"It has helped me on many different levels"

About: Ealing IAPT

(as a service user),

I had issues for quite a while spending extended lengths of time washing my hands too many times a day. I was aware it was an irrational thought but anytime I felt 'dirty' I would wash the area that felt dirty and then wash my hands because I cleaned with them. It got to a point where the possibility of someone having used the same loofah would mean I felt dirtier coming out of the shower.

Ealing IAPT service connected me to an amazing therapist who helped me get through it with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and get comfortable with the idea of not needing to wash my hands to bring down my anxiety. I've gone down from a whopping 20-30 times a day with the whole NHS ritual to a normal 5 or 6 times a day for 10-15 seconds at a time.

It's still a work in process as I deliberately have to tell myself not to wash my hands at times and still do at other times but try not to push it with the soap, but I have freed up so much of my time that would normally be spent washing hands and majorly brought down the anxiety levels that would get to my head a lot and started to affect my family relations.

If you are suffering with a similar disorder or one completely different, I highly recommend going to therapy. I was really nervous at first but even though the environment felt quite empty and clinical, it was made really warm and welcoming with the friendly way my therapist spoke to me and made me feel comfortable.

I suffer from depression as well and the way my OCD therapy went, it has also opened me out to the idea of trying therapy for the first time in 8 years for it and made me feel okay with the idea of taking antidepressants, so it has helped me on many different levels, not just what I initially went there for.

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Responses

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

Dear Ealing IAPT user

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your inspiring story on patient opinion. Well done for getting to the point of reducing your hand washing and the anxiety that goes with it to a reasonable and manageable level. It certainly is not easy to start off with but it sounds like the therapist was able to guide you through steps necessary to get you to the point where you are now.

OCD is a very common mental health problem and more people than we care to admit have these, or other symptoms impacting on their life on a daily basis. Hopefully your story would inspire many more people to take up treatment and to improve the quality of their lives.

May you go from strength to strength and I wish you the very best for the future.

Yours sincerely,

Josef Landserg

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