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[OCD] Understanding My Mom's Condition

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Beriberi

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Sep 18, 2019
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Malaysia
For context, my mom has had OCD since she was a child, but in the past decade it slowly became worse. To the point of not being able to open the house door, can't pay for meals, or taking showers for a day. Which made her dependant on her children as well. Recently when we aren't able to help her, she would throw a fit and start saying that we didn't care or love her, or ask us to move out of the house.

As her child, I used to find that her behaviour was unreasonable. I was frustrated that she couldn't do things on her own and I had to arrange my schedule around her, while the fits she threw was the breaking point for me and I felt like it was toxic of her to guilt trip me in that way when I tried my best to help.

But after evaluating with my friends, it was also my fault for not putting myself in her shoes. It's highly unlikely she would like to do those things that disrupts her life so much, and all the pent up frustrations must have taken a toll on her.

So are there any readers here that have experience the same and could share their experience or wisdom? Or anyone at all that would like to give their opinions as well? Thanks so much.
 
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Beriberi

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As for seeking treatment, she used to be against it, for fear that the therapist wouldn't understand her condition. She even said that instead of her receiving therapy, she'll be the one giving in.

Luckily, she asked me a few days ago to give her the telephone number for the therapist I recommended, and is considering treatment as well.
 
Warrior

Warrior

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Jul 23, 2019
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Hi @Beriberi I have OCD and my husband now still as it in the neck on a daily basis over one thing or another, don't blame yourself it's how OCD affects the brain. Actually it's like mental torture to we and as I've got holder it's got worse.
I shout at my hubby if he leaves a few crumbs, he's learnt to live around it but I still manage to shout on a daily basis as I find it actually makes you aggressive to those around you and it can come over hurtful but it's not actually meant that way it's an instand reaction to things no running right if you get my drift.

Get your mom help if she's asking for it 🤞 I asked and they told me it was to late and I was to hold having it since a child.
 
hicks

hicks

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In a galaxy, far far away..
My daughter has chronic OCD. It affects all aspects of life, makes day to day normal living impossible, and has a huge impact on the whole family. People have no idea how debilitating this condition is!
We're only just getting to properly understand it, but anxiety is the driver. She has fears of contamination, so hand washing is a frequent, and long drawn out routine. With the help of a therapist we're trying to manage it better. @Warrior has my sympathy, this is not an easy thing to live with. The sufferer has got to want to help themselves, and improve. Nobody can do it for them.
 
Warrior

Warrior

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My daughter has chronic OCD. It affects all aspects of life, makes day to day normal living impossible, and has a huge impact on the whole family. People have no idea how debilitating this condition is!
Sorry to hear about your daughter and contamination is a huge fact of the condition, I managed to over come scrubbing my body contently and getting back in the bath about ever hour on a daily basis but cleaning / objects positioned correctly and more - it's totally SICK (n)
 
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Beriberi

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Thanks for all the replies and support! :hug: Really glad to hear all of your responses. Treatment so far is still in the considering phase, but at least it's somewhere.

But just wondering are most OCD patients independent? Can they do most things without external help? Was wondering if there are any ways to encourage my mom to be more independent, as I'm not always there to help her. Most of the times she wouldn't even be able to eat without some help
 
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Beriberi

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Sep 18, 2019
Messages
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Location
Malaysia
Hi @Beriberi I have OCD and my husband now still as it in the neck on a daily basis over one thing or another, don't blame yourself it's how OCD affects the brain. Actually it's like mental torture to we and as I've got holder it's got worse.
I shout at my hubby if he leaves a few crumbs, he's learnt to live around it but I still manage to shout on a daily basis as I find it actually makes you aggressive to those around you and it can come over hurtful but it's not actually meant that way it's an instand reaction to things no running right if you get my drift.

Get your mom help if she's asking for it 🤞 I asked and they told me it was to late and I was to hold having it since a child.
I see, thanks for your insight, understand now that some actions just can't be helped. Undergoing OCD is bound to be frustrating and sometimes angry outburst could be just the result of all that pent up frustrations.
 
hicks

hicks

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In a galaxy, far far away..
Thanks for all the replies and support! :hug: Really glad to hear all of your responses. Treatment so far is still in the considering phase, but at least it's somewhere.

