OCD..and anti-depressants.

Hi All , i thought i would write my own views about medication usage for OCD.

Myself personally , back in the day (2004) i did try a ssri and it actually made my ocd a lot worse , the thoughts became even stronger and the anxiety was unbearable , i was a trembling mess , and was unable to focus on anything , and my appetite was zero .

I decided to stop after a week , and spoke to my GP. who said , you must try to continue as it can take up to 6 weeks before you feel the effects …. ah ok ! no thanks … i declined and focused on the CBT elements .

What we do know now , is that sometimes a anti-anxiety med can be run alongside for a couple of weeks , to allow the meds to settle in , note that 2 weeks as these type of meds are renowned for there addictive side , and must be used with caution ..

That said , in the here and now i have met many people who have benefited from using a ssri alongside CBT. and after completing CBT , very well !! they have gradually reduced medication , and gone onto lead very good ocd free life.

I’ve met people who have done successful CBT , started to reduce the meds , only to see the intrusive thoughts return , so upping them saw the thoughts lessen again

Everyone’s journey with medication is unique , what works for one , doe not necessarily mean it will work for another .. and so on ..

Importantly , if you do take them , there is no shame in doing so , for many they can be life changing. The important part is do what is best for you, not anyone else !

If you do need any advice , please do speak with your health care providers. These are just my own personal views , and experiences.

Best wishes

Ash.

 

 

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#WhyWeDoResearch Participation !

Hi All.

I have been involved with research over the last 3 years, mainly focusing on OCD. (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) sharing my lived experience’s of , overseeing up and coming research , regarding ethics and validity, and i have really found it very interesting especially seeing the end results and outcomes.

Alas , recently i took part myself as a person with lived experience of Tourette’s Syndrome via the fantastic charity Tourette’s Action

Here is the outline of the study >

What is the research about?

Theories underlying tic generation in Tourette’s syndrome implicate impairments in attention, and response initiation and inhibition. Response initiation describes how we make decisions and movements, whereas response inhibition describes how we inhibit ourselves from responding or cancel an ongoing movement. Hence, in the context of response inhibition, tics might arise from patients being unable to inhibit their decision or movement. With regards to deficits in attention, which may occur in Tourette’s syndrome, tics may come about because a patient less able to divert their attention away from their urges or tics.

We know that, in the nervous system, there are excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms that occur in balance. In Tourette’s syndrome, it is believed that in brain areas corresponding to movement, there is disruption in this balance, leading to a lack of inhibition and problems controlling movements.

In subjects who do not have Tourette’s syndrome, we see that they delay their response when they might need to stop. In previous studies, we have characterised how the brain’s excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms change when we delay a response. It is unknown whether patients with Tourette’s syndrome exhibit this ability to delay a response or how their brain’s excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms mediate this delay.

Our research is focused on finding out whether attentional and/or inhibitory mechanisms are altered in Tourette’s syndrome, and how these relate to tic severity.

Why are we doing the research?

We are doing this research to explore whether mechanisms of movement initiation and inhibition are altered in Tourette’s syndrome and if so, how the brain’s motor system might explain these changes. As there are two broad types of inhibition (purposeful and automatic) we would like to explore which, if any, of these types of inhibition is changed in Tourette’s syndrome.

As Tourette’s syndrome varies in severity across patients, we would also like to look at how tic severity affects motor initiation and inhibition. Furthermore, Tourette’s syndrome can coexist with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). To this end, we would also like to ask whether these coexisting disorders have an impact of attention or movement initiation and inhibition.

By performing this research, we aim to explain how changes in the brain explain the clinical features of Tourette’s syndrome.

What will I have to do?

If you agree to take part in our study, there are three components:

1. Cognitive tasks – For this part of the study you will be asked to complete two computer-based tasks. The first (stop signal task) is a modified reaction time task, which tests a subject’s performance of going and stopping. The second (masked priming task) measures attention and automatic inhibition. This component will be completed at the research centre.

2. Neurophysiology – For this part of the study we will use a technique known as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) which can measure changes in the function of the nervous system controlling movement. During TMS you will be fitted with a recording electrode on the surface of one of your hand muscles. A magnet will be placed near the surface of your head and a magnetic pulse will be delivered, which you will hear as a ‘click’. Soon after, you will feel a slight muscle twitch in your hand. This process is not painful or uncomfortable. During the procedure it is common to experience sensations in the arm or tingling in the face. Again, this is not painful or uncomfortable. This will be performed during the stop signal task and so will be repeated on a number of occasions in the same session. This component will be completed at the research centre.

