Why "71º & Sunny?"

I consider 71º to be the perfect temperature. Not too cold and not too hot. I also love perfect sunny days. The vast majority of days are not 71º & Sunny and yet, all days were created by God's hand and they are still gifts, even if they don't fit my ridiculous definition of perfection. My struggle with OCD has at times imprisoned me in an impossible attempt to achieve perfection. I'm now learning to love all kinds of days that don't even come close to 71º & Sunny.

Please leave me a comment below. I really want to know what you are thinking!

Got Questions?

Do you have questions about what it's like to live with OCD, GAD, CSP, or depression? Do you have suggestions for future posts? Is there something that you'd like me to clarify about an earlier post? Well, this is your spot to let me know. No comment, question, or suggestion is too silly. I'd love to hear from you.

PLEASE NOTE: I am not a doctor, psychologist, or mental health provider. I have had no training in medicine or psychology. I am just someone who has lived with anxiety for all of my life and I have a deep desire to reach out to others to provide some comfort and maybe a little hope. Anything I write on my blog is simply my opinion and the sharing of my own life experience.

39 comments:

  1. Hey, Sunny--

    I don't have a question. I just wanted to check in and see how you're doing. I hope you are doing well and anxiety is at bay.

    I've been thinking about you!

    Tina

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    1. Hi Tina. I can always count on you to be so thoughtful! I'm doing really well, actually. I've been out of town with my husband and I just got back yesterday. Hence the lack of posting. I only had my phone with me and it's ok to write some small comments but it would be a nightmare to write a post with it! Thanks for thinking of me. : )

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  2. Hey there. I'm new to blogspot. Actually I just created an account in order to get in contact with you. I was reading one of your blogs about "Hit and Run OCD." I was searching Google to see if I could find some help about it and came across this site. I'm so glad I did. I, too, am a child of God and know that He cares so strongly for each and every one of us. The life that He has given us is not meant to be spent feeling anxious. He says to cast our burdens upon Him for He cares for us. "Fear not, for I am with You. Be not dismayed, for I am your God." He tells us not to be anxious for anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, present your requests to Him.
    I have never met anyone or spoken with anyone who has dealt with Hit and Run OCD. I wasn't able to find a way to send a message that isn't public, and its kind of embarrassing talking about the struggles I've been facing, but I'm desperate. First off, my name is Trisha. I'm 24 years old and have suffered from OCD since age 11. At age 20 is when I noticed the Hit and Run OCD started affecting me tremendously!!! Four and a half years later, and I'm still suffereing! I've read so much about OCD, have gone to 2 different counselors. I've read and studied up about CBT and ERP...I keep putting off seeking a CBT/ERP therapist...trying my best to resist the compulsions myself...doing much better than I used to.
    I'm starting to realize the tricks that OCD plays on me. I understand that all OCD is is just a "hiccup" in the brain...the anxiety that people feel when in REAL danger is the same anxiety I feel most of the time. I've learned that I HAVE to allow myself to just feel that anxiety...allow the worries to wash over me (without performing the compulsions- mental checking, physical checking, checking news articles for hit and run stories, checking my car, etc.)....some days though, it is SO difficult to resist the urges/compulsions.
    It would be so nice to talk to someone who has dealt with similar struggles...Just wondering what kind of advice you might have for me. It just feels good to know that I'm not alone in this. Some days I feel like I'm the only one suffering with this. I refuse, REFUSE, to give up driving. People say, "just take the bus"...but I have to fight this. I want to be a normal 24 year old. These last 4 yrs have flown by and have been wasted it seems. I can't afford to waste another minute. I want to fulfill the purpose that God has for my life, but I can't do that if I'm sitting alone in my apartment, terrified to drive any more than I HAVE to (work, etc...) My life is so limited...I want FREEDOM!!!

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    1. Hi Trisha! I'm so glad you found me! First, let me say that I am so very sorry that you are suffering. It breaks my heart. I agree, there is tremendous comfort in knowing others feel the same way we do. You are most definitely not alone and I assure you there are plenty of people who struggle with the same things. Hit and Run OCD is actually not uncommon in the OCD world. People with OCD are just so embarrassed that they hide their symptoms very well.

