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Thread: To get the vaccine or not

  1. #21
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    Re: To get the vaccine or not

    Quote Originally Posted by NervUs View Post
    I am no expert, but this sounds like OCD to me. If you are thinking you've been exposed to rabies literally just walking outside, those are intrusive thoughts. It sort of seems like a contamination issue to me (I have experienced that with parasite fear, so I am not judging, just observing).

    People show up with puncture marks all the time without knowing what caused them. If people had to get rabies shots everytime something like that happened, well, WOW! The fact is, you need to live with uncertainty. You won't know what caused that wound. Could it have been a bat? Yes, there is like a 1 in a billion chance (and, yes, someone actually did the calculation on bat rabies from completely unknown exposure). But, there is no medical recommendation for a shot if you have an unexplained puncture wound which means.....

    IT IS NOT A RISK.

    If rabid bats were a leading cause of unexplained puncture wounds the recommendations would be totally different than they are. Rabies transmission is actually pretty well studied!

    You are backing yourself so far into a corner with these intrusive thoughts until you are going to have no space left for yourself.

    I would say, finding the right therapist is a must. You have no more time to play. I would also say, find someone with experience with OCD. For me, I dealt with my fear of parasite contamination with exposure, and it does help to see nothing bad has happened after walking in the area or letting my kids play in the area that I feared was contaminated). I'm not sure how you expose yourself to what you fear, but CBT plus desensitizing yourself to real bats might help you make progress.

    Good luck!!!
    You make excellent points. Excellent/rational points. I don't feel judged at all, I appreciate the input. I think part of the problem with OCD and health anxiety is that it's hard (sometimes nearly impossible) to be reassured. "Living with uncertainty" I've heard before. It's something I'm trying to work on. I'm sure a theme that runs in OCD is a fear of losing control, so uncertainty drives me crazy. I am looking in CBT, I just haven't found a therapist yet. There are actually a couple of OCD clinics where I live, but neither of them are covered by my insurance. I'm searching for other options.

    I do think that these are intrusive thoughts. It's a symptom of OCD that I've had for years that has come and gone in waves. Never anything that I felt interfered with my life in any way until recently. But again, that part of my brain that is on high alert, thinks maybe the intrusive thoughts have come from an actual experience a few weeks ago with a bat. If you've read through this post, you'll have seen that I just haven't been able to gain confidence in my memory of what actually happened, as absurd as that sounds. It's terrifying to think that I don't know which memory is real. Not trusting your own memory... I mean, it's been really, truly exhausting and frustrating. And frightening.

    I'm going to keep looking into my options for therapy!!

    ---------- Post added at 22:54 ---------- Previous post was at 22:53 ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottyboy View Post
    You have OCD and intrusive thoughts. I suffered from similar delusions and got diagnosed with OCD. You have to begin CBT and perhaps ACT and ERP.

    I seriously can relate. I have the exact same contamination worries. Nearly identical.
    Definitely looking into my options for CBT!

  2. #22
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    Re: To get the vaccine or not

    Every time I kind of settle down, it's something new... I think the wound has started to look even more like a bat bite as it has scabbed over, which is unsettling. I attached images.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #23
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    Re: To get the vaccine or not

    So, I've calmed down a bit about the "bite" on my hand, but my brain has circled back to the squirrel exposure from several years ago and the bat (is it real or isn't it real?!) from a few weeks ago. Now that it's been a few weeks since the bat incident, I that worry that the memory has now become quite vague in addition to originally being questionable, if that makes sense. Going into cold and flu season, I'm worried that the next time I catch a cold, I'm going to go into a tizzy, or obviously that it will in fact be rabies.

    Update on CBT: I called my insurance company, and low and behold, they actually have a "telemental" health service, where I can video conference with a therapist. They gave me phone numbers of a few different therapists, all who specialize in CBT and OCD/anxiety.

