I've always been a terrible worrier. When I was little I went through phases of strange thoughts, some of which went on for a very long time (I refused to go upstairs by myself until I was about 12). From about the age of 11 onwards I suffered from anorexia and bulimia at different stages, which remained undiagnosed until I was about 20. I received a course of CBT (which then became Acceptance Commitment Therapy) and was on Fluoxetine for about two years, before coming off it about 6 months ago. The eating disorder was just beginning to get under control when the anxiety
attacks started. <br /><br /><br />During my ED treatment I met my boyfriend - we have been together for 3 years, and even with the ED I have been the happiest I have ever felt. He is amazing, and everything anyone could ever want - funny, smart, gorgeous, caring, kind, passionate, intelligent, mature...the perfect guy. During the 3 years I have never felt anything but love for him, and we have never once argued. About a month ago (when the ED treatment was being tailed off) I started having doubts, out of the blue - just one day I thought 'I don't love him anymore', and from then on I was taking panic
attacks daily, even waking up with them in the morning.<br /><br /> I was put in contact with a clinical psychologist not long after that (my parents thought they were going to have to section me because the attacks were so constant and so severe to the point where I couldn't feed or clothe myself and couldn't be left alone, even when sleeping
) who believes that all my history and my character link to OCD, and it is just manifesting itself in different ways. I have chosen to decline medication this time around, because my doctor's opinion is that I will always have OCD, and I don't want to be on medication for the rest of my life. The psychologist is doing a variety of things with me, including relaxation and ERP, and he is also trained in hypnosis.<br /><br /> Since seeing the psychologist, I have made a lot of progress, and can now do things again, even though I take little enjoyment in anything anymore and forget things a lot. With the psychologist's encouragement I stayed with my boyfriend 24/7 for a week while both our parents were on holidays, and the week after we went on holiday ourselves, so in total I have spent two weeks exclusively with my boyfriend. This has been difficult but interesting, because when I started staying with my boyfriend the thoughts kept changing, e.g. one day I would be scrutinising his personality and the next I would have convinced myself I was attracted to his next door neighbour. I kept up my ERP and tried some of the relaxation things, and on the whole I was quite happy. The same kind of thing happened on holiday, except I didn't get the chance to do the ERP because we were kept so busy.<br /><br /> Upon returning home though, I took a really bad turn, and started believing that I should break up with him - for the first since staying with him I was crying, shaking, tense - full blown anxiety attack, and it was extremely difficult to shake off the thought. The episode completely exhausted me. <br /><br />This morning I came back to my family home (where I stay normally) and on the journey back I was actually feeling half positive - I could at least recognise that the anxiety wasn't being caused by my relationship, and could imagine and feel happy about our future together, though I still felt anxious and nervous about SOMETHING. Throughout the day however, the anxiety has been getting worse, and my thoughts keep changing and I keep crying - like one second I feel that all I want to do is cuddle my boyfriend again, then the next I feel like killing myself, then I think that I should be breaking up with him. The breaking up thought has stuck though, and it seems so real I thought I was actually going to go through with it. Since talking to my boyfriend I feel a bit better, but still not right, and I'm beginning to wonder if I'm making excuses for myself? Like I can think of many reasons why I would feel bad today (I don't get on particularly well with my family, coming back from holiday, not spending more time with my boyfriend, etc.) but I have this thought stuck in my head and it isn't going away - how do I know that it isn't real?! <br /><br />Please help - I am beginning to feel very depressed and anxious, and very, very confused. Is this OCD or something else, or am I just in denial?