"OCD (intrusive thoughts, checking, rituals)"

About: Ealing IAPT

(as the patient),

I pushed aside my OCD for over 20 years, ignoring the fact that my checks, rituals and intrusive thoughts were swallowing up increasing amounts of my life.

Last year, my manager took me to one side and told me I really needed to consider going to see occupational health, because my OCD was significantly impacting on my work life. I found commuting inordinately stressful, and the actual bread-and-butter of my working day – copy-editing/proofreading – was becoming exceedingly difficult because it involved so much checking.

I shoved the OH referral form in my work drawer, where it stayed for months, and when I finally went, it was with much reluctance that I agreed to act on their recommendation that I seek CBT. I was convinced that my brain would be re-wired and I wouldn’t recognise myself following the treatment.

My CBT therapist Naomi immediately put me at ease, and over our 20 sessions, demonstrated infinite reserves of patience and encouragement, even when I failed on my homework to not do a certain part of my night-time ritual (which happened many times).

In addition to the work done on my checks/rituals, Naomi also helped me to identify my negative thought patterns, which has proved an ongoing revelation.

I have now reached the end of the treatment. I won’t lie; I still check, but the severity and duration of these checks has been significantly reduced. I also still ‘catastrophise’, but the difference now is that I know what’s going on in my brain, so I am able to work through whatever is causing me emotional distress.

I would say that perhaps the main thing I gained from CBT was clarity on my behaviours and thought processes, and for that alone, I cannot thank Naomi enough.

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Responses

Response from Josef Landsberg, Clinical Lead IAPT, West London Mental Health NHS Trust

Dear MartyB,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write your story. Many people often find that a lot of things gets in the way of taking the first initial steps to getting help. This step is often the scariest and hardest to take.

It was very encouraging to learn about the insights and clarity you have gained using the CBT approach with Naomi and I am sure that many people can identify with your story. I do hope that you continue to make further gains.

I will make sure that Naomi and the team are aware of your story and wish you the very best.

Kind Regards, J. Landsberg

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