    Also, yesterday, I stepped on a small plastic bag the had a hole torn out at the bottom. My brain said "There was a needle in there. You stepped on a drug addict's needle, and now you're going to get a disease from it." No puncture marks on the soles of my sneakers. I was able to pretty quickly calm myself down from that one, even though my brain kept saying the WHAT IFS and "needles wouldn't make a noticeable puncture mark..." I think I was able to calm myself down because honestly, I just got preoccupied with rabies again. Does anybody else do this? Switch from one thing to another, like your brain is searching for something to be worried about?

    Also, I asked a question about bats/phobias/false memories on Quora and got this answer from a psychotherapist, which has FREAKED me out:

    "You pose an interesting question. I’d like to suggest that the symptom you describe is often a compromise a person makes with themselves to manage what I assume in relation to these critters is horror, terror, and dread.

    The symptom you describe might be a way for you to not only feel a bit of those feelings which in all probability were the result of something having gone terribly wrong in your earliest years for which you have no language to shape into a coherent memory. Your current fears are likely a reflection of those terrifying feelings from deep in your past for which there is no memory.

    Your conscious worry that you have already come into contact with one of these critters is likely an unconscious recognition that the terrifying event(s) have, indeed, already happened.

    You would do well with a well-trained therapist(someone who can help you listen for your unconscious) who could not only help you with your current fears but also help you come to terms with a past for which your current fears point.

    Good luck to you. What you suffer from is treatable which can help you overcome these very real fears."


    Is this psychotherapist saying that I'm having false/intrusive memories about bats because I probably did, at some point, come into contact with one?? This is literally my EXACT fear. That the memories are a result of a traumatic experience aka the bat bite...
    Last edited by Panicandpeace; 31-10-18 at 17:32.

  4. #24

    Re: To get the vaccine or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Panicandpeace View Post
    So, I've calmed down a bit about the "bite" on my hand, but my brain has circled back to the squirrel exposure from several years ago and the bat (is it real or isn't it real?!) from a few weeks ago. Now that it's been a few weeks since the bat incident, I that worry that the memory has now become quite vague in addition to originally being questionable, if that makes sense. Going into cold and flu season, I'm worried that the next time I catch a cold, I'm going to go into a tizzy, or obviously that it will in fact be rabies.

    Update on CBT: I called my insurance company, and low and behold, they actually have a "telemental" health service, where I can video conference with a therapist. They gave me phone numbers of a few different therapists, all who specialize in CBT and OCD/anxiety.

    Also, yesterday, I stepped on a small plastic bag the had a hole torn out at the bottom. My brain said "There was a needle in there. You stepped on a drug addict's needle, and now you're going to get a disease from it." No puncture marks on the soles of my sneakers. I was able to pretty quickly calm myself down from that one, even though my brain kept saying the WHAT IFS and "needles wouldn't make a noticeable puncture mark..." I think I was able to calm myself down because honestly, I just got preoccupied with rabies again. Does anybody else do this? Switch from one thing to another, like your brain is searching for something to be worried about?

    Also, I asked a question about bats/phobias/false memories on Quora and got this answer from a psychotherapist, which has FREAKED me out:

    "You pose an interesting question. I’d like to suggest that the symptom you describe is often a compromise a person makes with themselves to manage what I assume in relation to these critters is horror, terror, and dread.

    The symptom you describe might be a way for you to not only feel a bit of those feelings which in all probability were the result of something having gone terribly wrong in your earliest years for which you have no language to shape into a coherent memory. Your current fears are likely a reflection of those terrifying feelings from deep in your past for which there is no memory.

    Your conscious worry that you have already come into contact with one of these critters is likely an unconscious recognition that the terrifying event(s) have, indeed, already happened.

    You would do well with a well-trained therapist(someone who can help you listen for your unconscious) who could not only help you with your current fears but also help you come to terms with a past for which your current fears point.

    Good luck to you. What you suffer from is treatable which can help you overcome these very real fears."


