May 20, 2013 at 1:01 pm #35902
I’ve recently been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. I’ve been seeing a therapist but our sessions are few and far between, and I have yet to learn any coping techniques. I’m in a job that I hate and it makes my anxiety ride really, really high. You know how some people have problems at home that they carry with them to work? Mine is just the opposite. I want to pursue my dreams of working as an artist in a studio but it’s hard, I’m not there yet. I have to pass my time in this shitty job because I need the income (which isn’t even enough for me to leave my parents’ house) and the insurance to keep going to therapy, which I’m only going to because my job makes me miserable. What a vicious cycle. If I quit now, I can spend all my time applying for other jobs and whatnot, but who knows how long that will take?
I have a wonderful boyfriend who supports me but lately I can’t help but feel paranoid that he and my friends are growing tired of me and my complaining. I’m like a broken record. I feel SO MUCH anxiety and negativity that I have to unleash it and I KNOW it’s effecting my relationships. But I can’t stop. I sign onto every online forum I could, saying the same problems, nobody helps. Nothing helps. I feel like nobody actually cares about me, they’ll just do the bare minimum it takes to get me off their backs. My boyfriend does his best to reassure me that he’s still there for me but my own mind can’t seem to let me feel it. I’m so blinded by my own self-loathing and anxiety.
I just don’t know what to do anymore. I’m afraid of losing everything. I want to bottle my feelings and stay unhappy if it means keeping my loved ones around me. I don’t know what to do.May 20, 2013 at 3:21 pm #35903Buddhist WifeParticipant
I’m sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I also have OCD so I have some idea of what you are going through. I also understand how difficult work can be, such a trigger to OCD issues!
I don’t know what sort of help you have been offered. You don’t mention what sort of therapy you are having. Is it Cognitive Behavioural Therapy? I had that and I found I had to have a lot of sessions before I got to a point that helped me.
Are you taking any medication? I do and I find it helps me with my OCD very much. It doesn’t take it away but it helps to ease it. Of course this isn’t for everyone and you would need to talk to your doctors about that option.
I’ve found that I need a really high level of self care. I need to make sure I’m eating enough, getting enough sleep and rest, probably more so then other people. Is this something that you could do for yourself or that might help you?
In terms of work, when I was going through a really bad OCD phase, I quit my job and started doing temp work through an agency. The pay was lower and there was no job security at all, but for the most part there was much less pressure and this helped my anxiety.
I don’t really have any other advice then that. I really hope that you find some peace soon.May 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm #35905AnonymousInactive
I too have OCD and I’ve been struggling with it for almost two years. I initially brought it under control with meds, which I highly recommend to anyone who might be considering it. If you’re struggling with mental illness, give your neurons and synapses a break and let the meds do the work. At least for a little while.
Therapy can help and I’ve heard good things about CBT, but I’ve never tried it myself. I’d like to eventually.
Meditation has been the biggest godsend in my life. I highly recommend attending a beginner meditation course and when you feel open to it, “Turning your mind into an ally” by Sakyong Mipham is an excellent book. Who would have thought that your mind can’t always be trusted? That it lies to you and tells you horrible things that leave you uncertain and unsure. I sure as heck didn’t. But now I know that it cannot be trusted entirely and that I need to form a new relationship with my mind. My mind is not me, but it can be my friend if it I approach it right.
I also understand your struggle with mental illness and relationships. Talking it out, being open and honest, and maybe even going to therapy together can help. But also be open the possibility that not everyone can be with someone and support someone who struggles with a mental illness. It’s not our fault and it’s not their fault. It’s just not a healthy match. If we truly love someone, and we can see that they’re not coping very well with our struggle, the best thing we can do for one another is let each other go. I hope you never have to cross that bridge, but I just want to give it to you straight.
I’m grateful that we live in the 21st century and I can feel that we’re getting to a place where we can talk about mental illness more openly with others, whether online or off.May 21, 2013 at 6:51 am #35919Tammy KParticipant
I have a partner who is battling with depression at this point. It is not an easy job, I mean being with him in the struggle, just like what Peter has mentioned. Sometimes I do wonder, is this a waste of time, still hanging onto this relationship? But, something…something just made me hold onto this. I chose to think positively in order to cope with the struggle. For example, I try to see the good side of this illness which comes in between our relationship. I have learnt to be more understanding, sensitive, and appreciate simple things in life (that is little response from him at his point of depression).
I know I can never get into a depressed person’s mind and feel what they are feeling. But I do get it at some point of our lives, we do feel depressed over certain things but for a person suffering from depression, the depressed feeling just won’t go away. He can be so hopeless and helpless that he dread waking up in the morning.
