Need someone to talk to...

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by Silverchair, Aug 18, 2011.

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  1. Silverchair

    Silverchair Member

    For the record, I am 23 and have had OCD for most of my life. I have had all sorts of different obsessions throughout my life. Some were small, some were big, some went away, some have stayed. My journey with this disorder has been a very unpredictable one. I am quite used to living this way and have found a way to just live around it for the most part. I am a college graduate and have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. I am a very intelligent and responsible person overall. However, I find that some of my obsessions (and compulsions for that matter) have started to take over my life, the older that I get. Things that I used to be able to just "deal" with, I am having a hard time doing so now. To make a long story short, my biggest obsession has been with pregnancy. I have known from a very early age that I never wanted kids and would be utterly devastated if I ever got pregnant. I could write a book on all of the reasons why this is so but I won't do that now. I have always felt this way and therefore, have always avoided pregnancy in any way I can. In my younger years, it was just a general fear type of thing; it didn't impact my life greatly either way. I have been sexually active from the age of 15 onward...but have only had full blown intercourse maybe 5 times in my whole life. I used to be content with the fact that as long as I don't go "all the way" that I would be okay and never get pregnant, plus it would give me a way to handle my sexuality without worrying me sick every single day. Currently, I have been in a relationship with the same guy for the past 7 years. We have only had intercourse a few times, and that was over 5 years ago when we were teenagers. We have consistently had other types of sexual contact though. I have found that over the past couple years, this pregnancy fear has grown into a full blown obsession with me and it is greatly affecting my life and my relationship.

    It started getting worse when I actually began to read up about pregnancy (researching things constantly is one of my compulsions) and found out that you can get pregnant without intercourse. My heart fell into my stomach. Ever since then, which was about 2 years ago, every once in awhile, I would convince myself that I got pregnant from fingers, clothing, etc. Recently, it has been really bad for the past several months. I am hardly ever intimate with my boyfriend at all anymore because of it. Any time I think about being intimate, I imagine semen seeping into me somehow and swimming around in me just trying to get me pregnant, and I freeze up and have an anxiety meltdown. I have felt really suicidal lately because of this because I am afraid that I will lose my relationship. I have so few things in my life that go well or make me happy. I love my boyfriend more than anything and if I lost him, I would have very little to live for. I couldn't ask for a more patient guy who would go without intercourse for long. I am tormented by the thought that I may never be able to have intercourse for the rest of my life and that my boyfriend will eventually end up leaving me or cheating. My quest to find a way around this has consumed my every waking moment. I feel so trapped. There is no birth control that is 100 percent, not even sterilization, and I could never be okay with aborting, birthing, or adoption. That leaves me with 0 options.

    I feel so depressed and angry. I hate myself for having so many mental problems. I hate myself for not being able to deal with life. I am angry that we are born being able to reproduce by default, without an easy way out of it. I am angry at those who have had birth control never fail them for their entire life and that they can deal with this with ease. I also feel that God hates me for feeling this way...that I don't want children and that I hate being reproductive. The irrational part of this obsession will maybe pass someday, as some of my obsessions do. But in general, there will never be a way out of this. Therapy isn't working. I have been through a psyc program myself and have even interned. Nothing seems to ever reach me. I think that I am not able to be reached. It seems my only option is to tell my boyfriend to move on to another woman who can give him what he needs and I will just have to be alone for the rest of my life. I really don't want to live this way anymore but there isn't a way out. The sad part is, this is only one problem in my vast group of issues that I am dealing with right now. It all feels so hopeless.
     
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Hi hun i am glad you are getting all these thought out in the open I hope you can talk to your doctor about these obsessions and get help okay treatment to help settle you mind down some I hope you continue to post okay so others can reach out to you hugs
     
  3. Silverchair

    Silverchair Member

    Thank you for the support. I am currently in therapy and talking about this but I don't seem to make any progress. I thought that one option that would help me would to be sterilized, but I am very confident that no doctor would do that for someone my age and me being childless. I am also very afraid that I will go through all that and it will fail on me. I know that I am a woman and all this is expected of me. What can I say, I just don't have it inside of me. If that makes me less of a person, then I guess I am less of a person. I can't change the way I feel about it. This is by far the worst obsession I have ever had. It even affects me physically. I pray for the day that I could just wake up and magically feel different about it all but every night I lay down and tell myself that today just wasn't that day.
     
  4. VALIS

    VALIS Well-Known Member

    I have the same fear, and I also have a BA in psych. You remind me of me.

    I don't have much time this morning, but I just want to let you know I've been there with the extreme pregnancy fear, I've even panicked and taken Plan B when there was a negligible chance that I was pregnant. I've taken home pregnancy tests when it was silly and a waste of money, then taken another test to confirm.

    It didn't go away, but the fear got better for me after I had an IUD.... not that I'm sexually active anymore, but it made me feel better in the past when I did get sexual with my BF. So what helped with me was minimizing the chance to less than 1% by having paraguard and then just trying super hard to be rational about it.

