Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 333492

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Limits of exposure therapy Doug Saving The Team

Posted by Dr. Bob on April 6, 2004, at 20:00:08

In reply to Limits of OCD exposure therapy being breached??, posted by Doug Saving The Team on April 6, 2004, at 15:08:42

> Hi,
>
> My OCD exposure therapy was taken to an extreme in my opinion. We ate off the floor of his office, then he instructed me to eat off the floor that night in my college dorm room. I did, but got quite sick. Tell me if this is an irrational OCD fear: I fear that what I track in on my feet from going to parties and stuff got onto the floor such as illicit drugs or something like that, although I never took those, then when I ate off the floor, I was ingesting those things. Just to be clear, ingesting these things is a huge fear of mine, so understandably I am quite upset by this whole experience.
>
> I fear by eating off the floor I may have ingested those bad things.
>
> Your thoughts, please.

 

Re: Limits of exposure therapy

Posted by Doug Saving The Team on April 6, 2004, at 20:15:20

In reply to Limits of exposure therapy Doug Saving The Team, posted by Dr. Bob on April 6, 2004, at 20:00:08

Snapper,

Yes, that makes sense. The fears have been intertwined to an extent, but really the first fear was that I may have tracked in drugs on my shoes by going to parties. Then with this treatment, being advised to eat off the floor, and I did, I was fearful that as a result of eating off the floor I may have exposed myself to drugs.

So what is the solution here? If my fear is rational that I could track in drugs from a dance club or frat party I went to, then when I touch the bottom of my shoes while tying them, is it ok to then eat something? If that is rational fear, then I suppose I should not eat until I wash my hands?

This is all very frustrating. Let me note that while I cannot see anything in particular on my floor, it is rarely vacuumed, so I certainly could have tracked it in and it could be sitting there.

Also, Snapper, are you an expert in OCD or are you speaking from personal experience?

I am feeling better now, though all today I felt quite strange. What is the probability that I ate illicit drugs as a result of eating off the floor? I go to parties every weekend and my shoes sit there, so I'd guess a chance of 5%, but then again all that anxiety I had may have been just me reacting to realizing how great a fear it is for me and being concerned. If I did ingest something, will this have long term side effects? Will I be back to normal by tomorrow?

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,
Doug


> P.s. , Doug, I know that this fear of ingesting drugs from the floor and being carried in on peoples feet is an extreme fear for you, but let me ask you this? Do you know which came first the idea of ingesting drugs from parties on the floor and tracked in by peoples feet, or was it merely a fear that you "might want to eat off of the floor-to show yourself that indeed you are not afraid of the possibility that you might want to ingest drugs, you don't want to ingest" . In otherwards, which fear came first. Or have they both been intertwined from the beginning? Make sense?
> let us know
> snapper


 

Re: Limits of exposure therapy

Posted by snapper on April 6, 2004, at 21:36:14

In reply to Re: Limits of exposure therapy, posted by Doug Saving The Team on April 6, 2004, at 20:15:20

