2

OCD Tendencies Triggers

Okay, so I haven’t been diagnosed with OCD.

In fact, I haven’t been diagnosed with anxiety or depression either.

Shock. Horror.

Would is surprise you that anybody who is currently diagnosed with a mental health problem, at some point in the past, HADN’T been diagnosed with a mental health problem?

I’ve read so many places how it’s “wrong” to self-diagnose, but the truth is that the NHS system in England doesn’t really accommodate psychological diagnosis’ very well. To get onto a psychologist’s waiting lists can take months by itself, and then there’s the time on the waiting list, and then the time before a diagnosis… It’s a process.

And to first even approach a doctor, either oneself, somebody close to you or somebody who comes across you in the emergency room after swallowing a bottle of pills, will refer you to a doctor, to begin this process.

The people close to me are too go-with-the-flow to really care if I go to the doctor or not to resolve my problems. And, my problems aren’t severe enough to land me into the emergency room.

So, once things started getting bad, I did my research and came to my own conclusions, and thus referred myself.

WHAT’S SO WRONG ABOUT THAT?

And yes, I’m in the process of, well, waiting for my doctor to ring me up to say that I’ve been referred to a psychologist which, y’know, it’s been probably 2 months of waiting so far.

In the mean time I’m not exactly going to just sit around doing nothing about my problems, hence the research, hence the conclusions. It’s much easier to help yourself when you have a good idea of what’s wrong.

So, there’s my little disclaimer for all the people who are like “don’t claim to have something you’ve not been diagnosed with”. If you’ve even had the opportunity to get to the stage of diagnosis then that’s bloody lucky. I’ve been trying to get to that point for a really long time.

SO

I have some OCD TENDENCIES.

What I mean by that is that I’m not really convinced that I’d get diagnosed with OCD, because there are a lot of things that luckily do not affect my daily life that do affect OCD sufferer’s.

For example, my mind has never really associated not doing an action with meaning that someone I care about will die or something.

I’m not super particular about where things are in my room (unless I’ve done a good tidy up, but before that point, I don’t care too much if things aren’t absolutely perfect.)

My problems are with repetitive phrases, repeating actions to an extent, etc.

So again, here are some of my “triggers” for my OCD tendencies.


1.) When I fill up my water bottle. You see, I’m quite particular about my water intake – I MUST achieve 4 full bottles of my BRITA water bottle (600ml) from midnight of the day before until midnight of the day after. So, whenever I’m to fill my bottle of water, it has to be done perfectly. I run the water until it’s so cold that it hurts to the touch, and then there are phrases I repeat in my head until my brain is satisfied enough to move on onto a different activity. The water bottle is ALWAYS overflowing by this point! For some reason that I don’t quite fully understand, considering I know he isn’t flawless by any means – if my partner fills my bottle up for me, I simply trust that he’s done it right, and don’t worry about it at all.

2.) When I shower and do anything like shampoo my hair, condition my hair, wash my body, rinse my body, exfoliate my face, tone my face… Actually, any single beauty step you can think of. Whenever I do these things, the same thing happens as above. I repeat phrases in my head, for example “too much because ___, too little because _____, too much because ____ too little because ____, …” I know that probably doesn’t make sense but it’s basically my silly brains way of making sure I’ve completed the task properly. Even with the water thing, I didn’t repeat the phrases because they are so abstract that I’d be embarrassed to, but it’s basically my brain trying make sure that I’ve found the sweet spot and have completed the task perfectly…

3.) When I weigh myself. I like to maintain a weight of exactly 127.8 lbs, and if I don’t weigh that much (especially if I weigh MORE than that amount, as I tend to be over my ideal weight versus under), I will stress out and really try to get myself back to my ideal weight. Even if i’m just 0.2 lbs over, I’ll stop eating or something and weigh myself every 5 minutes until it’s back to my ideal weight.

4.) When moving on to any task different to the one I’m currently one, I have to repeat phrases again until my mind is satisfied enough for me to move on. In fact, when I make any decision at all, about anything. Whether I’ve chosen the right amount of presents for Christmas, whether the present itself is right, when choosing option modules for Uni, when deciding if it’s time to close my Instagram tab or…. Ugh. It’s really difficult to explain accurately.


 

This is something very closely linked to my anxiety, and I really do suffer from it. It’s the think that makes me so anxious about making decisions, the thing that often makes me take an hour to just shampoo my hair. Sometimes my brain simply will not let me move on from a task because it will deem that I haven’t done it perfectly enough.

