I have only worked with counselors in training so I haven’t been officially diagnosed, but they hinted strongly that I have social anxiety and OCD. I am a pharmacy student so I really don’t have time to keep dealing with it, but I don’t feel like I’m making any progress in therapy and as more and more time gets spent washing my hands (I was almost to 350 times yesterday) and writing and re-writing things I really want to say to people, I get less and less done which makes my stress level go up which in turn makes me even more anxious and increases the washing and inability to speak, and I am overwhelmed and my grades are not really doing so well. Should I just give up now, or is there any hope that this can get better? Sorry for wasting your time if this is a dumb question.
A. Washing your hands 350 times a day is quite excessive. In addition to hand washing, you spend a great deal of time writing, rewriting and deal with a great deal of stress and anxiety. This causes problems in school. Those symptoms are putting your pharmacy career in jeopardy. If you can’t pass your classes, then you cannot graduate.
You should never “give up.” I’m not certain why you are seeing “counselors in training” but you should immediately switch to a licensed mental health professional with a track record of successfully treating social anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Seeking treatment with a licensed professional, one with a solid track record, is the most efficient way to deal with your problem.
In the absence of treatment, anxiety disorders tend to become progressively worse with time. That is why it is imperative that you seek help as soon as possible. Effective treatments exist. The “find help” tab at top of this page can help you locate a specialized professional in your community.
Contact at least three to five mental health professionals. Detail your symptoms. Ask if they’ve successfully assisted others with similar problems and then make an appointment with the one that makes you feel the most comfortable. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Feb 2013
Randle, K. (2013). No Time to be Anxious. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 11, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/02/28/no-time-to-be-anxious/