Rumination Regret

This post has been thanked 2 times. 10 December 2011 - 21:39

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Dear all,

I've just signed up onto this forum and great to see there's so much support out there from one ocd 'comrade' to another!

So onto my question/discussion: I have had 'Pure-O' for about 16 years now where most of my checking and neutralising occurs internally (sometimes its externally but normally its in the mind). One problem this causes (amongst many others) is this: I get a 'spike'; engage my thoughts on the spike; get stressed about it; and eventually feel 'better' again. After this,I then tend to spend a lot more time ruminating about the fact I have just 'ruined' that part of my day because I was engaging in an intrusive thought. My thought pattern in this instance goes like this: 'because i just got so agitated about that thought i've ruined my weekend/day'....I then have to 'neutralise' that new thought by convincing myself that I haven't ruined my day/weekend! I had a spike this morning (that I might have offended a work colleague yesterday) while I was chatting to my girlfriend and kind of 'switched off' to what she was saying for about 10 mins (because of the spike). I have since spent the rest of today (on and off) ruminating that the fact I engaged with the spike this morning has ruined my weekend because I have let get in the way of my day to day activity. I am also very fretful because once again, I have not been able to achieve a whole weekend without engaging with my intrusive thoughts. I often get this feeling during any time I have been looking forward to (e.g. a weekend; a holiday; a night out etc). The paradox is that I am ruminating on ruining my weekend so much that it is starting to ruin my weekend! I have had this aspect of my ocd for years.

Please shoot from the hip and tell me if any of you guys have this same type of issue with your ocd?

I feel like ocd has 'spoilt' so many moments in my life which should have been enjoyable..

Any thoughts or advice would be welcome......

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29 December 2011 - 22:49

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Hi Northlondon,

well done -- it's brilliant that you have taken that big step and sorted out another round of CBT for your OCD. That's fantastic!

Like you, I also self-referred through IAPT. (Also in the London area.) It's great that you're telling people about that, as many people aren't aware of IAPT, or have heard how long the waiting lists are in some areas of the country, so they haven't tried referring themselves directly to a mental health unit.

Out of interest, how long was your waiting time, between contacting the mental health unit (through IAPT), and the start of your CBT course?

My waiting time was about 3 months. (But as I stressed to them that I was in a bad way and couldn't wait 3 months, they agreed to let me see a trainee therapist while I was waiting for the CBT course.) So I was getting some form of talking therapy (with a trainee) within 2 weeks of my first phone call, which was a life-saver at the time.

To give other forum users an idea of waiting times, maybe you could say how long your waiting time for CBT was from your initial contact with the mental health unit?

Good work, Northlondon -- what a star!!!

29 December 2011 - 23:02

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Thanks Londoner!

To answer your question, I think I waited approximately about 6 weeks from the point my GP referred me to IAPT to the point where I was given an initial assessment by IAPT (in the Barnet borough).

I was then contacted about 3 weeks after the initial assessment to book my first therapy session, so all in all just over 2 months to get my first session....not too bad really. I guess it all depends on what area you live in in terms of waiting time but CBT should be available all over the UK (on the NHS) as far as I'm aware.

I would say to people to not be put off by waiting times as in many cases they are not actually so bad. While you're waiting for therapy you can always buy yourself a CBT book and use forums like this one.

30 December 2011 - 17:48

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Hi everyone, I can reccomend the above too... I'm wondering if I can use the self referral process to find out how long I need to wait to actually start CBT, but I don't think it wil be long now anyway, fingers crossed! Wannabe

31 December 2011 - 9:10

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Hi Wannabe,

re: your question above, here are some personal tips / questions:

(1) Has the mental health unit given you an assessment? And have they given you an approximate date for the start of your CBT? (e.g. have they said how many weeks or months the waiting time is, approximately?)

(2) If they haven't, then contact the mental health unit when you can, and ask them to give you an approximate start date. (i.e. ask them how many weeks or months, approximately, it will be before your CBT starts.) If they can't give you a rough idea, then this is very worrying.

(3) To look into the IAPT services available in your area, use the following link:

(NHS Choices – page where you enter your postcode

http://www.nhs.uk/ServiceDirectories/Pages/ServiceSearchAdditional.aspx?ServiceType=PsychologicalTherapyservices

Enter your home postcode in the box on the left hand side of the screen. A list of mental health units should come up on screen. (These are the closest mental health units in your area.) The top one is probably the one closest to where you live.

Click on each of the mental health units listed, starting at the top. (Hopefully you know which mental health unit your GP has referred you to. If not, call your GP surgery and ask the receptionist to look at your file and tell you which mental health unit you were referred to, and what their phone number is.) Make sure that you look at that mental health unit on the website that's listed above. (It's the "NHS Choices" website.)

When you click on each of the mental health units listed, it will bring up a page devoted to each unit. It will show the following information: - A map - Phone number, email, and address details - It will say whether your GP has to refer you there, or if you can self-refer. - It will describe what sorts of patients they see at that unit, and what sorts of severity of mental health problems they treat. - For example, some units will say that you have to be referred by a GP. Others will say that you can also self-refer. (Some will say they specialize for children and adolescents, etc.)

