Overcoming OCD and depression

Steady Hands

Robin
Other Christian
Gold Member
@King of Rock & roll

Here are 3 points for you to consider:

1. You have got some helpful advice already, much of it you can do by yourself but - as evident in your OP - you cannot manage this alone. No man is an island.

Sure, you had some experiences with some psychiatrists and medication that did not resolve the issue, and it makes sense that you are hesitant to try again. However I would urge you to find a professional who specialises in OCD and depression, and has a track record of helping people in these areas.

2. You also stated that you are a hermit - this self-isolating behaviour is likely to be perpetuating your condition and inward-looking tendencies.

It is good you have made some recent effort in this area, and I would suggest you consider finding a local men's group, church community, sports club or other group in which you can share an activity you like, make some social connections, and build your social skills. This will be hard at the start, but rewarding in the end.

3. Many posters start these threads about their mental health, spiritual issues, physical complaints and other issues that are important and can impact many of readers. Few posters follow up with reports on their plans, actual ongoing action, outcomes, and reflection throughout the process. This leaves participants wondering, 'what is the point of replying if the OP does nothing with the advice or never lets us know how things are going?'

Rather than just being yet another poster who takes in all the advice then does nothing with it, or at least does not write about it, I hope you will do something with the suggestions and report back on your progress and stumbling blocks. Another benefit of this public yet anonymous diary-like reporting is that you will be more likely to maintain your action plan since you may now feel more accountable.

All the best.
 
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NoFunInAus

 
Banned
Look inside yourself. This could be helpful to do daily



Wim Hof is a freemason so I wouldn't take any advice from him.

That saying; I think most of us are in a depressed state now, fights with the wife (who will blame you for everything) to not finding a job.

Best thing that works for me is to learn a new skill and get completely absorbed in it. Getting the max score in a videogame is not a skill, but wood carving, carpentry or even fishing would be a good start.
 

fortyfive

Kingfisher
Other Christian
This leaves participants wondering, 'what is the point of replying if the OP does nothing with the advice or never lets us know how things are going?'
“Few things are sadder than encountering a person who knows exactly what he should do, yet cannot muster enough energy to do it. "He who desires but acts not," wrote Blake with his accustomed vigor, "Breeds pestilence.”
― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
 

fortyfive

Kingfisher
Other Christian
Best thing that works for me is to learn a new skill and get completely absorbed in it. Getting the max score in a videogame is not a skill, but wood carving, carpentry or even fishing would be a good start.
You are using a well-known technique described in a famous book Flow. It works certainly, that's why I suggested to OP going to the forest and learn how to make fire and cooking something simple. It's a joy to learn something and doing it. Passive watching tv or any media cannot produce such joy.

“Contrary to what we usually believe, moments like these, the best moments in our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times—although such experiences can also be enjoyable if we have worked hard to attain them. The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Optimal experience is thus something that we
make happen. For a child, it could be placing with trembling fingers the last block on a tower she has built, higher than any she has built so far; for a swimmer, it could be trying to beat his own record; for a violinist, mastering an intricate musical passage. For each person there are thousands of opportunities, challenges to expand ourselves.”
― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
 

ItalianStallion9

Woodpecker
Protestant
I had OCD when i was younger.

Write down all your compulsions/habits in order from least intrusive to most. Least intrusive might be avoiding the number 9. Most intrusive might be spending 20 min every night checking your room for spiders.

Slowly tackle your habits, starting with the easiest. If your easiest is avoiding the number 9...start using the number 9. It's going to feel horrible at first, but keep doing it. Every day start to trick your brain by doing the things you don't want. In some ways, OCD is also a way of trying not to jinx yourself. "If I land on the number 9, something bad will happen. If i never land on 9, nothing bad can happen".

By starting with the easiest, you'll ease your brain into this. Essentially it's facing your fears, and slowly tricking your brain.

(Side note, some habits may have some use. Is it better for humans to avoid the number 6?)
 

Johnnyvee

Ostrich
Other Christian
I had OCD when i was younger.

Write down all your compulsions/habits in order from least intrusive to most. Least intrusive might be avoiding the number 9. Most intrusive might be spending 20 min every night checking your room for spiders.

Slowly tackle your habits, starting with the easiest. If your easiest is avoiding the number 9...start using the number 9. It's going to feel horrible at first, but keep doing it. Every day start to trick your brain by doing the things you don't want. In some ways, OCD is also a way of trying not to jinx yourself. "If I land on the number 9, something bad will happen. If i never land on 9, nothing bad can happen".

By starting with the easiest, you'll ease your brain into this. Essentially it's facing your fears, and slowly tricking your brain.