    I'm sorry to hear you have the same stress about getting pregnant. I feel for you honestly.
     
  5. Silverchair

    Silverchair Member

    I appreciate you telling me this so much. I feel like this problem is either very rare or very hidden because I have never met anyone who is like me. I have met plenty of women who say they do not want to be pregnant, but if it happened to them, they could cope with it. I am VERY serious when I say that I don't want it to happen. I do the same with pregnancy tests as well. I take them and then doubt their accuracy. I have thought about birth control so much but honestly, if it has a failure rate, no matter how small, I am absolutely convinced that I would be in that failure. Part of my ocd is a fear of things altering my body so I don't really take medications for anything. Hormonal birth control scares me because it alters your menstrual cycle and when mine isn't acting normally, I become eat up with anxiety. The only non-hormonal options I would have is the copper iud, which I am not sure would even work on my body (I have been known to have a small uterus and cervix because I am a really really petite person) or sterilization, which would be very difficult for me to find a doctor to do it. I won't even mention barrier methods because there is no way I would trust those under any circumstances. I intellectually know that this is crazy. I am not even having sex or any direct genital contact for that matter...so how could I ever get pregnant? Yet, it doesn't ease my anxiety. When I read stories of people using like 3 methods of birth control or sterilization and still getting pregnant, it really scares me. It makes me feel that my body will almost conspire against me to make a pregnancy happen, even under the most impossible circumstances. I know that I obviously have mental issues that lie underneath this worry but I can't help but feel extra stupid because with my education and experience, I shouldn't worry about something like this. Any advice I have ever been given is "you shouldn't be having sex before marriage and that is why you feel guilty"...which is a little silly because I worry about this sometimes even when I am not sexually active...and I am a 23 year old woman in a 7 year long monogamous relationship. I know for a fact I would still have this problem even if I were married. People also say, "just don't have sex." Well that has worked for me for the past 5 years but how is that supposed to work for the rest of my life? What relationship would survive that? I have no idea how I am going to deal with this in the future, for now, I would just settle for at least being able to be intimate without this extreme anxiety getting in the way. I know that I am not going to be able to go further sexually for a very long time, if ever. It would be nice to at least get back to functioning as well as I was in the past, before I worried about pregnancy from crazy scenarios. It is so hard to get back to that place though, knowing what I know now.
     
  6. Speedy

    Speedy Staff Alumni

    I like Valis's suggestion of doing everything possible to minimize the chances of pregnancy. :hug:
     
  7. VALIS

    VALIS Well-Known Member

    Hmm... I know you're already in therapy... but have you tried really getting to the bottom of what aspects of pregnancy would be so terrifying? visualizing the process from day one, what you would be experiencing? Maybe it might be good to break down your anxiety in that way and see if you can resolve individual anxieties such as physical/chemical, parenting, responsibility, the choices involved in an unplanned pregancy, social factors and ??


    I guess I could elaborate, because that's really my only qualification here...experience... For me, it is two-fold- I am so scared of being an inconsistent parent, or worse yet, my child inheriting my mental illness. That's on the level of actually having a human being completely dependent on me, while I feel that fundamentally I am not capable of that.

    In a more maybe psychoanalytic sense, or whatever, blah blah, some kind of abstract feeling, I am petrified of the thought of something alien growing inside me, taking my nutrients, all the gross stuff about it makes me cringe.


    Not that I have worked much to resolve that, but I have a lot on my cognitive plate to work with already :-/ and it sounds similar for you. Yes, paraguard is the one, the copper one. Hormones are out for me too.

    But let me know if anything there rings true for you, maybe PM me given the nature of the conversation.
     
  8. ewaste

    ewaste Member

    I know this is sort of attacking the symptom instead of the cause, BUT...

    if the tubal ligation will make you feel safe, maybe you can just keep trying doctors until someone will do it - I mean, isn't it technically reversible? So eventually you find a doctor who believes enough in the reversibility to not mind doing the procedure...
     
  9. Silverchair

    Silverchair Member

    Well, I have greatly considered sterilization, even though it has a small failure rate. I would still worry a little because of that failure rate BUT, it would be a heck of a load off my mind to "know" that I am infertile. I really don't see a doctor ever granting me one, regardless. I would probably have to travel states away to find one...which isn't possible for me. It is so messed up to live in a world where you can go have an abortion any time you want but a grow adult can't choose to be sterilized when they want to. It is a complete oxymoron. I have a gynecologist appt. coming up next month and I am going to get the dialogue started on this, even if he thinks I am crazy. Maybe if I build up a record of asking for this for years, maybe eventually someone will find me credible. Gosh, if I had that done and I STILL got pregnant, I would be the most unlucky person in the world.
     
