OCD Gone

That’s right; it’s pretty much gone.  The illness that defined me and served as the source for much of my suffering is finally at bay.  I had tried everything (except SSRIs) and many things had helped, but not cured.  I actually did not believe OCD could go away.  Here’s what happened:

I went to a naturopath.  I had seen naturopaths before, but none like this.  In fact, I have seen quite a few medical professionals including your classic MDs, specialists, and alternative practitioners.  To me, I wasn’t on the east or west side of medicine, I just wanted someone, anyone, to help me.

I went to see this particular naturopath for my chronic systemic infections.  I was sick a lot and was told by my current doctors that all the tests had been done and there was nothing more to try, but I am not one to be content with that answer.  And when I say I was sick a lot, I’m talking not serious stuff, but enough to disrupt my life.  During my last quarter in college, I had gotten Whooping Cough twice, Strep Throat once, a Staph infection, a sinus infection, an ear infection, and countless UTIs and yeast infections.  This is why I dropped out of school; I physically was not healthy enough to tolerate the stress.

The naturopath informed me that I had a hormonal imbalance, high cortisol levels, food allergies, a fatty liver and imbalanced serotonin levels.  She told me to avoid certain foods, and to stop smoking pot.  She suggested progesterone cream and some supplements for my hormones.  She also prescribed a host of different supplements.  I followed every bit of advice she gave me to perfection.  That first week, I slept better than I had ever in my whole life.  I was able to get weed out of my routine in a few weeks.  After a month, I was a different person.  I felt calm, I was no longer compulsing and my brain was no longer obsessing.  I tried bringing some of the foods she told me to eliminate back into my diet, and I experienced very unpleasant results, which verified what she had said (not that I needed verification).

I still have my bad days, but the tools I learned in therapy are enough to help me cope with that.

What I have learned from this experience is that health most certainly does not come for free; it takes work.  I have also learned that to heal, one must heal the whole body.  We are a balanced system and if one thing is off, who knows where the symptom might pop up?

I believed that if my OCD would just go away, I would be unstoppable, or at least that my life would be infinitely better.  My life is much better, but I am facing a different set of challenges.  Though the OCD caused a lot of my pain, it was not the source of all my pain.  The OCD is a symptom of even more shit I need to work through.

So, I am in therapy again.

When my OCD was at it’s worst, I wanted nothing more than for it to leave me alone.  Now, I want more…. to be happy.

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38 thoughts on “OCD Gone

  1. hey, Im glad things are good with you 🙂

    I think we all have the answers in each of us, we are all different.

    Personally I dont care if I have OCD or not, I think if I kept telling myself that I dont have it then it will make me worry about it a lot. So I say yeah I could have it or not have it but I dont enforce rules on my mind. Thats why I disagree with CBT and ERT because they exert control and rules in how to think which only increases the strength of the thoughts. You know how if you try not to think somthing then your mind wants it even more! and also the thought processes themselves are not natural IMO so Im not sure what effects that thinking in such ways would have on the thoughts, it would probably strengthen them if your telling your mind that theyre not normal.

    Its one of my hates that people on some sites push CBT as the way forward when its not for everyone. But yeah I think we all have to be strong and do our own thing.

    • Hi Greg,

      I agree that CBT i not for everyone. We are all unique and have our own paths to go down. As long as we are trying that’s what counts 🙂

  2. …nice that you have been able to overcome OCD with SSRIs. I took them for about 8 years and then decided to stop without doctor’s advice. Well earned me trips to several hells i am not sure how I eventually escaped from. SSRIs can mess someone alot…sometimes, some people don’t have a choice, but its best to avoid them.

    ‘ The OCD is also a symptom of even more shit I need to work through….’ all the best with that, and hopefully its not so bad.

    I know what triggered my OCD and several other anxiety issues, and its pretty messed up, been dealing with them for say 10 years now, and I still have too my Rivers to Cross. Hopefully, one day I will cross all of them.

    • Hi Mark,

      I am glad that i did not use SSRIs, though i do understand some people benefit very much from them.

      I feel overwhelmed as well at the mountain ahead of me, but its time to just go for it.

      its great you have insight into what triggered your OCD and i hope that you keep your spirits up because although the journey is terrible challenging, i think we all can do it!

  3. Dear Jbritz,

    I am happy that you have overcome your OCD. It gives me hope that I can overcome the OCD symptoms that I experience. I feel that if you can overcome your OCD symptoms that you can overcome anything in life. And I send you great love and good wishes in your quest in so overcoming whatever you have to deal with in life.

