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lammers1980

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This is a question as well as a statement I guess. I spent most of my last weekend at home, with the exception of some shopping and a dinner out with my toddler. During the course of the weekend and compared to now, I've noticed a phenomenon; I don't have much in the way of OCD symptoms when I am at home, or doing things I like such as shopping, dining out, etc. However, when I go back to work, the OCD strikes back with a vengeance. I am wondering if the stress of my job (a real pressure cooker) is triggering my OCD? If so, would simple relaxation excercises relieve the symptoms. I find that the new meds are helping a bit, even though at this point it may just be placebo.
 

Daniel

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I am wondering if the stress of my job (a real pressure cooker) is triggering my OCD? If so, would simple relaxation excercises relieve the symptoms.

Since OCD is a form of anxiety, it seems safe to say that reducing stress would likely reduce OCD symptoms.

Regarding relaxation exercises, my therapist recommended positive visualization exercises when I told her the breathing exercises were not my cup of tea. I prefer to recall pieces of visual art since it lets me think about something positive at any time, such as symbolism used by the artist, etc. Since I don't live near a major art museum, my favorite series on public TV is Sister Wendy's American Collection:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/sisterwendy/works/cit.html

Also, when I worked in a stressful job, I preferred to take walks during my breaks to help calm down.

Dr. Baxter also mentioned an article on stress-management techniques which is my favorite post so far:
http://www.psychlinks.ca/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=296
 

David Baxter

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Daniel is correct. OCD symptoms will almost always get worse as general anxiety or stress levels increase. At home, the tendencies will still be there but symptoms may seem to be absent because with los anxiety/stress levels they are quite manageable. At work, where anxiety and stress is higher, it becomes more difficult to manage or control the OCD tendencies.

So yes... whatever you can do to help manage stress or general anxiety will certainly help your OCD symptoms...
 

lammers1980

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Thanks for the advice! I am going to try to find an action plan to deal with the stress levels at work. To top off the fact that the office is dealing with record activity, we are also shortstaffed. I am currently doing the work of 1.5 people! In addition to the new meds, I have also cut down on my caffeine intake daily. I have found this helps quite a bit as well. I think I was drinking more coffee than is healthy.
 

dog5000

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For me, I get worse when I'm at work (stress/anxiety) and at home. My home life is perfectly fine, so I don't understand that. Even when I'm at my boyfriend's house, I have panic attacks. The only time when I'm okay (meaning that I'm not scratching myself, tearing my hair out, or injuring myself) is when I'm in stores. That's about the only time I'm okay--but once we're in the car, I start worrying again. I don't like crowds, but I think it must take my mind off of my fears when I'm trying not to run into somebody's shopping cart! I think that the original posting is very interesting--thanks for sharing!
 
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