      I also agree, that very often my OCD kept me from living the life I know that God wanted me to live. It's been one of my motivators for fighting compulsions.

      I know it's hard to talk about your symptoms in a public manner like this. But, you have an illness, like any other. There is NO SHAME in that. And you know, a lot of good can come from commenting in public like this. I guarantee you, that at some point, someone else will read your comment and feel comforted because they may live with a similar situation.

      I also understand the feeling of sitting alone in your apartment. The reason I finally decided to seek CBT & ERP was because my base level of anxiety became almost unbearable to live with, and my world was becoming smaller and smaller. It was getting harder for me to function at any level. I was literally afraid of my own shadow. It was a terrible way to live. I can relate to your feelings of desperation.

      I think it's great that you are doing better than you used to, especially while doing it on your own. You may get much quicker traction with professional guidance, however. May I ask why you are putting off seeking professional CBT & ERP help at this time? I know there are many reasons why people put it off. I waited 13 years to finally get CBT treatment because I was deathly afraid of what the treatment would make me do. I really regret waiting.

      Your instinct about driving is 100% correct. Absolutely, if you want to fight Hit and Run OCD, the worst thing to do is to stop driving. My doctor used to challenge me to drive in places that were scary for me. I didn't like driving downtown with lots of people (the downtown in my city is not even exactly what you'd call large!). So I would have to do it daily. I hate taking right turns. So guess what she would suggest I do? I didn't like driving past schools because I was afraid I'd hit a kid. So I'd have to drive by schools. First she wanted me to drive by when school was not in session, then when school was in session, but all the kids were still in class. Finally she wanted me to drive by during the end of the day as the kids were being released. The idea is to take what you are afraid of and break it down into bite-sized pieces. It needs to be something that still causes you anxiety (like 6 or 7 out of 10), but yet is still doable for you - but not enough to put you into full melt down. Then work on it every day. As you master each level, you move up. After you work at it, the obsessive thoughts might still be there for several months, but you will be able to easier walk away from them and your anxiety levels should go down at least some. Eventually after some time, it may become even easy to do things that once seemed impossible. I have experienced this in more than one area.

      Do you have friends or family who would be willing to help coach you through ERPs? I have found that to be very helpful.

      I do not believe your last four years were wasted. You've suffered I know, but I also suspect you've learned a lot. Your experiences can help you to reach others who've suffered too. These experiences are molding you into who you are today.

      I will always be here for you if you have any questions or comments or you just want to cry on my shoulder (virtually speaking!) God Bless you Trisha. : )

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    2. Trisha, I almost forgot. I wanted to point out to you that under my blogroll is the link to Steven J. Seay, Ph.D.'s website. I believe he talks about Hit and Run OCD as well in an older posting.

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    3. Hi Trisha. If you're reading this, I just wanted you to know that I was thinking about you and wondering how you were doing.

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  3. Hello! I found your site while searching for blogs focused on OCD and Christianity. I, too, am a follower of Christ who struggles with anxiety, OCD, and depression. I wanted to thank you for sharing your heart through this blog. By reading your entries I (and others) can be reminded that we are not alone in our struggles, and can be encouraged to keep our eyes on Christ as we take steps forward. May God bless you and give you strength!
    Crystal

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  4. Thank you Crystal! (What a pretty name.) I'm glad to have found your blog too and I enjoyed reading about you. I too need encouragement and reminders to keep my eyes on the Lord as I move forward. There are so many distractions (and I definitely consider anxiety to be one of them!), that it's hard to stay focused. I have found the online blogging community to be of tremendous support, much more than I could have possibly imagined. I hope you will find comfort here too. Blessings!

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  5. Hi. I just read your post on visiting your grandmother at the nursing home. I too have OCD with contamination issues so I can empathize. My father-in-law was in the hospital, and before we even got the diagnosis, I would not sit in down in his room or touch the side of his bed. Basically I was frozen standing in the corner watching the rest of the family sit on his bed and fuss over him. He had a bad infection on his knee and they were even touching that, saying how warm it felt. OCD or not, I thought that was a horrible idea and it ended up he had MRSA among other things. So afterwards I felt better that I was cautious in that particular case. But overall, OCD has hurt me in relationships and made me withdraw from people and social situations. Makes me sad. Blessings to you and all of us that struggle with this.