Call up the mental health unit that your GP has referred you to. (Don't assume the GP has referred you to the most appropriate mental health unit. You might notice that one of the units seems more appropriate. Or you might see that the one your GP has referred you to is the best looking unit on the list.)

If the unit you have been referred to tells you the waiting time is very long, you might want to consider contacting the other mental health units on your list, and calling each of them, and asking about their referral methods and waiting times.

People often refer to a "postcode lottery" with the NHS. In my case, it was a 3 month wait for CBT. For Northlondon (above), it was about 2 months. If the mental health unit is quoting a much longer waiting time, ask them if there are any services they can offer you in the meantime, as you are very distressed by your OCD, and it is badly affecting your quality of life. (If they can't offer you any help at all, you won't be any worse off than you are just waiting for them to contact you.)

My local NHS mental health unit offered to let me see a trainee therapist while I was waiting for my CBT to begin. I gladly accepted this, under the agreement that I would still get the course of CBT after 3 months. Seeing a trainee therapist was really really helpful for me personally. Although I should point out (as she did) that was not trained to treat my OCD, so we worked on stress and worrying, and she referred all my OCD questions to her supervisor, who then gave her responses to tell me in the following session.

My own experience on the NHS has been really good. I'm sure there are lots and lots of horror stories out there, but as one of my work colleagues often likes to say: "Don't ask, don't get."

Wannabe, if you you have any questions about using the attached link (the NHS Choices website), or any questions about IAPT or dealing with mental health units, then feel free to send a message to my profile, and I will help you in any way I can.

(Other readers please note: Wannabe was asking about self-referring to IAPT, so I am offering him the help that he asked for. My advice is for Wannabe, and should not be interpreted as me saying that CBT and IAPT or the NHS are the answers to everyone's problems. Just because my experience on the NHS has been very good, doesn't mean that everyone else's will, and my advice represents my own opinions, based on my own personal experiences. To everyone who has had bad experiences using therapists, the NHS, IAPT, or CBT, please note that I absolutely respect and admire your right to choose different forms of treatment. My personal advice to Wannabe should in no way be interpreted as being fact (rather than my opinion), and should not be interpreted as being the only way to recover from OCD.)

I hope that's enough disclaimers! ops:

All the best, Wannabe, and message me if you want any help.

Take care.

31 December 2011 - 20:05

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Hi Londoner, thank you for the link, it is really useful, and has some places I hadn't heard of in my area, so I can check them out... The centre where I had my assessment is there so I'll give them a phone call early in the new year, and see what I can find out... I would recommend NHS Choices to anyone, it is a eally useful resource, and provides local information, which is really good... Thank you ever so much... P.S. You shouldn't worry about disclaimers, cos everyone can use this information, cos we are all simply trying to suggest help to each other, and it needs to be accepted in the spirit in which it is given... We're all a fantastic support group on here, and I'm grateful for that too! Wannabe

This post has been thanked 1 time. 22 August 2017 - 22:34

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For the first time in a long time I feel normal after reading this post! I have OCD in it's varying forms for my whole life and regret has played a big part. I just thought I had an issue with 'regret' but it's only now I am linking the two and googled it and found forums such as these! I always analyse over and over what I have or haven't done, where I caused something to go wrong, and its like a loop in my head repeating. I can't CBT my way out of it like others can. I just have to let it run its course, although dance and meditation and acupuncture (for anxiety) are my 3 big saviours. Now this post is my fourth! Thank u for making me realise that I'm not the only one with an unhealthy obsession over regret. It comes down to feeling you don't deserve happiness...u 'f*** it up somehow' and keep making mistakes that u don't learn from. I know all this about unworthiness but it's like a switch u can't turn off, it controls you. However I find activity is the best cure. Living I'm the present takes effort but I still acknowledge my obsessions about the past, what I did or didn't do in relationships etc. it's part of who I am...my experience in this lifetime. But I read a great quote once 'you can never regret any decision because it's the only decision u could have made given the Information and mindset you had at the time'. So true, and nice to know people without OCD also border on the feelings and thought patterns we OCD sufferers experience. Even writing on this blog is like a compulsion ritual for me but yeah I'm regretting time spent on here instead of living my life, or staying up too late, or eating that thing, or saying this or that. It's endless and excruciating...and then it robs me of enjoying the present moment, which then causes further regret! Vicious cycle...but seriously there are strategies to 'turn down the volume...not cure it completely because I don't think it can be...it might have to do with having a pronounced reptilian complex in the brain, which is associated with ritualised behaviours. I also relate to what you're saying about 'neutralising' thoughts - I tend to 'balance' out a thought with an opposing thought, and have a thing with even numbers and more so symmetry, so 3 thoughts of a similar nature will need to be balanced out with 3 thoughts of an opposing nature...and this can often ameliorate the regret. Crazy I know! But this is how the OCD brain works....

