Dear Miss Emily:

Hi there, I’m 34 and I’ve had OCD from a young boy.  I got it in the form of repetitive thoughts: I’m gay, I’m a molester, I’m a serial killer, I don’t love my partner, which affects me more than all the others.  I used alcohol to take the pain away whilst on Prozac.  Subsequently, I’m an alcoholic and became dependent on cocaine.  I have since become a proud member of the AA fellowship which works on the 12 step program. It’s been amazing but, where I am now drug and drink free for 8 weeks, I’m getting very wound up.  My mood goes like a yo-yo –  up and down. My anger is terrible and my thoughts are back.  I’m really struggling at the moment. I’m still on the Prozac, but that doesn’t seem to being doing anything. I feel upset and emotional and can’t be bothered to go to work. What would you say?
Wound like a  Yo-Yo

------------------------Miss Emily’s advice---------------------

Dear Wound:

Although I am not qualified to give you any medical advice, I can tell you my first impression.  You are extremely hard on yourself.  So much of who we are is a combination of nature and nurture.  Let yourself off the hook on a lot of these underlying  feelings of failure.  Still, each of us should realize that, in most cases, we are on our own and need to do some heavy work if we want to make our lives better.  You have taken the first step.  But it isn’t easy to transition from one feeling or emotion to another unless we give ourselves time.  OCD is tough.  I have a friend who struggles with it everyday.  But I see in her a desire to soldier on and seek answers to problems that, in some ways, so many people face.  I admire her, and I admire your resolve to overcome this difficult, life-altering issue.  If I were you, I’d ask my doctor if it might be wise to seek out another anti-depressant that has a greater effect on you.  Although Prozac is an old, reliable anti-depressant for some, advances in this area are happening on a continual basis.  As you are aware, no anti-depressant works effectively with alcohol and cocaine.  Know that none of us have all the answers to finding happiness in our lives, but your AA experience, being a positive one for you, is a road you can take to getting the help you need, as well as finding some peace of mind in the process.  And please, don’t think that everyone, but you and your AA partners, is leading the perfect life.  It simply isn’t true.  Keep me posted on what’s happening with you.  I care.  I really do!