Very important. VERY.
Man arrested after Jo Cox shooting is ‘obsessive compulsive who rubbed own skin with Brillo pads’ relative claims.
The above statement is a recent headline from the Daily Mirror, a British newspaper. The story goes on to discuss the eccentricities of the man arrested for the recent horrific killing of Jo Cox, a Member of Parliament.
Talk about misleading. While it certainly is possible this man has obsessive-compulsive disorder (untreated), those with OCD are no more likely to commit crimes than the general population.
The headline might just have well have said, “Killer has brown eyes.” It’s just not relevant to the crime. Those with OCD who have obsessions of harming others live with the torment of these thoughts because they are so repulsed and frightened by them. Compulsions are created as a way to make sure these acts are not carried out. Those…
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I’ve worked in the admissions office at my university since September 2003, so I’m coming up on thirteen years there. The average “lifespan” of an admission counselor is about 18 months. I’ve had a lot of co-workers. A lot of amazing ones. Too many to even list, though I will say the prize for Kept Me Laughing Too Hard to Work goes to Kyle and Josh and The Only Person I’d Let Steal My Roomie goes to Matt.
For the past while, my office mates have been Whitney and Sam. I’ve mentioned them a lot recently, since both are leaving the university to pursue their dreams. On Tuesday, Whitney will hop a plane for Vienna, Austria. Shortly after, Sam will head to grad school in Illinois.
It’s been a tumultuous, incredible journey with these two (and our honorary office-mate Steve too!). I have shared so much of my heart and my life with them. We have cried together, prayed together, fought with each other (mostly me and Sam), gotten upset that others were fighting (mostly Whitney), laughed so hard we could barely breathe, discussed work, grad school, writing, dating, theology, politics, missions, social justice, racism. Not since college have my beliefs been so wonderfully, thoughtfully challenged.
Whitney will be doing trauma-based education for refugees in Vienna and the Middle East. (Please click here to learn more!) Sam will be getting his masters in bioethics.
I am so damn proud of both of them.
Starting to cry again. Gotta go!! 🙂
And throws goodies your way like:
- A personal attack that goes for your weakest spots: mental illness and singleness.
- No alone time for your highly introverted self.
- A heat index of 115 degrees.
- One million appointments at work … and you’re only one of two people in the office.
- NO TIME TO WRITE.
- Continued issues with sleep.
BUT YOU SURVIVE IT.
- I do not have a fragile personality; God, my friends, and even I myself have been reminding me of this.
- I can fake extroversion like a pro.
- My office installed a ceiling fan in my office to supplement the window A/C unit; my home office is so chilly I’m wearing a sweatshirt! Win!
- Hannah and I rocked this WILD afternoon in admissions alone!
- I’m about to write now, even just for a little bit.
- I napped for three hours after work today.
This week was hard. But I can do hard things.
I’ve done harder.
Please hang in there while my blog undergoes a makeover!
Well, folks, she’s back … the lovely Ms. Hannah, a former HOCD sufferer who has been featured on my blog in four previous interviews. I recommend you read them first so that you can be properly introduced to her and her story.
I keep an anonymous survey open year-round for people to submit HOCD questions, and when a number have gathered, I do another interview. The first question, however, was an anonymous comment on a blog post about Mae, another HOCD sufferer, who wrote, “I went to the gym a lot and if I thought a woman’s butt was hot, I was supposed to just appreciate her beauty and not doing anything else with the thought.”
Anonymous asks: What did she mean when she said that she appreciated women for their beauty? Did she mean sexually or just like “Oh they’re really pretty I want to be them”? I’m trying to do self ERP so I just want to make sure.
Hannah: I can’t speak for Mae, but for me, the exposure of “just appreciating a woman’s beauty” would not be the equivalent of “I want to be them.” It would be just what it says and nothing more– “That woman is beautiful. I like beauty.” There might be sexual feelings or arousal there as well, but that’s part of ERP too. The important thing is to let the thought just be a thought.
Hannah: It’s normal if you have untreated HOCD! Now, after ERP, that thought wouldn’t give me anxiety. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have that thought anymore. It would be more likely for me to find myself physically attracted to a woman, but I don’t think in terms of “Oh, I wonder if I’m actually gay” anymore. ERP wiped that out of my brain– paradoxically, it did this by making me okay with the thoughts I hated and the uncertainty. Once I let uncertainty have its own way, it quit bothering me. I wasn’t a slave to it anymore; bored with me, it moved on.