> Snapper,
>
> Yes, that makes sense. The fears have been intertwined to an extent, but really the first fear was that I may have tracked in drugs on my shoes by going to parties. Then with this treatment, being advised to eat off the floor, and I did, I was fearful that as a result of eating off the floor I may have exposed myself to drugs.
> 1. Doug I am not sure but I think your Therapist may be inadvertantly messing with you(ie-he does'nt mean to be but might be complicating things for you!)
> So what is the solution here? If my fear is rational that I could track in drugs from a dance club or frat party I went to, then when I touch the bottom of my shoes while tying them, is it ok to then eat something? If that is rational fear, then I suppose I should not eat until I wash my hands? If you feel dirty or contaminated then wash your hands but don't go over board and it is very unlikely that you ingested any illicite drugs -and I am not just saying that to make you feel better!!
>
> This is all very frustrating. Let me note that while I cannot see anything in particular on my floor, it is rarely vacuumed, so I certainly could have tracked it in and it could be sitting there.
>
> Also, Snapper, are you an expert in OCD or are you speaking from personal experience?
> 2. No I am Not an expert in OCD-just mostly from self realization-believe me I struggle everyday with goofy stupid-obsessions and contamination possibilities everyday!!
> I am feeling better now, though all today I felt quite strange. What is the probability that I ate illicit drugs as a result of eating off the floor? I go to parties every weekend and my shoes sit there, so I'd guess a chance of 5%, but then again all that anxiety I had may have been just me reacting to realizing how great a fear it is for me and being concerned. If I did ingest something, will this have long term side effects? Will I be back to normal by tomorrow?
> Doug I would first consider the Idea that #1, what types of drugs could possibly be on the floor that would actually have the ability to stick to your shoes? #2 what are the chances that if you did track them into your room, via the bottoms of your shoes, then the very remote possibility that *drugs* would even be potent enough to effect you in a harmful or deleterious way!! Also the very fact that you feel strange the next day, is to me a PURE anxious response that infact you did ingest any drugs via your shoes and you are most likely causing yourself undue wierd feelings (anxiety). I know it is very angst provoking but given that you are alive and here and corresponding to me and have not *freaked out* or died is A VERY strong indicator that what you fear the most --- DID NOT OCCUR >> I hope I was able to answer part or most of your ?'s and I know that there are no specific easy answers either-I do know this at some point and time you need to ask yourself? Really, what is the *absolute* possibility that any of these high anxiety situations will happen or occur!!
Not to sound to simplistic, but try this -everytime you have any obsession , try to tell yourself this: HEY it is JUST MY OCD-then realize that you survived the most recent incident of paralyzing -*what if fear* then you are very much likely to survive , the next attack, and that in itself is what I believe to be the underlying concept of Exposure Response Therapy!
let me know what you think. I know that the thoughts of -what if ....... might still exist but by acknowladging the fact that you did survive and will, should be encouraging!!Like I said I am not an expert by any means but let me know what you think!! Snapper
> I look forward to your response.
>
> Sincerely,
> Doug
>
>
> > P.s. , Doug, I know that this fear of ingesting drugs from the floor and being carried in on peoples feet is an extreme fear for you, but let me ask you this? Do you know which came first the idea of ingesting drugs from parties on the floor and tracked in by peoples feet, or was it merely a fear that you "might want to eat off of the floor-to show yourself that indeed you are not afraid of the possibility that you might want to ingest drugs, you don't want to ingest" . In otherwards, which fear came first. Or have they both been intertwined from the beginning? Make sense?
> > let us know
> > snapper
>
>
>

 

Re: Limits of exposure therapy snapper

Posted by Doug Saving The Team on April 6, 2004, at 22:23:11

In reply to Re: Limits of exposure therapy, posted by snapper on April 6, 2004, at 21:36:14

Snapper,

Thank you for your comments. I think you have a good perspective. It could have easily been my anxiety. Nevertheless, I don't intend to eat off my floor anymore, despite what the doc says!! I want to stick to doing only normal things, not pushing the envelope like that.

Again, thank you for your thoughtful response.

Doug

 

Re: Limits of exposure therapy

Posted by snapper on April 6, 2004, at 22:58:01

In reply to Re: Limits of exposure therapy snapper, posted by Doug Saving The Team on April 6, 2004, at 22:23:11

> Snapper,
>
> Thank you for your comments. I think you have a good perspective. It could have easily been my anxiety. Nevertheless, I don't intend to eat off my floor anymore, despite what the doc says!! I want to stick to doing only normal things, not pushing the envelope like that.
>
> Again, thank you for your thoughtful response.
>
> Doug

> Doug, your quite welcome and yes , I probably would stick with tables, plates, utensils and such! Like a civilised human being, let your doc know that you are'nt an animal!! lol--I'm am sure he means well but, some things do seem rediculous!
Good Luck and Best wishes on you getting well!
snapper

 

Re: Limits of exposure therapy Doug Saving The Team

Posted by Dinah on April 6, 2004, at 23:07:52

In reply to Re: Limits of exposure therapy snapper, posted by Doug Saving The Team on April 6, 2004, at 22:23:11

I think the idea is optimal stress. If you are forced to do things that make you panic in the name of exposure therapy, it'll just ingrain the response. I was on a board about emetophobia, and apparently forcing exposure often backfires. You need to be relatively comfortable with each phase before moving forward.