(Side note, some habits may have some use. Is it better for humans to avoid the number 6?)

The numbers thing is usually a focal point in people with OCD, including myself also. I find it interesting that I always sought the number 3, and always wanted to avoid 6. (even before I could have been aware of any religious writings on this) 3x3 is good also, but 2x3=6, hence it`s bad etc. Sounds crazy, but that`s the way my brain works. Still I have to check car plates and so on, and end on a 3. I know that Nikola Tesla had something similar. He apparently had to circle a building 3 times before he walked in the door.

Might there be some divine order to the numbers after all? Mathematics is integral to the universe, and I mean that literally. There is a mathematical structure to things, that is why math works in terms of science. So although it`s not useful for someone with OCD to focus on those things, there might be something to it.
 

CSH2C

Sparrow
Protestant
A recommendation that helps me: take time away from your cell phone, news, internet, video games. Spending time outside walking, and thanking God that your are alive, despite all the crap this world throws at us. I'm glad that God has given me so many years to learn via our mistakes, other people, ect. Look at all of the so-called rich & popular people. Their lives are a joke. But we have the joy in Christ which can't be taken away. Also....pay attention to the suggestions earlier in this thread. They are good ones!
 

Papist

Kingfisher
Trad Catholic
i don't trust psychologists and psychiatrists anymore. I don't hate them but finding a really good one is very hard. Most of the ones i've went to were useless. Medication didn't do much for me either. I struggle with OCD since i was a kid and depression since i entered my teens. I'm currently reading to Bible to find some solace. Me, like a lot of young men, feel discouraged by the state of the world nowadays, have been through unemployment and hopelessness. Sometimes i wish all that clown world bullshit ends by a great genocide or war.

I've suffered from severe OCD since I was 20 years old.

I guess I've always had tendencies looking back but I had an episode when I was 20 and ever since then it's changed my life for the worse.

I'm 33 now, had all the therapy, on the medication etc but nothing seems to 'work'. I kinda long for the days of just feeling normal. I'm numb to a lot of stuff now. It's sad looking at it.

I wouldn't wish OCD on anyone. A lot of people think it's just a hand washing thing but believe me it's a lot more in depth than that.

Guys, I also suffer from OCD. I have had intrusive thoughts since I was a young child. I believe family instability was the cause of mine. It can make one's life miserable and definitely has limited my options in life.

Someone mentioned alcohol and drugs, and I absolutely agree that they're the worst thing for OCD.
 
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They Live

Sparrow
Catholic
I had OCD when i was younger.

Write down all your compulsions/habits in order from least intrusive to most. Least intrusive might be avoiding the number 9. Most intrusive might be spending 20 min every night checking your room for spiders.

Slowly tackle your habits, starting with the easiest. If your easiest is avoiding the number 9...start using the number 9. It's going to feel horrible at first, but keep doing it. Every day start to trick your brain by doing the things you don't want. In some ways, OCD is also a way of trying not to jinx yourself. "If I land on the number 9, something bad will happen. If i never land on 9, nothing bad can happen".

By starting with the easiest, you'll ease your brain into this. Essentially it's facing your fears, and slowly tricking your brain.

(Side note, some habits may have some use. Is it better for humans to avoid the number 6?)
Having a problem with this now the numbers thing. I guess i gotta face it because it's ruling my life.
 

They Live

Sparrow
Catholic
Gonna take a shot here bear with me. (i'm left handed lol)

46 male 389 lbs working out with weights since 2009 so have lots of muscle underneath. I am not lazy and train always, even back when i used to drink and workout hungover. Without the fat i would have bodybuilder muscle for sure. It's the addiction to the ZOG. (which i think i have mostly beat but.......

Have anxiety due to weight!(pvcs palps like roosh talks about) Also ocd as hell probably because of weight and the anxiety meds. And ocd is where this is going. So obviously diet is the problem hate seed oils and artificial sweeteners all that i have the knowledge but the addiction has been there since a kid mom was a food pusher.

