My partner and I met 12 years ago through the OCD Forum. We found recognition in each other and through the forum, chat, followed by email we got to know each other better. We hit it off and eventually met up. We have been a couple ever since.

Both OCD

I have control and confirmation compulsions. I was diagnosed with OCD during intensive cognitive behavioural therapy at the University Medical Centre 14 years ago. Before that I thought for a long time that I was the only one with the problem. During treatment I learned to reduce the compulsions to a tolerable level. To maintain this level I use a relapse prevention plan and I take 60 mg. of paroxetine daily.

My partner has among others aggressive obsessions. After he had sessions with a private psychologist, he also went into therapy at the UMC. Like me, he learned to keep the compulsions at a tolerable level and he was prescribed 40 mg. citalopram per day.

Everything went well with my partner during the years following but he suffered from quite a lot of side effects of the medication and therefore in the spring of 2013 he started to reduce the medication under the guidance of the doctor. This seemed to go well.

Relapse

Unfortunately, he suffered a severe setback in September 2013. Sleepless nights, anxiety attacks, suicidal thoughts and as well as the compulsions a serious depression. Eventually he ended up as an emergency, first as an outpatient, then as a clinical admission.

After being seen by four treatment teams with the associated waiting lists, my partner is, since September 2014, in treatment at a specialised clinic for anxiety disorders.

Effects on me

After I had been admitted to the UMC, I got invalidity benefit.
I worked very hard to try to do some paid work again. Before that, I did voluntary work and paid to follow training courses.

I had just started a course and was doing my internship in September 2013. The study was very stressful for me and with the relapse of my partner I had to juggle too many things. Eventually in February 2014 I had to give this dream up.

And now further

Having OCD together has two sides. You have an enormous amount of understanding for each other and know “the laws”, namely not maintain the compulsion by going along with it. As an “expert”, you can give specific advice and help during therapy such as exposure and the development of mind.

On the other hand you have to watch yourself to avoid going into relapse, you have to guard your own limits. This is not always easy and I therefore went back into therapy with a psychotherapist who helps and supports me. If I don’t look after myself then I can’t care for someone else.

Experience Blog

After this introduction, I will try to regularly post blogs of my experience on the site. I hope, with this, to be able to support fellow sufferers and their relatives.

Photo credit: Joël Oosterhoff