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    1. Hey Krystal Lynn. It really makes me sad too that OCD has gotten in between me and the people that I care about. It was one of the reasons that I kept pushing through CBT. I kept reminding myself that my loved ones deserved more than what I was giving them. I'm still somewhat limited due to the OCD, but I'm quite pleased at the improvement I've seen so far.

      Your description of visiting your father-in-law is very vivid to me. I can put myself in that corner with you. Ugh. Yep, occasionally OCD will protect us from something, like it did with you in the hospital that day. I think that's partly how it continues to keep it's hold on us. It's always whispering in our ear, "See, I told you not to touch anything in that room. I was right." OK, maybe it was right once out of 1000 times, but I'd rather take my chances and live through the other 999 times than be a slave to OCD anymore! I'm curious. Did anyone in your family catch anything by touching your father-in-law's knee? I suspect the answer is no. Not that I'd recommend touching anyone's wound with MRSA! I mean obviously, that's not something anyone should do. But, I guess what I'm trying to say, is that even sometimes when someone touches something that is truly "contaminated," they don't always catch something because of it. So living in our contaminated OCD world really doesn't protect us from very much and just destroys our lives.

      OK, I've rambled on enough here! Thanks for your encouragement. Blessings to you too. : )

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  6. Hi Sunny,
    I was wondering if you had an email for contacting you or is this your only location, I would love to discuss some developments in the OCD field and provide you with some information.
    Thanks!
    Rebecca

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    1. Hi Rebecca. For right now, I'm more comfortable working through this blog. However, at some point in the future, I will probably share my e-mail address.

      I would love to discuss any new developments in the OCD world! Do you work in the anxiety disorders field?

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    2. Well, Rebecca, I guess I've changed my mind! Feel free to contact me at drummergirl031@gmail.com.

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  7. This comment is in response to Jordan. Thank you, I am very interested. I have given this more thought, and I've decided to post my e-mail address. I've had 2 requests for my address in the last 3 days, and I think posting my e-mail will be helpful for several purposes.

    drummergirl031@gmail.com

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  8. Do you take meds for your OCD? Have you ever researched/noticed a connection between diet and your OCD?

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    1. Hi Kristina. I have taken meds for the last year and a half - a low dose of an SSRI. The first year and half that I went through CBT/ERP I did it without meds. I got stuck with the CBT/ERP, so that's when I added the meds.

      I've never researched any type of connection between OCD and food. Could you clarify your question a bit? I'm just not sure what exactly you are questioning about a food/OCD connection. Maybe if you tell me more specifically what you are wondering about you and I could figure it out together!

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    2. Well I'm on the GAPS diet and its helped my anxiety a lot, but it's also supposed to help OCD. I have read before about a connection between gut health and OCD. Also doctor Amen talks about diet and anxiety/obsessiveness as well.

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    3. I've never heard of the GAPS diet. I will definitely look into that. Well, it is true that our gut health does affect a tremendous amount of stuff in our bodies, so that would not surprise me. I'm going to check out that GAPS diet.

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    4. Glad to hear it! I have some info on my blog, Suds in the Toilet if you're interested.

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    5. I did check out your blog, thanks for the info on GAPS. I'm glad to hear that the GAPS diet works for you. It's amazing how much is out there that I've never even heard of before.

      I really liked the design on your blog.

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  9. Hi, it's "Secretive" from Dr. Seay's hit and run blog post. I also commented a couple of time's on one of your blog posts in the last half hour.

    I have just started to explore your blog so forgive me if the answer to my question is posted somewhere. I am curious how open you are about your hit and run ocd to your loved ones. If you're open, how did you go about telling them? I've only told a handful of people and it took me a long time to tell them and I'd often start by just giving them vague, obscure details since I was so terrified that they'd think that I actually hit someone. Of the people I've told (including counsellors), no one has heard of it before. It is a bit disheartening to go to a professional and have to educate them about what it is. I often wonder if I told more people about it, if it'd help take some of the shame away.

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    1. Hi Secretive! I saw your comments and commented back!