I am trying to understand that he is not in a well state, suffering from an illness which will get better soon. Depression is just like any other illness which can be cured.
If you really do not know what to do, get your boyfriend or your closed family member to accompany you to a Psychiatrist. Talk to him/her about your condition, and they might prescribe you some medications, trust me, the meds will help you a lot. Don’t be afraid to go for meds because when you are feeling so helpless, sometimes, you just need the meds to do the job.
It is ok if you do not know what to do, that’s because you are experiencing the symptoms of Depression. I don’t know if OCD has similar symptoms though. If you don’t feel like doing anything, or need to take a break from work, just do it. But you definitely need to seek treatment. You may want to put your dreams on hold at the moment, and consider quitting your job which you think is dissatisfying to you. You don’t want the stress from your “shitty” job to worsen your condition. Your mental health is more important than your job, once you get better, you can look for another simpler job, and then go ahead to pursue your dreams.
Please know that, you are not alone in this.
All the best!May 21, 2013 at 8:58 am #35922
Wow, thank you all so much for the kind words. I’m comforted that I’m not alone in this struggle. I’ll try to address these points in order:
– Buddhist Wife: Sorry for the lack of clarity, I am indeed doing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. So far I’ve only had two sessions, but spread out over a month. I have my next one tomorrow so I’m hoping to discuss all this with my therapist again. At the moment I’m actually trying to take better care of myself, switching to a mostly-veggies diet and getting enough exercise. I’ve always been fairly active when it came to exercise but perhaps I need more. Thank you for your kindness 🙂
– Peter: I’m… hesitant to try medication. I have a friend who was on medication for ADHD, bipolar 2, depression and anxiety, and sometimes she seemed worse than usual. There were a lot of nasty side effects and her doctors have to keep trying to figuring out a good mix for her, but it seems painful. I don’t want to be dependent on medication for the rest of my life 🙁 As for meditation, I could give it a try. I have in the past, with little success, but I’ll try to approach it again. I’m also grateful that there are places for us to talk openly about these kinds of things. Thanks 🙂
– Tammy K: I mentioned above that I’m hesitant to try medication. I’m afraid of becoming dependent and reliant on something like that for the rest of my life. I’ll still discuss it further with my therapist, but that’s how I feel about it currently. I’m getting closer and closer to just quitting my job, one of these days I’m just gonna do it, but right now… I’m so afraid. I’m afraid of everything, it seems! Hahaha. It’s nice to hear from the perspective of somebody who’s in a relationship with somebody who is battling depression. Thank you 🙂May 26, 2013 at 11:20 am #36130AngieParticipant
Hi J, I know how you’re feeling. I have OCD as well and have issues with anxiety.
My first recommendation is to get into meditation. This is not an overnight miracle, but it is a miracle. My lifesaver was the short and sweet “guided meditations for busy people” by Bodhipaksa, you can Google and download them. I honestly did them for about a year, roughly three times a week before they started their magic, but they did. Mediation has helped me gain control of my thoughts and to stop the negative spiral.
I am feeling the job hate, I have been stuck in a job I hate for a while. I read a quote recently which said “if its not good, let it go. If it can’t go, make it good”. If you are stuck in your shitty job, consciously try to acknowledge this for what it is but don’t let it consume you. In life there will often be an area lacking that we cannot control, if we can try to accept or even embrace these imperfections it can minimise the impact they have on the other good parts (like your supportive boyfriend).
The past two years I have also tried to introduce more good, so my good to bad ratio gets better! Is there something you enjoy that you haven’t done lately? Can you seek out a new hobby, or activity or anything that can bring you joy? For me its a bit of yoga (and I tried heaps of yoga studios and teachers until I found my yoga soulmate). Yoga days, Wednesdays, are now a good day, even at my shitty job, because I have something to look forward to. I also try to play guitar at home and walk my dog, but I find the yoga (because its a scheduled thing I do each week in a social setting) provides great benefit. I also go alone and have forced myself to meet new people there. This is a chance to not be the ‘sad’ me my friends and family see, but to just try and be normal and upbeat and kind of fake it until I make it. No one there knows my past or my struggles, and that can be a very powerful environment to be in when going through a hard time.
I hope this helps.June 4, 2013 at 10:46 am #36453
Hi Angie, it does help tremendously, knowing someone who went through what I did. And you seem to have come out of it 🙂 That gives me hope. My therapist also suggested trying out yoga, and I think I’ll take that suggestion to heart. Thanks for the meditation recommendation as well, I’ll give it a shot! You’re so kind, and I appreciate that.