14 Sep

Website Visitors Comments

This section of my website is for your comments. Please be assured I will not add your comments without your permission. If you would like your comments included good bad or indifferent, please state so clearly in your e-mail. All comments concerning this website or my blog, OCD and More or comments concerning any aspect of any of the conditions included on this website are very welcome. Please e-mail me Wanderingmind54@aol.com

I do not have an instant response facility or form because it is a complicated task to set up and which right now I am not able to cope with. However I would very much like to include your comments here. You may contact me by e-mail and I will include your remarks here as soon as possible. Please state clearly if you would like your comments included as I will not automatically include them without your permission and I will check again prior to publication. You are of course welcome as usual to comment or contact me privately. I will only publish comments if it is clearly stated that you have given me permission to do so. For example : My comments are for publication. Please publish my comments

14 Sep

Contact Details

Please contact Christine at:

Wanderingmind54@aol.com (Please note as from Saturday January 12th 2008 until further notice due to illness and other commitments I will only be available to respond to e-mail on three days each week: Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Please continue to write as before but please bear in mind that you may not receive an immediate response. Apologies for any inconvenience) For a more detailed explanation please see January 12th 2008 blog entry

Creativity

Contributions from sufferers of any mental health problem are invited including autobiographies, photographs of artwork and crafts, stories, poetry and any literary contribution of reasonable length.

Self help

Also welcome are hints and tips for the self help page and stories or inspirational quotations for the Inspirations Page.

Constructive criticism will be welcomed concerning accuracy of information.

Comments on any aspect of OCD, OCSDs Anxiety disorders and Anorexia Nervosa and any aspect of this web site are also invited.

Important:

Please be aware that it may take some time for me to either respond to e-mail or to include contributions of artwork etc. In addition to OCD I suffer from a couple of other debilitating illnesses and therefore delay in response may be inevitable from time to time. Furthermore inclusion of contributions may be limited to available web space and such inclusions may be for only a temporary period and may need to be rotated if necessary to include submissions by others.

In addition I reserve the right to exclude any contributions of art work or written work etc that may not be in the best interests of sufferers of any of the illnesses mentioned on this web site.

Also I would appreciate it if anyone noticing inactive links or any other problem would kindly let me know. Also I have only been able to test this web site using Internet Explorer, if there are problems with Netscape or any other browser please let me know and I will do my best to rectify the problem.

14 Sep

Recommended Books

The following is a list of books I have personally found quite helpful in some way or another by providing useful practical information concerning my illnesses, self help or inspiration and encouragement. Please contact me if you would like to include your own recommendations. Such suggestions need not necessary be specific to anxiety disorders, any book that you have found helped you in some way or another may be included. Please contact me with the titles of any books that you have found beneficial and I will be pleased to include them. A short introduction of yourself would be nice along with a brief account of how the book you recommend helped you. You need not use your real name. I am particularly looking for recommendations for self-help books concerning Anorexia nervosa as such seem to be few in number.

Tormenting Thoughts and Secret Rituals by Ian Osborn MD. Very informative book about OCD, it includes a section on OC spectrum disorders including anorexia Nervosa.

Brain Lock by Jeffrey M. Schwartz.MD. Excellent self-help for OCD.

Just checking. By Emily Colas. Lively autobiographic account of OCD which nonetheless skilfully describes the torment of trying to live life with this debilitating and all consuming disorder.

Passing For Normal: A Memoir of Compulsion. Amy S. Wilensky. An insightful and informative autobiographical account of life with OCD and Tourette’s Syndrome.

OCD Dissected by Kirk Stacey & Susan Goater. An OCD workbook/manual for people with OCD by a sufferer of OCD. Coping ideas, and personal experiences. For more details and ordering information:
OCD Dissected

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. John Bunyon.
Written in 1666 this is not an easy read nonetheless this autobiography from the author of Pilgrims Progress provides a very informative glimpse into scrupulosity/ religious OCD and is well worth the effort to at least read the sections pertaining to his experiences with this manifestation of the disorder. I regret that I did not have access to this account when I was under the throes of experiencing the most appalling terror of mind during the initial onset of this type of OCD at a time when I was completely unaware that such thoughts and compulsions were the result of an illness. Those who suffer from scrupulosity/ religious OCD will feel less alone after reading John Buynon’s remarkable and insightful account. Also it is an interesting glimpse into a bygone age.

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners should be available from the usual booksellers.

14 Sep

About Me

I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well.