3. Symptoms – For this part of the study we will ask you to complete some questionnaires about the severity of your tics and urges and about possible symptoms relating to OCD

MY REVIEW IS HERE > 

Vishal who is the Researcher , was very helpful from the first point of contact, and any questions or concerns i had were answered really well.

I travelled down to London , and on arrival at University College of London , Institute of neurology , Vishal was there to meet me in reception

We had some great conversations before the research took part , about how my Tourette’s manifests itself , and importantly what the research was hoping to discover , and what will happen during the process  of my participation.

Firstly i had to follow left / right arrows on the screen , using the keyboard , and had to try not to press if a red cross was above the arrow , and this involved two tests , one for right and left .

The third test , involved being “wired up”  via transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) which can measure changes in the function of the nervous system controlling movement , which measured  my right hand movements , and at no time was there any discomfort.

THE FINAL TASK !

Involved using the keyboard once a arrow appeared from behind a mass of scribble , you press a for left , L for right . which was over 3 sets of roughly 10 minutes each . Vishal said he would explain afterwards what it’s about ….

Unbeknown to me , before the scribble appeared a arrow came up for 100th of a second ,which your brain recognises , and has an influence on your reaction , which is why when i went to press a , i ended up pressing L , so it’s like a tic response , unable to suppress !!

The day was great , Vishal was brilliant and the whole experience was so worthwhile. It is important to engage with research , it will help us make the future brighter for those who live with Tourette’s Syndrome.

Massive thanks to Tourette’s Action and Dr.Seonaid Anderson ( Dr. Seonaid Anderson) for organising lots of research , please do get involved if you have lived experiences of Tourette’s Syndrome.

Thanks again Vishal , look forwards to the outcomes !

ASH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Fathers Mental Health Day

Hi All.

On Monday the 18th of June , i shall be joining Mark Williams, and others on twitter discussing Father’s Mental Health from 7-8pm Bst. Around 7.30pm i will be discussing my experiences and knowledge about Paternal OCD and how it can manifest itself , during the maternal stages as a Father.

Over recent years , i have been involved with various talks via the NHS. about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and have engaged with various NHS trusts, and universities in helping to train future therapists and also medical students . I have also been heavily involved with research via the Department of Pyschiatry at the world famous Cambridge University.

I also am an awareness advocate for the UK’s leading charity for those that live with and care for with OCD. which is OCD. ACTION and which runs alongside the superb charity Maternal OCD specific to mums with OCD. >> https://ocdaction.org.uk/https://ocdaction.org.uk/  https://maternalocd.org/https://maternalocd.org/

I have written an article for the Centre for mental health about my lived experience with OCD as a father. Details here > https://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/blog/paternal-ocd-ashleys-storyhttps://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/blog/paternal-ocd-ashleys-story

I also wrote an article for Men’s Health USA. details here > https://www.menshealth.com/health/a20105787/postpartum-anxiety-ocd-for-men/https://www.menshealth.com/health/a20105787/postpartum-anxiety-ocd-for-men/ 

I also wrote a success story article for Maternal OCD here https://maternalocd.org/success-stories/https://maternalocd.org/success-stories/

Look forwards to tomorrows #DADSMHDAY on twitter and other social media outlets. Do follow @DrAndyMayers and @MarkWilliamsFMH .

Keep sharing your experiences of Mental Health as a Father. It will help so much

 

Ash

 

 

 

NEW hashtag #OcdCommunity

Hi All !

As some of you may be aware , i used to run weekly chats on twitter under the hashtag #AskAshOCD a recognised # by the Uk’s leading charity mind , where we would discuss various topics , for all those that lived with , and carers /family members alike about OCD. and it was a great resource , that served its purpose well.

Today i thought about how there is a lot of misinformation on twitter at times in regards to ocd , but , importantly there are some really fab people on there who have lived experiences about OCD , not only as a lived experiences , but also those that live and support/care for

So my suggestion is to use the hashtag #OcdCommunity  so that if you are looking for support or advice , it will show up , and therefore we can support each other and importantly direct to correct resources like @maternalOCD and @OCDaction

IF you like you can add #OcdCommunity to your bio , but do NOT feel obliged to do so , and it is all down to personal choice on how one choose’s to use it. REMEMBER your well-being comes first on social media.