      There are a lot of posts and comments to get through, so don't apologize for asking a question! I can't remember if I answered this before or not, but even if I did - well, it would probably be hard to find it. : )

      Anyway, first I want to say how incredibly FRUSTRATING it is to me that counselors have not heard of Hit and Run OCD!!!! Ugh. Truly makes me want to scream. Ok. Got that off my chest. Seriously though, I can completely understand how disheartening it is to walk into a therapist's office and have to be their educator. This is, unfortunately, not the first time I have heard this. The sad part to me is that there is a TON of info about this online. No reason that anyone can't find some basic info on this.

      I have had anxiety my whole life. Bits of OCD throughout my whole life as well, however OCD took complete control of me in 1996 and I've been living with it ever since. It is only in the last year and a half that I've really started telling tons of people about it. My family (parents, husband, & child) have known about the OCD ever since I had my near breakdown in 1996). For me, keeping the secret of OCD from everyone else did make me feel shameful. I carried around guilt as if I was living a double life-in a way I was - I appeared "normal" to the outside world but I was so broken inside. Anyway, I had guilt as if I was a secret criminal, but the only thing I was doing was hiding the OCD! So FOR ME, my doc felt it was the best thing to slowly come out to people I trusted. Thankfully, I'm a pretty good judge of character, so I knew who I could start with. Slowly, but surely, I told several people (including my senior pastor and another church staff member - I'm very involved in my church). I received nothing but love and acceptance. I'm at the point now, though, that I'm strong enough to even deal with a negative reaction. And of course, that is a real possibility. I think you really need to think about how you would respond to some negative reactions first, and be ready for them. However, I will also say that sometimes people really have the capacity to surprise you. Particularly people that have suffered or had tragedy in their lives. They understand pain - even if the source is different.

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    2. I'm continuing my comment here - sometimes Blogger won't post your comment if it's too long.

      Anyway, having said all of that - there are a few people in my life that I would NEVER volunteer to them about my OCD. I know they are not at all understanding about these types of things and it would be most unpleasant for them to know. However, if they found out accidentally, well, then so be it. I can deal with it, but hey, I'm not dumb - I'm not gonna volunteer for it! ha ha

      I think if you do decide to tell people, it might be a good to start by explaining that OCD is a neurobiological anxiety disorder. Our brains are literally different from others. I have read and heard many experts say that people with OCD (if they really have OCD, of course) don't generally act on the scary thoughts they have (actually I've personally never seen it and I know several people with OCD). The reason we freak out about the scary thoughts is that they frighten us intently. (Actually, I recommend you read my post "Our Thoughts Are NOT The Problem", which I think may be helpful in explaining this. The compulsions we perform help to remove the anxiety. Hence, why we re-drive and re-drive over the area to make sure we haven't hit someone. We are so afraid of the possibility of hitting someone that we are over careful and over cautious. I would also direct them to the OC Foundation website.

      Anyway, sorry to have written a book here. But you hit a subject close to home for me.

      Do you mind my asking what general area you live in? I ask this because I have some info on several anxiety treatment centers and maybe I can find one in your area.

      Hope this was at least a little helpful. Please visit again!

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    3. Hi Sunny,
      Thank you so much for your "book" of a response! You have a way with words and a calming nature to your writing style.

      I admire that you have gradually confided in people you trust, especially after keeping it a secret for so long. Describing how you felt like a "secret criminal" is quite impactful. It's a good way of desccribing all of the pent up guilt while also acknowledging that it is the OCD that is the real culprit.

      I appreciate the time you took to reply. Reading something from someone who can truly empathsize is something I'm not familiar with. I used to be too afraid to even reach out online like I'm starting to do.

      I'm in Canada but unfortunately my particular city doesn't have anything that would be of help. I've tried Skype therapy before but it is just too costly. I know there are psychologists around here but based on my conversations with some of them on the phone, they don't seem like an expert in the area. I feel like if I'm going to invest the time in engery into changing, it'd be nice to work with an expert. But maybe that's just my way of avoiding treatment. Very kind of you to offer to check into treatment centers. Thanks again :)

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    4. I'm so glad you are feeling comfortable with talking to others online about OCD now. It was a big step for me too. But, now, you can't stop me!! ha ha

      Unfortunately, Blogger won't let me put a link in a comment so I will type out the address for you for the blog of Pure O Canuck. POC is (obviously!) Canadian and was instrumental in starting the newly formed Canadian OCD Network, which now has a Facebook page. POC's blog address is: pureocanuck.blogspot.com. Perhaps you can find some help there.