    Is this psychotherapist saying that I'm having false/intrusive memories about bats because I probably did, at some point, come into contact with one?? This is literally my EXACT fear. That the memories are a result of a traumatic experience aka the bat bite...
    Hi

    I am by no means a professional or a doctor but I can relate to you because I go through this daily. Your mind jumps from one worry to another and doubts whether something happened or not. This is called intrusive thinking. The fear transforms and morphs daily. One fear constantly supplants another.

    What you are describing seems to be indicative of OCD and intrusive thinking. You take your thoughts way too seriously and you are imagining all sorts of scenarios that you take very seriously. OCD is often called the doubting disease and it sounds like you suffer from a lot of doubt (did I step on a needle etc). I suffer from similar imagined scenarios. A lot of people do but they just don’t take their thoughts so seriously.

    CBT would work this way:

    Antecedent (triggering event): step on a bag

    Belief (these are automatic): I stepped on a needle. Did I step on a needle? The world is a dangerous play. If I step on a needle I’ll become contaminated and I’ll lose everything.

    Consequence: anxiety worry and most importantly reassurance seeking (which you seem to be doing a lot of since you post here often).

    You need to break the cycle. CBT can help and so can mindfulness. A great podcast that I found helpful is OCD Stories.

    Anyways, best of luck. I hope this helps. I am having similar challenges and this approach has provided some improvement with me so far.

  5. #25
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    Re: To get the vaccine or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottyboy View Post
    Hi

    I am by no means a professional or a doctor but I can relate to you because I go through this daily. Your mind jumps from one worry to another and doubts whether something happened or not. This is called intrusive thinking. The fear transforms and morphs daily. One fear constantly supplants another.

    What you are describing seems to be indicative of OCD and intrusive thinking. You take your thoughts way too seriously and you are imagining all sorts of scenarios that you take very seriously. OCD is often called the doubting disease and it sounds like you suffer from a lot of doubt (did I step on a needle etc). I suffer from similar imagined scenarios. A lot of people do but they just don’t take their thoughts so seriously.

    CBT would work this way:

    Antecedent (triggering event): step on a bag

    Belief (these are automatic): I stepped on a needle. Did I step on a needle? The world is a dangerous play. If I step on a needle I’ll become contaminated and I’ll lose everything.

    Consequence: anxiety worry and most importantly reassurance seeking (which you seem to be doing a lot of since you post here often).

    You need to break the cycle. CBT can help and so can mindfulness. A great podcast that I found helpful is OCD Stories.

    Anyways, best of luck. I hope this helps. I am having similar challenges and this approach has provided some improvement with me so far.

    I agree, I need to break the cycle... I know reassurance doesn't go far in people with OCD. However, I struggle with not knowing if the OCD triggered the bat scenario in my mind or if the bat scenario was real and has triggered the anxiety because I repressed the memory. I know it's so often said, to live with OCD you have to accept uncertainty, but I just can't help but feel that uncertainty in this case, is life or death. It doesn't help that I tend to be very intuitive, sometimes just freaky, psychic haha. So, while yeah, it would be a crazy coincidence, if after being so preoccupied with the squirrel/rabies incident from several years ago, I got bitten by a bat a few weeks later, but I do feel like I kind of predict a lot of things in life...

    Also, while I've had a few OCD tendencies in the past, it's never been full blown, and again, I wonder if maybe I've been traumatized by the bat, and that is, in fact, what set everything off. Because, I'm like, well, why on earth would you be so preoccupied with this otherwise?!

    Also, today, my tongue is tingly and my glands are feeling a kind of burning, not painful, just odd, sensation. Of course, I'm thinking, okay, this is it... it's been a month. It's starting. What you're feeling is the virus invading your salivary glands.

  6. #26
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    Re: To get the vaccine or not

    Oh my goodness. Why?! Every time I calm down a little, it's something else... So this morning, as I got out of my car, a bird *I think* flew right by me. Right in front of me, from one tree into another tree/bush area. I think it was a bird, but of course, now I'm thinking, maybe it was a bat. It could've also been a bat. Maybe it bit me. I had a jacket and turtleneck on, jeans and boots, so essentially I was covered from head to toe, except my hands and my head. I'm worrying that it bit me on my scalp or ear and hand without me knowing it. Unlikely yes, but am I worried, yes... I just can't catch a break.

