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SapphireOwl

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About SapphireOwl

  • Birthday 09/01/1992

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  1. Brief background: I m 24, living with parents, things are usually on good terms, now we are going on a family-visit to Russia for 2 weeks. I have a history of an eating disorder, treatments, etc, now I m just trying to live my life as best/normally as possible with some external support from therapists to keep me going. However, I still have major mental challenges surrounding OCD, rigidity, perfectionism, etc. The thought of 2 whole weeks being confined in a completely different world, without my usual structures and rituals in place is causing my brain to freak out. As much as I m trying to rationalize, telling myself 2 weeks isn t the end of the world, but every little stray from the "norm" is a big deal in my head. I ve done week-long trips before, but this is different. Not much opportunity for independence, being constantly surrounded by family, no control over the settings. Any advice on how to maintain my sanity as best as I can, without obsessing over how out-of-whack things will be?
  2. I'll sum up my situation briefly: Currently 24, attempting a full-time master's program in university. My whole life I've been an A+ student, no problem, academics is where I excel. Then for the past few years I've been dealing with various bouts of depression/eating disorder/anxiety/OCD. I had to take a year off school during my undergrad on 2 occasions to get treatment, and things seemed to stabilize, and I am continuing to see therapists now. My main issue at this very moment: my brain will NOT let me focus on my projects and getting my assignments done, it's so preoccupied with maintaining all my "rituals" and routines, which take up so much time and energy and I can't concentrate on getting the simplest of homework done. It's not a matter of comprehension, I KNOW how to be a student, I KNOW how to do essays and study, etc. But I'm having serious trouble prioritizing. EVERYTHING is screaming for my attention, all the minor things (planning what to wear tomorrow, what to eat for breakfast next Tuesday, what time to take a shower, etc, etc), and even though I desperately want to focus exclusively on my homework, nothing gives way, and I'm panicking, and freaking out over the same destructive pattern happening again, where I'm so engrossed in these stupid obsessions that I can't commit to my studies/work. And these are absolutely meaningless rituals, they don't have any logical explanation, I just have to repeat/do certain movements and actions until they "feel right", which is super vague but that's what it boils down to. Experimenting with medication isn't really an option. I need immediate strategies to ease up the pressure at least a LITTLE for now, so I can get some homework done. Please, any suggestions are welcome. I try to repeat to myself over and over that it's no big deal to "skip" the routines, I try to talk to my family (with whom I live), but I just get irritated, and overwhelmed, and give up exasperated in a sobbing heap.
  3. Thanks for sharing. While I'm sorry you're suffering the same type of crap, it's nice to know there's others on my side of the fence as allies as well. Hang in there.
  4. Been dealing with some mental troubles over the past couple years: depression, anxiety, OCD, etc, but now I ve been generally more stable, am getting good support via therapists. My biggest issue now is my inability to focus my full attention on the thing at hand. My brain is always multi-tasking, racing ahead, making the most menial decisions a big deal. I can t even concentrate on watching a show or reading a book, even though this was no problem in the past. My attention is always split, planning my clothes for tomorrow, my breakfast in two days, etc, on and on. It s so automatic I can never stop it. It s really irritating because I can never enjoy anything anymore. I don t fully experience anything in the present moment, nothing gives me genuine pleasure. I constantly try the whole mindfulness thing, just concentrate on one thing at a time, but it s impossible. My mind is always trying to veer off on tangents, in a million places at once, and it gets overwhelming and exhausting. Any specific strategies to re-train my brain to focus (other than meds)? Things I can concretely DO to get better control of my attention?
  5. Been dealing with some mental troubles over the past couple years: depression, anxiety, OCD, etc, but now I ve been generally more stable, am getting good support via therapists. My biggest issue now is my inability to focus my full attention on the thing at hand. My brain is always multi-tasking, racing ahead, making the most menial decisions a big deal. I can t even concentrate on watching a show or reading a book, even though this was no problem in the past. My attention is always split, planning my clothes for tomorrow, my breakfast in two days, etc, on and on. It s so automatic I can never stop it. It s really irritating because I can never enjoy anything anymore. I don t fully experience anything in the present moment, nothing gives me genuine pleasure. I constantly try the whole mindfulness thing, just concentrate on one thing at a time, but it s impossible. My mind is always trying to veer off on tangents, in a million places at once, and it gets overwhelming and exhausting. Any specific strategies to re-train my brain to focus (other than meds)? Things I can concretely DO to get better control of my attention?