You may probably think that a nearly 600 page autobiography should be more than enough about me. However my memoir Demons of the Mind: A memoir of an Obsessive-Compulsive contains mostly the negative OCD aspect of my life and like all those who suffer with this disorder there is more to me than my illnesses. Besides not everyone may want to wade through such a lengthy account. For anyone who just wants a quick OCD story click here for my very abbreviated version entitled My Story.

Oh I do so find this rather ego centric but it’s nice to know a bit about the person who has created a web site, makes it more personal and friendly. I was born in the midlands, have lived in Sussex for thirty years and now live in the North East of England. My exact age? Well if you are really that interested and it matters that much, as sadly it seems to nowadays, it will be obvious from my memoir how old I am. Age for me is a sensitive issue due partly to the usual anxiety a lot of us women have but also due to regret for the passing of a good number of years wasted with OCD.

I have black hair, sadly now maintained thanks to modern hair colourants J, blue eyes and I am about five feet tall. Sorry no photo, another OCD thing due to a combination of an OCD type superstitious fear and mild body dysmorphic disorder. I am married with one son; I also had a daughter who was sadly still born.

interests are painting and drawing and I am trying to learn calligraphy. I am interested in medieval manuscripts; I am fascinated by this form of medieval artwork, and would like to learn how to write and decorate illuminated manuscripts. I have painted the graphics on this web page and other similar pages; they are based upon illustrations from the book of kells. Such pastimes afford some satisfaction and respite from my OCD. For similar reasons I enjoy the computer and have had enormous satisfaction from the construction of these web pages albeit hindered with not only technical problems but also the OCD problems that make doing anything a real challenge. I enjoy the Internet, which has made me feel less alone with my fears.

I like reading when not too stressed as it provides some escape from my problems. I like to read science fiction and fantasy of the Tolkien type genre. My favourite being the lord of the Rings. I also enjoy travel books especially the experiences of travellers who have visited the orient, particularly Tibet. I also find satisfaction and comfort from reading religious, philosophical and esoteric books and anything interesting in the metaphysical and new age field. Yes I do have religious/ scrupulosity OCD and I do have a compulsion to ruminate and contemplate such concerns as part of my OCD. Nonetheless I do find reading about such subjects interesting and rewarding even if it does fuel the fire of my preoccupation with such matters. I am interested in religion and philosophy as a subject but when it comes to religion as a way of life I tend to adopt the pick and mix philosophy of new age thinking. However I have a particular interest in Buddhism and Taoism. I love to debate religion and politics but have found that the advice not to discuss such subjects with friends to be very good advice indeed, so I will only discuss such matters with relation to OCD, and I am certainly not going to go into any detail about my rather radical political ideologyJ. I also read any self-help books that may assist me in coping with my OCD.

I also like walking in the many scenic areas that are within easy travelling distance of my new home in the Northeast. Such as the Durham Dales, The Yorkshire Dales, the Yorkshire Moors, Scotland and the Lake District. However unfortunately due to some of my illnesses it is quite difficult to walk any great distance now. Nonetheless I feel some elevation in my mood when visiting such places of natural beauty. Both my husband John and I also are quite fond of sheep, hence all the photographs in the gallery section taken by my husband John during our many holidays and trips out. I am concerned about all animals and I am interested in animal rights. However due to ill health I cannot take an active role in any animal rights activities, which I hasten to add, would be strictly non violent. I am a vegetarian and have been so for over ten years.

Well that is enough about me. Oh just one more thing I do so enjoy writing even if it is hindered by OCD checking compulsions however my renditions can be long winded, rather rambling and long drawn out which can be a result of having OCD: just to be sure I get it right and have not missed anything out. Notwithstanding this tendency on my part I hope you enjoy my web site.

14 Sep

Self Help Hints and Tips

Keep busy.

Occupying the mind intensively is one of the most effective methods I know as a distraction from tormenting thoughts: the more the mind is occupied the less chance it has to ruminate or to pay attention to unwanted thoughts and intrusive images such as those experienced by the sufferer of OCD or PTSD. Also for the sufferer of GAD or agoraphobia or indeed any anxiety disorder keeping the mind intensively occupied reduces the tendency to be preoccupied with fear or worries . Admittedly it is harder to distract oneself from unwanted images that seem to remain in the mind’s eye no matter what we do however the more the mind is focused else where the more such images are mitigated and the less distressful their affect. Often such activity needs to have a goal at the end of it such as passing an exam. I have found that studying and using the computer, especially the construction of this web site, are good distractions. Art and craftwork are also useful as a means of distraction giving the sufferer something different to think about along with a sense of satisfaction. Writing of any kind is also an excellent distraction even if it is hindered for people with OCD such as myself who can get preoccupied with checking obsessions and compulsions concerning one’s written work. Writing offers not only a distraction but is very therapeutic in a way difficult to define, perhaps as a creative process it releases some of our inner conflicts at a subconscious level.