      I know what you mean about wanting to work with an expert, because if it's going to be hard, you want it to work. That was why I drove into Boston (about an hour and half away-depending on traffic) because I just didn't want to goof off with this. I really get it.

      Perhaps the next best thing you can do is to read really good books on OCD treatment, (like Grayson's Freedom from OCD - though as a Christian I'm not crazy about his chapter on scrupulosity-but I love the rest of it). You could educate yourself well, find a therapist who is at least open to learning and holding you accountable for ERPs, or find a friend or family member who can help you do the same. Anyway, just a thought.

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    5. I'm glad you now cannot be stopped! You've actually inspired me to possibly start a blog about it as well. If I do, I'll definitely let you know. I'll have to think of a better name than "Secretive" though!

      Thank you so much for the information about the Canadian OCD Network! I had no idea it existed!

      You're lucky to live close enough to a large city. Sometimes I think if I'm vacationing in a big city, I should check out if there are any support groups to try out while I'm there.

      I love Grayson's book! I actually did the Skype therapy through his treatment centre.

      Thanks again for all of your interaction...and for the inspiration!

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    6. Ah, so you were lucky enough to do stuff through his centre. That is awesome. Then I take it you have a good idea of what a proper ERP program should look like. I did not realize his group did Skype. That's good info for the future.

      I know how lucky I am to live near Boston. That's why I decided to make the drive and get the treatment there. In a lot of ways they have been the epicenter for a lot of OCD treatment over the years, so I figured I would be kind of crazy to not take advantage of it. It was worth it.

      Definitely let me know if you decide to start a blog!

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  10. hi friend, i have to make this quick due to internet problems at this store. M y apologies for not getting back to you sooner. Thank you for your prayers and gracious support for me in your August 27 reply to Anonymous, that was me. i don' t have internet at home and the last few weeks have been beyond horrific for me, but i still pray for you and some of your regular visitors who i have grown to have compassion for. i may send you an email because there is something of great importance i'd like to discuss with you. i believe God led me to find your blog, we are both Christians who endure a hard road to walk but maybe something really good will come from all of this pain we share. peace to you Anon 8-27 ps it was good to hear you held the book...you have my continued support.

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    1. I'm glad to hear from you again! I'm so sorry that these last few weeks have been so terrible for you. How I wish I could make it all go away for you.

      I also believe that good things can come from our pain. Sometimes though, it is very difficult to imagine how that could be possible. I can tell you from personal experience that that has happened in my life.

      I was as surprised as anyone that I finally held that book. It's funny, but now that doesn't seem like such a big deal! Thank you so much for your kind support!

      How sweet of you to pray for me and for some of my visitors! I'm praying for you right now. Looking forward to "talking" to you again. God bless. : )

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  11. Hello there-- I was browsing through your blog (and some of the other ones related to ocd) this morning to get layout ideas when I noticed in your subject column "crohns and ulcerative colitis). My husband became very ill in 2008 at age 38 and after a couple of terror-filled, stressful months was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, with some markers for crohns. For a few years now, he's been on medications which, along with lifestyle changes and vigilance, have helped him live normally again. Though it's a new kind of normal, for sure.

    In 2010, I was nearing a meltdown and I finally sought help last year for issues that had been going on for a very long time. I was diagnosed with adhd, anxiety and ocd.

    Anyway-- just wanted to introduce myself and say hello and tell you I appreciate your blog and your wonderful ability to share your story. :)

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    1. Oh, well aren't you sweet?! Thanks for your kind words.

      I am SOOO very sorry to hear about your husband. It IS a terrorizing illness, isn't it? I am glad to hear he is doing better. But, you are so right - it is a new kind of normal. Even over silly types of things. My husband simply LOVES salads. In fact, I tell him all the time that he is such a rabbit. : ) But, of course, daily salads are really not a good idea. Just the other day, I realized he was having a second helping of salad and I had to remind him about it. He had totally forgotten that he wasn't supposed to do that. And of course, we go to Boston for his bi-monthly infusions all the time. We've definitely had to adjust.

