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Anna
Anna, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1945
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.
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I think I have anxiety/OCD issues. This might be long but here

Customer Question

I think I have anxiety/OCD issues. This might be long but here it goes....
My husband and I have been together since middle school. It has been 11 years and we have never slept with anyone else. He is in the military and was deployed to Iraq in 2005-2006. While he was gone, I developed symptoms that I believe are OCD. Of course I was terrified about what was going to happen to him, always fearing the worst. I started making things up.. if I took an even number of steps to class he was okay for the day, if I saw the number 28 on a license plate he was okay for the day, if I saw more than 1 28 on different license plates he was okay for how ever many days as I saw the number 28. But it never ended, I kept going back to the beginning. I would never let my "seeing things" be enough for him to be okay. Obviously I felt crazy!

When I was younger (before he was deployed), I always had to have things "just so." Every night I would pick out my clothes and set them on the end table in the living room. When the living room was moved around, I would set the clothes in the same place no matter what was there.

Since my husband has been back my anxiety seems to be a lot better but I still check things. I check the doors, stove, oven, make sure the dogs are inside, etc. I even get half way to work and turn around to check the doors. I always think I leave the door wide open and the dogs are going to get out.

My husband is a police officer. My dad has been a police officer my whole life and we had an event in which he almost died. Obviously, when my husband is at work I worry. Not too much but if he doesn't answer his phone I think something is terribly wrong. I think he wrecked, got into a fight and lost, got shot, etc.

Now that you have some background.. this is what has been bothering me lately...
My husband and I are talking about getting pregnant soon. We both have full time jobs, have the "baby cars," and the "toys" that most young couples like to have. Since we are able to have a baby now, I have been looking up things on conception, 1st trimester, etc. My mom is a nurse and came home about a month and a half ago after delivering a baby to an HIV+ woman. I went into a discussion "Why would she have a baby when she has HIV.. I don't think I would put my child through that.. etc." A few weeks later I had 2 different dreams that people I knew had HIV. Since then, I have been convinced that I somehow have HIV. As I said before, my husband and I have been monogamous since the beginning and were both virgins at that time. Neither one of us have ever done drugs of any kind. He is in the military and gets tested for HIV yearly, the last being March 09 and it was negative. I know that I have technically no risk of acquiring this but I can't seem to shake my obsession with it. I notice every commercial, tv program, anything like that. Then I am convinced that it is a sign from God that I have it. I have no symptoms but think back to when I had the flu a week in high school and worry that it was actually symptoms. HIV was not my only concern during these 2 months. I also worried about other STDs that cause PID and fertility issues, again, no symptoms or any reason to believe that I would have these things.

I have worried about other health conditions before, convincing myself that a mole is skin cancer even after it was checked by the doctor, thinking that I have cancer and will have to have chemo so I won't be able to teach or have a baby so I'll lose out on all of my "kids" even with my dogs I think they are going to die in surgery, have a lump removed to find that it's cancer.

I am going crazy with this! I have been arguing with my husband, trying to get him to "confess" to cheating on me because I "know" I have this. I feel like he is hiding it from me but after almost 2 months of this I think he would just confess if he was hiding anything. I am sick of it and he is sick of it (and has even told me to leave or that he would leave if this accusing keeps up). But when I stop and think about it.. I truly do not think he has ever cheated on me and this whole thing sounds crazy. It all started when I heard about the woman having HIV and knowing that I will be getting a blood test when I get pregnant. Also, I have wanted to get pregnant for some time now but haven't been able to because I didn't have a full time job, wrong time, financial issues. Now it seems like I am finally able to have a baby and I just keep creating things that would prevent me from being able to have a baby. I know that my craziness is not going to help if I want to bring a baby into this world. It seems to be worse during the summer.. when I am home alone all night, no visitors, no projects, nothing except for me and the tv/internet. It almost like I'm depressed.

I am back to work now and my mind is not running as much as usual but these little thoughts keep popping in. I can't control it no matter what I do. I worry all the time. Please help! The reason I decided to write on here is I saw that my DVR is set to schedule a program on Tuesday titled I'm Pregnant and HIV +. Obviously I look at it as a "sign."

