Ok as an alternative to all my hopeless self deprecating posts, I thought I might try to post something helpful instead. In this most recent bout with my old friend ocd, I am beginning to re-analyze what makes me lose it and what helps. It seems every day I find something that is at least a little helpfull. Lately I have made a massive find. Being a raging coffee and tea drinker and general caffeine addict, this has come as a somewhat obvious solution. For the longest while I used coffee to self medicate in a way. You would think that it would exacerbate things to no end but it can be helpful….to an extent. In this last bout, I've had to cut back to a cup or 2 a day. Instead, I found an old panacea for anxiety, chamomile tea. I swear this stuff is like herbal klonopin. After a cup or two, I can return to an acceptable level of anxiety. I feel calm, almost dreamy with a lot of it in my system. I am able then to examine my ocd closer. For example, I have a major history of hypochondria. This is what is bothering me so persistently now. With chamomile, I can reason things out. I can realize that a new symptom appears every time I address an old one. It operates in an almost cyclical fasion. It makes me aware of things I never noticed and even creates some symptoms. Another thing is not looking up my symptoms especially from non medical sources such as wikipedia. This too helped to an extent, particularly when I was in a better mental state. It is like a digital russian roulette though since I never know when I will find something that pushes me off the deep end like the information on multiple sclerosis did. Take this as a warning. Anyone can have "cancer" if they try hard enough. Avoiding triggers is perhaps the largest helper. Unless doing a supervised exposure excercise with your therapist. For the longest wile, I had worried I had contracted aids despite the fact that I am not sexually active, do not use intravenous drugs, and am not in contact with anyone with it. After my therapist made me read And The Band Played On, I got over my thoughts about aids. Every day is a fight but I will win.