You know what, I don’t even think I’m a perfectionist in the traditional sense. I don’t study much, the quality of my Uni work isn’t the best, my flat is far from immaculate etc. Like, I’m not ACTIVELY a perfectionist – it’s just certain actions, my brain won’t let me move on from unless I achieve them perfectly, which can take such a long time that by time I move on I have a headache, feel physically sick, tired, upset etc.

What helps me with all of the above, besides the weight thing, is me asking my partner to help me. When I ask him to fill my bottle for me I know he often thinks I’m just being lazy, but it’s because it is genuinely a MUCH bigger task for me to do than for him, and it truly helps when he just does it for me. Sometimes when I’m really struggling to get ready in the morning and I have to be somewhere at a certain time, he’ll wash my hair for me and again, I generally just trust that he’s done it right. The same for making decisions and moving onto different tasks – I’ll often just ask him if I’ve done enough to move on, if I’ve done it right enough, if he’s certain etc etc, and will move on much quicker after he has told me it’s the right thing to do versus me trying to come to that conclusion myself.

Basically, taking decisions out of the hands of someone who suffers with these sorts of tendencies is probably the best way to help (although, not taking full control – if someone were to choose an outfit for me to wear and there were very specific reasons why I couldn’t wear those items in my mind, I’d be VERY upset if they insisted I wear that outfit, if that makes sense? It has to be in ways that the sufferer actually agrees would be helpful!)

Storm

Advertisements
3

Depression Triggers

Following on from my last post…

I also have depression. Yay!

And I get depressed a lot.

Sometimes this can be worsened or brought on by a “trigger”.

I’m going to list some of my triggers – maybe the list will help some of you know what sort of things to AVOID if you have someone in your life who is also suffering from depression, or maybe it can be something you can relate to if you have depression, or something that can educate you, or entertain you?

I dunno guys, use it however you will.


 

1.) My relationship with my partner not being exactly how I want it to be. Maybe I overthink the situation when he doesn’t give me enough attention, which leads to me feeling really un-special, unattractive, plummets my self confidence, makes me really dislike myself and my life and wish my relationship was more than it is and ugh… Leads to depression. Guys, just to clarify, my partner is amazing. I’m just a person who needs a certain amount of attention from their partner to actually feel like I’m wanted so when he isn’t feeling very affectionate towards me, it brings on my depression haaaaaard.

2.) Not waking up at a good time. You know how nice and, well, NORMAL it feels for most people to simply wake up at like 07:00? On a full 7-8 hours of deep, undisturbed sleep? Yeah, that doesn’t happen to me. This is the earliest I’ve been awake in a while – and it’s around 10:15. I go to sleep at maybe 03:00 at night. My sleep is disturbed because I always go to sleep super anxious, and watch maybe 3 hours of TV in bed before sleeping. Before bed is usually when I discuss problems I had in my day with my partner, so I also normally go to sleep really down and ugh… It’s just proper screwed up and disorganised and it’s really really difficult to wake up happy after sleeps like I have!!! I should be in bed at 23:00, without any electronics or anything, after having taken a bath and after having a GOOD evening with my partner and a really productive day, and then just actually fall asleep easily for a good 7-8 hours. That’s all I need. It really sucks starting every single day late. Caused by depression and induces depression, a beautiful cycle. This also leads to me sleeping during the day and having an even less productive day and leads to even more depression and leads to my night sleep causing me to actually be over-rested, so I also always wake up with a headache and feeling unwell. Amazing.

3.) Not doing well on my degree. I’ve been missing SO many lectures recently because of my lack of energy and my weird sleeping pattern. I’ve been hardly working, and earlier this week I received the first grade that I’ve been very unhappy with this Semester. It’s okay, I’ve come to terms with it and have thought of a way to level out my grade to bring it back up, but it’s just upsetting. I have an assignment I wanted to hand in tomorrow that I haven’t even started. It’s just never-ending work which is just almost impossible for somebody with mental health problems to actually succeed with. I just feel lazy and really disappointed in myself for not doing better, and I know everybody else just views me as lazy and unreliable as well. It’s easy to judge what you don’t know or don’t care to understand.

4.) Not having a great support network. I don’t have any close friends whatsoever. I have my partner, my mother, my little sister, my little brother, my older brother, my older sister and my father. That’s every single human being that I feel I can turn to. I also have my niece and nephew but y’know, they’re kids. I plan to get married next Summer or possibly the Summer after, and those are all the people (minus my little sister who’s in America, and my partner who will obviously attend) who I will invite. With me having full power to invite whoever I wish, 7 people, at maximum, will attend my side of my wedding. I mean, it could be worse, I could have a small immediate family. The problem is though, that as I said before, my little sister lives in America and well, the rest of my family all live in Glasgow (I live in London), so they’re not exactly super close. I hardly see them. I hardly speak to them. It sucks.

