing about my treatment and general life with OCD. I had a reply of 'I don't think that I like that' Followed by, 'I need to think about if I like this or not'

It really is just too bad for her. I like speaking to others and not feeling alone and I have met some wonderful people and we talk about much more than OCD! I don't like how she stated that treatment was private and what felt like an attempt to put me off of writing about it, that and my general life with OCD, as if I should feel ashamed. Well, I am not ashamed. Not anymore. I encourage people to share their experience with OCD, it creates an awareness and more awareness is less stigma and you wouldn't believe how many people it helps, to make them feel less alone. I always felt so alone before I met others who are in the same boat and now I have this whole new world and it is a wonderful place that also gives me some peace and quiet now and again.

I was also quizzed on what happened with the other therapist. It upsets me a lot to talk about it and I couldn't even say everything that happened and then on top of that, to be asked if this was the OCD way of seeing it and maybe she was just trying to help. No, Taunting people doesn't help them recover in any situation. But of course anyone would believe their sane and educated colleague before they will take anything seriously from the girl with issues.

I think the last thing, from what I can remember of the session is being told that she is leaving in November. What I would like to know is what is the point of giving someone another patient if that patient will end up being passed around from one therapist to another. It isn't helpful and I don't see the point in trying to open up to her if I am going to end up having to re do all of this to another. Like I have been told several times, Treatment is just 30% of it, the therapist is 70% of it. If you can't build a relationship with your therapist then your not going to be able to put in 100% effort. You can try as hard as you want to but your not really going to try because your not going to trust them or their methods. I didn't trust the last one when she claimed a huge success rate in treating OCD and that she can cure OCD and how I can be free of OCD for the rest of my life. Then asking what is the worst that can happen anyways. I think it is all to easy for therapist to forget that they are treating people with real feelings and thoughts, even if they are tangled in with the OCD side of things.

Over all, I left the clinic feeling worse off than before. I don't feel comfortable speaking to this woman and answering her questions is difficult but it is impossible to answer them as I would like to when you can't get the words out that you want to.

So, The doctors appointment side of it all.

She agreed that it didn't seem at all helpful and we both talked about addressing other issues that I have that seem to be the root of most of my fears. Maybe I should seek counselling for these things before I attempt CBT. I hate talking about some of these past issues as they bring on many tears and many memories that I preferred to have tucked away in a hidden hideaway part of my brain! I guess that they need to come out at some point. I would just prefer to talk to someone that I can trust, otherwise it will end up like my assessment for my OCD severity, half of it answered in lies. Even though I was assessed and diagnosed with severe OCD and so what if I answered yes to the other questions asked that should have been answered yes? Super severe OCD? Total nut job OCD? Lock her up and throw away the key OCD? It's not that I want to waste any ones time but I am hardly going to say the worst of my OCD to someone that I don't trust and in my mind, has the ability to put me in a padded room I am sure they will have it done to me when they decide they are fed up.


  1. First, no ones going to throw you in a padded room, im sure they have heard it all, and the things we think just seem horrible to us, but they understand.

    Im so sorry you are having difficulty with this whole treatment, some of the things you said are pissing me off (not at you, at them) because no one knows how long its going to take to get better, my first time around took like 2 YEARS! And now im starting over again.

  2. Oh Maggie. I am so so sorry.

    You are so right in your assessment. You have to be able to trust your therapist and not feel like they are looking down on you.

    I also understand about other health issues flaring up in addition to trying to deal with the OCD.

    And like you, I find the support of other sufferers invaluable and I have only discovered you all within the last month or so!

    And writing about it also helps me greatly. Keep on writing-- no matter what your therapist "likes"!

    As a child I never once thought there was anyone else like me. I thought I was all alone. What I wouldn't have given to have known others back then.

    The more I read of other sufferers therapy experiences the more blessed I feel. I don't have a deadline to get treated. And my therapist not only treats OCD but also depression, anxiety and drug addiction but his main focus is OCD. He really gets my issues of growing up in the shadows of drug addiction. I trust him and talk to him about everything and he never makes me feel stupid or "less than."

    I really feel for you that you feel like "a number" and "a case" and having the pressure to get treated in 3months!


  3. Maggie - I am sorry you are having such a hard time finding decent support. It's really hard to find a CBT therapist that you "click" with. I have spent over 15 years trying to find someone who both knew how to treat OCD (despite the fact that they said they were CBT therapists), and someone who I really clicked with. I personally think a lot of CBT therapists are very "cut and dry" and lack some compassion for what we are going through. The therapist that I have now actually has OCD and I LOVE that fact, not because I'm glad he too suffers, but I truly trust that he understands what it is like to be in our shoes. That was a God send for me. I would caution you against putting pressure on yourself to be "healed" in 6 months. I've had to seek out private treatment and pay for it in order to continue along my journey of battling OCD. I feel that it is too hard to do alone, without the support of a good therapist. But I've had to make sacrifices for that....because my psychologist bill is quite large.

    One thing that I would say from what you wrote: ERP and CBT is HARD. And that is why so many people with OCD don't want to do it. But I would say that seeking other sorts of counselling to try to sort out other things that you think are "causing" your OCD....well...many people have tried this in order to avoid doing the TOUGH work of ERP. The hope that there is an "easier" way to get over OCD. Believe me - I have had this thought many times. But - look on any support board, talk to any therapist, and there really isn't another way. I know you probably don't want to hear that. I hope you will be able to find a CBT therapist that you actually feel like you click with and begin to start the tough work of ERP therapy again. I'm not sure how it works in the UK, but you might have to pay some of your own money? In my opinion - it's worth it - to be OCD free. I got to the point where I didn't care how much money it cost me, if I had to live in a box under a bridge I was willing to do whatever it took to be OCD-free.

    Hang in there - things will get better!


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.