    This is just even more worrisome than the other incidents because I actually saw something fly past/near me. And I'm sure we've all read the many number of articles that say a bat's teeth are so small, it could bite you without you knowing/feeling it.
    Last edited by Panicandpeace; 02-11-18 at 16:21.

  7. #27

    Re: To get the vaccine or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Panicandpeace View Post
    Oh my goodness. Why?! Every time I calm down a little, it's something else... So this morning, as I got out of my car, a bird *I think* flew right by me. Right in front of me, from one tree into another tree/bush area. I think it was a bird, but of course, now I'm thinking, maybe it was a bat. It could've also been a bat. Maybe it bit me. I had a jacket and turtleneck on, jeans and boots, so essentially I was covered from head to toe, except my hands and my head. I'm worrying that it bit me on my scalp or ear and hand without me knowing it. Unlikely yes, but am I worried, yes... I just can't catch a break.

    This is just even more worrisome than the other incidents because I actually saw something fly past/near me. And I'm sure we've all read the many number of articles that say a bat's teeth are so small, it could bite you without you knowing/feeling it.
    Watch this video:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ufqFO5B1vQY

    Does this what it sounds like in your head? Based on your post history, I would imagine it does. That’s how my internal ramblings sound. OCD morphs, it is an incessant monster that attacks you. It loves to ruminate. Mental ruminations are a form of ritual. Trying to deconstruct an event and assess and evaluate the what if’s is OCD too. Your posts seem to be doing that.

    It thrives on uncertainty. Even the 0.0000000001% it will take advantage of. It’s what your brain demands because once it finds reassurance you’ll get that little jolt of relaxation and certainly. It’s kind of an addiction.

    Try checking out the book “you are not a rock” or any of the OCD workbooks online. Also the “man who couldn’t stop” is a good read too.

  8. #28
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    Re: To get the vaccine or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottyboy View Post
    Watch this video:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ufqFO5B1vQY

    Does this what it sounds like in your head? Based on your post history, I would imagine it does. That’s how my internal ramblings sound. OCD morphs, it is an incessant monster that attacks you. It loves to ruminate. Mental ruminations are a form of ritual. Trying to deconstruct an event and assess and evaluate the what if’s is OCD too. Your posts seem to be doing that.

    It thrives on uncertainty. Even the 0.0000000001% it will take advantage of. It’s what your brain demands because once it finds reassurance you’ll get that little jolt of relaxation and certainly. It’s kind of an addiction.

    Try checking out the book “you are not a rock” or any of the OCD workbooks online. Also the “man who couldn’t stop” is a good read too.
    This video is a pretty accurate representation of how my mind is currently working. I wouldn't say it's always been like this though, at least not until recently. Definitely have the mental ruminations. I do try and deconstruct the events... like this morning: "something flew past me. It was a bird. It didn't touch me. Are you sure it was a bird? It could have been a bat... Are you sure it didn't touch you? It could have touched you, even bitten you, and you wouldn't necessarily have known. Should I go get the shots just in case? You aren't sure if it was a bat or a bird. Is that something you want to take a chance on?"

    Certainly the uncertainty is awful, but my mind keeps saying, "okay, yeah, live with uncertainty, blah blah blah, but NOT uncertainty about rabies. You don't know if it was a bat or a bird. You don't want to be uncertain about that."

    And, again, it's just that I don't know if this bout of anxiety and OCD was caused by a real life interaction with a bat, or if it was the OCD that conjured up the image and then the obsession...

    And I certainly don't want my brain to be the little boy who cried wolf, and then when something actually happens, me just write it off... like in today's case, I don't want to just dismiss it as a bird if this time around it was a bat.
    Last edited by Panicandpeace; 02-11-18 at 23:13.

