Hi there. I'm sorry to hear you are going through this. As you know OCD is genetic and each person's OCD varies in the degree of severity. It is thought that it is based on brain chemistry and specifically the lack of certain neurotransmitters. This is why the doctor said the pot, etc. screwed up your brain chemistry and it does sometimes make the situation worse. But honestly since I am not a doctor I can't really say for sure that this is the case. I also think that too much isn't always good and that you were probably over-medicated.
We have to be able to function in our daily lives and so I hear where you are coming from. I will tell you that I take Wellbutrin, 300 mg during the day and 1 mg of klonopin at night to sleep. Sleep is crucial to a person with OCD because a sleep-deprived person doesn't have the mental wherewithall to battle OCD on a constant basis during the day and medication while it does help does not take away all the problems related to OCD. That constant battle also can lead to depression because who the hell wants to live this way right?!?
So out of all the medications you took, was there one that helped more than the others? Do you want to try perhaps my regimen which is one med during the day (extended release) and a med to help you sleep at night? I have yet to find someone that has found help going the naturopathic route.
You wouldn't want a drug like Wellbutrin because it stops the reuptake of norepinephrine and you apparently already have an abundance of that. It could be having the reverse effect on you.
So just from my personal experience...it is hard to help yourself when you are in a heightened state of anxiety. I'm sure you have learned CBT. I read this book when I was in a "crisis" situation and it helped me tremendously. Self-Coaching by Joseph Luciani. Basically we need to retrain our brains and the way we think. We are doom and gloom naturally and we need to try to look at things from a different perspective. We need to stop thoughts before they take on a life of their own.
Lastly, have you considered admitting yourself so that the docs can help you get a handle on this? Sometimes we need a time out because the battle has been too long.
Sorry if I haven't been any help. It is difficult for me since medication and CBT do work for me. When I wasn't on meds I relied solely on my CBT and it did work for quite a number of years. I was never OCD free but I managed. Unfortunately stress makes OCD worse and so any stressful event can send us off the OCD cliff.
Thank you for the reply.
I will continue to consider all options and work hard
As a fellow chronic anxiety sufferer for some 30 years, I would like to offer some thoughts and observations on my struggles with this. Maybe I could be helpful practically, or at least somehow comforting for you to know others' ways of handling and dealing, I feel somehow I am benefiting myself with compassion for you, so thank you for giving me this opportunity to express.
I am a 52 year old male, have had some personal version of GAD / OCD for just about my whole life (I do not have fortunately the depressive tendency however, but still feel a constant inner turmoil ranging from mild edginess - that's my good feeling - to utterly preoccupied nervous fearful / high-intensity agnst trembling even terrified), I suppose you "know the feeling".
On basic symptoms, well, though I am a pretty well functioning person I suppose, I feel this constant physical nervousness through my body, cognitively my thoughts (obsessions) go quickly to horrible (imagined) outcomes: tortures, diseases, planes crashing, cancers (all types, there are just so many to choose from) deadly viruses invading me (especially HIV, no matter the assurances against), and then if not this than more mundane hells like loss of all income, unemployment, etc etc etc any and all worse case scenarios that any person would really not want to experience.
I also find little things very very disturbing, like the sound of people chewing, anyone ever blowing nose near me, sound of kids playing when I am doing anything, and lots more..it feels like I am on edge and worried *all the f **cking time*. I sleep only with the help of 10mg Ambien each night (works great by the way). Yet, and this is where you and I depart I guess...I have never taken psychoactive drugs to treat this. (maybe I should, but ironically my neurosis prevents me from allowing myself the risks of side effects!) I spend great effort to be calm and dream of being even (dare I say) serene (what a lovely notion) - good diet, lotta exercise, yoga, mediation, friendships,relationships, essentially try to do all that healthy normal adult should do to live a good life as Aristotle would have described it. And yet, it is really damn hard!! because I just dont FEEL ok, I feel w-o-r-r-i-e-d..
And so finally, here is my take away:
What I have found that works ( helps me restore somewhat my sense of calm and sanity and thus ability to enjoy the passing moments of life) are these
(1) I continually sit down and research exactly what it is I am obsessing about, and come to determine exactly how it is premised on a FALSE belief or on extreme misperception of probability. It takes me many many tries, but I do get there. For example, think Howie Mandel - fearing handshakes; he needs to actually read with utter intense interest the literal factual science of disease transfer from microbes across skin surfaces. When he finds that his obsession is not rational (scientifically absurd) he then has only to confront the brute fact that he is CHOOSING to freak himself out. (which leads to the next part). Or, if airplane phobia, really really absorb the science, learn the fundamental difference between a fact (here, that turbulents are NOT a threat to the plane) and your imagination (the plane is shaking... i am going to land in the middle of the pacific ocean and be slowly eaten by sharks!! or some version of, etc) are entirely different..facts vs your imagination. Yes, I am saying that OCD is in part an epistemological disorder (the "doubting disease" as its called) . What actually IS and what we invent in our minds is not being processed as different. It must be. This is how to start healing.
Next: recognise little by little that in some perverse way we are CHOOSING this state. I never really thought of it this way until I was recently watching a youtube of guy named - well, he says he is "channeling the alien so named", pretty nuts I agree but watch what he actually says - Bashar. He somehow landed his point on me very powerfully - we frightened un-self loving beings are actually opting for this way of being becuase we think this is somehow better than not living this way. I found this to be a dramatic paradigm shift for me. In these last 30 years I have always felt my anxiety to come from somewhere between the back of my head and my spine, where I had no way to access the switch...it just "washes over you", ya? My brain is victimising me, its pumping all this "worry-juice" through my soul and I there's not much I can do...that's how its alway felt. Then this wise fellow, nutty he may be, (though I think he's doing it for schtick, and it WORKS), starts hitting a nerve with me about CHOOSING HOW I FEEL. Really? Is that possible? Do I somehow want this torment? (because I think this is what is best)...I somehow got a bit of light into my head...hmm...I guess I do feel it is important to worry, I think by being happy I am allowing myself a "false security" under which my garrisons will surely be overtaken..happiness = death??, in some weird-as-hell way... My point (I think) it that we might actually have some access to the thought/feelings/sensation patterns we are imposing on ourselves. You are electing to be anxious or depressed because you - part of you anyway - really has decided that this is what you want to be. I know it seems too simplistic, like duh, if I could change I would, i know i know, but what if (ssshhh, whisper) it was true?? If you seek the root, the mental switch point, and shine the light of facts and extreme non-probabilitiesm and then truly re-claim your right to self love and happiness as creature of this earth (rather than the self hatred you are currently opting for), I think you will see a way to progress yourself without so many unhealthy drugs.
wonder if anything I have shared here helps... hope so.
Thank you Elevatedbythought!
There is some great stuff in there!!!
I'm Sorry, you are going through this crisis, stressful problem. Don't over do it with the medication. Like JGF25 has said, We all need to train our brains to...think positive and not negative. If it helps, maybe you could read books about anxiety and depression, See if that can help you.
God Bless You! I have read a few of your posts and I thank you so much for giving your time and onsite to us, I will tell my mom about you and this group, you may have no idea how much peace of mind you have given me this early morning. I stumbled across this site because I wanted a group for my mom. Bi wanted to send her on a cruise but I realized her ICD would not let her enjoy it. You have given me hope.