But just wondering are most OCD patients independent? Can they do most things without external help? Was wondering if there are any ways to encourage my mom to be more independent, as I'm not always there to help her. Most of the times she wouldn't even be able to eat without some help
I will be honest, and say that with your Mum being older, it's extremely difficult to address the OCD. This condition is one of the most debilitating and life affecting things. People just don't realise how bad it can be. The bottom line is that the sufferer has got to want to help themselves. They need to have a desire to improve the situation. Nobody can force them, but therapy can help, given that willingness on the part of the sufferer. Does your Mum have therapy sessions?
The underlying condition is one of anxiety, and trying to alleviate that anxiety. You have to understand the source of those anxieties.
Either way, you have my greatest sympathies, at this point I don't see how my daughter can lead an independent life, and she's only 17. But we're trying our best to get through it, and manage the anxiety better.
 
B

Beriberi

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Joined
Sep 18, 2019
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Location
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I will be honest, and say that with your Mum being older, it's extremely difficult to address the OCD. This condition is one of the most debilitating and life affecting things. People just don't realise how bad it can be. The bottom line is that the sufferer has got to want to help themselves. They need to have a desire to improve the situation. Nobody can force them, but therapy can help, given that willingness on the part of the sufferer. Does your Mum have therapy sessions?
The underlying condition is one of anxiety, and trying to alleviate that anxiety. You have to understand the source of those anxieties.
Either way, you have my greatest sympathies, at this point I don't see how my daughter can lead an independent life, and she's only 17. But we're trying our best to get through it, and manage the anxiety better.
Hope you daughter will be able to get through this as well. :hug1:For now my mom doesn't have any therapy sessions, but is considering it. So at least there is a desire to improve the situation.

As someone with a family member having OCD as well, I hope it wouldn't be too much to ask if you are able to share more on how you support your daughter through her daily life. How do you manage her anxiety actually? If she asks you to go along with her rituals do you?
 
hicks

hicks

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In a galaxy, far far away..
Oh yes absolutely it's good to talk about this, share, and hopefully learn/understand so we can provide better support.

My daughter has a fear of contamination. This is quite a common one. Hands are never clean enough. Objects can't be touched. Human contact is out of the question, and we haven't even been able to hug her for a long time. Hand washing is a repeated and lengthy routine. We don't put pressure on her to complete repetitive routines. This only increases anxiety levels. We accept that getting ready on a morning will take 3 hours. This obviously severely limits what can be done in the day.
With help from the therapist, we're trying to reduce that time. This is done by a progressive approach, gradually reducing the time taken on elements of the routines. We have a timetable, which over time is reducing durations. She must stick to this timetable.
In terms of going along with rituals, we don't. Sometimes she'll ask if we washed hands after doing something. We reply no, because it's unnecessary.
Another aspect of our daughter's anxiety is repeatedly asking questions about very basic things. I think this is for reassurance. Don't know if you Mum does this. Rather than just answer the question, you should challenge it "what's the worst thing that could happen if you didn't do X?". Or "is it reasonable to assume that Y will happen, based on the facts?". This is trying to get her logical brain to reason through the irrational thoughts coming from the primitive brain (amygdala).
 
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Beriberi

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Oh wow, that's very helpful! Yea she actually asks me to do illogical things, like wash my keys after opening the gate. But when I will try to challenge she would tell me that I'm making her life harder. Now I see quite clearly actually, how does my keys have anything to do with her

Now I see that questioning and not going along would actually help her. But of course if she's stuck and won't be able to get her basic necessities, I should be helping her right. Sometimes I feel quite torn between needing her to eat but at the same time I'm encouraging her to go along with her ritual
 
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Beriberi

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Malaysia
Is it possible to logically reason with the family member with OCD? Or are there any other reasonable methods for it? What do you do when she throws a fit or lose her temper when you don't go along with their rituals
 
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