A Multitude of Recoveries Through Alternative Mental Health Treatments
I am going to describe my experience with obsessive-compulsive disorder using a movie metaphor. Most of you have seen the movie The Shining. At different points in the movie when the audience leasts expects it a terrifying shot of two little ghost children splashes on the screen. I have often spoken of this image when describing my obsessive thoughts. It is like an unwanted frame is being spliced into the movie of my life. Suddenly a flash of something springs out from my stream of consciousness. These images started occurring in 1996, the year before I went to college. It was the accumulating pressures of graduating high school and having to move on. The content of the images was far worse than anything in the movie -- the most depraved, immoral, vicious thing you could conjure up. The origin of these images was entirely unknown. The Marquis DeSade was advising my thoughts! I became very concerned. You eventually question your own morality. I was constantly waiting for these images and what do they mean and where do they come from. By my fourth month in college I was having upwards of 5 intrusive images per minute! That is every hour of every day. I would wake up every day and go right into it. The idea of seeking counseling is dreadfully symbolic. I felt like I was throwing in the towel somehow. But by that point I had no choice. I saw upwards of about a dozen skilled professionals. Ending my obsessions was now becoming an obsession of its own. A psychiatrist introduced me to the less popular first cousin of Prozac - fluvoxamine -- Luvox. We all know the drill. It would take 3 months for it to become effective in my bloodstream and if it wasn’t effective, 3 months to wean myself off, there would be endless experimentations to determine adequate dosage and about a 60% chance of success! And by the way, you may not feel any emotions for a very long time! So I figured what have I got to lose??? The failure was not outright. It sort of quieted my head down. I tried behavior response therapy and it was not worth remembering. Homeopathy came next. It sort of took the edge off. But no fireworks. I knew in my heart that if I felt fine before these symptoms, I could feel fine again. And I wanted to be completely fine without compromise. So I continued my trek. I want to share with you the experiences I had with one professional because it would be a disservice to you if I did not. He carried me home using an inventive combination of reflexology, acupressure, herbs and verbal encouragement. Within two months - which was less time than it took me to feel the inaugural effects of Luvox - I felt adequate. The frequency of the vicious thoughts was lessening. My tone of being was lighter. I found that the occasional hour would even pass without me even thinking of obsessive-compulsive disorder. I moved to the West Coast and then maintained a balanced state with the aid of acupuncture which I found accesses the same energies as his method but with more lasting results. With acupuncture I now go in about every 4 months. I would say my symptoms are 85% gone now. I have since written a fictional book. That is a triumph that would have been unthinkable had I still been in the clutch of the disorder. It is a wonderful gift to have a mind that you are in control of. No approach is not worth trying. With some risk and resourcefulness the odds fall well in your favor!