      I'm sorry you have had health issues yourself. I understand what you mean by a near meltdown. Been there twice myself. It is brutal. I'm sure your husband's health issues didn't help matters. I know my hubby's IBD is certainly a trigger for my anxiety.

      I'm so glad you "visited." Please, come again. I look forward to reading your blog!

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  12. Sunny! Thanks so much for sharing this video. I have gotten to the 90% level of sharing about my depression disorder in a so called regular conversation.
    I can't wait to come back to watch your other videos. !!

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    1. Hey Deanna! I'm so sorry - I only just saw your comment today! I don't know why I didn't see it sooner?!

      Good for you for becoming more open about your struggles with depression. It is a hard subject, but a really important one. So many people suffer in silence. I have to think you've been a huge comfort to others who discovered they shared this type of struggle with you. Hugs!

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  13. Hello! I found your blog through a shared link on Facebook. I found out five months ago that I have OCD and now I know what is actually is, I think I've had it for at least three years. My immediate family is Christian and so am I, but I don't go around talking about how good God is at every chance I get, like some people in my college fellowship did. I also think people often misinterpret what the Bible says.
    I'm writing to ask your opinion on seeing an advertised "Christian" therapist or a therapist connected to a church counseling program versus seeing a typical, any kind of therapist. I feel lucky to have the therapist I see now. My parents however seem to think that Christianity alone/itself should solve my OCD issues. When I was looking for a therapist, my dad was really pushing a "Christian" approach or an advertised "Christian" therapist. They assume my therapist is not Christian just because that's never come out in session or otherwise, but of course they don't know that for sure. I purposefully chose someone who didn't advertise their Christianity because I was and am afraid that they will mess with my head, i.e. I am a bad person, with their own interpretation of God's Word.

    I would appreciate any thoughts you might have on this subject.

    Thank you very much for reading and for writing this blog!

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    1. Welcome! I'm glad we found each other.

      Wow, this is a tough question. I say that because I think it really depends on each person's situation. While I greatly respect Christian counseling (I sought it many years ago for some early marriage problems - it was very helpful; then returned a few years later for OCD - not very helpful), it is an unfortunate truth that the vast majority of Christian counselors probably do not understand Cognitive Behavioral Therapy using Exposure and Response Prevention. Hey, even tons of secular therapists don't know about it! And CBT/ERP has been shown to be the most effective treatment for OCD. This is not to say that I think God should not be a part of the process, because He is the center (or should be) of all. Here's the thing that continues to bug me about this whole thing. Would other believers hesitate to see a secular doctor for a broken foot or ovarian cancer? I would hope not. Yet, I still believe that God is involved in those areas too, and should be rightfully given the glory for any healing. People just seem to get funny when it comes to brain issues. But as more and more research comes out, we are getting a clearer picture that mental illness is a combination of things, and most notably, a neurobiological disorder. Why do OCD brain scans look physically different than "normal" brain scans? Because there is, in fact, a physical difference!

      No one knows exactly what causes OCD. It is believed to be a combination of genetics, chemical imbalances, and given the right environmental situations, it comes out. I do believe there is a spiritual component, just like I believe there is a spiritual component to everything. If I'm honest, I'll admit I'm overweight. Some of that is because I willfully sin and over-eat. But you know what? Some of it is a result of medication I am on, and some of it is a result of the anxiety/depression that I live with. I'll take SOME responsibility for it, but not all. I think that maybe there is something similar (perhaps - not in every case) of mental illness? Meaning that at times maybe we aren't spiritually in tune with God and maybe sometimes some bad choices can add to or exacerbate our illness. BUT, I also believe there are parts of it that are just merely an illness. Plain and simple. I had symptoms of anxiety as an infant (so I'm told) and my parents and I plainly remember my first anxiety attack as a 3 year old. Hard to argue a spiritual "failing" there. Now, as I got older I made choices that did not help my situation and at times kept me mired in the mud. Yep, that part's my fault - but not the part about having the illness in the first place.

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    2. I'm continuing my response here. Blogger doesn't like long comments!

