Hitting Bottom and Looking for Help

Dan hit bottom while he was at college, fifteen hundred miles away from home. And I took absolutely none of the advice that I just gave in the previous blog.

While I was frantically rearranging my life so I could fly down and be with Dan, I begged him to go to the counseling center at school. But his OCD had taken such control over him that he was not able to physically enter that particular building, as well as several others, on campus. He was in desperate need of help and so I spoke to the head of counseling at Dan’s college, and she recommended a particular psychiatrist in town. Dan got himself there, met with the psychiatrist and left with prescriptions for Prozac and Abilify. There was no other therapy offered and I later learned that psychiatrists pretty much only dispense and monitor meds. You need to find a therapist (clinical psychologist, social worker, etc.) for additional therapy.

If only I had known about the International OCD Foundation at that point. I would have checked their listing of therapists online and found that there was an absolutely wonderful clinical psychologist who specializes in OCD just twenty minutes from Dan’s school. It never occurred to me to research anything at that point. We were going through a crisis, and I was just not thinking clearly.

So now Dan was taking two medications. And there would be lots more to come.

How did you find your current treatment provider(s)? Are you satisfied with them? Are you still looking for a good fit? Or are you not even bothering with therapy now? I’d love to hear your stories……..

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8 Responses to Hitting Bottom and Looking for Help

  1. expwoman says:

    I was in therapy on and of from age 15, but didn’t find someone who specialized in OCD until I was 39. I found him through the IOCDF, and am grateful I finally found someone who does exposure therapy and who understands OCD.

  2. ocdtalk says:

    Yes! I think that is the key………someone who knows ERP Therapy and understands OCD (as much as anyone can!).
    I’m sorry it took you so long to find the right treatment…….unfortunately it seems as if that is not an uncommon occurrence.

  3. I think one key point is getting a list of needs, and NOT assuming one professional can provide them all. I go to a psychiatrist for medication, and a therapist for therapy. Over 20 years, they’ve never overlapped – never been the same person. That is okay. I would rather have two competent professionals, than squeeze one into a role they cannot fulfill – at least for me.

    • ocdtalk says:

      Thanks for your comment! I think the key word in your post is competent. If you have found competent professional who, as you say, are able to meet your needs, then that’s all you can ask for. Unfortunately, in our experience, it isn’t always as easy as it should be to find these competent treatment providers….

  4. Juli says:

    My son is 13 and has been recently diagnosed with sever OCD. I have just begun researching and stumbled upon your blog. I am new at all of this. He is seeing a psychologist, but the closest person to specialize in OCD therapy would be an hour and a half away. I am nervous about starting him on this type of therapy, but I know it will be needed for him. I feel so helpless. No drugs have been discussed as of yet, but I am beginning to feel he needs something to take the edge off of him. This is my first time reaching out….

    • ocdtalk says:

      Juli, I am so glad you wrote and as bad as things are for your son (and you!) right now, please know that OCD, no matter how severe, is very treatable. You are already on the right track. Have you contacted the International OCD Foundation (their link is on my sidebar) for help and advice?
      As far as therapy goes, Exposure Response Prevention Therapy is the therapy of choice for OCD. If there is no way to connect with a therapist who specializes in OCD, there are lots of self-help books that will, at the very least, introduce you to this therapy. If you would like to connect please feel free to email me at ocdtalk@yahoo.com. You are in my thoughts.

  5. Jane says:

    Our son was in second grade when he started having anxiety issues after staying in the hospital for several days with the flu, He started seeing a counselor for the anxiety issues. OCD did not enter the picture until he started in 7th grade and then he started to see a psychiatrist who put him on the standard medications. After these medications stopped working, we took him to another psychiatrist who put him on Effexor. This med worked through high school and most of college. But no Exposure Therapy was ever advised. It was not until his OCD became really bad between his junior and senior years of college, that we as his parents realized that he should have had ERT all these years, that meds alone do not control OCD.

    Now, he is 25, and even after being in four different treatment centers over the last two years, is still struggling with severe OCD.
    He was just recently in the hospital because his psychiatrist took him off Risperdal. The result was that he was suffering with nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, etc. She had insisted that he terminate the med immediately when recent blood tests indicated elevated liver enzymes. Cutting him off from this medication resulted in his going into a tailspin from which he has yet to recover. We decided to try a different psychiatrist. We met with the new doctor on Monday; on Friday his nurse called and told my husband that the doctor would not be able to treat our son Needless to say, we were shocked. Although this psychiatrist gave us a couple of referrals, I am really wondering how many psychiatrists are capable of treating someone with severe OCD.

    I have checked the OCD Foundation website; unfortunately there are few doctors in our area (Northwest Ohio) who have experience with treating severe OCD.

    If you have similar experiences or can recommend anyone, please let me know. We are getting close to desperate. Thank you!

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