Welcome to our blog

I am an OCD sufferer. And going through my rOCD journey was one of the most difficult and confusing periods of my life. I have started this blog as an attempt to help all those that are going through their rOCD journeys. And like me, in the past, find it very difficult to find happiness and joy in everyday living. I am glad to say, that today, rOCD does not control me anymore and I live a very happy life with my beautiful wife and son.

Great guest post

Hi everyonehere is a great guest post from someone that shared their rOCD journey with me. There are a LOT of positive stories out there and this is one of them. What I really like about this story is that the rOCD sufferer is not looking to eliminate rOCD but rather learning to be happy with it! Many of you might ask if this is even possible (as it sounds like a contradiction) but from personal experience I can say confidently that it is - once we adopt a more Continue Reading

The antidote

Hi everyoneNot sure if I covered this or not previously but here it goes!A lot of the time when we start our recovery journey we tend to focus on the outcome rather than the process. What do I mean by this? I mean that we set goals such as "I will eliminate OCD from my life" or "by the end of treatment I will not feel anxious anymore" or "I will not have intrusive thoughts again". If we take these as measures of success we are destined to fail. And why, you Continue Reading

Why rOCD might be harder to treat today

Hello everyone,busy couple of weeks babysitting the little one in the evenings so that my wife can finish off her MSc (Psychology). I have really lucked out as my wife finds time to keep the household running, work on her dissertation and takes care of the toddler during the day. I am still catching up on a backlog of emails and comments on the website. People are coming back from the summer and trying to settle back into new or old routines and the day-to-day Continue Reading

Open question/suggestions

Hi everyone,It has been a while since I last posted here. As always I try not to overload this blog with information and I rather focus on quality rather than quantity.As a move towards quality, I am trying to assess potential interest from people in relation to an online course/toolbox for dealing with rOCD. As I understand it, some people, prefer the interaction and would benefit from a daily reminder/follow up that would put them on the right track. This Continue Reading

Accepting OCD

Hi everyone,As always I am trying to cover subjects that I did not think about covering in previous posts. And sometimes the shortest posts are the best :)Going back a few years, at the height of my OCD problems, one of the hardest things for me was accepting that I had OCD. I went through analysing feelings to point of exhaustion. Asking myself why I was asking questions. Maybe this is a "sign" that something is wrong. The light at the end of the tunnel Continue Reading

The perfect partner

Hello,Hope everyone is enjoying the summer and doing a bit of mindfulness... :) I don't think I have covered the "perfect partner" issue from a rOCD perspective in previous posts so here it goes.It is also important for me to mention that I am not discussing cases of emotional and/or physical abuse. We are excluding these cases from this discussion. There are two "lies" that rOCD tells when it comes to evaluating if we are in a relationship with the Continue Reading

A success story

Hi again,I am catching up on my emails and here is a shortened success story from a rOCD sufferer. I really like two things about this story (but there are many more!):1 - The analogy used that when we love something (or someone) that does not mean that we should be thinking about it all the time.2- That success is not measured by not having rOCD thoughts but rather by managing the disease and its symptoms. This means that we can learn to be happy, even Continue Reading

A guest post from Holland

Hi everyone, Lately I have been getting many emails from people wanting to share what has worked for them in regards to improving their rOCD. It is really interesting to get someone else's perspective other than mine, as it might resonate with other people better. So here it is!  On choosing acceptance My name is Jel, I am a 31-year old woman in a 1,5 relationship with a lovely man. rOCD first hit me a few months ago. It was simply awful. Continue Reading

Another guest post :)

Hi everyone,just wanted to share another post from another rOCD sufferer on how they are moving forward with their rOCD.This for me was a very good point: "I wanted to show others out there that regardless of your sexual orientation ROCD does not discriminate." It is a very good example that OCD is very much an internal process and not external process and that there is no logic to it. Some people that email me, have been married for years and with children Continue Reading

Another good guest post.

