When I am not in the midst of a full-blown OCD episode or in the gradual anxiety come-down of an episode I don’t want to deal with my OCD. It’s like I don’t want to give it any more of my time than I already do. I had therapy for about six months about 2 years ago when the OCD became unmanageable and made me constantly late for work which was good and made me feel less “crazy” because I learnt about the disease and how common it actually is, but as soon as my government-subsidised sessions (my doctor nominated me for a mental health scheme) ran out I felt like I was ok to continue with my behaviour modification therapy plus I didn’t think I could afford to continue. I was on antidepressants for about a year but they really didn’t seem to impact on my OCD anxiety plus they flattened my truly happy moods. I was ok for a while and managed to resist certain checking rituals but since moving into a share house it has gotten quite bad. I am scared to cook because I am scared of leaving the gas on. I haven’t ironed in about 5 years because I am terrified of what could happen if I were to leave the iron on. Even if I haven’t ironed I am compelled to check to see if it is unplugged. I unplug every electrical appliance in my room every day. In my mind everything is flammable, everything has the potential to cause a catastrophe. I even obssess over whether the tap is off. I check the plug is not in, I feel under the spout, I look at the spout. I look at lights and the bathroom heat lamp to see if they are on and then I also look at the switches. I even double or triple check that the fridge is closed because my mind says:” Open fridge = food going off, becoming poisonous = someone becoming fatally ill = my responsibility”. Everything I “check” (because it’s not really checking – I can never mentally cross it off my list because I always have doubts denying any satisfaction or reassurance from checking) I stare at repeatedly, I also look at switches from different angles, in different lights. I pose electrical plugs so that I can see from a distance that they are unplugged. I even check my windows are closed. It’s physically exhausting, it makes me late for work, it upsets and frustrates me because I am fully aware of how irrational my thought processes are, and it makes me disappointed that I constantly give in to my fears and check – which only leads to more checking… I would love to feel like a confident calm adult when I leave the house. I realise my OCD is clinically considered mild and I only have occasional contamination anxieties etc, but I want to get better. I want to not feel like a retarded child when I check a light is off 50 times. I want to sleep well and not fear what I’ll go through in the morning when I leave the house. I want to drive without fear of running someone over or crashing and hurting a loved one. I just don’t want to be afraid. And I don’t want to be embarrassed by my behaviour. Any ideas? That’s all. The end.

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