    May I ask the name of the naturopathic doctor that helped you overcome your OCD? I really think that it is astounding that her recommendations helped you. And my thinking is that perhaps she can help me overcome my OCD. OCD has been pure hell for me to experience, and the onset of my symptoms started in my adulthood after some very stressful experiences in life. I have read a book on OCD self-treatment called, “Brain Lock,” by Jeffry Schartz. And I have found that the four step method of CBT self-treatment in the book to help me somewhat, even though I just started applying the CBT techniques. And it has been pure hell for me to not only experience OCD, but, thus far, it has been damn hard for me as I try to apply the exposure-response prevention techniques that I learned in Dr. Schartz’s book. I hope and pray that I find a way to be free of the menace of OCD. OCD has distroyed my life in many ways.

    Thank you for this blog. I have learned a lot form you. I am so happy that you have overcome your OCD.

    With Appreciation,

    Nicky

    • Hi Nicky,

      I think its very brave of you to work at finding ways to deal with your OCD, which is not easy, so be proud of yourself 🙂 OCD is terrible and every little bit forward is a huge help so dont quit. I will email you my naturopath’s info.
      Stay strong!

      • Dear Jbritz,

        Thank you for everything. And thank you for the words of encouragement. You are an inspiration for me.

        I am sorry for the slow response. But I appreciate everything that you have done for me. I appreciate you sending me your naturopaths information.

        I hope that your life is beautiful and blissful. I will try to respond to your posts in a more timely manner in the future.

        Thank you for everything.

        Love,

        Nicky

      • Please email the naturopath’s info. too. My OCD is getting worse and worse. Any resources are greatly appreciated.

      • You may email me; that’d be easier considering I have no idea what our email is 😉 my ocddiary @ gmail.com

  4. Hi jbritz,

    Wow, where do I begin, this is all so new to me, this is going to be long so sorry. Sorry if I’m vomiting information here I’m just a little overwhelmed. I’ll try to give you a brief history on myself.

    I was diagnosed with a hormone imbalance a year ago, my Progesterone and Estrogen are in post-menopausal levels, meaning they’re almost non-existent however my Testosterone levels are in range, creating an imbalance between the three most important hormones in my body. My Naturopath wanted to try to get my body to produce hormones on it’s own because I’m so young (28) so she put me on herbs to help with this. Well almost a year and a half later the anxiety has returned with a new friend….hocd. Never in my life have I once between attracted, emotionally, physically interested in a woman. Not once. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely support the LGBT community, however it’s not for me. A week ago I was on a celebrity gossip site and came across an article on how Jessica Lange is now dating her female co-star after being married to a man for 27 years. The minute I saw that it was like anxiety came and slapped me in the face. I instantly was overcome with fear, started shaking, and my mind started racing…”omg what if that happened to me? What if I suddenly turned gay, omg am I gay? What if I was? But I love my boyfriend with all my heart, how can I think that? What if it destroys everything in my life?!” And so on..and so on… keep in mind that my hormones haven’t budged since starting treatment last year (my fault, I was on the birth control pill the whole time which completely defeats the purpose. but without it I dont have a menses).

    This is SO out of left field for me….I’ve never had gay thoughts in my life….as a child, as a teenager, as an adult I’ve always been attracted to men…always…I’ve tried to think back to see if there was a hint of anything anywhere and there’s nothing. But when anxiety gets a grip on my brain, I’m absolutely convinced I have no control over this and that maybe I am and that scares the living daylights out of me, the anxiety is so bad I can’t eat….but then…I’ll have moments of clarity where I kind of snap out of it for a minute and go “what the hell? How could I even THINK that, let alone be so convinced by it? Of course I’m straight! I am and always have been straight! I am madly in love with my boyfriend and couldn’t ever see myself with anyone else!”

    I spoke to my Naturopath about this and she assured me this is definitely from the hormone imbalance. I will not go on any pharmaceuticals so that’s totally out of the question. The side effects alone terrify me. I’ve thought about smoking pot for the anxiety just until my hormones get balanced. My doctor put me on Bio-Idenctical Estrogen and Progesterone creams last Friday so I am hoping that within a month this will be under control. It would be amazing if it could just disappear. But honestly, the part that scared me the most is because anxiety and hormone imbalance can numb your emotions and feelings toward people/things. So that also terrified me because I was unable to feel intense love for my boyfriend that I had two weeks ago. However I recognize this is a symptom of the hormone imbalance….ugghh sorry this was so long but I hope you can put my mind at ease.

    Thanks!