So i’m fed up wanna change for good don’t care if i ever eat a pizza again. MY PROBLEM IS DATES!!!(lifestyle change permanent) start dates. In my mind the start date has to be neutral.. as in not the unlucky 13, not my mothers bday not (june 6) im religious so omg 666 is bad ya know so stupid i can see this but my mind dwells on it! I add up the month and day october 3 is 13 cause you add them up so 13. Crazy i know please stay with me my buddy died on the 26 of sept so that’s out he was born on the 5th so that’s out. Sisters b day dads(bad relathionship) on and on etc. etc. theres more. I guess i'm trying not to jinx my heart and pvcs or my weight loss in any way some kinda bad mojo with these numbers so i want my date to be neutral. (i know again crazy but mind is dwelling)
So it's all fear based, and reading earlier in the thread seems like another poster said it's like trying not to jink yourself. (this date thing has been going on for almost a year) Doctors are almost useless.
(i will ween of these pills but weight has to be in a better place first)





But i could go on and on 10 divided into 15 is .666667 oh bad mojo can’t do that date. I never used to have this issue ocd just came on.(had somewhat when i was younger)

Be truthful and hard if you have to, what would you do with a mind that fights you like this compromised by benzodiazepines and ocd and anxiety in general. This is literally a call for help i just wanna start and never stop! The real answer in my rationale mind is TODAY is the best day, your health and peace of mind is more important than a date. I doubt i would even think like this, if i was 210lbs. today is 3/8 those numbers divide into 2.666666 oh no lol. Tomorrow is the 9th is something wrong with that? Been dealing with this for a while, i'm sure in 6 months of weight loss i wouldnt even care it's just the START date is important to me cause this is the last sin (gluttony) that i have to beat really and the one i've been dealing with the longest. (been through the drugs thing already and booze beat that) Again i know the answer is NOW in my rationale mind, i'm just wondering how not to dwell and think i'm jinxing myself like an idiot. Re- train my mind???

Thanks and god bless.
 
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Pterodactyl

Chicken
Catholic
Get outside and enjoy nature. Stay away from alcohol, other depressants, and benzodiazepines. When it comes to exercise, sometimes the first few days/weeks are the hardest. Start slowly by simply adding any type of exercise at a specific time to your daily schedule (1-2 days off a week is fine). This routine and repetition will be helpful in overcoming depression, especially when you get more comfortable with it and begin to see progress. If you truly have OCD, you may want to seek cognitive behavioral therapy. You need to be forced to be around what scares you most or causes you the most anxiety. Find a support group or a men's prayer group and attend it regularly. You need to find a Catholic mentor and surrender to his counsel. God oftentimes speaks to us through other baptized believers. It is easy for OCD-types to become scrupulous, so watch out for that. A good mentor will lead you on a path towards overcoming this inner torment and eventually finding Christ's peace.
 
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durangotang

Ostrich
Undermethylation. Look it up.

Most people with OCD are severe undermethylators. There are supplements that you can take like Sam-e, L-Methionine, and Inositol to help. If anyone is reading this with OCD and on SSRI's, be careful not to take these supplements in addition to your medication. Work with a doctor. Basically, if your body doesn't properly methylate (due to genetic and epigentic factors), you cannot produce adequate neurotransmitters. Get this book, it's based on the largest ever psychiatric nutritional studies conducted in the United States:


This supplement (Inositol or Vitamin B8) particularly helps people with OCD, but you need to take like 18 grams a day. Build up to it, or you'll have gastrointestinal side effects. Look it up on Amazon and read the reviews of different brands:


You can get your methylation status tested in the United States through a blood draw with DHA Laboratory out of Chicago.


Also, 23andMe and AncestryDNA test results can be uploaded to various webistes to see exactly what genes you have that effect your methylation cycle.

Avoid excess caffeine. Exercise. Meditate.

You're welcome ;)
 
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They Live

Sparrow
Catholic
Get outside and enjoy nature. Stay away from alcohol, other depressants, and benzodiazepines. When it comes to exercise, sometimes the first few days/weeks are the hardest. Start slowly by simply adding any type of exercise at a specific time to your daily schedule (1-2 days off a week is fine). This routine and repetition will be helpful in overcoming depression, especially when you get more comfortable with it and begin to see progress. If you truly have OCD, you may want to seek cognitive behavioral therapy. You need to be forced to be around what scares you most or causes you the most anxiety. Find a support group or a men's prayer group and attend it regularly. You need to find a Catholic mentor and surrender to his counsel. God oftentimes speaks to us through other baptized believers. It is easy for OCD-types to become scrupulous, so watch out for that. A good mentor will lead you on a path towards overcoming this inner torment and eventually finding Christ's peace.
Yeah i already exercise well like i said weights 4 times a week lots of muscle (and fat) benzos have to ween been on 7 years so it’s gonna a be a slow process. Agree on all other points though finding a religious mentor would most likely help big time. I do get outside and all that vid d is high etc. not a hermit here. just paranoid about dumb number fears. Maybe i need to get david goggins in here to strengthen my
mind. It’s amazing what obesity can do to the brain. (along with pharmaceuticals) gut bacteria probably all plays a role!