5.) The fact that my anxiety is kinda taking over every aspect of my life. I’ve bought bags and bags of beautiful new clothes, that have just remained in their bags for literally 2 years, all because of my anxiety. No, clothes do not scare me. The decision to just wear them when I had planned to do haul blog posts with them scare me. The prospect of all the steps it takes to create a haul blog post scares me. This is the exact same problem I have with using bath bombs I bought like, 3 years ago. Nothing in my life is simple anymore because my anxiety over-complicates EVERYTHING. Which leads to depression.

6.) Winter. I hate worrying about having the heating on all the time. I hate feeling cold. I hate the static in my hair. I hate the silence and stillness. I hate how ugly it looks outside, how dark and glum it is. I just despise it. I get seasonal depression every single year without fail, meaning that although I have general depression year round, my depression gets more severe during the winter months. Which is just lovely when everybody else is so excited about finishing up work / education for the winter and about Christmas.

7.) Just not being who I want myself to be. I feel like if it wasn’t for my anxiety and depression, I’d be who I actually want to be and feel like I AM, on the outside. I’d be able to live my life in a way that reflects my actual wants, likes, beliefs. I’d have hobbies, a good routine, friends. I’d have all the tattoos and piercings I’ve wanted to have for years, would wear the clothes I love, would go out and just be happy and enjoy myself. Instead I’m just quiet, isolated, unhappy, anxious.


 

The only ways I find relief from my depression is when things actually go right, which is kinda rare?

It’s not that I’m ungrateful – I am SO grateful for what I have. I do feel that it’s difficult for me to get things right and how I want them to be though.

I’m very critical, and am a perfectionist at heart, so unless I feel like something is basically done exactly how I want it to be done, I won’t be happy. I know that it’s bad, and is something I’ll work on.

If there’s somebody you care about who is suffering with depression, keep this perspective in mind. Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand, so it’s likely that similar things will “stimulate” their depression.

My advice would be to just help. Help make things in their life easier. Help make things actually go RIGHT in their lives – whether that’s getting out of bed at the time they wish they would, or going to bed at the time they wish they would, or getting them to shower before bed so that it’s one less thing they’ll have to worry about in the morning. Whether it’s through being the support that you are and taking them out, bringing some fun and excitement into their life. Showing you care about them by making them a card, giving them cuddles, complimenting them.

Helping them get their to-do list done!!!

I think that’s genuinely the biggest way to help somebody with their depression. Go onto trello.com, create a ‘To do’ list, a ‘Doing’ list and a ‘Done’ list, and ask them every single thing in their mind that they would like to get done, big or small. Fill up the to-do list, and update it every few days with new things that they’d like to do. Help them get items moved to the ‘Doing’ list and ultimately, the ‘Done’ list. Trust me, this will help them SO much!

Storm

4

Anxiety Triggers

I have anxiety.

I have BAD anxiety.

It doesn’t ever really go away, the only escape I have from feeling worried, stressed, irritable, scared, unfocussed, from overthinking or over-planning is when I’m distracting myself with comforts, and push my worries to the back of my mind.

They’ll still be present, but will kinda be in the background.

This happens when I’m able to just lay down and talk with my mother online about random things.

This happens when I’m able to go to bed and have my partner give me a nice shoulder and back massage.

And that’s about it.

The majority of each and everyday is spent avoiding stress and being stressed.

I thought I’d write about some of my triggers, because as my anxiety progresses, I realise that even though my triggers seem blatantly obvious to me, others either just don’t think about them or don’t care about them very much, or about the effect they have on me.

So I need to vent and yeah, I don’t know, writing about my triggers somehow makes me feel like somebody else is really taking in what I’m trying to say will actually HELP me A LOT.

IF YOU CARE ABOUT ME AT ALL PLEASE AVOID THESE THINGS AROUND ME AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.


