"It has helped me on many different levels"
About: Ealing IAPT Ealing IAPT W13 8RA
Posted by Ealing IAPT User (as ),
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.