Ash

Ocd Action Pre-Conference Meet up Friday March 2nd . 6.30pm.

Hi All.

The OCD ACTION conference takes place this year on Saturday 3rd of March in London. Details here >  http://www.ocdaction.org.uk/national-conference

On the Evening before ,  you are more than welcome to pop by for a friendly meet up , an opportunity to meet with others who share similar experiences , some who may have overcome ocd ,some who are still struggling. Family and carers/friends alike are also more than welcome to join us too.

It will not be a support group type meeting , but a welcoming drink for anyone who is attending the conference the next day, some of you maybe staying overnight on your own etc. So please do pop in if you feel up to it. We are a friendly bunch .

The meet up will start at 6.30 pm and you are free to join us from that time and you are free to leave when ever you feel .

Details of venue are here > https://www.premierinn.com/gb/en/hotels/england/greater-london/london/hub-london-westminster-abbey.html 

21 Tothill Street, Westminster, London SW1H 9LL  

It is the Bar/restaurant  which is attached to the Hotel

 

If you have any further questions , etc. feel free to comment on here , or you can email me ocdash@yahoo.co.uk  and if you are joining us , please do let us know !

Look forwards to meeting you

Ash. @AshleyCurryOcd

 

 

An incredible year that was .. Thank You !

Thought i would write a small article about the year and the OCD / Mental Health work i have done during 2017

I was fortunate enough to have worked alongside some of the best teachers of CBT via various University’s across the Uk. sharing my lived experiences of OCD and Recovery , and engaging with future therapist’s who will go onto hopefully fix people with ocd and go onto lead a life free from the debilitating disorder.

I was a keynote speaker this year at the first Maternal Mental Health Alliance conference , and what a great experience that was. I also got to meet some truly incredible people too , at last .

I have been along to Parliament on three occasions , focusing on getting Fathers better access to treatments during the Maternal stages , an ongoing project which is moving forwards rather swiftly , thanks to my good friend Mark Williams , from father’s reaching out .

I could go on and add further (much more lol) , but i won’t , but what i would like to say to everyone who has engaged with me this year , and asked me to be a part of it all , a massive thank you , i really do appreciate it a lot , and sometimes i have to pinch myself to check that its all real !

2018 looks like it is going to continue in the same way , which is awesome

Once again , i am honoured to have been involved , thank you thank you thank you !

 

Ash 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anxious about not being anxious .. .

Yes ! Title says it all.

A common theme that crops up in OCD. is where people are , or become very anxious about the irrational thoughts they are having , because the thoughts themselves no longer are bothering them with anxiety , but remain , which leads onto the person becoming petrified by that fact !

Therefore if they are NOT making you  anxious , it must mean i want them , they must be true = Doubt , fear , anxiety , guilt etc = this is ocd at work itself .

So if you do have the thoughts that remain “stuck” but they don’t give off any anxiety , its normal, but also be prepared for OCD to take another devious route , of asking you , with crap doubt , and causing further angst .. BUT implement good CBT , or self help work !

 

Heads up

Ash.

 

 

 

The needless safeguarding procedures ……OCD.

Alas , here i am writing a blog about why people are still going through needless safeguarding procedures, after disclosing their harmless thoughts that are torturing them, if anything they are sharing them because they are requiring help , help which if implemented well can be a life changer that is Cognitive Behavioural Therarpy , and ERP.

Do those that are implementing safeguarding procedures , know about OCD at all ? Do they know that there are no reported cases , EVER , of any person with OCD acting on their unwanted thoughts ! They never do , never have , never will !! No reported cases anywhere in the world ….. So lets look at who decided its a need !!! it isn’t !!!  is it !

On two different occasions recently , during lived experience teaching with IAPT i have heard that some are told to automatically report thoughts of harm/sexual nature to safeguarding protocol , which leads onto unnecessary  angst , wasting of time , resources and  money , which could be put towards resources that help people get better , not making them feel like shit !!! If anything it could actually cause huge damage to a persons well being , and take them back to a worse place than they were before !