 

1.) Loud noises. Actually, any disturbing, distracting sound to whatever the ambient background sound is for that particular setting. I hate it when my partner E-cigs, because that sound just breaks through any background sound and it just spurs on my anxiety. I hate the sound of dishes clanking when somebody is preparing to cook, or is doing the washing up, or is whacking the cooking utensil on the side of the pan. I hate the sound of people coughing. I hate the sound of phones ringing, or of doorbells buzzing. The sound of people moving furniture around or hoovering in the flat above me… Or the sound of them walking around REALLY loudly. I hate the sound of typing… I hate the sound of tapping really hard on an iPad or phone screen to click. I hate the sound of extractor fans. I hate the sound of fiddling with an object, like clicking a pen non-stop. I hate the sound of loud talking while in a library. ANY OF THESE INCIDENTS will LITERALLY make me unable to think, until the sound stops. My focus is so bad that I just can’t deal with those sounds. They make me freeze up, and just wait until it’s over, so that I can actually resume my thoughts. Just imagine that for a second. I mean, these are occurrences that happen multiple times in a day that most people don’t even notice. Well, I do. It sounds ridiculous but these interruptive sounds – oh, yawns aswell… Ugh, I hate the sounds of yawns in the morning. Anyway, these interruptive sounds LITERALLY DISABLE ME. I become entirely UNABLE to process thoughts while these sounds are going on, and even once they have ended, I find it much more difficult to process thoughts afterwards and it takes me much longer to, well, think.

2.) Interruptive things in my view. This includes pacing, fiddling with something, staring at me while I’m trying to focus… Even just people walking around in the kinda “background” of my view while I’m trying to focus, I NOTICE IT. Wow, writing this makes me realise just how bad it is, but this is all genuinely true. Again, it can be really difficult to focus with these distracting movements going on, although they are nowhere near as triggering as the sounds thing. Oh, and pop-ups in the corner of the screen. And the messenger tab flashing when somebody messages me. And you know the little line that flashes when you stop typing? That.

3.) Asking me questions, ESPECIALLY TO MAKE DECISIONS. PLEASE GOD NO. Ask me what I want to eat for dinner? You may end up waiting like, 2 hours, with me going back and fourth in conversation with myself trying to make a decision, only to end with me crying and having a breakdown. Not even kidding. Decisions can be okay sometimes, but usually not. The worst kind of question / decision making thing is when somebody asks for me to confirm something I had already decided previously. E.g. I decide I want something for dinner and tell them, and they then ask “So you really want that thing for dinner?” Ugh. As soon as they ask that stupid, stupid question, my brain overanalyses and we have another couple of hours of decision making, distress, headaches and anger on our hands. Please, if I make a decision about something, DON’T QUESTION IT. I don’t mind if it’s like “Oh cool, why do you think that?” Just not the “Are you sure?” sort of questions. Just don’t. Yes, I’m sure. I already made that decision, please do not put me through the pain of making it again!!!

4.) Time limits. Having to get ready in the morning to be on-time for lectures everyday. Having to go to bed before a certain time in order to achieve my 7 1/2 hours of sleep per night. Having to take a pill at the same time everyday. Deadlines. Having a party at a certain time. Someone asking if I want to hang out last minute, requiring me to have to get ready quickly in order to meet them in time. Mostly the getting ready thing. Jese. The amount of breakdowns I’ve had in the mornings, the amount of times I’ve stood in the shower balling my eyes out, the amount of times I’ve finished my makeup and find myself just crying it all back off once I see what time it is. Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I hate it. I CAN’T FUNCTION UNDER THESE CONDITIONS. Once you put a time constraint on me, it takes me twice as long to achieve anything. It’s the pressure, the stress. For example, I only ever really manage to answer around half the questions in multiple choice exams and have to just gamble on the rest. I’m late to things multiple times a week. THIS IS NOT LAZINESS OR ME BEING UNPROFESSIONAL. This is me setting myself a decent hour to get ready and my anxiety making it take me an hour just to wash my bloody hair. It is NOT my fault. Have kindness people and do not judge situations based on preconceptions.

5.) Asking me about my day, my progress, my plans, my achievements or talking about your day, your achievements, your plans etc. Even if it’s just asking me what I want to do today, or telling me what your plan for the day is. It just stresses me out so much and makes me super tense. I hate all of those conversation topics. It makes me go into this overanalysing mode and makes me tense up and feel really uncomfortable.

6.) Doing things that interrupt my day or what I’m working on. It takes me so long to decide anything, and even longer to get started working on the activity I decided on doing. So, once I’ve started said activity, please, do not get in my way or break my focus. I hate it when I’m tidying up, only to have somebody sitting RIGHT where I need to tidy, when my entire goal was to get the place super perfectly tidy. I know it sounds really extreme but ugh, this is my life guys. This is a lot of people’s life.

 


Those are the biggies!

I’m sure I come across as rude in this post but eh, I’m just, y’know, stressed out. As usual 😀

Storm