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      (content warning for suicidal ideation – also this is very much just my specific experience! I’m sorry this is so heavy lol)

      Hi everyone, so a month or so ago I finished my 12-week course of CBT with an NHS therapist. My therapist was lovely and really tried her best, however it was quite difficult as it was a phonecall-based course (we never saw each other face to face) and she didn’t really have any experience with my specific obsessions (existential, death, reality etc), and so kind of had to figure out how to deal with me on the fly.

      When confronted with a trigger, I tend to struggle a lot with immediate thoughts of suicidal ideation, and regardless of this I’m sure I can speak for everyone when I say that doing the exposures was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Thing is, since my course finished, I haven’t really been keeping up with regular exposures.

      CBT is based on the idea that after an exposure, your anxiety levels will naturally start to decrease, and this seems to really work for most people, however in my specific situation I found that the regular exposures kept me at a permanent state of miserable anxiety, and because of regularly looking at this stuff, I was constantly giving myself new material to ruminate on. It’s really hard to exist while you’re constantly imagining killing yourself, and this is why I stopped.

      I was also speaking to my boyfriend about this, and he seems to think (and I think he’s right) that my obsession is deeply tied in with the death of my dad a few years ago, and it’s impossible to treat the OCD without looking at the bigger picture of the grief that fuels it.

      I know that CBT is the gold standard and seems to really work for most people – and I desperately wanted it to work for me. I think I really just want to know if I was doing something wrong – I really feel like a coward for avoiding triggers again, and I can feel myself becoming sensitised to them again! Should I be pursuing grief therapy instead, or combine it?

      (footnote: I want to emphasise that this is suicidal ideation, and it’s not something I would do in reality. there’s no actual risk and I think going into a psych ward would make everything worse)

      Forum Moderators


        Forum moderators here; we would like to remind you that you can also look at the OCD Action website for resources about therapy for OCD.

        Have a look at our Treatment Overview page – it’s important that you know as much as you can about your treatment options and what good treatment looks like. We have a range of information for you to help you:

        You can also contact the OCD Action Helpline to talk to or email someone who understands OCD.

        Our Helpline volunteers provide confidential and unbiased help, information and support for people with OCD (and anyone who thinks they may have OCD). Most volunteers have personal experience of OCD; all understand OCD and how it can impact your entire life.

        Contact our Helpline by:

        • phone: 0300 636 5478 (this is a UK number).
        • email:

        You can also find out about support groups on our website. These offer a safe place where you can talk openly about OCD and support other people too. Our information about UK-based groups can be found here:

        If you don’t live in the UK, you can look for groups near you on the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) website. Look in the section “Find Help” and then under “Listing Types”, choose “Support Groups”:

        And please remember that you’re never alone – OCD Action is always here to help and support you.

        Best wishes

        Forum Moderators

        Forum Moderators


          Forum Moderators again; We just want to remind you that you can also contact the OCD Action Helpline to talk to or email someone who understands OCD.

          You can get confidential information and support for your OCD from a Helpline volunteer who knows how OCD can impact your life. Contact our Helpline by:

          • phone: 0300 636 5478
          • email:

          We hope this reminder is helpful,

          Best wishes,

          Forum Moderators

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