Do I really need to worry about these things or is my mind creating worries unnecessarily?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Anna replied 3 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Anna :

Hello & Welcome to Just Answers.

Customer :

Thanks

Anna :

Hey Amanda, I'm still reading your note...one sec

Customer :

Alright thank you

Anna :

You hit the nail on the target: you have OCD

Anna :

The good news is that it's very treatable if you're willing to get help. No one wants to be locked inside of the mind of an OCD sufferer.

Customer :

Yeah I pretty much figured that a long time ago.. I haven't really wanted to "get checked" because I'm nervous to get put on meds.. I don't want that at all..esp. when I'd like to get pregnant sometime soon

Anna :

The obsessions that you can't escape aren't real....it's part of a chemical imbalance that keeps a loop going on a thought.

Anna :

There are meds you can take while pregnant, and your doctor can talk to you about them......most OCD sufferers don't want to be on meds...it's yet another thing to obsess about, but..

Anna :

once you're on the right med & dose, you won't obsess anymore.

Anna :

Let me give you a good link on it...

Customer :

Is it wanting to get pregnant that triggered this episode? It seems like when we made that decision I started obsessing over these things.. or have I just always had it?

Anna :

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/obsessive-compulsive-disorder/DS00189?

Customer :

Thanks.. I think I have been on that website and every other website I could possibly find lol

Anna :

OCD is an axiety disorder....its something that waxes and wanes over time and will lock onto different things. You've developed it at some earlier point, but probably always had the propensity for it.

Anna :

LOLOL...OCDs ressearch...obsessively

Customer :

yes.. exactly! And I just feel "crazy" my husband doesn't understand it and I know he doesn't deserve me always accusing him of things that I know he didn't do.. I just can't seem to help it

Anna :

Honestly, meds are the answer. You'll be free. Then you can learn some CBT techniques to help with your thinking patterns so that you don't develop new ones.

Anna :

http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/cbtstep1.htm

Customer :

that link didn't work.. I tried to open i

Customer :

it

Anna :

In the mean time, try to understand that feelings aren't facts. He can't make your inner demons go away, but meds can

Anna :

You have to copy & paste it. The mayo clinic one?

Customer :

either one of them.. I did copy and paste both of them

Anna :

http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/cbtstep1.htm

Anna :

odd...I have both of them open right now and they're working.

Customer :

I like that.. feelings aren't facts..

Anna :

perhaps you've got the http twice

Customer :

Alright... I tried it again and they worked

Anna :

OK. My best to you. See the doctor and you'll feel better.

Customer :

Is it normal of OCD to come in "cycles"?

Anna :

Yes, it's normal for it to come and go during times of stress. If you would, please fill out the feedback form after accepting. I appreciate this opportunity to help you out today. If I can be of further service to you, just put "for Anna" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it.


Thanks!


Anna

Customer :

The reason I'm asking is because I feel anxious all the time but I obsess over things in waves.. not like I obsess over touching door knobs all the time or anything

Anna :

'yes...it's an underlying anxiety disorder that morphs into OCD during stress. OCD is an anxiety disorder at it's roots. The Mayo site has a great one on that ...General Anxiety Disorder.

Customer :

Alright.. thank you!

Anna :

You're welcome.

Anna, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1945
Experience: Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.
Anna and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
One more question.. is there a reason that I chose this topic to "lock on to" and obsess over? I can't really understand why all of the sudden this is what I'm obsessing over, even though I'm at no risk.
When my husband was deployed I was obsessed with him being okay. I could understand why I was obsessing over that.
This just seems like it came out of the blue. With hoping to get pregnant soon there are a ton of other things I could obsess over.. why this?
Thanks
Expert:  Anna replied 3 years ago.


Honestly, it's usually pretty random...a crossing of something going on in your life with something that you've read, heard about or seen. I liken it to a ball bouncing on a gym floor....it just hits some tiles and not others. When it makes more sense, it can be harder to deal with, and harder to see as random.

Anna

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