  10. gloomy

    gloomy Account Closed

    I know that this is hard for you but are you sure that you never want to have children ever in your life? I really hope that this doesn't sound cold or whatever but isn't the whole point not that you're afraid of being pregnant but that your fear of getting pregnant is irrational?

    You're still young and even though what you're going through does sound awful I think it's important for you to realize that if you were to get sterilized then you would be letting the OCD win when you should be trying to beat it.

    I know it's not easy but try to keep in mind that the real problem is in your head, not in your reproductive system.
     
  11. Silverchair

    Silverchair Member

    Thanks for replying gloomy, and no, you did not sound cold. Yes, I am 100 percent positive that I never want children ever, ever, ever. Even if I didn't have OCD, I would still greatly fear getting pregnant because it is something that I never want to happen. The irrational part comes in when I don't actually have the kinds of sex that cause pregnancy...but I worry about it anyway. If I woke up cured tomorrow, I would still have a huge problem on my hands, I am reproductive and do not wish to be, ever.
     
  12. Silverchair

    Silverchair Member

    I am back and still struggling with this problem. Since I have posted last, I have had a couple of months where the anxiety wasn't as bad, but still there. This month has been extra bad for some reason. I have good reason to believe I have ovulated early this month and I had sexual contact about 3 days before my fertile period. I have been tracking my fertility for the past year and trying to avoid my most fertile days in hopes that it will help ease my anxiety. Well, the scenario I am worried about this time is that my boyfriend manually stimulated me (trying to be as tactful as possible). He was fully clothed and had completely clean hands...and here I go, I am worried that he may have transferred something into me. It is so ridiculous, I know. I get so mad at myself because I have spent the past year worrying about crazy scenarios like this. There was a time in the past when I wouldn't have given pregnancy a second thought over situations like this, why can't I get back to that point? I hate this stupid illness and sometimes I just want to give up completely. I am so tired of being miserable and not able to enjoy what little bit of life I try to live.
     
  13. AsphyxiateOnMisery

    AsphyxiateOnMisery Well-Known Member

    How do you know your relationship is in danger? Has your boyfriend said that it bothers him not having sex...or implied it in any way? My husband told me before that if for whatever reason we couldn't have sex anymore, he would still be with me and stay faithful, though I'm not really sure if he was telling the truth or just telling me what I wanted to hear. But regardless, I do think that for some people sex isn't all that important. But if it is to your boyfriend, then you may have to decide what means more to you, your relationship or abstaining from sex due to the tiny possibility that you could get pregnant while using birth control.
     
  14. Silverchair

    Silverchair Member

    Hi Strange, to be perfectly honest, my boyfriend is one of the few things I have ever had in my life to ever be close to perfect. I mean, you would be hard pressed to find someone more understanding, more loving, and more faithful than he is. He is just absolutely wonderful. He of course tells me that he would love to have intercourse with me because he wants that closeness but he always tells me that it isn't important. He has never pressured me or gotten angry about it in any way at all. We have been together for 7 years and I would be flabbergasted if I found out he had been unfaithful to me, I mean it would just be the last thing on earth that would ever happen. Of course, I am not saying it couldn't. We have really managed well doing other sexual things throughout our relationship and we both stay quite satisfied with just that....it is just my pregnancy anxiety that gets in the way. It is my OCD that makes my worry irrationally because I have no evidence at all to believe I am pregnant but I worry myself sick anyway. The real fear comes in when I think about the future...will he always be okay with only going this far sexually? Will I be okay with it? I would really hate to be married to someone for a decade or two and have not had intercourse the entire time. The act itself isn't important to me at all, it is the intimacy. I truly want to be as close to this person as possible because I have loved him for most of my life and do not plan on being with anyone else. When I give this extra thought during my more rational moments, I think to myself "okay, what I will do is give it a few more years and try to pursue sterilization, then, I will use one to two more birth control options on top of that...and if I still got pregnant after that, I would just be the most unlucky person in the world because that baby must really need to be on this earth for some reason and for some reason God chose me to bring it here." That sounds great when I write it down but when I am in my panic modes, it all goes out the window. All I really count on is through aging alone, that something in my heart and mind will change that will make this easier on me. Therapy and praying isn't helping me much anymore.
     
  15. AsphyxiateOnMisery

    AsphyxiateOnMisery Well-Known Member

    As long as not having sex isn't a problem to him, you don't have any reason to think he's going to hurt you in any way. So, for now, I would say try not to worry about it. As long as he doesn't tell you it's a problem, don't make it one. In the meantime, do try doing CBT as much as possible to help ease your obsession so that in the future, there is more likeliness that you will change your mind. And trust me that if it does become a problem, if he's a great as you say he is, he will talk to you about it and let you know. He wouldn't just go off and cheat or break up a 7 year relationship just like that. If it'll help keep your mind at ease, sit down and talk to him about it and ask him to make sure he lets you know if there's a problem so that you can both figure out a way to fix it.
     
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