Anonymous asks: why?
Hannah: I don’t know, honey. Depends on your worldview how you answer this one. I like to think that pain has a purpose and that those of us who suffer from mental illnesses will one day understand what the purpose was. Even if we don’t ever find out, I still believe that.
Anonymous asks: I’m really young to have HOCD and I don’t want to tell anyone. I feel like I’m straight and I have always been attracted to the opposite gender. But now I’m scared what if I stop liking them?
Hannah: You poor dear! I was also young when HOCD first attacked me– 8th grade. What is that, 14? Everything that you write in your short three sentences indicates HOCD though. Jackie wrote a post that young people (or really anyone) with HOCD can share with their parents or loved ones so that the responsibility of explaining the disorder and what they need to treat it doesn’t rest on the sufferer. She’ll probably link it. [Jackie interjects: here it is!]
A Closer Look at HOCD
Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer
A Big Ol’ HOCD Post
Another Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer
A Third Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer
A Fourth Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer
HOCD Story: Meet Mae, Part One
HOCD Story: Meet Mae, Part Two
Gaining Certainty through Embracing Uncertainty
What life was like before & after CBT
Obsessing vs. Brainstorming: before & after
A Detailed Post about ERP
ERP is the RIGHT Answer
Better than a Band-Aid
What CBT was like for me
Will treatment change me?
Why You Need CBT/ERP
Have Reservations about ERP?
Preparing for CBT/ERP
ERP & Imaginal Exposures
Uncertainty is the Key
The Problem with Seeking Reassurance
Finding a cognitive-behavioral therapist
Medication vs. Exposure Therapy
Can’t afford CBT/ERP? Try this app or do self-directed ERP!
This was a really busy– but ultimately really good– week for me.
Last week, I was (pre?) diagnosed with a sleep disorder– Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome, which sounds totally fake but isn’t. Basically, my circadian rhythm is off, which is why I stay awake so late (even with Ambien!) and then feel impossibly paralyzed in the mornings. I’m meeting with a specialized sleep psychologist next month, and in the meantime, I had blood work done to see if it’s safe for me to go back onto Risperdal. I took that tiny .5 mg (notice that is POINT-FIVE not FIVE mg) pill for eight years, and when I went off of it (maybe six months ago?), I’ve just gone haywire. I know that for most people, mornings are not fun. But, for me, they’ve been impossible. I don’t know how else to explain it.
My favorite kiddos came over on Saturday, and later I found a sweet note from the six year old. Allow me to translate: “Ava loves Jackie’s house.” Jak E with a backward J leaves you with cake. I like cake.
My editor was in the Twin Cities, so we hung out on Monday, brainstorming and discussing Salt Novel as well as writing and publishing in general and all the things we’ve been learning lately. It was wonderful! I left feeling energized to write and excited about my manuscript. Now to find more time …
The rest of the week consisted of therapy (yay), haircut (yay) and dye job (yay? see pics.), getting paid for the German translation of Truest (YAY), and ice cream with my bestie (major yay).
How about you? I can’t believe July is half over. Where is summer going? I’m ready for cooler temps (it’s been in the nineties in Minnesota and miserably humid, though the end of this week was better) but I’m not ready for the ruckus of fall recruitment quite yet.
Think of me as I sort out my sleep/novel/work/life.
Hey peeps, hope you had a lovely Independence Day weekend! I sure did. I was able to rest and read, plus I put in lots of hours of writing.
I’ve had a lot of UPs lately:
I feel good about my novel outline. I’ve been enjoying writing and doing it regularly. Work is going great. I actually had an amazing and productive day yesterday that reminded me how much I love my job. My friends are so lovely, and so is my family. I had a heart-to-heart with my daddy. My coworkers are so fun and smart and terrific. My fingernails are a pretty pink.
I’ve had a couple DOWNs too:
There is a mouse somewhere in my house who is smarter than my EIGHT traps. There was a storm last night in which my city got three inches of rain in 45 minutes, and some of the rain found its way into my basement. I was not exactly loving homeownership last night, but thankfully, my roomie knew what to do. I have at least one morning each week where I wake up in a depressive funk that is unexplainable except for brain chemistry.
But that’s life, right? I’m feeling good and grateful, and I feel full of ideas and drive (usually) and feel like a sponge with all that I am learning (book research FTW!). I have a long way to go toward my ultimate goals (writing/health/work/etc.), but I’m on the road.
Wave as I drive past!