Hi everyone,here is another guest post. From time to time, I am privileged to be emailed these inspirational stories of people that would like to share their journey with others. I have underlined and bolded some elements that really stood out whilst I was reading it. Thanks for sharing CG."I have been suffering from OCD all my life, I just didn't recognize it. There have been times when it was easier to cope with, especially when I met my partner more Continue Reading

Just one piece of advice

Hi everyone,I know that I have not been posting often and this has been a deliberate decision on my part. But I have not stopped blogging. With limited time on my part, I try to reply to as many emails as I can instead. People around the world email me and I have at least one or two new people emailing everyday. And, I will always reply to emails. I also try to limit the information on this blog to the essential bits. Information overload is present everywhere Continue Reading

Some other old notes

Hi everyone,I was doing some Spring cleaning (not Spring yet) and found some old notes from my therapy and mindfulness sessions. They really helped me to understand rOCD and what the first steps are in getting better. Here they are:OCD looks for areas of rigidity, where we are not very flexible in our beliefs and targets them.Short term goal. When we have an rOCD thought - "this is an OCD thought about...". Start labelling thoughts.Long term Continue Reading

Book available for purchase on iTunes

Hi everyone,Good news. After a long review process by Apple staff the book is now available on iTunes. Here is the link.https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/love-you-love-you-not/id803442922?ls=1&mt=11What is the difference between the blog and the book?The book is written with a start, middle and an end in mind. It explains a process. Some of the content from the blog has been abridged, condensed and included in the book. New content has been Continue Reading

Can’t shake it…

Hi everyone. I have finally started working on the book. Working and helping taking care of a newborn baby takes a lot of time but it is well worth it! I have picked some emails that I had not yet replied from rOCD sufferers and realised that there was something that I did not cover... "NOT JUST RIGHT EXPERIENCES" in OCD. Or NJREs as it is shortened. From this link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12732376Individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder Continue Reading

Hollywood syndrome

 Hi everyone,I have slowly started the book on rOCD and am still corresponding with some rOCD sufferers. I had a very interesting discussion with one of them. I will call this person P.I have asked P to write a list of (misplaced) expectations in regards to her relationship and send it to me. She also kindly agreed to share them on this blog as our discussion might benefit other people. By the way, P did a great job recognising where some of the Continue Reading

Guest post 2

 Hi everyone,Recently, I received an update from someone that I had started helping out a few months back asked her to share her improvement story on this blog. This is not a testimonial to my counselling skills by any means but a testimonial to her perseverance, patience, positive thinking and effort. There is no magic trick here. Here is P's story:I had my first OCD thought when I was 19. Since then I was living in a vicious circle of Continue Reading

Introductions

Hi everyone,It has been a busy couple of weeks but I am now back writing some posts. I have noticed that many more people have joined the blog subscription roll since I moved it to a .com domain. And many more people are e-mailing me asking similar questions. I will always reply to any emails, even though it might take me some time to do it due to the large number of people emailing me and work and family commitments.Having said that, I would like to give Continue Reading

Negative behaviour #2

 First of all, I would like to congratulate all of those who have made some improvement in regards to their rOCD. I have been getting a lot of e-mails lately about people that apply some of the principles in this blog and to a lesser or bigger extent have moved a little bit forward. This motivates me to keep on running this blog.This blog is not meant to give all the answers to rOCD questions but to share some principles that will help people in their Continue Reading

Roller coaster ride and chronic disease

 OK.I had promised myself and everyone else not to write anymore posts. I guess I will have to take that back as some people have asked me to write about specific topics and I see a need of writing a few more because of some of the feedback and observations of lately. I will start with this one today.Something that is common to almost everyone that I speak with is what I call roller coaster behaviour. This is the sequence of events (or very similarly), Continue Reading

May Update

 Hi everyone!As you might have seen by now, the face of the blog has changed. I am trying to follow up on some requests from people that have been emailing me about the structure of the blog and other add-0ns that might help people to better navigate the blog.Some changes:-I  have bought the domain relationshipocd.com for a year, which should make the blog easier to find for newcomers.-I am in the process of splitting the posts into different Continue Reading

