exposureresponseprevention

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    Therapy is exhausing.

    I'm now in week three of actually doing exposures for my ERP therapy. The first couple weeks we focused on less serious obsessions about rust, but yesterday we dove into something much more bothersome: my violent intrusive images. The gross scary picture I had to look at has come into my mind a few times already, and I am doing my best to lean into the uncertainty, I really am. But I don't know if I have the strength to do it by myself without getting swallowed up by the fear and despair. Even when I haven't been thinking about it, I have just felt so exhausted all day today and yesterday. I'm randomly crying and I can't focus very well. I know that it has to suck before it helps, but I don't know how to tell if this is productive distress tolerance or unproductive wallowing in bad feelings. Anyone else who is doing or has done ERP, how do you tell if you're properly leaning into uncertainty and tolerating the associated pain, and when you've taken on an exposure that is too much at the moment and is just overwhelming you with pain? #OCD #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder #ERP #exposureresponseprevention #Therapy #IntrusiveThoughts #Dissociation

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    Learning Every Day #Anxiety #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder

    It is funny - as we get closer to the 1 year anniversary of my husband's OCD explosion and as we see more anxiety and possible OCD in our daughter, I have been thinking - "I'm not an anxious person" - AND THEN IT HIT ME

    I remember being panicked at a text message or email I had sent - what if I offended them -what if they got mad - what if they are ignoring me - what if they are plotting how they will get back at me- why is it taking so long for them to respond - and on and on. Agonizing until the response came, only then did the panic lessen once I realized I hadn't started an unintentional war.

    I am perfectly comfortable in front of a room of people when I am teaching, talking, presenting. I can be comfortable in a room of people I do not know if no one else really knows anyone either, HOWEVER

    Put me in a room where they know each other, but I don't know them, or bring me to a social event with my super outgoing hubby where he knows most folks and I don't, and I am a wall flower.

    I recently labeled myself as an Extroverted-Introvert....but now knowing what I do about #Anxiety I think I might have social anxiety. I think I have been able to work through some things doing #exposureresponseprevention without realizing it (facing my fears without safety behaviors).

    I am a little blown away at this revelation. I remember my mom telling me I would not go with anyone when I was a toddler - clinging to her leg for dear life. I used to be an avid rule follower, because it is right, because it is expected, because I didn't want others to think poorly of me. I was terrified of getting caught doing something illegal (like smoking pot or underage drinking) in college because I was a Resident Assistant, but more importantly, because I was going to be a teacher and I thought it would end my career. This all makes a little more sense now.

    Just the other day, we were at Syd's school and I was going to follow up with the principal on something, but thought - "Nah, I don't want to bother her" despite the fact that she was walking towards me, down the hallway, making eye contact with me. The principal actually spoke up first and followed up with me. My husband looked at me and said - "That's yours" meaning that it was MY anxiety that prevented me from speaking up.

    He was right.