Friday, December 28, 2012

Looking back at 2012

I’ve been thinking about what kind of year 2012 has been. I guess it’s not unusual to do that as the year winds down to a close and the new year begins in just a few days.

As I thought about the themes of this blog—living with obsessive-compulsive disorder while also dealing with depression and anxiety—I kept coming back to what has played a big role in my life this year: therapy.

I thought about the many times this year that I’ve climbed the front steps and walked into the red brick building where my therapist and my psychiatrist have their practices.

I have spent hours in their offices, feeling the gamut of emotions: fear, anger, joy, sadness.

I’ve talked, I’ve listened, I’ve role played, I’ve wept.

I’ve heard things and learned things that have reached my very core.

I had been away from any type of therapy other than “medication checks” with my psychiatrist for many years, but I had the goal of starting exposure and response prevention therapy, or ERP therapy as I started the year.

I had my first appointment with my psychologist in January. At that time I discovered that we would do cognitive behavior therapy instead of strictly ERP therapy, which was fine with me.

My therapist and I worked on my OCD for a while, and I made headway in learning to accept and deal with anxiety instead of doing compulsions to try to lessen it. I did ERP exercises and reported back to my therapist.

The therapy took a turn in April when my therapist noted that my depression—which he diagnosed as chronic—was affecting my ability to deal with the OCD and other anxiety.

We started CBASP therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy. It’s made up of intense sessions using situational analysis. These sessions have chipped away at the anger and subsequent helplessness that feeds the depression.

In October, I decided I needed to simultaneously work more on the OCD, so I started doing more ERP on my own, using as a guide Dr. Jonathan Grayson’s Freedom from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Personalized Recover Program for Living with Uncertainty.

Compared to this time last year, I feel like I’ve moved down the path towards real recovery. I deal better with my interpersonal relationships, my OCD is better under control and I feel hope that I’m going to get better.

All this has reminded me of the importance of treatment for OCD and for depression and anxiety. There are many kinds of treatment, and each person is different. Different things may work for different people. The point is to reach out and get the treatment that is right for you.

I plan to continue climbing up those front steps in 2013.


What are some of the things 2012 has taught you?

20 comments:

  1. You are doing well. I have only depression and occasional anxiety. I have a med check every three months and see a therapist every other week. And thinking I would benifit from switching to group therapy. Wishing you a better 2013.

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    1. Thank you, Middle Child, blessings to you in 2013, too. I've never tried group therapy, but it's something I might consider down the road. Would that be more like a support group?

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  2. It seems that this year has been very productive
    Well done on coming so far

    This year has taught me that I can't get well on my own
    I tend to isolate a lot and I know I won't get better if I keep doing this
    I also learnt that if I wait until I am ready then I will never take action

    I've had anorexia/bulimia for 12 years now and am also recovering from an opiate addiction

    Best of luck with your recovery x

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    1. Thank you, Ruby-Tuesday. I'm sorry that you are struggling with issues, too. I tend to isolate myself, too. This year has taught me that I get better more quickly with the support of others. Good luck in your recovery.

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  3. This is wonderful! You've really accomplished a lot this year. I'm so glad you are feeling better than you were a year ago.

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    1. Elizabeth, thank you. I am glad to look back and see some progress. I have a ways to go, but I'm grateful for the steps I've been able to take this year.

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  4. You are so, so brave, and I am so proud of you.

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  5. You have really worked hard this year, Tina, and I'm very proud of you. I know how difficult it was for you (and all of us!) at times.

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    1. Sunny, thank you for your encouragement. The year held some difficult times for all of us for sure. My blogging friends helped me so much.

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  6. How fulfilling to be able to look back and see you've made genuine progress! Congratulations!

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    1. Thank you, Lisa. I am grateful for the progress I made and hopeful for more in the coming months.

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  7. And climb them you will. You've accomplished many milestones this year! Many, many! keep it up and keep sharing it with the rest of us!

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  8. You are moving forward and should be so proud of yourself, Tina, for climbing those steps! I wish you even better days ahead in 2013.

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    1. Janet, thank you very much for your support.

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  9. Great round up of the year, you are obviously made of strong stuff!

    That's what this year has taught me, recovery is hard work & you need to allow yourself to be proud of your achievements. This year is the first in a long time I feel like I am on the road to recovery & I am making a difference.

    All the best for 2013, look forward to reading all about it!

    Mrs Brown @Mrs Brown's Thoughts

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    1. Clare, I'm glad that you are on the road to recovery. I agree with you--it's hard work and we need to be proud of even what seem to be small achievements.

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  10. I was thinking of writing a similar post, yet would rather not look back at the moment. Instead, I am here to congratulate you on how far you've come. I cannot wait to see how far you continue to grow in the upcoming year ... I have a feeling that you'll go even farther!

    Have a wonderful rest of your weekend.

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    1. Thank you, Amanda, and blessings to you as you start the new year!

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