OCD-UK
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Is it OCD, or addiction?

I know they seem the same, but this is my story. I went through a lot of neglect and abuse growing up, and I used to clean the house a lot because no one likes to. But as more 'bad stuff' started to happen i turned self harm , but as that addiction died down and I got help for that, I started to become more conscious about how clean the environment i was in was. And I now have to check the doors and windows before I can go to sleep, this has gone on for a few years and I have a huge fear of someone breaking into my house, and it is effecting my collage life as sometimes I struggle to do work as I get so stressed about how clean the area is around me i never get any work done.

So is this an addiction replacing an addiction or is this OCD, can someone help?

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It sounds like OCD to me. It could just be that it takes this form with you because of the abuse and neglect you have had to put up with. It is usually the case that OCD attacks people via where they are most vulnerable, and via what matters to them most. In this case, your wish for a secure, safe, clean home!

The initial thing is to get a proper diagnosis. Go to your GP, explain how it is affecting you and your college work, and ask for a referral to an OCD team. A therapist should be able to teach you some Cognitive Behavioural Therapy methods. Also consider taking medication, if it is suggested for you. The SSRI class of antidepressants are most often prescribed, and though they take a few weeks to kick in, they are effective with many people.

Also consider self-help books. The Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder one is one of the best, but there are others that can help. Self-harm can go with OCD so make sure you get help for that as well. I hope this helps.

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Thank you, I have booked an appointment with my G.P. So hopefully this will get the ball rolling. Do you know how long it normally takes to see a therapist, or have a referral?

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That's great! It can take a while, as there is a shortage of therapists. But it is really worth the wait. Meanwhile get things moving on your own with self-help books, which can familiarize you with the techniques and perhaps get you making some progress on your own. There are also self-help books on self-harm.

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Im with CAMHS at the moment but it's only a few months till my 18th birthday, and so I will not have that support. And I can only see them once a month due to a lack of therapists, I will try to bring it up with her as well. But I doubt that she can do much because I don't have many sessions left.

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It really is a big problem, when young people have to leave CAMHS and are put on to adult teams. It's an issue that needs tackling, as the transition is often disruptive and young people are left without support.

Are there people in your family and among your friends who can help support you? The abuse and neglect you suffered must have left you feeling very isolated and alone. Do ask if there are support groups your current therapist can put you in touch with. And make sure that your college knows about your situation, so they can support you and if necessary make allowances for you.

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I have a few friends and family to support me, but as we don't have much money paying for therapy after I turn 18 is an issue. But I will ask about support groups that I can join, and I will talk to my collage and ask about free counselling they can give to students. I did ask about this before, but they were unable to provide it as I'm already in CAMHS.

I'm actually supposed to be having CBT with CAMHS but because my CAMHS lady is only able to see me once a month we can't do this. But again there is not much point changing who I see as this could take months, By that point I will be 18.

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