On October 23.1985 I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. There were complications as well as serious postpartum depression after. The o.c.d started within a few months after she was born. I remember the moment, I was standing in our bedroom looking at my beautiful daughter and husband and thinking how lucky I was, how this was all I ever wanted from life, (a total feeling of happiness) then came the thought ‘this is too good to be true”! “What did I do wrong”????? I started believing my daughter wasn’t my husbands’ that I had picked up sperm from a toilet seat and had become pregnant that way.
Of course the first o.c.d started by my cleaning the toilet seat, then the bathroom, and eventually the whole house. Then I avoided all bathrooms except our own. The rumination started. Anything that was not my husband and I or my home was taboo. Like if I heard, read, saw any name I had to “cancel them out” with one of our names. I eventually found names of a couple that were friends that I began using. These were safe names. Basically I became like a hermit. It interfered with everything. I was scared to live. My husband said to me once I should be happy to live and scared to die not the opposite. I could never imagine being happy to live.
A safe city was Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. All other cities were cancelled out into these. We moved to Quebec for two years and had a terrible time living there especially for me not being about to speak French fluently. Anything that came from Quebec, family, friends, they all had to be cancelled out. There were a lot of them!
People were not allowed in my home that included my daughter’s friends. When she came home from a friends she had to change and shower. School things had to be washed off. The o.c.d consumed my whole day from the moment I woke up until I fell asleep sometimes I would have o.c.d. Dreams. Not just with me but my husband and daughter had to contend with the rituals and wash their hands when they came home and shower. I couldn’t touch anything or anyone except my husband and daughter. If someone would accidentally brush up against me, even though I gave everyone a wide berth, I would have to go home and change and usually shower. I have been even known to throw out jackets because someone touched them.
The longest shower I took was 9 hours, this is previous to my first admission in the hospital, and I had my husband to help me, if I touched the shower curtain then I had to almost start again, I used to melt soap bars. My hands seemed to be permanently red down to about 2 inches below my wrists. A few years ago I took to using Lysol wipes and Clorox wipes to wash my hands, sometimes my hands would get red and burnt from the wipes and I had to be careful for almost a week before the pain subsided. Then there was wearing latex gloves. The anxiety was bad. I didn’t want to live like this anymore. My daughter was estranged and rarely called. This was because of me. It hurt my husband not to have her around as she left home very early. I did try suicide once. It didn’t work. This last time I went off of all my medications then it was Effexor and Lectopam in hopes I would get better. Instead I had rebound anxiety and rebound depression. All I wanted was my husband to be happy and my daughter to be happy. I wanted to be a real mom and wife. Especially now my baby is 20 years old and I put her threw so much and I missed so much.
The medications I tried were Anafranil, it helped about 8 percent. Then it was Prozac which nearly destroyed us. I was on such a high dosage I became violent aggressive and finally I just wanted to die. I was admitted in the hospital again and met a specialist. He put me on the Effexor and Lectopam. That with a combination of response prevention therapy worked wonders but I had to keep getting readmitted for this therapy. Once when my specialist was on holidays I Was re-admitted and was given another Doctor who put me on Zoloft. I became extremely aggressive, fortunately I was in the hospital the whole time and that poor Doctor received the brunt of it.
I decided that I was better off on Effexor and Lectopam as it had less side effects and I wouldn’t get like I did when I was on Prozac. This is where I stayed for 10 years. Not really living just getting by not even seeing my Psychiatrist because of the fear of contamination and for me his hospital was kind of a not nice place because I didn’t do good there some times. On my last admission to another hospital when I decided to go off of everything I had a Psychiatrist who tried me on Seroquel, (I was allergic to it) he said on a low dosage it would give me a sedation type feeling. Next he had me blow into a paper bag. Before he threw me out he passed me onto another psychiatrist. She started me on Luvox, which I ended up being allergic to. “Great” I told myself “the one medication that may have a chance to help me and I am allergic to it”! I also started seeing a Psychologist student who gave me the idea to keep on trying. Next I tried Celexa no help. Finally my psychiatrist said If I wanted to I could go to see a specialist for a consult. Of course at this time anything!!!!