Falling out of love

It has been a very busy two weeks for me. Work and most importantly family life has caught up with me. My wife ended up in Hospital for a week but she is back home now. Both herself and the baby are OK. This time apart made me realise how much I miss her when she is away. This is a far cry from where I was a couple of years ago with my rOCD. I had anxiety and panic attacks when I was with her. As I was replying to a message from a fellow rOCDer and we talked about Continue Reading

Feeling sorry for ourselves

I could just not share this today, as I believe that there are at least 3-4 principles in this video that relate to rOCD. Thank you to one of the people that emailed me and typed rOCD and not Rocd or ROCD, in their message. The first form is the correct one.There is no magic bullet for rOCD. It is not a flick of a switch. What it is, is a commitment to a daily change in attitude. Here is what I mean:http://vimeo.com/62713663#Change takes time. Change Continue Reading

Update

 Hi everyone,This is just a quick update to all of those  people that subscribed to this blog.1) As you have noticed, there have been some changes to the blog's theme. The reason for this is that I had an email from one of you mentioning that the posts are hard to navigate. I am trying something different and would like your feedback. I will be trying different things to see what works best.2) I have started writing a book about ROCD  with all Continue Reading

Be more optimistic (Guest post)

*This was not written by me. This is a guest post.*Hi, my name is Brandon and I have been suffering from ROCD for just over a year now. I have been with my amazing partner for a year and two months, but unfortunately most of this time has been spent on worrying about my relationship. Sure, ROCD is hell, but I know for a fact that if it wasn’t for the ROCD then my relationship would not have lasted this long. Why? Because ROCD (and any illness as a matter of Continue Reading

Tip #33 The 2 (or 3) brains

From some emails that I have received, I realised that some of you have been having problems with acceptance and mindfulness - and how to use these to not engage with your thoughts. I think a big part of the struggle is understanding why you should not engage with your thoughts. Once you understand this, I believe that you can make a little bit more progress.There are at least 2 or 3 (according to the picture) ways to divide the brain. Some of you have come Continue Reading

Revisiting OCD

So that everyone knows that what I have been writing here is not complete nonsense :) , I decided to steal some paragraphs from PsychCentral - as always I do not advocate spending  a lot of time going from blog to blog and spending a lot of time reading other people's experiences or discussing your own. The bottom line is that for those that want to get better they have to put some effort in...Here is an excerpt of the story:What if? What if… were constant Continue Reading

The wound – Follow up on weekly challenge

I had a great question today about letting thoughts be. Other people have asked me about this before and it is hard to explain this concept without you having it experienced first - alike to an electric shock. So I will do my best with the use of imagery and something that anyone can relate to:You have a wound. It is uncomfortable, unpleasant and difficult to live with. It restricts your movement and you are not able to go places that you would like to go. The Continue Reading

Weekly Challenge No.1

Here is this week's challenge for everyone. Do this properly for a week and you will see improvement in your ROCD. Please post comments below relating to any experiences or difficulties you have with this during the week. DO NOT ENGAGE YOUR ROCD THOUGHTS. DO NOT PUSH THEM AWAY EITHER. LET THEM BE. BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF. Continue Reading

Tip #31 3 Mistakes to avoid on the recovery road

So I have more than 30 posts here (did not think that I would get that far!) and I am thinking now if people are really benefiting from these tips.I thought that if you give people the tools, they would be able to "fix" the problem. Maybe it was bit naive of me because they still need to learn how to use the tools. This is a very difficult thing to do without providing some sort of feedback like a therapist does. But I am not a therapist. So I can only share Continue Reading

Tip #30 Psychological resilience

At the height of my ROCD anxieties, I stumbled upon mindfulness and decided to take a free course at University.  Before I could go on the course, I had to have an interview with the therapist in order to see if the course would be suited for me and most importantly if I was ready for the course.A lot of people are exposed to a lot of different psychological techniques to get better but for some reason they decide (consciously or unconsciously) to take what I Continue Reading