 

Re: Limits of exposure therapy

Posted by snapper on April 6, 2004, at 23:39:53

In reply to Re: Limits of exposure therapy Doug Saving The Team, posted by Dinah on April 6, 2004, at 23:07:52

> I think the idea is optimal stress. If you are forced to do things that make you panic in the name of exposure therapy, it'll just ingrain the response. I was on a board about emetophobia, and apparently forcing exposure often backfires. You need to be relatively comfortable with each phase before moving forward.


>Hi Dinah, I agree totally. Although I do not have the emetophobia problem with my ocd-I know that many do suffer from this fear- hey lets face it, even *normal people* usually have a problem w/this bodily function!
s

 

Re: Limits of exposure therapy

Posted by Jeffrey on April 7, 2004, at 20:15:06

In reply to Re: Limits of exposure therapy, posted by snapper on April 6, 2004, at 23:39:53

I suffer from obsessions. I hope you understand that your fear of drugs from the floor and not washing your hands before eating etc. is totally irrational. You have to understand that there is no validity to that possibility at all. It is extremely remote. Your estimation that it is 5% possible is much too high. Sorry for the crudeness of this response but your fear cannot be treated as if it is reasonable. Sorry that exposure therapy did not work well for you. Dont give up. I manage a law practice every day, maintain social relationships and have a great marriage in spite of my obsessions and anxiety. OCD is tough but dont think that you have anything other than anxiety. There is no risk in your situation.

 

Re: Limits of exposure therapy Jeffrey

Posted by Doug Saving The Team on April 7, 2004, at 21:04:54

In reply to Re: Limits of exposure therapy, posted by Jeffrey on April 7, 2004, at 20:15:06

Thank you Jeffrey for your post. I will stay with the program and see how it goes.

Sincerely,
Doug

 

Re: Limits of exposure therapy

Posted by Camille Dumont on April 8, 2004, at 14:04:12

In reply to Re: Limits of exposure therapy Jeffrey, posted by Doug Saving The Team on April 7, 2004, at 21:04:54

Uh ... when you say eat off the floor do you mean

a) putting your plate on the floor and then eating from that plate or

b) putting your food directly on the floor with no plate or anything?

If its the former ok but if its really ON the floor ... I would have issues with dirt and what not ... and believe me I'm NOT squeamish about dirt ... I own rats and they sometimes lick my lips and it dosen't bother me so I've been exposed to all sort of stuff but I still woulldn't eat off the floor.

As for the drugs thing ... could you just remove your shoes when you come in ... or wipe them on some sort of mat ... or simply buy a pair of shoes that you keep for "inside your dorm" only ... would take care of that and probably keep your floors cleaner.

 

Re: Limits of exposure therapy

Posted by greywolf on April 8, 2004, at 18:10:23

In reply to Limits of exposure therapy Doug Saving The Team, posted by Dr. Bob on April 6, 2004, at 20:00:08

Doug:

I have had a fair amount of personal experience with OCD over the years, but I'm a little confused by your post. Do you have a fear of contamination by contact with illicit drugs or a fear of ingesting illicit drugs? If it's the former, I don't see what eating off the floor is going to do for you (other than possibly get you sick, though the chance of that is small). If it's the latter, then I can understand the theory behind the therapy, though I wonder at its execution. I would think that the anxiety caused by the phobia would have to be pretty extreme and interfering with daily life activities before a therapist would ask someone to eat food off a floor.


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