The methylation thing is interesting will have to look into it. But i also wanna hear what you guys would do as well if faced with the same situation with numbers and weight loss start dates. At least i realize how dumb it is.
23 and me is that worth it for other things?

thanks in advance!
 

Pterodactyl

Chicken
Catholic
You should commit to, and begin, one serious lifestyle change on the 13th of every month. Do the same thing on every other date you are fearful of.
 

Kit

Pigeon
Atheist
In my opinion, we live in a society that has become so unnatural that it is toxic to both men and women. Depression and OCD aren't signs that there is anything wrong with you, they are signs that you are living in a toxic society. According to the CDC, more than 1 in 6 American women are on anti-depressants. That's a dire indictment of our society.

From personal experience, get ouside. We spend our days in offices and our evenings infront of TV's. Get some fresh air and sunshine. In some places sunshine is actually prescribed as a medical treatment for depression. Then, get some exercise, get the heart pumping, it's unnatural to be sitting around all day and not move or exert ourselves. Then, reduce the amount of highly processed food you eat. Highly refined foods cause sugar surges and crashes, they directly affect the brain. Try to swap out some of the high sugar/corn syrup for real fruit. Try to add some fresh vegetables and some real cuts of meat into your diet.

If you try to do these things, I promise you that, whatever your problems, you will start some improvement in your sense of well being. Try to reduce modern toxicity and bring a bit more of what our minds and bodies were designed for, into your life.
 

hedonist

Pelican
Other Christian
In my opinion, we live in a society that has become so unnatural that it is toxic to both men and women. Depression and OCD aren't signs that there is anything wrong with you, they are signs that you are living in a toxic society. According to the CDC, more than 1 in 6 American women are on anti-depressants. That's a dire indictment of our society.

From personal experience, get ouside. We spend our days in offices and our evenings infront of TV's. Get some fresh air and sunshine. In some places sunshine is actually prescribed as a medical treatment for depression. Then, get some exercise, get the heart pumping, it's unnatural to be sitting around all day and not move or exert ourselves. Then, reduce the amount of highly processed food you eat. Highly refined foods cause sugar surges and crashes, they directly affect the brain. Try to swap out some of the high sugar/corn syrup for real fruit. Try to add some fresh vegetables and some real cuts of meat into your diet.

If you try to do these things, I promise you that, whatever your problems, you will start some improvement in your sense of well being. Try to reduce modern toxicity and bring a bit more of what our minds and bodies were designed for, into your life.


100% the way out of this is not what to take but what to take away
 

nathan

Robin
Catholic
I'll share my story of the past year. Maybe it can help someone. I developed OCD a year ago, likely due to a number of physiological changes which upset my brain chemistry, the primary one being hypoglycemia, which basically means that my blood sugar would routinely be too low due to me eating a lot less carbs and delaying meals (in an effort to be "healthy" :squintlol:). Additionally, my physical environment changed such that I was having a lot of trouble sleeping and being awoken by external factors, and thus not getting proper rest. I also began taking a lot of caffeine after having never been a caffeine consumer. Finally, I made an effort to give up a specific, common demon cold-turkey.

It was a large shock to my system and I began having intrusive thoughts about harming myself or others that I could not stop focusing on. However, luckily I knew something was false about them because I knew didn't want to harm anyone, I just kept thinking "what if" and kept checking myself to make sure that I wasn't depressed, or that I wouldn't put myself in danger, etc. To those who know OCD, these mental safety checks are compulsions. And they only feed the disease. Before too long, I started staying away from people ("what if I snap and decide to attack them?", "I could kill this guy right now", etc). I removed sharp objects ("It would be so easy for me to just stab Bob with this", https://themighty.com/2017/12/harm-ocd-treatment-intrusive-thoughts-knives/). As I later found out, the unrelenting presence of these thoughts means absolutely nothing when it comes to identifying someone who will actually act on them (and ironically enough this very sentence became a compulsion for me because, in an effort to seek safety, I would repeatedly tell myself that I wouldn't harm anyone). In fact, the fear itself is an indicator that the sufferer is less likely to ever act on them. But at the time it was frightening.

Luckily I was able to self-diagnose after only about a month, and then get an actual diagnosis from an OCD specialist a couple of months later. I began treating it (without medication) and I am happy to report that I seem to keep getting better and better, and the last few months have been largely unremarkable. I thank God for allowing me to use the experience to become closer to Him, because for those of you with actual OCD, you know it can be severely distressing and although I was already a practicing Catholic, it has still allowed me to grow my faith (and indeed, one of the minor "level-ups" I experienced was learning to reframe it with this mindset thanks to Roosh's article about this a few months ago).

