Originally Posted by Evie's Mama
I was diagnosed OCD in high school. Mine appears to be set off by PANDAS. I had some early indicators before my freshman year of high school, and then my freshman year I had strep at least once a month the entire year. Things went downhill from there.
I really struggled with anxiety and borderline PPD after my DD was born. I'm due in a bit over 3 weeks and am pretty worried I'll be back there again after her birth.
I was on Zoloft for about 10 years, but I hate the stuff. I'm hoping to not have to mess with that again. I had a urinalysis of my neurological chemicals and such and they were definitely off. I don't remember what was too high or too low, although my serotonin was right on.
Pandas? Is this an acronym for something or do you mean the bears that aren't really bears? Isn't that interesting!
Also interesting that you recall that your serotonin was right on. Maybe it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with serotonin. It's too bad it's not a better understand malady.
Anyway. I have suffered from what I thought was an anxiety disorder (and it is, just not exclusively) since I was a kid. It wasn't until literally just a few months ago that I realized there was definitely a huge OCD component in there, and I can't believe no counselor, therapist or doctor ever mentioned that to me, although, truth be told, there were things I didn't tell them because I thought they were just too crazy. Like my thing about food. I am often plagued by thoughts that there is something wrong with it, and I must inspect it very carefully before I buy it or eat it. It must meet certain qualifications to pass. There are huge classes of foods I won't even go near because I know it will trigger a cascade of obsessive thoughts which will lead to a panic attack and omg those are not pleasant.
I don't want to take meds because, well, they fall smack into the middle of "things that make me freak out." A common internal dialogue goes something like:
"if I take this med, I might die, because someone might have tampered with it."
"oh, don't be ridiculous. Seriously, what are the chances?"
"I don't know. Maybe not very high. But there IS a chance. You think those people who took the cyanide-laced tylenol thought there was a chance? No way, they just blithely took the drugs and trusted other people and look where that got them!"
So I've been experimenting with a serotonin rich diet, with not great success. I DO find breastfeeding helps, so the PP who mentioned the oxytocin may well be onto something. I find distraction and relaxation also help. The best thing for it seems to be to lie down with my husband or baby and have a nap (I think lack of sleep may also make it worse), but that's not always possible. One thing I have had limited success with is the question "is it happening NOW?" So if I'm freaking out, thinking I'm dying from something or other, I ask myself that. I take an honest inventory of my body. I tell myself that if it does actually start to happen for real, then I can worry about it.
I am just sick of this. I'd love to find a way to reprogram my brain so I can live a joyful life. I can be quite rational about many things. I am not frightened of nuclear war or terrorism or earthquakes or many of the thousands of things the news tells you you should be frightened of. It's just (just!) food, meds, germs & chemical-laden cleaners (yes, I see the irony). I can see the humour in it. I remember once, as a child, my mom told me to go take a bath. I refused, saying the bathtub was dirty. I was really quite concerned about that. She said it wasn't, she had just cleaned it that day. I still wouldn't go because I was worried about residue from the cleanser. Seriously.