    • it really sounds like HOCD to me. my hormones were a lot like yours, but now im balanced and everything is much better. keep faith and the bio hormones are a great idea. give it some time to see changes. its takes a while, but try to find some body awareness. good thing youre off the birth control. honestly, that stuff totally messed me up and i hear story after story about how bc messed up someones life. its not irreparable, but it will take some work to fix it. the other thing you can do is eat organically. that will be huge. and avoid soy like the plague.

    • Thank your story, I experiencing very similar things as you are.
      I also just found out I have a very low progesterone level. So my dr is just starting me on cream. How are you feeling? And how long did it take before you noticed a difference? Any other advice or tips to help , please let me know.

  5. Yes, and I have never had this offshoot of the anxiety before. I had my anxiety under control all last year. My doctor just upped my dose this month of Armour Thyroid which is a natural medication however a side effect of too much is anxiety, and I noticed the anixety flared up a week after she upped the dose. So that could have a lot to do with it. I scaled down the dose a couple of days ago. Yes, birth control is absolute poison. I will stay far away from it. Condoms work just fine for us. I’m thinking it’s going to probably take about 1-3 months to really feel like myself again. Until then I just need to be patient and remember that something has a hold of me right now because hormones are EVERYTHING and if they aren’t balanced you are sure to feel awful. But soon it will go away and my body will be balanced once again. I try to eat organically as much as possible, especially with meat, eggs, and all dairy products. I’m also off gluten…I tested positive for a gluten allergy last year, however when she tested me this year I tested negative…she said to stay off it until my hormones are balanced just in case. When I first started going to my Naturopath she had me on a soy supplement…almost a month later I woke up in hives. As soon as I stopped taking it the hives went away. So needless to say I definitely stay far away from soy. I just can’t wait to feel normal again. To wake up feeling good and not feeling anxious. To be able to relax and not worry about what my brain is going to think about that could possibly cause anxiety. To treat a thought as just that…a passing thought, who cares where it came from, it doesn’t always have to have meaning, and I can just forget about it and not let it bother me. And most importantly…to be able to eat and enjoy food again 🙂 Thanks for your insight jbritz…I need all the reassurance I can get right now.

    • sounds like you have some awesome body awareness which is great and will be an asset to you! i want to mention a couple things. first, were you diagnosed with a gluten allergy or intolerance? secondly, if you were tested with your standard blood test, how it works is that the doctor looks at the extracted blood for an inflammatory response that indicates a problem with gluten. this response only acts up when a person is eating gluten when they are intolerant or sensitive to it in some way. if someone who is intolerant and also eats gluten free gets tested, they will have a negative test. so doctors usually instruct their patients not to change their diets until the test is over.

      also, if your thyroid medication is too intense for you, please email me for some other suggestions on gentler ways to correct this. the supplements i take are gentle and have worked wonders in fixing not only my thyroid levels, but my other hormones as well. i was like you…low levels of everything. the natural estrogen pills and other stuff i tried just gave me side effects.

      lastly, and not to call your naturopath into question, but i am beyond confused at why you were prescribed soy. i dont have all the info, so obviously their could be something else that makes sense, 🙂 but with the info so far, it makes no sense to me.

      take care and you have a great attitude so stay strong!

      • I do for sure. I always listen to my body. Well, the first time I was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance (not Celiac) it was through an Adrenal Stress Index which tests your saliva. She ran that again this year, I started eating gluten again in March and she tested me again in June. However, I can’t remember if I was still eating gluten or if I had given it up again right before I took the test. I had noticed my moods were bad because I went to a Zumba class a few weeks before that, and the intensity of the workout made my cortisol spike resulting in an anxiety attack. That’s one thing I notice when I have anxiety, my cortisol is usually high. Just checked my levels last week and it was 10.2! WAY out of the normal range.

        I talked to my Naturopath about the Armour Thyroid and she said to scale back so I’m taking 60 mg every other day. My thyroid levels are finally normal…they were pretty low.

        I’m noticing an improvement in my mood today and I was able to eat lunch, so that is a good sign. It’s the little things.

        I think she had initially wanted to try me on soy to build up my Estrogen, but as we quickly saw, my body didn’t like that. I’ve since heard very bad things about soy so I’m not staying far away from it.

        thank you so much for your reassurance. It really helps! I know I will get through this! I think hormonal balance is the answer for all of my issues.

