In my last post I mentioned how angry I was feeling with my OCD, and wondered if it was time to seek some solutions, probably therapy, and likely CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy).
Well I’ve only gone and got that ball rolling at long last!!
I spent hours trawling information on numerous websites, and (everyone’s favourite) Google searches, looking for the differences between therapists, psychologists, counsellors, psychoanalysts – what did I need?
- Do I want to understand why I have OCD?
- What life experiences could have increased the likelihood of me developing OCD?
- Is the cause relevant to the treatment?
- Do I want to delve into the why, when my belief has always been that this doesn’t matter it only matters how it can be treated to remove it? Don’t look back just look forward is what I’ve always said.
I think I know the process for treatment if I visit my doctor and ask for help via the NHS, but also knowing that it could take months on a waiting list, I wanted to “strike whilst the iron’s hot” and go down the private route – after all it’s been 11 years since I apathetically, and therefore unsuccessfully, visited a psychotherapist for about 5 sessions of an hour. I’ve had OCD for 28 years, with unsuccessful medication trying to help for half of that period, so it is hard-wired and severe (in my humble opinion).
I then thought maybe if I look at the possible treatments available it may lead me to the title and necessary credentials of the person that could adminster it and …. I really hope to find someone that specialises in all the different traits of OCD I have e.g. contamination, checking, rumination, worry, (mild) hoarding, reassurance etc.
One thing I know I am not interested in is ERP (Exposure Prevention Response) Therapy – I will not be told to look at a toilet with the end goal to be coaxed to lick the toilet seat, as seen on television programmes about treatments!!
However cloudy that research was, it was then confused further by where that professional was based in relation to my home location – London is clearly the place to be to get the best help but as I find it difficult to leave home for more than a couple of hours because I need my own toilet, it is out of the question.
I found out:
- There are websites out there that you can add your postcode and email address to and they will find the nearest professional to help you – some charge a small fee that will include an initial discussion between you, the OCD sufferer, and the professional involved.
- Distance counselling (via phone and email) is available for those unable to leave their home, however it isn’t ideal because body language cannot be taken into consideration.
- A great many professionals treating OCD provide an initial discussion to see if you think you will ‘click’ and feel comfortable to continue receiving their help/advice/treatment.
There was a massive amount of information to sift through, but I didn’t find anything worth pursuing (unfortunately I think?) but at least I could say that I’d spent several hours exploring treatment. However …..
The next day whilst chatting with my daughter I tearfully admitted that I had recently been coming around to the idea of therapy and that I’d made the big step to look at what treatment I could have, and who would need to provide it, but had not come to any conclusions. She works in a mental health facility and studies psychology and had been waited for decades to hear those words come out of my mouth.
Within an hour she had sent me a detailed email. She had found no less than a PROFESSOR to treat me, he has all the experience and credentials I could wish for, he is based in my local town, and at a cost within budget. As a bonus the consulting room shown on the website link she sent me even has leather seats (a huge relief to me as you’ll know if you’ve read my previous posts). What possible excuses do I now have? All my boxes to start therapy are ticked.
The pace of change is faster than I anticipated, but strangely I am surprising myself at how calm I am about these speedy developments. I keep thinking of wise words like “A long journey begins with the first step” and “Change is not a destination but a journey” and I am a big advocate of change is good as I used to be a Change Manager. I don’t know if these are accurate quotes to be able to attribute the originator/author, but …
Change, journey, steps are all words that are helping me to summon up the strength to pick up the phone and call the practice to start dialogue about making an appointment with a professor that could change my life for the better, and could help me become the person I was before the bully OCD took over.