1 October 2020 - 15:56

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Hi there!

Well, my name is P., Im from Spain and although I have never had a proper diagnosis, the fact is that I have anxiety. Yes, if Im here is because I have some sort of anxiety indeed. The fact that I made a lot of research and that I found this forum explains itself. I suspect that I have Pure O, because throught my life I experience some symptoms that apparently matches with the ilness. 

Well, I have always been very shy and inward, but I managed to become a friendly person and very open minded. Thing is that everytime I am assaulted by intrusive thoughts. Some are entirely normal since as far as Im concerned, everybody has them. But I really doubt that everyone thinks about stabbing his dad while cooking in the kitchen with a sharp knife in their hands, or things about hitting his mate when he is sitted next driving, or breaking or distroying the presents given by the beloved ones just to make them suffer; or hanging GF, or make her suffer in an horrendous way. Those are thoughst that terrify me, but instantly go away. A big more deal are the ones about lies to my GF. When I mean lies I am not referring to the "common ones", but lies that implies not telling the truth about any single detail. Yes, for me cheating is almost unthinkable. Although obviously I lie because It is unwise to tell the truth about every  field of your personal life as far as Im concerned. But yes, if I do not tell the truth, not avoiding it, I feel miserable, and cant stop thinking on it.

I have a lot of examples on this respect. The rumination thing. Whenever I go partying, the nex day and the day after my mind is constantly looking for mistakes I could have made while I was drunk. Yes I had problems with alcohol, and there was a time when I used to mix it with MDMA, marihuana, hashish, cocaine and speed. Makes me forget about intrusive thoughts and I feel invincible, confident, and makes me feel the environment as safe (I know that it is the opposite).

So I basically spend my hours searching for any detail in order to be calm and reassure me that I said nothing inapropiate. I make in my mind "party remakes". Because I tend to be inward, remember? And when I drink I dont give a f***. Thing is that the day after is hell. Pretty much than the day before indeed.

At this point I would like to say..SORRY ABOUT MY GRAMMAR, MY DENSITY AND MISTAKES.

I continue....I always feared talking to girls. Not because Im timid, although I am. But because I fear that they could think that Im trying something with them. Same happens with boys, or kids or infants: they could think, or someone around, that Im trying to do something nasty. Not everytime happens this, I recall one day when I was talking with my students after classes and I was so scared that I could kiss one of them that I was about to run away (its a saying). And, I researched on the internet several times wether Im gay or not due to the fact that I like gay porn and trans porn, and I enjoyed fantasizing with that. In fact, I have everytime intrusive sexual thoughts but also heterosexual. I think this is related with the taboo thing that turns me on and compensates my lack of dopamine, because I tried sex with men and It was, personally, disgusting. It was my experience sorry. Maybe Id like to enjoy but I didnt. Maybe it is due to my religious or moral (christian) scrupulosity because I studied in a catholic school. Nevertheless I was high when doing it and even though I didnt like it and I felt miserable about that time after. I kept researching and researching.....Still dont know the answer, although I have a meaninful and longlasting relationship with a girl, and I really like sex with her. I have been very promiscuous with girls also, but dont like it in the end. Its more that I like the idea more than doing it.

I sometimes get stuck readin or studying in my thoughts, and I cant continue my reading unless I solve my internal problem and Im in the mood. Also i procastinate every single task that implies a little bit of will, I hoard everything because fear of need items after, I also chech several times wether I lock the doors or the lights/house alarm are swithched.

OH! This one..Im so scared to run over a pedestrian in the city center that I try to avoid going by car. Also I reread emails several times before I send theme because I am scared something wrong was said. Same like Whatsapp messages: I try hard for anyone not to be offended. I do always apologize a lot, and I say thanks many many many times. One may think that Im either honest and stupid. Maybe Im both, I think the latter fits me most. I totally lack of character, and when violent ocasions comes, I am paralized or brutal. No middle term. I am the white black boy, everything or nothing thinking. Perfectionist. Better not to start a proyect or a task if its NOT PERFECT. I end thinks quickly, in the last minute, and obviously, its NOT PERFECT. But I live for my preocupations. I live things before and worry about them. I regret the time I was thinking in another thing and not living the moment. I do also regret the time I am regreting not being living the moment.

THE LIST GOES ON.....

Once I thought I had asperger and I made doctors test me several time, X rays....I dont have asperger. Recently I made my 3 AIDS test and hepatitis, because Im scared that in the past I could have been infected and my GF could suffer the consequences. I am pretty much terrified about what could happen to others rather than to myself, but I consider myself a selfish person after all.

What do you think about my symptoms? Its like Id like to have OCD in order to start some sort of treatment. I gave up alcohol and Im starting therapy. Once more. But the truth is that Im very anxious for a dagnosis.

Well, I love you all!!! feel free to reply or not, I know this has been dull and of very poor writing. In any case, I wish u the best because u all deserve it. But  I feel that I dont. I do not think too much in the future because I feel the whole time like a kid, inwards.

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