      You know what is ironic? In 1996, when my OCD first completely took over my life, I read about CBT/ERP. But it scared me to death and so I decided to go back to my Christian counselor instead, just hoping it would work. It didn't, of course. The funny thing here? I actually consider it an act of disobedience on my part, that at that time, I sought the Christian counseling rather than the proper counseling. Why? Because my family and I suffered for well over a decade after that until I finally sought the correct therapy. I deeply regret not facing my fears earlier. It caused a lot of unnecessary suffering for all of us. And maybe my recovery would have been much greater if I had sought the proper therapy earlier. I want to make it clear, though, that I am ONLY talking about myself and my situation here. I absolutely pass no judgement on other believers and the choices they make to find healing. This was MY failing, in MY situation.

      So . . . having said all that, I do, routinely, suggest secular CBT/ERP, simply because it works and simply because I only know of two Christians (Ian Osborn and Ted Witzig, Jr.) who know how to properly treat OCD/anxiety. Now if your issues include Scrupulousity, treatment gets a little dicier. Because SOME, not all, but some secular therapists might suggest treatment options that would violate your beliefs. I was blessed in that my psychologist was VERY respectful of my belief system. I also made it abundantly clear early on, that my relationship with Jesus is the center of all. And the truth is, and I know that a lot of people would disagree with me, but if I have to choose between Jesus and living with OCD, I'm going to choose Jesus. But, I think that you don't usually have to make that choice, unless your therapist is, frankly, not a good one. A good one should respect your beliefs. My therapist didn't maybe always understand where I was coming from, but I would explain it and she would try to incorporate my value system to help me heal. Also, bringing a trusted pastor with you to a session or two (especially if you are dealing with Scrup) is not at all unheard of, and any good therapist should be willing to accommodate that.

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    3. My pastor is well aware that I sought a secular specialist, and he was willing to attend a session with me (an hour away from our home no less!). We never did end up doing it, but he would have, and my psychologist was all for it.

      So obviously, I'm not against the secular route. But my suggestion would be to be clear and up front with your potential therapist. If they seem really uncomfortable with honoring your wishes, maybe it's time to find someone else. Surround yourself with believers who deeply love Jesus, and that also understand that mental illness is a legit condition (I know, easier said than done to find those people sometimes). Educate your family. If you can, have them read books. Jeff Bell's first book is an incredible first person account of living with the torment of OCD. (There are a few swear words in there, though, if I remember right.) bring your parents to a session, if they are willing. I'm in my 40's, and I still brought my mommy & daddy with me. If your family can see all the scientific evidence backing up the legitimacy of mental illness as a true illness, and not some lack of character or a sin issue, they may begin to see the necessity for expert treatment. Show them blogs. Find blog posts that especially speak to how deeply you suffer, as a way to explain it to them. Go to YouTube and show them documentaries that portray the deep suffering experienced by this population of people. Next week is OCD Awareness week. There may even be events in your area that you could bring them too. Check out the IOCDF website - I have a link to the upper right. But ultimately, you have to do what YOU believe is the right thing before God. I don't know how old you are, but I'm assuming you are over 18. That being the case, while your parents' approval is an incredible blessing, you need to follow God's lead regardless. Seek Him in prayer. Read His word and read about His grace.

      I'm sure you were not expecting a "book" of a response, but this is an issue that I think about all. the. time. I NEVER want to steer someone wrong before God. These are the things I agonize about. But I can tell you this. Post treatment, I love Jesus more than ever. I am absolutely committed to Him more than ever. Ok, so maybe I don't pray or read my Bible more than ever! But I am determined more than ever to live my life honoring Him and making the choices that I believe are right in His eyes. This has been intentional and purposeful and I've had to work hard to hold on to my relationship with Him through all of this. And I am determined to be His for as long as I breathe on this earth.

      Please feel free to visit again anytime. If I can ever be of help or just offer a virtual shoulder to cry on, then I am glad to do it.

      I will pray for you, that God will direct your steps and that you will find peace. God bless, my friend.

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  14. Hi I love that your making progress in recovery through your posts. I just started an OCD recovery site as well and would love for you to check it out! https://facefearsnlive.wordpress.com

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    1. Hey Drew! Welcome to the blogging community! I have found it to be a great supportive place. I hope you will too!

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