OCD sufferer for many years

Hi

I'm 44 and have had OCD for at least 10 years - maybe as much as 15 years. I'm new to this website but not to OCD UK. I was a member for a while whilst I lived in the UK until I lost my job and couldn't find another one for 4 years so couldn't carry on my membership.

That was me 3 years ago. Then my husband got prostate cancer. After all the tests and then 37 radiotherapy treatments - 1 every day - he went to the hospital to have his check up to see if he was OK now. They immediately took him into hospital. Seems like they had given him the wrong dose of his meds -too much - and it had cause a pulmonary embolism (blood clots on the lungs to us non medical people). He was rushed into hospital because if it moved to his heart he'd die. They wouldn't even let him walk - it was that serious. Well, he told his boss he couldn't go back to work for at least 8-12 weeks because of this - and they fired him!!!

We tried to take them for unfair dismissal but it would have taken years of legal battles. And there we were - me out of work for 4 years and him now lost his job too.

We had no choice but to sell our house or be repossessed and have no where to go. After we had sold the hose and paid everything off there was enough left for us to buy a small place in Spain. So that's what we ended up doing. We found a small 2 bed bungalow here in Southern Costa Blanca and sold everything and moved here nearly 3 years ago.

SORRY ABOUT THIS LONG POST - BUT IT'S GOOD TO VENT

So after nearly 3 years we are here in spain. It hasn't been easy here either - jobs are not easy to find here either and we have no savings but as least we have a roof over our heads that's paid for and that's more then we would have had back in UK.

Back to my OCD!!!

I have checking OCD - I have rituals I have to do - a certain number of times and in certain number of groups of times. Too many to go through one by one. I check so many things - I feel like I'm going mad sometimes. It can take me over half an hour just to go outside the house and lock the door when I leave as I have to constantly check the door is locked. Car doors are a nightmare - if I'm on my own with the car I have to ring my husband up on my mobile phone so he can hear me checking he door handles and then he can say yes you've done it. I still have to check it the required number of times but if my husband isn't there on the phone and says yes then I can not walk away. Just some of my checking.

I also have some contamination OCD issues. I had a UTI many years ago. Now I have rituals regarding washing that part of me in the shower, going to toilet, putting underwear and trousers/shorts on. If I touch the floor I feel I have to wash my hands immediately.

I feel trapped inside my own stupid brain with all this.

I'm going through a very stressful time at the moment. I've had several scammers give me jobs over the last 6 months and then dump me and not pay me. My husband hasn't been able to find work out here. So we've had no money for the last 6 months. Bills are piling up. Haven't even had the money to feed ourselves. My mum has been putting everything on her credit card - our bills, food, just to keep us alive. She doesn't have much either so it's building up quite a bit on her credit card. All this worry and stress is making my OCD really bad. I also have IBS and that is really bad too. So stressed, depressed and ill.

I have tried CBT therapy back in the UK twice and it didn't work. I was on clomipramine which helped - didn't take the OCD away but it helped to make me calmer and so I could deal with it better then without the meds.

I was getting my meds from back home in the UK - but my doctor there won't do it anymore - my husband's sister was getting them for me and sending them to me here. I've now run out. So I've now gone cold turkey right at a time when I need them the most.

I can get them from the pharmacy here but it costs too much and in my present situation I can't afford them. Not easy to go to the doctor's here - my local doctor's clinic - none of the doctor's speak English so if I go to them I'll need to take an interpreter with me - again I can't afford that either.

I've just started a new job in the last few weeks - finally seems like a decent human being and is paying me. But I get paid for each day only if I can get 3 appointments each day - which sometimes I can and sometimes not. I get paid weekly - so that's good. But the uncertainty of if I can hit the target each day is very stressful to me. If I don't, I don't get paid for that day and if not then we don't have any money to live on.

It's all very stressful which means my OCD is very bad especially as I have no meds now. My IBS is very bad too because of the stress and depression I feel. I have a really bad upset tummy every other day with very painful stomach cramps. I'm not eating much because of that.

I'm sorry this is such a long post - but I have no friends, no family here. I have no one to talk to except my husband. And I speak to my mum on the phone but I haven't seen her for nearly 3 years. My marriage is suffering too - all this stress, depression and anxiety - we are arguing and shouting so much lately. I feel so lonely, depressed and ill. Some days I feel suicidal - not so much that I want to die but that I just can't cope anymore and want to be somewhere else and someone else - to just not be me.

Again, I'm sorry for such a long post - I feel I have no one to talk to or who cares. So I'm reaching out to anyone here. Just to have someone to talk to would be good.

11 Replies

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  • Just thought I'd stop by to see how you are doing? Your story touched me today. Just wanted to send you well wishes.

  • Oh bless you, I really feel for you. I am here whenever you need an ear.

    I too have severe OCD so can relate to that aspect but the financial problems are another worry for you.

    Take care and hope this new job lasts. 💐

  • I'm sorry you're going through this, I got laid off from a job back in January myself so I can kinda relate, the depression these past few months triggered my OCD too. You're in my prayers.

  • Hi max2436,

    I'm sorry hear your so ill and when people are at their worse they cannot think clearly. This situation is not good and is not sustainable. May I suggest you and your husband come home to England for a time, or just you if your husband can hold the fort in Spain. Come back stay with your mum or other relatives and seek medical treatment and therapy for your OCD. You could start claiming benefits with your GP' s help which you would be entitled to. OCD can be beaten. You are not responsible for anybody's health or wellbeing for something you do or Don't do You are not responsible for other people's actions. Also time away from your husband will give you both breathing space.

    You just need to be taught a different way of thinking. If the therapies you had before didn't work, Don't give up, get a referral to see an consultant psychiatrist/psychologist, go to support groups for ocd.