Tip #29 Q&A

Some of you have emailed me asking some very pertinent questions in regards to ROCD. Most of the questions overlapped between individuals. As someone pointed out in a previous post, it could be beneficial to have access to the same "answers". So here is a general summary or overview of my answers based on my own experience with ROCD:How do I know it is truly ROCD and not me falling out of love with my partner?This is one of the questions that I have been Continue Reading

Tip #28 Chronicles of Narnia

Not sure if you have seen the movies or read the books (I have only watched the movies!) - Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis. He has written many other books, the one that I think applies to ROCD sufferers is called Mere Christianity. Here is what I think is one of the most important lessons from the book (I have split it into small chunks to make an easier read): Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there Continue Reading

Tip #27 Extinction vs Instinct

OK. Let us start with a question. What is the end goal when treating rOCD? Think about this for 1-2 minutes. I will give my answer at the end of this post but explain the answer first.I would like to share with you today an excerpt from an excellent article from Dr. Steven Phillipson, one of the most knowledge people in regards to OCD, specially the obsessive type (in my humble opinion!).The article talks about two types of responses that are generated when Continue Reading

Tip #25 The pink elephant

There is a very interesting exercise that is sometimes played in psychology classes. It goes something like this:Imagine a pink elephant and then Try  not think about the pink elephant for as long as you can...Are you still thinking about the pink elephant or have you managed to erase it from your mind ? You could try this with any other unusual thing, object or animal. The interesting thing is that not wanting to think about something sometimes leads to an Continue Reading

Tip #24 The emperor’s new clothes

 Starving for attentionThe truth is that with ROCD, the content of the thought does not really matter. IF it wasn’t that particular thought it would be something else to annoy you. The ROCD brain is always looking for something to captivate and hold your attention. And it uses the content of the thought to do that.The brain just goes and looks for the thing that might bother you the most or  that you hold dearest is what gets attacked the most. And the more Continue Reading

Tip #24 What we should learn through ROCD

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” Elizabeth Kubler-Ross Continue Reading

Tip #23 The chicken and egg

I can't think of a better example than the story about the chicken and the egg to describe what goes on with anxiety and ROCD. What comes first? ROCD thoughts or anxiety? If we could go back to the beginning of our personal story maybe we would be able to tell...Anxiety can take many shapes in the body, mind(thoughts) and spirit (emotions). If you want an exhaustive list you can see one here: http://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-symptoms.shtmlIt is well Continue Reading

Tip #22 Some links worth visiting

This week, I have decided to give everyone a break from this blog and recommend some other links.The first link is related to ROCD research that is going on in the  psychological community. It is about a group based in Israel led by Dr. Doron. They have done extensive research on the causes and mechanics of ROCD. They also have a questionnaire relating to ROCD diagnosis available. Not sure if they intended to use it to diagnose ROCD patients or not but it looks Continue Reading

Tip #21 Take some time off from ROCD

For me, getting better from ROCD means thinking and focusing less and less on our anxiety and discomfort on our daily lives. And slowly enjoying life with our partners more. But in order to do this we need to learn how to take some time off from ROCD. I will start with bad ways of taking time off. If you have learned a bit about CBT and psychotherapy techniques maybe you have learned about thought stopping and worry time.Thought stopping is "forcing" Continue Reading

Tip #20 The radar

Your brain is always looking for signs danger and possible signs of trouble, ESPECIALLY in people with anxiety and ROCD.Let's look at this example:You have been in a relationship for some time. ROCD kicks in. Your boyfriend or girlfriend buys you a present. Your anxiety kicks in because this means things are getting serious and you start to think a lot about possible meanings, and the story continues... Now, the opposite. He or she does not buy you a Continue Reading

Tip #19 The nagging feeling

One of the problems that many people face when dating or are in a relationship is that they are looking for the wrong type of love. The type of love that Hollywood sells. You meet "the ONE" and everything is perfect. You will never have any doubts for one second  and everyone else in the world does not exist. Needless to say that this is part of the unrealistic expectations that other people and WE put on ourselves.Have you ever wondered, how it would feel like Continue Reading