  9. #29

    Re: To get the vaccine or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Panicandpeace View Post
    This video is a pretty accurate representation of how my mind is currently working. I wouldn't say it's always been like this though, at least not until recently. Definitely have the mental ruminations. I do try and deconstruct the events... like this morning: "something flew past me. It was a bird. It didn't touch me. Are you sure it was a bird? It could have been a bat... Are you sure it didn't touch you? It could have touched you, even bitten you, and you wouldn't necessarily have known. Should I go get the shots just in case? You aren't sure if it was a bat or a bird. Is that something you want to take a chance on?"

    Certainly the uncertainty is awful, but my mind keeps saying, "okay, yeah, live with uncertainty, blah blah blah, but NOT uncertainty about rabies. You don't know if it was a bat or a bird. You don't want to be uncertain about that."

    And, again, it's just that I don't know if this bout of anxiety and OCD was caused by a real life interaction with a bat, or if it was the OCD that conjured up the image and then the obsession...

    And I certainly don't want my brain to be the little boy who cried wolf, and then when something actually happens, me just write it off... like in today's case, I don't want to just dismiss it as a bird if this time around it was a bat.
    The genesis is irrelevant. Where it came from is as well. OCD is the doubting disease - you keep feeding it by engaging in “trying to figure things out” and to control and establish certainty. I personally am challenged with an identical situation nearly. I have those intrusive thoughts all the time. Sometimes they ruin my day sometimes they don’t. They’re going to keep coming up. You have to accept that and then focus your energies on something important. Something you value. You seem like an intelligent person because you’ve managed to create a fantasy in your head step by step of how you could have been contaminated (which is btw one form of OCD - fear of contamination by animals). Surely you could put that mental energy towards something more productive.

  10. #30
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    Re: To get the vaccine or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottyboy View Post
    The genesis is irrelevant. Where it came from is as well. OCD is the doubting disease - you keep feeding it by engaging in “trying to figure things out” and to control and establish certainty. I personally am challenged with an identical situation nearly. I have those intrusive thoughts all the time. Sometimes they ruin my day sometimes they don’t. They’re going to keep coming up. You have to accept that and then focus your energies on something important. Something you value. You seem like an intelligent person because you’ve managed to create a fantasy in your head step by step of how you could have been contaminated (which is btw one form of OCD - fear of contamination by animals). Surely you could put that mental energy towards something more productive.
    OCD is the doubting disease - you keep feeding it by engaging in “trying to figure things out” and to control and establish certainty.<--absolutely

    you’ve managed to create a fantasy in your head step by step of how you could have been contaminated <---just worried it isn't a fantasy

    I guess, I think the genesis is important because if the memory is real, I would need to go and get the shots, and that is what I keep circling around to. I can live with the intrusive thoughts, and learn how to cope with them, and want to learn how to cope with them, but I can't just not get the vaccine if indeed, I did get bitten. Believe me, I would love to focus my energy somewhere else, and am actually getting ready to start a couple of online classes, which should accomplish just that. I also had my first therapy session with a psychologist yesterday and set up weekly appointments to start CBT which I'm really thrilled about. She was very nice, and I'm hoping we're going to be a good fit! I already like her better than the psychiatrist I saw. Again, I want to move on, but I also want to be sure that I'm not just repressing an important event (getting bitten) in order to do so.

    Also, I woke up this morning feeling pretty calm. I had talked myself down from yesterday, telling myself, "okay, worst case scenario, even if it was a bat that flew past you at 8am yesterday morning, it didn't even touch you. But it was a bird. There are so many birds around this house. It glided right past you into another tree/bush. Bats don't glide, birds glide." Then, into my head pops a vivid memory of whatever it was yesterday morning, flying directly into my head, fluttering around in my hair, and me swatting it away. Brain says, "It was a bat and it fluttered around in your hair, bit you on the scalp, and flew away." Now, I don't want to be the girl who cried wolf, and my fears not be taken seriously, although I'm sure I've already earned that title... but now I'm worried that I've remembered important details from yesterday.

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