Keep a journal.

Similar to the above suggestion concerning the therapeutic benefits of writing, however this is an even more powerful therapeutic form of writing as it gives one the opportunity to empress one’s thoughts uninhibited. Keeping a journal can help you to get a more rational perspective upon your frightening worries or exaggerated concerns especially for sufferers of OCD and GAD.

Keep a record of positive occurrences throughout the day.

Often we can get so bogged down in all the negative events in our lives whether real or imagined as a result of our respective illnesses that often we feel overwhelmed as though life is one round of continuous suffering. When something positive happens write it down to remind yourself that life is not all doom and gloom. Such positive occurrences could be something small; something we did that went right for a change, an event that made us feel better, more positive. Such as a letter or phone call from a friend, a pleasant surprise, a warm summers day, a dreaded event that actually was not as bad as we had anticipated and so on. And best of all record any triumphs over your illness, such as a walk to the shops for an agoraphobic or a conversation with a neighbour for a social phobic.

Relaxation and meditation.

Relaxation and meditation can have a profound effect upon our mood, and when our mood is improved often our courage to face our fears and cope with our illnesses also improves. Also yoga and Tai chi can have a similar effect and are something positive with which to occupy us and provide distraction. However for a few people these can cause problems, for me meditation and particularly relaxation had a tendency to make my chronic daily headache worse, see my personal self help suggestions concerning problems of this nature. However for most people the practice of meditation, relaxation, Tai Chi, Yoga and other similar practices on a regular basis can certainly improve ones mood and outlook considerably. And it is well worth taking the time and effort to learn to relax and meditate.

Music
One man’s meat is another man’s poison
William Shakespeare.

This most certainly applies to music, what uplifts and inspires one person can depress, stress and agitate another. Therefore one needs to find ones own selection of music. The right kind of music can help to lift our spirits, calm us down or excite us out of a state of lethargy and depression. In my own experiences music can indeed have a profound effect upon my mood and my favourite piece for the ultimate relaxation experience is Johann Pachelbel’s canon particularly the last piece entitled flourishing. There are many other pieces of music that make me feel uplifted and more positive however these may have no effect upon others and most people have their favourites and at times when one is depressed or tense it might be an idea to take time out and simply sit and listen to what ever music helps you. Compile a list and make a collection designated for such times when you need a bit of comfort or you need lifting out of depression or apathy.

Exercise.

Everyone is familiar with endorphins and the positive effects upon the mood that these hormones have and that exercise, especially aerobic exercise, can activate these hormones and consequently uplift our mood. However caution should be taken when embarking on any kind of exercise particularly exercise that is strenuous and increases the heart rate and you should always consult a doctor if there are any doubts about health. Personally I think that jogging is for athletes and other professional sports men and women and I never gained much from this type of exercise. My doctor once told me that she considered that jogging was not a suitable exercise for anyone. Less strenuous exercise such as walking can be very uplifting on pleasant sunny day and particularly invigorating on a windy day. In fact walking is probably the best exercise one can undertake.

14 Sep

Aspergers syndrome, A personal consideration

Those of you who have regularly visited my website and read my blog will know that since my son received the diagnosis of Asperger syndrome that I have seriously considered that I also may have this condition along with my OCD. The link above will take you to the introduction page describing two articles which explain my reasons for considering the possibilty that I may have Aspergers syndrome. I hope that this information may be of some help to anyone with similar considerations.

Read More

14 Sep

The wasted Years

Many sufferers of anxiety disorders regret the wasted years.Yet whatever our negative circumstances need we necessarily consider that our lives have been wasted? Rather perhaps we should consider that whatever we have achieved either for the betterment of another or ourselves has been achieved despite the serious limitations that afflict us.  Perhaps we should consider that which we have achieved or the satisfaction we have experienced however small has been accomplished despite overwhelming odds. The following are my thoughts concerning the so called “wasted years.”

Read More

14 Sep

Joy cometh in the morning.

The following is something I have written during the early hours of the morning when faced with the inevitable incursion of intrusive thoughts, fears and depression and when joy is most certainly not my first feeling. I would like to share this time with you, my feelings and the things I do to help myself cope with this time of the day. A time of the day which for many is the most difficult.

Read More

14 Sep

Perfectionism

The desire for everything to be perfect is a significant characteristic of the obsessive-compulsive. It is also a characteristic of anyone with anorexia nervosa. Perfectionism can lead to loss of self esteem, depression, anxiety, guilt and a decrease in motivation and lead to procrastination.

Read More