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27 Mar 2003

I am 53 years of age, and suffer from OCD. I have a Doctorate in Business Management and work as a private consultant. In my late 20's I started hoarding and checking that I had, for example, locked a door. This would normally be done 3 times. I am in the "habit" of unpacking and checking documents in my cupboard over and over again ( sometimes 7 times a day). I also count the number of letters in words whilst people are talking to me, and the answer is always 4. Example: Someone will say "hello", this has 5 letters, five has 4 letters, and four has four letters---and four is 4, is 4 and so on. I can add up letters in a sentence very quickly, and have to end with 4. I also straighten and clean the degrees I have hanging on my study wall continuously. I am on medication, viz. Rivitril and Surmontil. I still suffer from depression, thoughts of suicide and insomnia. The Psychiatrist treating me ( 10 years now), says that there is nothing that can be done about my condition. What am I to do? Counselling does not help at all---as soon as I get home, I am straightening pictures and checking dood handles etc. I feel helpless. Surely there is some form of treatment that will help to some degree? ECT perhaps?
Answer 414 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Rors,
Surely not ECT. From the sound of it, it is well past high time that you obtained a second opinon, from a psychiatrist more well-informed about modern methods of treatment. I am astounded that anyone could tell you that there is nothing that could be done about your condition. Surmontil is a very old antidepressant, and there are many newer, safer, and effective antidepressants which could not only relieve your depression, but are far more effective in helping OCD. I cannot imagine why you are on Rivotril, unless you are suffering from Epilepsy, for which it is a treament.
Also, there are effective psychological treatments, including behaviour therapy, Cognitive Therapy, and Cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT( , which can help greatly to enable you to revise the manner of thinking that gets you caught up in these obsessions and rituals. Best of all, a combination of such CBT and a trial of some of the newer antidepressants, especially of the SSRI family, should have an excellent chance of relieving all the unpleasant symptoms you have described.
And, aart from feeling better and happier --- imagine how much more productive you wll be when you no longer have to attend to the rituals and related concerns !
Get a competent new Psychiatrist ! Which has seven letters, which has five, which has 4 !
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