  6. breakfast in two days, etc, on and on. It's so automatic I can never stop it. It's really irritating because I can never enjoy anything anymore. I don't fully experience anything in the present moment, nothing gives me genuine pleasure. I constantly try the whole mindfulness thing, just concentrate on one thing at a time, but it's impossible. My mind is always trying to veer off on tangents, in a million places at once, and it gets overwhelming and exhausting. Any specific strategies to re-train my brain to focus (other than meds)? Things I can concretely DO to get better control of my attention?
  7. breakfast in two days, etc, on and on. It's so automatic I can never stop it. It's really irritating because I can never enjoy anything anymore. I don't fully experience anything in the present moment, nothing gives me genuine pleasure. I constantly try the whole mindfulness thing, just concentrate on one thing at a time, but it's impossible. My mind is always trying to veer off on tangents, in a million places at once, and it gets overwhelming and exhausting. Any specific strategies to re-train my brain to focus (other than meds)? Things I can concretely DO to get better control of my attention?
  8. Been dealing with mental difficulties over the past couple years (OCD, depression, anxiety). I've been getting medical and therapeutic help, have a good support system in place, and have been doing better overall. But I still have drastic swings between good and bad days, and I'm currently in one of those "funks". I can never tell the difference if I'm actually physically tired and my body needs to rest, just laze around for a couple days, or (as my brain relentlessly tries to convince me) I'm just unmotivated and need to suck it up and get my butt doing something useful. I feel lazy and irresponsible, like I should be a proper adult and carry on. But I just can't summon the energy or motivation for the second day in a row and my brain is driving me insane. I recently started a new serving part-time job, so getting used to that, and the "adjustments" it requires of my usual rigid routines. How can I get through the next little while without feeling so useless and incapable? I'm just a groggy zombie, and every minor task like showering seems monumental. My brain is going nuts, at how I'm straying from my usual patterns and routines, and every tiny thing seems overwhelming. Even deciding between reading or watching something becomes this catastrophic decision and I can't focus on either one.
  9. The type of "OCD" I deal with isn't clear-cut, it's based on completely nonsensical, vague urges to repeat certain minor actions (like sitting down or walking into a room) or thought patterns (like what order to shower/dress/etc) until they "feel right". I can't describe what that feeling is, things just have to "click", even if they're completely unrelated to anything in particular. There is no specific trigger to set these off, sometimes I just HAVE to redo or re-think random things until I'm satisfied. I try to ignore them, and just move on without redoing, but I can't concentrate on anything else until the stupid, insignificant task is out of the way. The more times I do it and still not satisfied, the more irritating and exhausting it becomes. It wastes so much time and energy, and deprives me of really enjoying anything. It all has to be a specific pattern, everything has to be broken down into a process, no matter how much I challenge it. I'm not in a position to experiment with medication, I am actually being weaned off an anti-depressant that I've been on for years and isn't really doing much anyways. I've dealt with various bouts of depression/anxiety over the years, but right now my mood seems to be more stable while this obsessive, excessive concentration on tiny details is driving me insane! Little insignificant tasks and choices get blown out of proportion and turn into major events that take over the day. It gets so frustrating. I am seeing a couple of therapists, but haven't really got any definitive answers. Are there any specific strategies, aside from "trying to be present in the moment" (which is a load of bull based on many futile efforts) I can use to try to tone down these urges/feelings? It's hard to explain, I did the best I could. If anyone has a similar experience with these vague types of intrusions and can share how they cope, that would be great.
  10. The type of "OCD" I deal with isn't clear-cut, it's based on completely nonsensical, vague urges to repeat certain minor actions (like sitting down or walking into a room) or thought patterns (like what order to shower/dress/etc) until they "feel right". I can't describe what that feeling is, things just have to "click", even if they're completely unrelated to anything in particular. There is no specific trigger to set these off, sometimes I just HAVE to redo or re-think random things until I'm satisfied. I try to ignore them, and just move on without redoing, but I can't concentrate on anything else until the stupid, insignificant task is out of the way. The more times I do it and still not satisfied, the more irritating and exhausting it becomes. It wastes so much time and energy, and deprives me of really enjoying anything. It all has to be a specific pattern, everything has to be broken down into a process, no matter how much I challenge it. I'm not in a position to experiment with medication, I am actually being weaned off an anti-depressant that I've been on for years and isn't really doing much anyways. I've dealt with various bouts of depression/anxiety over the years, but right now my mood seems to be more stable while this obsessive, excessive concentration on tiny details is driving me insane! Little insignificant tasks and choices get blown out of proportion and turn into major events that take over the day. It gets so frustrating. I am seeing a couple of therapists, but haven't really got any definitive answers. Are there any specific strategies, aside from "trying to be present in the moment" (which is a load of bull based on many futile efforts) I can use to try to tone down these urges/feelings? It's hard to explain, I did the best I could. If anyone has a similar experience with these vague types of intrusions and can share how they cope, that would be great.
