In my experience, by far the most effective treatment for OCD is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy – I do rather wish someone had pointed me in that direction in the first place, though it’s possible that CBT wasn’t as widely used then.
CBT is a therapy which helps you change how you think and act. Increasingly it is being used alongside Mindfulness (in which one tries to be aware of what is happening in the present moment). Most of our lives are spent either mulling over the past or planning ahead for the future so we are rarely actually present in the present moment. Often anti depressants are used as well and the combination is pretty effective.
When I was an in – patient there were 2 sessions of individual therapy each week. In between these we lived in our Community,divided into two ‘firms’ each with their own consultant and team of nurses. The Community was completed by the Adolescent and Families unit.
I feel I was a bit judgemental in my earlier post about the hospital,saying that I was put among some ‘quite disturbed and ill individuals’ -as if I were sane and normal. Actually I was sane but very troubled. I met some truly lovely people and it often felt very much as though we were all in it together. However, there seemed to be a lot of competition for attention at times – let’s see who is the most needy – and those who are more vocal grabbing the time and attention. As with Dr M,the sessions were focussed on you talking and the doctor listening and occasionally commenting. Dr B was younger and more friendly so it seemed easier to to talk – and when you’d done well in a session there was praise and maybe a hug – I hope I’m not imagining that, but the impression was that you were talking to another human being. I have no recollection of what I talked about- probably family and almost certainly about the death of my brother. Strangely,his dying so young,when I was so young -it had never really occurred to me with any conviction that it could be linked to the onset of OCD. In a way that seemed far too obvious. It’s only in the last couple of years that I can see how it all adds up. The main reason possibly is that I never really acknowledged or mourned my brother ‘s death at the time – or rather I couldn’t allow myself to. After all to have someone,particularly a sibling,dying is probably quite scary for other people and would mark you out as different and possibly cursed in some way.
I feel I have to apologise for the heaviness of these posts. I will lighten up by saying that I’m doing 3 name pictures with lettering and flowers and bits of greenery and then a picture for a 50th birthday. As always after a short break from work it takes me a while to slot back into the swing of things and I do always feel some anxiety until I’m up and running again. So that’s where I’m headed until disturbed by the return of the boy who will either be cheery because of a good music exam result, or grumpy because of having to attend a GCSE Science revision class after school.