Then you hear of people being advised , be careful of who you disclose to , as it can cause pathetic responses of safeguarding by ill informed professionals .. REALLY ?? one would of thought that with the knowledge around about OCD , these are really not required, alas it appears not !!!

Maybe OCD disclosure of thoughts has become a victim of past mistakes that were real , as where in OCD there isn’t a threat , they just want help and support , not another swift kick in the nuts , it hurts , its scary and i speak from lived experience of !!

I was kind of apprehensive of writing this , as i though it might put people off seeking help , but why should i not say it as it is,  its wrong , very ! So please don’t delay if you need advice or support ocd action are fab http://www.ocdaction.org.uk/

 

*Footnote , there can be case of OCD having impacts on those that live with , eg where over usage of chemicals, could impact on others wellbeing , and support should be offered straight away (in an ideal way)

Importance is with the correct help and support ocd is very treatable

Maybe , just maybe if you are unsure as a professional , get one in who knows about ocd rather than needless knee-jerking of safe guarding. Here is a Risk Assessment in OCD a fantastic resource and important article too http://apt.rcpsych.org/content/15/5/332

 

Ash.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extreme OCD. Channel 5. Review

Hi !

Thought i would write a review on the programme re “Extreme OCD”

Firstly “Extreme OCD” title kind/could of  portrayed ocd in it’s “extreme” so for some , people watching  may of been put off seeking help , if they felt that their OCD wasn’t as severe , or could lead onto a comparison , and of course sometimes people do have OCD and are able to hold down full time jobs , often called “high functioning” and do have difficult , severe OCD , but “can” be palmed off for treatments because they are “high functioners” = can’t be that bad , you are working full time

The programme itself , touched on many variations , and types of OCD that effects a sufferer , and also covered well the impact it has on all those that live and care for on a daily basis. It didn’t stereotype , but we must not put OCD into stereotypical boxes , it has a huge impact , whatever the flavour of the obsessions , same meat just different gravy

Positives of programme , was it gave a good insight into how ocd can manifest itself , and from that i hear reports of people seeking help for the first time, which is fab

Negatives ? Not much really , but very difficult to get it right with such a mix match of variations and types of Ocd , flipping from one person to another .

Thats all really .

 

ash

The importance of diagnosis in ocd , maybe .. ..

I thought I would write a personal view on why it is important to have a diagnosis when you are struggling from a debilitating disorder that is OCD.

For me personally ,after 30 odd years of struggling , without a diagnosis, I had reached rock bottom , the lowest point in my life , I thought I was mad, dangerous , did not deserve to live , due to the abhorrent unwanted thoughts that I may have harmed my children when they were babies , some of the thoughts we of a sexual nature also , it was horrific …. to the point of suicidal ideation ….. I wanted answers and certainty that I had not done these things, I tried many ways of trying to get certainty that I had not done these things , and also I tried many types of compulsions to try and rid myself of the thoughts along with disgusting feelings ….

I could not tolerate it anymore so in desperation I took myself to A/E and requested to be locked away , forever to protect people from the evil person I was lead to believe I was …THIS is where the importance of DIAGNOSIS was critical for me !! The on duty Pysch. sat me down and explained what was happening to my poorly brain , and how OCD manifests itself !!! BANG !!! he also explained I would never have done these things , in the past , it was that I had horrid fears that I may have , and the uncertainty feelings make it feel like you have

SO the importance when a person presents with OCD in thee first instance (often at crisis point, as it can take up to 11 plus years before people seek help) being to told by a well informed professional about OCD is vital !

Diagnosis in Perinatal/Paternal OCD is vital too. Too often it is missed, or even misdiagnosed which is wrong , and leads onto further unnecessary suffering for all that are involved with the Disorder. Diagnosis gives all a good insight into the disorder , and importantly accessing correct evidence based treatments for OCD , that being CBT.

I recently did a poll on twitter and over 97% agreed that being given a diagnosis of OCD was beneficial in the sense that they could then go onto obtain information about the disorder , and use self help tools/books to work towards recovery , and importantly direct them onto good treatments , to help them regain their lives back

SO if you are a critic of diagnosis, take time to listen to those who have lived experiences, and yes OCD is a real disorder , but a very treatable one at that … and maybe just maybe with a diagnosis on board, it may help prevent further suffering and many more, unnecessary lost years …..

Ash