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  1. #1

    Default Anxiety/OCD

    This may get long, so please bear with me. I am a young adult woman that until recently, has lived with my dad and brother (mother has not been actively in my life for a while).

    I think I've always had some OCD tendencies...when I was little I can remember rubbing my hands in the car and having to stroke each opposite finger with the same pressure (impossible) to make it "even" and getting incredibly frustrated when after repetively trying, couldn't get the pressure feeling "even". Next specific example I can remember was in middle school. If one letter of a word didn't look right or match the others well, I erased the letter and rewrote it. If it didn't look right still, I'd erase and rewrite. If I rewrote the letter and liked how it looked, but decided the other letters in the word didn't look right, I erased the whole word and restarted. Pretty time consuming and frustrating, especially in class. Always had to have my desk organized neatly and "square"...lined up in rows and by size.

    My brother has anxiety and biplor, and there are some other mental health issues on my mother's side. For a while I felt depressed (I think it was a side effect of the birth control I was taking), so I took an antidepressant for a year (Zoloft) and it made me pretty zoned out and tired all the time. I stopped taking the antidepressant, and shortly after stopped the birth control. No depression issues and I've been off both for months.

    So more dad started dating someone a little more than a year ago and spent less and less time at our small farmette. He officially was moved out when they got married this past August, leaving my young adult brother and I on our own on a small farmette. My dad still foots the bills for almost everything; the home, our gas/car bills, pets, groceries, school. My brother is bipolar with anxiety issues, is a senior at a college he commutes to, and is NOT responsible for anything. I also commute to a local college, work off board at two different horse barns everyday and some weekends, take care of our pets and horses at home, and am responsible for daily home things (making sure we have groceries, making sure the pets have food, keeping the house clean, getting house supplies- toilet paper, paper towels, etc). My brother is a SLOB and and I am neat freak. So here is where I think the OCD lies...

    I cannot leave the house in the morning without sweeping all the hardwood floors at least once and vacuuming all the carpeted areas (two sets of stairs, a big area rug, and the upstairs hall and my bedroom). Sometimes if I feel something on the floor or my brother is careless about his shoes I will resweep. In the evening I do the routine again, this time with a vacuum booster powder and dusting the wood surfaces. If I wasn't able to do part of the routine in the morning, such as vacuuming, I have anxiety all day long and am dying to get back home to finish the routine because it doesn't feel complete. I am very particular about my routine and about everything's place in the house. I know it is not realistic to be cleaning this much and having to redo the whole routine if I see some bits of whatever on the floor and it's silly to be so uptight if I haven't gotten it done yet.

    It's not so bad right now because I am on break from school, but I'm worried about how this will affect me once spring semester has started since I do morning classes so I can work at the barns in the afternoon. The cleaning is getting more intense...whereas before I was only vacuuming and sweeping once a week, I am now doing it twice a day and my routine is much more strict. I can't ask my brother to do anything for me because he doesn't do it good enough for me or in the order I like it done.

    I am also a chronic worrier and tend to overanalyze everything. I internalize my stress for a long time until it all builds up so much that I feel like I hit a depression period. I see the cleaning obsession as my way to control something perfectly since I can't control the relationship with my mom, my dad, or my brother's behavior. It drives me crazy to be crazy over this little obession. I love having a clean home (it hasn't been this clean since we moved in to the empty house 10 years ago), but it really is unnecessary to be twice daily vacuuming a part of the house that even the dogs don't go in.

    This is driving me crazy and I foresee it getting worse...what can I do about it? The barns (even though I work at them) are my calm place and I ride and do yoga as an attempt to relieve stress, but they only help for little bits. Anixety medication?Anyone on them and what are pros/cons? Any advice appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2010


    Wow, no advice but I am sorry you are going through this. I feel your pain on a lesser level - I definitely have some OCD tendencies so I know what you mean about things not being "done right" or breaking your routine. I also definitely suffer from anxiety but have been trying to deal with this without the use of prescription medication, just as a personal preference. Maybe speaking with your doctor would be a good place to start?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 25, 2012


    Those perfection tendencies can be such a blessing...but such a curse when it takes FOREVER to get anything done. I should talk to a doctor but have to find a new one- last one was difficult to get booked with, partially because of terrible staff. I also need to get a bit more brave about bringing this up...I feel almost silly, like I'm self-diagnosing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 25, 2007


    Sounds like you could use professional help. There are many excellent therapies for anxiety/ OCD issues and there is no need to continue to suffer. I would seek a psychiatrist who can address both the pharmacological as well as the talk therapy strategies. Best of luck to you...the sooner you seek help, the sooner you can start to free yourself from these life crippling compulsions. Best of luck to you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2008


    Just want to point out that Equestrians with Disabilities thread is always open to mental/emotional issues so you don't have to wait for an off topic day to post.

    As far as OCD... I used to sell pharmaceuticals and the rule of thumb for OCD is that it it gets to the part where it starts to impact your life (making you late because you have to circle the block twice before leaving for work, etc), then it is something that needs to be managed medically/behaviorally or both.

    I agree with Ponyclub-if you can see someone who is able to write an rx as well as do some behavioral modification, that would be the best.

    Feel free to PM me if you need to talk!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006


    I would suggest a therapist and a psychiatrist.

    Some OCD/anxiety can really "drive" us which has some positive outcomes. But it can also exhaust you and create problems.

    One book that might give you some insight is "The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook"
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2006


    I recently found a new doctor, a western trained gp who is also trained in Integrative Medicine. I was having back pain which was the initial reason for the visit, but his initial exam included a blood workup. I was significantly low in B and D - he prescribed B injections and within 6 hours I was a different person! This time of the year, I experience the same symptoms you do. I take extra D and sublingual B and occasionally get accupuncture for anxiety. In my barn I have certain routines that I have begun double checking before I can go in the house. it was getting time consuming and I knew I was headed down a slippery slope, so I made myself a checklist. When the checklist is complete, I make myself turn out the light, close the barn door and go to the house.

    I can totally relate to a LOT of what you are describing.

  8. #8


    Wow OP, we sound alike. I had been considering starting a thread like this on my own, but the perfectionist/OCD/anxious/paranoid person that I am worried that it would be received poorly...

    If you're anything like me, you do not see a therapist because you would worry about them not realizing how hard you try to be perfect and not wanting them to judge you and think less of you because of it... As absurd as I know that sounds, I know that is the true reason I have not sought help.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 14, 2002
    Azle, Teh-has


    absolutely go to a doctor about it again! : )

    There are so many different drugs out there. You may be able to work with a good medical professional to find a drug that won't zone you out.
    Prozac did that to me. I loved it...but I was never awake. There are others that I tried and then stuck with one that worked well for quite a while...
    until last year I was really turning into a nut! I was having some memory issues--along with my normal self (general crazy person).

    Adderall turned out to be PERFECT for me.
    In general I have to run myself dry every day or I'm antsy in my pantsy all night but for the most part....I'm way more chill now on ADD meds.
    I can actually carry on a conversation without having to turn and run off mid sentence..
    I used to kind of run everywhere I went as I can walk. And I can take my time driving too.

    and I'm a slob. I used to be an obsessive neat freak. My place is a dump now. haha

    sometimes Adderall takes care of OCD issues as well.
    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
    Hollowed out volcano in the South Pacific.


    I'm a little OCD about locking my car. I'm always afraid I didn't lock it when I'm at the dog park or someplace else and I have stuff on my mind.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

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