Please help me sensorimotor ocd

13 January 2020 - 8:21

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Please help me

Hi folksI can’t believe I’m posting here as a couple of weeks ago i was fine but i have since fallen into a deep hole with no light, i am a 38 year old man who throughout my life i have suffered from severe anxiety/depression periodically and then I’ll be fine for years until the next episode.At the moment I am having severe anxiety around my breathing, basically I can’t stop focusing on it all day and night, everytime i notice my breathing my heart rate goes up and adrenaline is released, i only get relief through drinking alcohol which numbs my fear for a bit but comes back stronger. I am terrified as my life is unraveling very quickly, this all started with a thought what if I cannot get my mind off my breathing one night as i lay in bed and boom a great fear took hold and ever since then I can’t pull my mind away to normal thoughts. 

My thought is as i breathe all the time then I’m going to notice it all the time, the feeling that it never stops kills me, i need to accept that it’s just there and it is harmless but it’s robbed me of my appetite and my sleep. I lay there at night focused on the in out in out, everytime i start drifing off boom my mind pulls me back to it and i get the adrenaline spike with anxiety I have a good job and partner and a beautiful daughter who we absolutely adore and i am scared off it all coming apart if I can’t function, I’m scared my job will collapse and very worried for our future, I cannot physically go on like this, no sleep for three days no appetite etc etc, i am scared this is what my life is now and how long i can endure it.I saw a psychiatrist on Thursday but he was digging into my past and it was frustrating as I need immediate help with this breathing obsession, the closest thing i found online was that it is a form of ocd called sensorimotor ocd which is triggered by a huge depression and i have gad also. I should state i had this same issue back in 2009 with the breathing and somehow it lifted off me and could get on with my life but I cannot understand how i beat or how i got to a place of it not worrying me, breathing cuts my thoughts and feelings off at every turn and my sleep. I never taken medication for fear of side effects but think now I really need to.Any advice on what I can do here?Thank you

15 January 2020 - 16:46

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Is there anybody here that can help me offer some advice on what I’m going through, I’ve visited doctors who are telling me i am very depressed and my response is yes i am depressed but because i cannot pull my mind away from breathing and perceive it in a negative way, it’s exhausting, i fear going to bed now, it’s so hard I can’t snap out of it, i close my eyes at night and all i can think off is the in out in out which never stops and will never stop, i know it sounds crazy i just wish I could stop breathing it distracting to the point of being extremely distressing, my mind is trapped by my body, any advice at all would be greatly appreciated



18 January 2020 - 13:58

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Hi there,

I am so sorry to hear you have been suffering as a result of these thoughts and been having sleepless nights- it's horrible and I will try to help in anyway I can.

We are not medically trained here at OCD Action or on this forum and so can not offer a diagnosis or medical advice, but I can provide some information that I have of OCD and some support. 

It does seem as though what you are experiencing is OCD- but it is worth going to the GP to discuss the thoughts you have been having to see whether you have an official diagnosis- have you already done this specifically for OCD? If you speak to a GP particularly about these thoughts, they could potentially diagnose you with OCD and then help refer you to treatment services that can help you and the problems you are specifically going through right now. I will leave a link below to a GP card that we have on our website, which you can give to your GP to help to get the conversation going if you’re nervous or don't know how to explain it as much.

If a GP says you have OCD/has already said this, they are able to refer you to 2 different main course of treatment- CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and/or anti-obsessional medication, which can help to reduce the anxiety that can accompany intrusive thoughts. 

Let me know which of these steps you have taken in order to get help and I can further assist you. Please remember you aren't alone in this, as you can see through this forum where many others are in the same situation as you. Support is always around you.

Best wishes,


29 January 2020 - 0:14

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Poor Janman, hugs from me. That can be a right scary one when we feel like there is no way I cannot not focus on my breathing. Would this be something you have had for a long time or is this a new worry that has come up?  The mind can be so cruel, I feel like the GP card might be a good one for yourself, you might feel that your are not getting the point over to the doctor, try to see if you can get a referral to a specialist if you can.  I know we tend not to have too much time when we see the doctor and we may forget to say something that we had in our mind beforehand.

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