Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by ohmyaching, Mar 20, 2007.
Just curious if a larger than normal amount of people with CFS would have OCD
since I became unwell, and over the last few years it has got worse for me looking up the internet all day everyday trying to find that cure and just feeling terrible
I also get obsessed with cleaning at times when I am having a good day and on the bad days I am so focused on Fibro I cant help it I am never at peace thinking about doctors and tests.
I am sure I am not alone
but yes, I would say I definately have some OCD going on. My cousin has had CFS for about 17 yrs now and when I was DX'd with it I had a nice chat with him about it. He told me he read somewhere that people that have CFS tend to be the over-achievers, type A personalities, cant sit still, kind of people. Dont know if this is true or not but I definately fell into that category before this pain/fatigue started. The OCD to me is kind of the same thing.
I have a few strange habits that I wont go into. I dont really talk to anyone about them but my immediate family (those that live with me) do sometimes joke about some of my quirkier moments. I just laugh about it with them.
Just now relizing that I have a bit of OCD... There has to be 22 slices of banana in my cereal or the bites don't come out even... Things like this are happening to me all day long...
Yes, I've been diagnosed with anxiety disorder with OCD tendancies. Cymbalta has helped tremendously.
I have OCD tendencies which kick in strongest when I am under stress (incl exposure to toxins) & when I am hypoglycemic.
My DS is on the high end of the autism spectrum & also has OCD tendencies -- VERY common on the spectrum. There are many CFS/fibro moms w/kids on the spectrum & genetic is thought to play a role ... along with perhaps similar exposure to enviro toxins & infections. Unfortunately due to metabolic glitches my DS does not respond well to SSRIs. However, we have found that EPA fish oil is beneficial for both of us ... that, and eating carefully to avoid hypoglycemia.
I sometime think I am the OCD Queen. My hands are always extremely dried out this time of year due to washing and using hand sanitizers. I even wash my hands after doing the dishes!
WooWee this board sure does move fast.
I don't have OCD, but I do have CFS & I wouldn't be surprised if things like CFS / FM lead to OCD because we are all groping for answers, and every now and then some thing might help a bit. Furthermore, there's this strange pattern of reinforcements, whereby activities one day will affect activities the next, often without us knowing it. Given the mental fog and the lack of sound medical advice received, I wouldn't be surprised if we often misattribute what leads to improvement / what worsens things; it took me a long time to make the connection that how I exert myself yesterday affects how I act today - it's counterintuitive - and in the meantime I was actively searching for other recent causes that were irrelevant, but were probably affecting my fatigue the next day. Sometimes I feel so ignorant about my condition that I worry that if I slightly rock the boat so to speak it'll get even more worse.
It's almost expected that these factors (strange reinforcements, lack of knowledge, waning course, emotional strain, lack of clarity / memory, hyper-attention to physical symptoms) would lead to OCD.
David Bell, in his free pdf book on case-studies of cfs (http://www.davidsbell.com/DSBFaces.htm) writes about one case ("The Prisoner") who mostly recovered from CFS, but for long after strictly kept to certain habbits for fear of relapse; however, the twist was that neither Bell nor the patient knew whether these obsessions / compulsions were rational or not, b/c, as far as both were concerned, it was very possible that his partial recovery and future prognosis might depend on them. I'm sure we can all relate to this - when you're so disabled, if anything helps the least bit, you'll be sure to grab onto it. Even look at all the proposed treatments & remedies on this site alone - they do sometimes have an obsessional "I swear-by-this" quality, (but once again, this is certainly justified, b/c often it does sometwhat help, and doctors often don't give us anything else to swear by)
On a side-note, there's even a (controversial) subtype of OCD in kids called PANDAS, whereby OCD (&/or tics disorders) will develop following a case of strep, and the OCD symptoms will wax & wane over time in relation to the course of the illness.
[This Message was Edited on 03/24/2007]
Yes I was diagnosed with OCD in 1995, I learned how to live happily with it and mostly overcome it, then CFS hit me over the head a few years later and now the OCD type thinking/anxiety is back.
I think a certain amount of obsession builds up - like I watch how much walking I do, nap every day even if I'm not tired...etc. because I find that limiting my activity helps me feel better. However, I do try to push the envelope gently once in a while to make sure I am not limiting myself just because mentally, I am afraid of having a relapse.
However, it bothers me when doctor condescendingly talk about people with CFS constantly looking up info. It's not like I'll feel horrible if I miss a couple days of not looking but to have such an enigmatic illness and not try to find out why or keep up with what's out there could also be considered insane. People with cancer often look up as much info as possible except they have more choices in treatment than us usually and they don't have to keep it up for as long. Few doctors would call them obsessive for this but rather 'proactive'.
Personally, I think that theory about personality doesn't hold up --- the Australian Dubbo studies (funded partly by CDC) showed that personality did not determine who got CSF after infection and I know many, many people who are as or more compulsive than I who do not have CFS. I see it as a way of some people to try to blame CFS on the sufferer.
[This Message was Edited on 03/24/2007]
[This Message was Edited on 03/24/2007]
I have OCD tendencies and probably real OCDs and for all the reasons mentioned above. The obsession most acted out for me is hand washing, but I have read so many times where we need to keep our hands clean. So is it truly an obsession? Freud might say it is a guilt complex, I dunno myself. One man's obsession is another man's diligence or keen attention to detail.
I have an extreme fear of germs that has developed since I was hospitalized. I keep germx with me when I go shopping. I can't stand for anyone to breath on me, not even my wife. Is this an obsession or an attempt to protect my weak immune system?
As far as the OCDs that are not logical at all, my mind seems to interrupt and let my logic regain control. It's like I "almost" kept checking to see if the coffee pot is off.
I am also truly obsessed with medical research. IE 7.0 has made this even faster and more efficient for me. I have so many wordpad notes that I cannot possibly ever read all of them.
I am obsessed with keeping my computer operating flawlessly. I will spend days reading over all of the new software utilities. I am not trying to boast here at all please understand. It is truly an obsession. It bothers me a lot because I need to be doing other things. It is really a very stupid thing to do. I am working hard to stop it.
At times I've also become obsessed with looking up information online - I've gone down so many different avenues, looking up this disease that disease; it's even more frustrating that I don't have a medical degree, and it's to the point where, though I'm sure it's led to a little improvement, it's painfully obvious that I'm simply doing it to feel like I've some control over this; that is, the process of trying to gather all of this information has been more therapeutic than most of the information I've actually found.
Lichu, the comparison to cancer patients is interesting, and I didn't know that they searched so hard for information; however, I often think that if I knew what I had I wouldn't be so involved in looking for information; in the documentary I Remember Me, it's fascinating, the flimmaker interviews these old women from an initial CFS outbreak in (I think it was) Florida, and they go on about how if they only knew what it was they wouldn't have been so hysterical; I think that what also drives the search for knowledge is that, given past experience with similar generally flu-like symptoms, it's intuitive that there must be something that can help (and ultimately a cure)- a sentiment expressed by Dr. Bell when he was first dealing with CFS patients in the Lydonville outbreak.
Another thought for people who wash their hands (especially those who did so before CFS onset) - it makes me think about the link between CFS & infections, because excessive washing to a degree prevents your skin from naturally cleaning itself and dry skin has more bacteria than healthy skin. Not that hand washing caused the syndrome, but I wonder if it might have been a contributing factor. Given the link between infection & dry skin (I know it's there, but I don't know how strongly they're related) I also wonder whether dry skin itself might be part of the downward CFS cycle, sometimes being a cause of one thing, sometimes being an effect of another.
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