I am trying to figure out what is going on with me.  I suffer from severe anxiety and panic attacks.  I have all of my life.  I am 42 years old and it is ruininig my life.  I have always kind of brushed off OCD because I do not have ANY of the classic symptoms (rituals, counting, obsessive behaviours).

However, when I read these stories and the thoughts that people have I can relate to each and every one of them.  On the outside, I appear to be a successful, happy 42 year old man with a great wife and family and a good job.  On the inside, people I know would be surprised at how it is to just make it through the day sometimes.

I should have known something was wrong when in high school health class I learned about Syphillis and was 100% convinvced that I had the disease (even though I had never had sex at that point).  Since then I have had the following obsessions:

-I will lose my job and end up a beggar on the streets

-I have had fear of being alone with my children because I will just go crazy and kill them for no reason.

-I have obsessed about being gay (have a constant groinal response that will not go away, going on ninteen years now)

-I have obsessed about being instersexed or gender confused (related ot above groinal response, although I have never really desired to go out and actually be a woman)

***Note both of the two obsessions started about nineteen years ago when I was having sex with a girlfriend and the condom broke.  The next days were completely consumed with the fear that I had gotten her pregnant.  The next time, I went to have sex with her, I could not perform.  FROM THAT DAY FORWARD, I have been consumed with the above two thoughts.  I know that I am not gay because I am very attracted to women and enjoy a good sex life with my wife.  I really believe that I obsessed myself into the groinal response and the gay and gender confusion have come as a result of that.  I have lived with this for two decades now and have not said a thing to ANYONE, including my wife!

I used to just think that this was the cards that I ahve been dealt and that I would just have to live with it.  But there is so much more that I want to be at work and in my family and I feel that I am extremely held back by this.

I constantly make decisions based on my anxiety levels.   I often do not go after things that I really want due to some irrational fear.  Public speaking is another big one.  Yes, I know this is a very common phobia.  However if yo utold me I have to make a presentation in 3 weeks.  I would immediately make that the WORST 3 weeks of my life.  And then I would get thorugh it and every one in my audience would think it is great and would tell me how good I did, but would not realize the torture that I put myself through to get to that point.

Other wierd phobias that cripple my life:

-I cannot leave phone messages, especially if I am introducing myself to a person.  My voice cracks and I sound completely ridiculous

-I enjoy skiing with my kids.  Every trip on the ski lift is a complete anxiety attack for me.  I feel I will be compelled to either jump or throw one of my kids off the lift.  It especially gets worse if the lift stops.

-Meetings are sometimes tough.  I need to sit near a door for an easy exit.  If I am in charge of the meeting, and therefore cannot get up for a bathroom break or to get a cup of water, it is one long anxiety attack until the meeting is over.

-Surprisingly airplanes are not that bad, however if flying in the evening or afternoon, I always make sure I have a drink.

-Alcohol helps a lot, although I have managed to work through without it if not during "normal" drinking times.  I have never drank at work and do not drink every night at home.  If flying in the morning I will do it without a drink and get by.

There seems to be so much more to tell.  Believe it or not this is the first time any of this has left my own person.  I have never told a soul and although the anonymous internet options have been available for a while, I could never bring myself to actually enter something.

Hopefully this is the beginning of a healing process.  I have too much I want to do with my life to live this way.

My first question – Does anyone have an opinion on whether or not this truly is OCD or am I dealing with something else?

1 Comment
  1. freakofnature 14 years ago

     I know it might be difficult, but could you relate that to a therapist?  It’s all really very common for OCD and they have heard it all before.  I think I’ve been through all of those… well, except the ski lift.  And I think you’ll find that most people here have as well.  Consider it anyway.  If there’s help, then it might really be worth it.

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