  11. Thanks, it does bring a little comfort that someone else just "gets" it. It's so hard to describe to anyone, even doctors and therapists, because OCD always involves definite things like hand-washing because one is afraid of germs, or checking locks because one is afraid of being robbed. But I don't have any specific fears or "bad thoughts" like attacking someone or whatnot. Good to know that even my weird vague form of OCD exists and I'm not just "not seeing the deeper meaning" or whatever. Thank you for sharing.
  12. I have been on Cipralex on various doses for MANY years (for anti-depression purposes) but am currently in the process of weaning off of it, since I don't even think it's doing anything. Like I mentioned, I'm not in a position to be experimenting with medications, my system is in a bit of a fragile state, and there is also no direct cause or trigger for the OCD tendencies, which makes it hard to pin-point its source.
  13. I've been dealing with OCD tendencies for years, at times it's worse than others. The last year has been particularly hard in terms of mental health (depression, anxiety, perfectionism) but I'm getting support and have a mix of good and bad days. It's one of those rough spells right now, and it's hard to describe: I get really pervasive intrusive "thoughts", but they're vague, nothing specific, without any particular triggers. They're completely non-nonsensical, it can be a random word or image that taunts me and won't leave my mind. It's not anything like a destructive or inappropriate behaviour that I'm scared I'll act out. Just an inexplicable "feeling of not right". And this compels me to repeat menial actions over and over and over until it "feels right". Like, for instance I'll leave and re-enter a room 10 times or look in the mirror a certain way repeatedly until I feel it's "satisfactory". The problem is this cycle gets out of control: the more I try to ignore it or drive the intrusion out, the more prominent it gets, the more irritated I get, the less successful I am in repeating an action up to standard. I'm not in a position to experiment with any meds, and need to just get in control of my brain without going insane. This completely interferes with my day. Simple tasks end up taking hours because I can't let it go until it feels "right". I can't ignore it. I can't overpower it. Any strategies? I can't move on, and I can't ignore these bugs infesting my mind. It makes it harder because they're so hard to describe, they don't have any specific meaning or origin.
  14. Brief summary of the circumstances: wonky mental state for about a year, intense fluctuations between depression and anxiety, and OCD tendencies. I've been doing better for the past few months, seeing a therapist, and a GP. MAIN ISSUE: I don't have specific anxiety, my brain just never shuts off. Always racing ahead, planning, scheduling, creating major dilemmas out of the tiniest decisions. I am never fully present, can never focus on one specific thing and get overwhelmed very easily by all the great ideas my brain hatches, and I go off on tangents constantly, never being able to settle on ONE task. This has been having a tole on my sleep ability, which I've never had issues with before. So I've been in a groggy, zombie half-conscious state for a while now. No energy to be motivated to do anything significant, yet unable to get a decent rest to recharge and get some revival. So my therapist recommended a benzodiazepine as a possible option. It seems appropriate considering my needs: I do NOT want to build a reliance on medication, this is a last resort. I need something short-term, just enough to shut off my brain for a few hours of sleep. I don't have issues physically falling asleep, it's just the mental noise preventing me doing so. I just want a good solid rest to recharge my batteries! I'm sick of being a zombie, neither here nor there. Any suggestions on the most effective kind/brand? And what are the general prices (in Canada), as I do not have coverage at the moment. Feedback and personal experiences would be appreciated. I have no strength to find the off switch, if it exists at all.
  15. I've had this issue for months now. Groggy and tired but can't fall asleep because my constantly racing mind won't ever shut off. Tried naps, tried caffeine, but I can't ever get a good solid rest. So I'm resorting to a different option. Just keep going about day to day tasks, without caffeine, maybe for the next 24 hours or so until I literally run out of batteries and have no choice but to crash from exhaustion. I don't have any work obligations or anything so I don't really need to be fully alert. Can this be a sufficient strategy for "rebooting" my system? I just want to wipe the slate and start fresh, not be a zombie caught in between being too tired to do anything meaningful but not tired enough to really turn off for the past months. I always go to bed at a reasonable time, I've never had insomnia issues before, but been dealing with some mental strains (compulsive over thinking, planning, etc, mind is always racing ahead). And no, I do not want to rely on medication.
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