I don't know how much I will get to write, but I'll try to remember some of my notes from along the journey.

*It does have a significant spiritual component. I suspect it as well as any other mental disorder may be a physiological manifestation of demons to some degree, but in any event, it also can have a definite physiological component as other people have mentioned above. I am going to look into the methylation angle, but I can tell you that low blood sugar is also a known cause of OCD (in my case it took several months of being in a consistent hypoglycemic state to kick things off). But, also in my case, the whole root cause of me becoming hypoglycemic and ingesting a lot of caffeine was because I wanted to chase a worldly goal of "being more productive" or "being physically healthy". So pay attention when the wiser members of this forum advise against that!

*All of the suggestions to go lift weights or find an activity to consume your time or find a distraction will fail miserably for someone with actual OCD because the context of such an activity is itself the avoidance of the discomfort, which only feeds the OCD. Now, there is a very fine distinction here, because at some level, for the goal of healing, you obviously want to fill your time spent obsessing instead with other, healthier activities, but you must be very careful with that distinction, and it can be nearly impossible for someone untrained to make the right distinctions, which brings me to the next point

*Absolutely talk to an OCD specialist. I waited several months on the waitlist of a guy who is 1) explicitly Christian; 2) male; and 3) specializes in OCD, and if you are a Texas resident then I will be happy to provide his contact information. But you can definitely beat this thing with proper advisement. He also gave me a specific book recommendation which I would be happy to share (although I must admit I didn't finish it because the treatment itself has been working so well that I haven't felt the need, yet). PM me for either of these recommendations.

*The absolute gold standard for treatment is something called Exposure and Response Prevention, and it is basically what other people have noted above: exposing yourself to the specific fear repeatedly, without trying to seek safety in any way, even mentally. You want to embrace and lean into the specific discomfort and spend time with it, but you want to do it in baby steps. Don't jump in headfirst right away! If you have an obsession with jumping off of buildings, maybe you start by looking at pictures of buildings and work your way up from there. This is something that could be tough to get right without a professional. Also, even little mental "checks" only end up feeding the disease, so you want to try to face your obsession/fear without even mentally telling yourself anything that could cause you to experience less fear. For example, you might wonder, if you have a fear of spiders, what the actual death rate is for spider bites and try to "convince" yourself you have nothing to worry about. Or if you have an obsession about jumping off of high places (which has a specific name, call of the void), you may constantly probe yourself and think "but I would never do that, right?", "how am I feeling right now? I don't want to jump off a bridge, that's not me", "most people survive a 10-foot fall so as long I stay at that height, I'll be fine"). The goal is to make your brain bored of the fear of thing you obsess about, by repeatedly exposing yourself to it and acting like it isn't a big deal.

*In fact, I should emphasize that a lot of the little things that I mentioned that helped me are minor, and things like reframes, if done improperly, can actually make OCD worse which is why again I'll suggest talking to an OCD specialist. But that being said, I will share some important points that helped me: 1) Talking to the OCD specialist; 2) Doing ERP and exposing myself to my most uncomfortable fears which at this point had become engrained in my mind; 3) Taking walks in the park (not to "escape" OCD though, because then they would be a compulsion!); 4) Idk why, but The Chosen TV series had an outsized effect on healing, possibly because it coincided with when I started ERP but also maybe the Holy Spirit is working through that show. Also reading the Bible and other works from Church Fathers when combined with my exposures, gave a noticeable healing effect; 5) I know we like to talk about "muh sportsball" disparagingly, but I like football, and the NFL being on Sundays gave me a once-per-week break from OCD because I genuinely enjoy it (and was not watching it as a means to escape my OCD); 6) Being around others and sharing with them; 7) Getting proper sleep (in addition to fixing my blood sugar, in my case)

*Supplements are great, but our corner of the internet tends to have an overreliance on them, and if you need an SSRI, you need an SSRI. Also, I tried a ton of supplements, and none of them compared to good old fashioned ERP, although Valerian Root is the one that did seem to make a bit of a dent in it (and is one that is clinically shown to make a difference too). I went on Valerian for a few months and then weaned off of it. It makes you a bit drowsy but did seem to help unlike just about every other broscience supplement (for OCD at least).

Anyway, I know this was a bit rambling, but I just have a ton of insight having just gone through this myself and I would be happy to point you in the right direction if you are suffering too. The main takeaway would be to seek out the assistance of an OCD specialist, presumably a Christian male OCD specialist. Everyone on here presumably means well, but some of these suggestions are laughably bad for treating actual OCD.
 
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