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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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When I was 17, I suffered from Anxiety/Depression disorder.

Resolved Question:

When I was 17, I suffered from Anxiety/Depression disorder. (Weird/harsh obsessive unwanted thoughts) that made me feel like I was losing my mind. After a couple months of medication, (Buspar, Tophernil) the thoughts went away, and I was back to living a normal great life without the bizarre thoughts. I am now 33 and these same exact symptoms have come back, and is affecting my life, (work, recreation). Is this common, and are these thoughts a form of OCD?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

The thoughts you describe are part of the symptoms of OCD. Why you had so much time in between your symptoms is unusual. However, OCD is related to body/brain chemistry so why your symptoms came back may be due to something imbalanced in your system. And it could be that your body is reacting to outside stress or that something triggered your symptoms. The fact that the treatment worked so well the first time says that you have a great chance of this happening again.

If you feel that the thoughts are similar you may want to get an evaluation by a mental health therapist to determine if you do have OCD. Be sure to let them know that the first medications you took worked for you and also explain the gap in your symptoms. To find a therapist, talk to your doctor about a referral. Or you can search on line at http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/prof_search.php.

In the meanwhile, there are many things you can do to help yourself cope with these thoughts. The trick is trying many things to find what works for you.

OCD thoughts can be handled through a variety of ways:

Learn to relax- this helps a lot because one of the main issues with OCD thoughts is the anxiety you experience with them. So learning how to keep calm when dealing with these thoughts can help. Here is a link to help you learn Progressive Relaxation, one of the best ways to control your anxiety:

http://www.guidetopsychology.com/pmr.htm

Write down your thoughts- by keeping a journal so you have a place to express your thoughts when they do bother you. It can also help to go back and see your progress or look at repeating patterns and how you handled them.

Make a list of activities- things you can do to distract yourself when you do experience OCD thoughts. Exercise, calling someone or watching a movie for example.

Give yourself a break- realize that OCD is caused by physical imbalances in the brain as well as anxiety. So telling yourself things like "This is just a physical response and it is not my fault" or "I can control this any way I want" and doing another activity instead of giving in helps as well.

Do not give your obsession meaning- The more you focus on it, the more importance you give it. So treat it like it's nothing. "It's only my thoughts. It does not mean anything".

Cognitive behavior therapy can help a lot as well. It assists you in "retraining" your brain to think other thoughts and calming yourself so you don't feel the need to respond to the thoughts as much. And a therapist can help with exposure response prevention as well. It helps to have the support.

Read as much as you can about OCD and how to address it. The more you educate yourself, the better chance you will find things you can do to help yourself.

Once you can confirm that you do have OCD and get treatment, you have a good chance of reacting as you did the first time you sought treatment.

I hope this was helpful,
Kate
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
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Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.