      • I’m starting to realize that birth control has done this to me….before I went on the pill 5 years ago I was a normal, fun loving, confident girl, who never had any emotional issues…no ocd, no anxiety, no depression…ever. Being put on birth control to correct a hormonal imbalance is like telling someone to smoke to cure lung cancer….it angers me that the conventional doctor I went to was so ignorant in hormone health…so many doctors are and use birth control as a quick fix….it does nothing of the sort. I stopped the pill almost 2 months ago, so I’m hoping this is the 3 or so month “adjustment” period where I’m experiencing increased anxiety/ocd/depression….and that with the continued use of the bioidentical progesterone and estrogen cream I can finally get rid of those evil things. I know that without anxiety, ocd cannot exist. I use that information as a source of comfort. It helps me on the hard days. I also know that with low progesterone comes low serotonin, another reason for ocd/anxiety/depression. Note to self: never take birth control EVER again.

  6. Ok, so here’s what the hocd just did to me and now I’m in full anxiety mode again 😦 I just remembered that I had a dream once where I had a penis…there was nothing sexual about the dream, it was just there and in my dream I was like, whoa what the hell! Had I not been going through this right now that dream would have just been shrugged off as just a weird random dream….but now I’m panicking….UGH! I’ve read that it can be looked at as a symbol of a male like being strong and self confident etc….please tell me this isn’t a sign…I’m freaking out

  7. Ok never mind, just found an interpretation that said it has nothing to do with sexuality, “being a woman with a penis in a dream just symbolizes your feelings of being powerful.” ugghh eff you hocd, lol

  8. That’s great that you were able to find something that works! I am going through something similar, with messed up cortisol levels, physical illness and increased OCD symptoms. What foods did the naturopathic ask you to avoid? Did she give you any other rrecomendations? Thanks!

    • The foods she suggested I avoid were very customized to me, so im not sure how much good it would do for others, but i can say a couple things she had me avoid that i believe anyone could benefit from eliminating or reducing. that includes: sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and soy. Especially if you have high cortisol, avoid those.

      • What was the food to avoid customized based on? Was there a food sensitivity test done on you? If so, do you know which kind?

  9. Hello,

    Interesting and inspiring article! My ocd is new to me and I still don’t believe that it’s
    only “treatable”. Would it be possible if you could email me your naturopath’s email? Thank you!

  10. Hellou everybody

    Im in the same hormon mess then you were…i took birth control for about 8 years.. and i went to hell! Really deep hell! Now im off since march..and im again in hell! I dont know anymore what to do.. i have ROCD, so my feelings toward my boyfriend are so strange…and they really scare me to death!
    I just want to ask if any of you are totally recovered? How long did it take for you?
    And is the OCD completely gone?

    Thank you! 🙂

    • It took me a while to get over the damage that hormones/birth control did, but I am fine now! I did seek the help of a naturopath and she put me on some herbs and supplements to help put my hormones in balance. Took a few months to a year, but it was definitely effective. My OCD is mostly gone, but some days I have my moments. I am doing so much better thans to therapy, my naturopath my my commitment to not quitting!

  11. Hi I know I’m a bit late posting ok n this page Ijust found it. I am very inspired by this story since I have suffered from ocd for 3 years. Could you please email me the name of your natuoralpathic dr. Thanks chad

  12. I am trying to find others who experience spontaneous remission. I have had OCD 3 times in my life, once when I was 19, once in my early 30’s, and then last year. It lasts about a year and then goes away for good. (Well it comes back, but after years and years)

    I want to know why however. It is true I do therapy to get rid of it (ERP) but according to Wikipedia moderate symptoms are supposed to linger even after therapy. Maybe my OCD was never that bad to begin with? My OCD is Pure O. According to Wikipedia a symptom free period is rare, and yet I am currently having a symptom free period. I’d love to help people, if anyone here is a researcher don’t hesitate to contact me, scan my brain, ask me questions etc.

    I want to help people. 🙂

  13. HI I have suffered from Pure O OCD for the past 5 years. I have tried ssri’s with no help. I would be very interested in the natural path. Could you please email the name of the doc that helped you!
    Blessings,
    Kyle

  14. Hi I have a daughter who is suffering from OCD and I would like very much to try and help her. I would be grateful if you could share the email add of the naturopath with me, thanks

    Reply

  15. I am going through the same issues. Even had a fatty liver even tho I have healed it now holistically! What types of foods did they tell you to avoid? I am going to balance my hormones soon and I can’t wait to see the results. Please contact me you have given me so much hope

  16. If you could email me you could save my life. Please. Would love to know what foods you stayed away from and supplements you took. I’m using progesterone. Giving it a shot. If I don’t see results within 4 months, I’m going to get back on medication so I can live my life.

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