    In the meantime practise the exercises/ techniques you learned from CBT. The object is to help lessen the effects of ocd, to calm your mind. Also practise mindfulness. Search youtube for mindfulness. Please Log on to mind.co.UK. If you have the hardball you can speak to them without incurring any extra charges.

    I hope you find this useful.

  • Thanks for your message.

    I can not come back to the UK for any kind of treatment. I only have my mum in the UK. I can not stay with her as she doesn't have any room - my sister and brother-in-law live with her (have been there for over 12 years) - and also I do not get on with them either so it makes things difficult. I have no other relatives to stay with. I have no money due to all the financial/job problems over the last 6 months so I couldn't afford it either. I am the only one working here in Spain - husband hasn't been able to find work at all. I have only just started working in the last few weeks. Had several scammers give me jobs in the last 6 months only to work for them for a month each time and then they dumped me for no reason and never paid me. Husband can not hold the fort here - I can not go back - I have to stay here coz without me finally working we would have no money to live on for either of us. I can not go back to the UK - so can't get any treatment or help back there - I have no where to go there - I was on income support benefits back there before we moved to spain because I had lost my job and couldn't find another one for 4 years - which is 1 reason we moved to spain. We were going to be made homeless back in the UK coz my husband got prostate cancer and after his treatment his boss sacked him. We had nothing left other then the small equity we had in our house so we sold up and moved here rather then end up homeless.

    It's very difficult to speak to the dr's here - my local surgery, none of them speak english and I don't speak much spanish so we have to have an interpreter when we go which again we can't afford. So I can't get my meds here at the moment (can't afford them) or any other treatment.

    Stuck in a very difficult situation - will give mindfullness a look - I'm looking into support groups but there are none here - which is how I found this online one.

    Thanks for your advice even though my circumstances means I can't do much of it xx

  • It sound like you are facing some very challenging circumstances stances. More than most. The OCD can be such a debilitating monsters. I have it as well and I can be horrific monster if not stopped. I am glad you husband is ok and the fact you are working in your condition is commendable. Sounds as though you also have your mom which is a blessing. Spouses can be a real challenge but fighting seems to be productive but learning how to communicate better with out shouting is ideal. I hope you keep posting. Be sure to be kind to yourself. You aren't going you be able to fix anything over night so just do your best to rest and be still. Don't worry if or when you will get better. Just take small steps. Please keep posting I am here to listen.

  • It does sound like you are stuck in a difficult situation! Loneliness may be well making the OCD worse, as well as making you feel just miserable. Is there any way you can start forming a network of people who could support you? Any local English people could be a start, but perhaps join a language group to learn Spanish, if you can access one that is free. I'm not sure how the system works, but temporary housing may be available if you come back home, as well as benefits. But if you want to stay in Spain perhaps you may have entitlement to benefits you don't know about, as well as medical treatment. It can't be much fun feeling so isolated while you and your husband are dealing with health problems. Do ask around in case there is help for you in Spain. There may be websites that can give you information. I know it's difficult to dig yourself out of such a horrible situation, but if you can access help there you can start getting out and about. If I can think of anything that might help I can reply again. I have a Spanish friend I can ask.

  • Just come across a few things. Some benefits can be claimed by expats living in Spain, as long as you have paid your contributions when you were still living in England, which it sounds as though you have. These include some of the disability payments and carers' allowances. The Spanish health service should also be open to you. Do check, and make sure that if you do work in Spain, you make your contributions to their insurance system so you can qualify for benefits.

  • Thanks for the info. I am working here but have always been working for UK companies so not paid anything into the spanish system - was always paying taxes in the UK instead. So I don't qualify for any benefits here. I have a temporary Spanish Medical card but I am not registered as residencia here yet so do not qualify for much on the spanish health system till I do. Haven't been able to register for residencia because I don't have the money to do it yet or any transport to go to the town hall to do the necessary paperwork (which takes hours to queue up and several visits). You can have it done for you by solicitors here but it costs money I don't have. I can not claim any benefits back in the UK. I work full time. No one is my carer. I cope on my own - I have no children - just me and husband. We were claiming some benefits back in the UK before we left to come to spain. I was out of work for 4 years previous to us coming here. I claimed job seekers but by the time we left my husband had had prostate cancer and got unfairly sacked by his boss because of the time he had off having treatment. We were only getting £50 a week benefit for both of us. Couldn't pay the mortgages so were about to be repossessed. Couldn't pay the bills so about to be cut off. Had no money to feed ourselves either. We were on food parcels - and those we were only allowed 3 before that was denied to us too. So there is no benefits we can claim either in the UK or spain. I am not disabled, I have no carer, I work full time, have no medical help here. I just mentakl health issues that means I am struggling to cope with everything. I have depression, anxiety, IBS and OCD. There is NO benefits or therapy for me. I CAN NOT just go back to the UK. I know everyone is trying to help but all these suggestions are not things I can do or things that are available to me. It just makes me more frustrated. If I could go back to the UK (which I CAN NOT) it would take years on a waiting list to get any therapy for my OCD/depression. I know - I was on a waiting list for the same said therapy for over 3 years before I finally got some - it did not work. I also went private on my company's medical cover and had private therapy too - that also didn't work. Thanks you everyone for your suggestions but none of it is anything that would help or is open to me.

  • I'm not going to suggest again that you move back to England as you have already indicated that that is not an option. I don't know if there is a consulate you could go to for help. If there is, then do go to it. It sounds like you're in a very difficult position, but there must be something there for you.

  • Try phoning this number: +34 902 10 93 56. That is the Consulate in Malaga. Perhaps they could help; doesn't matter whether you live in Malaga or not. And of course it means you can communicate in English so not knowing much Spanish won't be a problem!

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