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Tom’s Story Preventing Harm

Tom was in his mid twenties when his O.C.D started.

He is not too sure what triggered it off but, it may have been linked to his superstitious nature. Whenever he went out he felt he had to touch certain lamp-posts in order to ensure that nothing awful happened to his mum and dad. Somehow, and he is not quite sure why, touching the lamp-posts reassured him that his parents would be safe. But, he found that as time went on, he had to touch more and more lamp-posts. He had to leave the house, to go to work, earlier and earlier. At the time, when seeking help from his doctor, it was taking him 2 hours in a morning and 2 hours at night to get to and from work. The actual journey time was about 15 minutes. His doctor got Tom to see a clinical psychologist. This therapist, using cognitive behaviour therapy, worked out a recovery programme with him. Tom, with a great deal of courage and hard work, began to tackle the problem. At the time of writing, Tom has reduced the time it takes him to get to and from work to ½ hour each way and the number of lamp-posts that he has to touch is reducing significantly. He has lived with the anxiety it has caused and, needless to say, nothing awful has happened to his mum and dad.

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