I walked into that old but very familiar building found his office on the first attempt and waited forever! I have to smile at this as I think of the old adage “something’s are better when you wait”. The specialist wrote a letter of suggestions for the other Psychiatrist and said that he could do these things at his hospital if I wanted.
Back now at the other hospital my Psychiatrist was very uncomfortable At the specialists suggestions as that hospital didn’t do any intravenous medication. She asked me if I wanted to be transferred and I said yes. On December 20.2005 I was transferred. On December 21 (which happened to be my 40th birthday) the picc line was put into my arm and December 22 the I.V. Anafranil Started. 20 treatments later it was discontinued. Oral Anafranil and Paxil were started. One thing the specialist and I spoke about was Oral Morphine, That was tried but not successful, as I really wanted Intravenous Morphine or a Morphine injection because I remembered that once I underwent surgery and came to in the recovery room, I was in pain and I was given Morphine and for about 4-5 hours I was O.C.D. free.
On January 13 2006 the specialist left for vacation. I felt so desperate and yet resigned. I went home on a weekend pass and from the weekend before I tried what we found on the Internet when we punched in “Magic O.C.D. cure”. Did I think it would work? Nope! Psilocybin, aka, Magic Mushrooms, little white crushed up woodsy tasting things, was going to be just another attempt that would be discarded and hopefully forgotten.
On January 13 at 830pm at night I did about a gram and a half. I chewed them as long as I could and had to swallow them with a piece of chocolate. An hour passed and nothing. About 10pm I tried the same amount again and waited. Still nothing. By 11:30pm I was totally discouraged and decided to do them just one more time. Around 1am I was watching television and I noticed the people looked distorted! I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, I sat even closer to the television and it was the same! An introspection began to happen, I could sense the o.c.d like it was still there but off in the distance. Then came the “ego shattering part”. I asked myself why would I give myself o.c.d. What purpose did it serve????? I was totally perplexed. I felt totally “at the moment”. The next thing I realized was that the o.c.d. was gone. I walked around our home and started touching things that I would have never done before. The walls, the computer, the desk, under the table and you know what I saw? It was just dust! No feeling of contamination!!!!! I touched my feet. I went to the bathroom on my own, and didn’t wash my hands! I laughed and I cried. I looked at myself in the mirror and seen the person looking back wasn’t me only an illusion.
Having practiced Buddhism for 9 years previously I new about the ego, I knew about all these things that were happening to me.
I tripped until about 5am in the morning before going to bed. When I was up Saturday morning the o.c.d. was still gone. I felt a little uneasy, as I was scared it was going to rear its head around any corner and was just waiting.
It was still gone about 5 days later until the ruminations began to come up again. I began to try a few more grams and they would disappear. What we have realized a month later is that I can do 1-2 grams every 4-5 days and still remain o.c.d. free.
I guess one can say I am quite the prude. I worry people might try this and have an adverse reaction. I just know it works for me and I know the suffering of o.c.d. I cannot tell someone to do something illegal so I own this experience.
As of Febrary 16.06 the psilocybin stopped working for me. Perhaps it was the medications I was on that finally kicked in or something else. I kept trying medications to make it work again and it didn't happen. Please see Dr. Francisco A. Moreno's research study: http://www.maps.org/research/psilo/azproto.html
his studies findings should be published this fall.
For me the bad trips of attempting to make this work again are not worth it and I have given up.
Actually it's just not worth it for me to have my hopes dashed the way that they have been.
From my experiences I do not recommend this to anybody. Perhaps Dr. Moreno will find a way to legalize his method as long as it doesn't give any trips and it works.
In the mean time, it's learning to live with this illness and be at the moment.