Tip #18 Building your own ROCD prison pt.2

In the previous post, I talked about how important it is to understand how our unrealistic expectations affect our ROCD. This post will cover the subject of comparisons in relationships.What do I mean by comparisons? I mean benchmarking your relationship against other relationships. Sometimes in ROCD, we look for clues that our relationship is a "good" relationship and it is according to the "standard".  Of course that for our broken brains, the standard is Continue Reading

Tip #17 Building our own ROCD prison

It is said that we are the makers of our own prisons. It could not be more true for people with ROCD. Without knowing we slowly build the walls of our mental prisons by using different "bricks". I will talk about two particular bricks: unrealistic expectations and comparisons. I am sure there are a lot more but these two seem the ones that are used the most.Unrealistic expectationsEverytime we want to feel a certain way when we are with our partners we are Continue Reading

Tip #16 How can mindfulness help?

There are different ways of defining mindfulness and mindfulness practice. I like to think about mindfulness as a tool that help us realise that our bodies and minds are entities of their own and that we are not at fault for most of the things that are going own. For example, if you have a bad thought that does not make you a bad person. If you have a thought that comes into your mind, that does not mean that the thought is true either.Mindfulness goes beyond Continue Reading

Tip #15 How can ERP help?

ERP stands for exposure and response prevention. It is one of the psychological treatments of choice for Obsessive and Compulsive Disorders.The idea behind it is to decrease your anxiety levels by exposing you to the things that make your anxiety spike. This sort of therapy normally starts by gradual increase of anxiety triggers e.g. start with the things that might you spike less and slowly work towards those that make you spike more.I read a quote once Continue Reading

Tip #14 How can CBT help?

CBT stands for cognitive behavioral therapy and it seems to help sufferers in many types of mental disorders. It can be a complement to medication or stand alone therapy. I will not go into much detail about CBT as there are entire books written about it. I would rather explain how CBT can help people with ROCD.CBT intends to explain the relationship between thoughts, bodily emotions and feelings. And it goes beyond explanation to help change and develop better Continue Reading

Tip #13 Lies and more rOCD lies

A ROCD brain is like Pinocchio. It likes to tell a lie here and then by sending false messages. The only difference is that it has no nose to grow and thus making it very difficult to spot the lies. Sometimes, we can see a nose growing when our anxiety increases...Some of the ROCD brain's favourite lies are:"If I am attracted to other people, then I do not love my boyfriend/girlfriend" - Attraction is part of human nature. It is not like a switch that can be Continue Reading

Tip #5 Slooooow Down

ROCD fuels anxiety and anxiety fuels ROCD. And all these are fuelled by OVER-THINKING. I wrote a bit about this in my brain shovel post (tip #3)In order to get better from ROCD and anxiety, we need to recognize when we are over-thinking things too much...and need to SLOW DOWN.Imagine this:Your brain keeps spinning trying to find an answer. The more it spins the more confused and frustrated you get. And this is how your anxiety is being fuelled. By Continue Reading

Diagnosing rOCD

One of the most difficult things about rOCD is to get a proper diagnosis of the condition/disease. A lot of people focus on the relationship aspect but the real problem is the obsessive aspect (OCD) and this is what needs to be diagnosed. The relationship is a symptom not the real disease.Imagine this - someone has a brain tumour that is causing huge headaches. We keep on taking headache pills and trying to solve this, when this is just a symptom.It is not going to Continue Reading

What is rOCD?

If you are here, most likely you already know that rOCD stands for relationship obsessive compulsive disorder. You have read about rOCD and your biggest question might be "do I really have rOCD?" I will get into this question in another post...I guess that rOCD is a different experience for everyone because we are all different. However, many stories from rOCD sufferers share similar elements. Similar obsessions, compulsions, behaviors, warped thinking, Continue Reading

Changes to the website

Hi everyone,just to let you know - we are making some exciting changes to the website. Most of the stuff is happening at the backend so hopefully this will not affect browsing.1) Migrated the blog from wordpress.com. - no more intrusive ads and more functionality on the way.2) Installed an amazing blog theme - we are still tweaking so user experience might not be optimal.3) Finally, with these changes we can introduce some training Continue Reading