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Mar 10, 2020

Be My Guest: Fr. Paul Gros on OCD, Anxiety, and Therapy

Fr. Josh Johnson

Father Josh and Father Paul Gros answer questions about OCD and anxiety, family members with mental illness, and navigating life changes after therapy.

Snippet from the Show 

When you start to worry about family members who suffer from mental illness, place your hope in the truth that God loves them infinitely more than you do. 

SHOWNOTES

Glory Story (2:10) 

Fr. Paul’s Experience with Anxiety (6:30)

Feedback (17:35)

OCD and Anxiety (21:31)

I am a 36 y/o Male. I am married with 2 beautiful 2 daughters. I love my family, they are my life and my everything. Just like everyone I have stress, such as money. I always try to remember that God has blessed me with a beautiful life because he created me. However I suffer from OCD and Anxiety. I do see a psychologist and take medication. Mental health is a real scary thing for me. I want to know what do you think I can do to relieve my anxiety and stress… I have bad thoughts that pop in my head and I think this happens to everyone but because of my OCD I can’t shake it off as easy. I need help!!!

– Troubled but Blessed

Adult Child with Mental Illness and Self-Destructive Behavior (27:30)

We have a 29-year-old daughter with mental illness, specifically severe anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD and Borderline Personality Disorder to name a few…She is an amazing person with a huge, giving, loving heart but her illness causes her to seek love, acceptance and self-worth through the lowest of the lows, sex out of wedlock, living with people that do very bad things, lying to cover up her guilt and way of life.  Her illness has brought us, as her parents, closer to the Lord and our faith. Last year we found out she had an abortion four years ago. 

My question is, if someone is not of a healthy mind is their choices weighed the same by God as those whose mind is “healthy”?  When people talk about “free will,” can you explain it? [We truly believe that some of her will is driven by her desire to feel love, wanted, accepted, etc., as some of the signs of BPD is lack of trust and fear of abandonment.  We show her through our life, example and words the way of Jesus and know He has her in the palm of His healing hands. Since her diagnosis two years ago we have found baby steps of growth and healing in her, and she recently started going to a nondenominational church and has found much peace and hope there, praise be to God.  I have talked to her about reconciliation and she did go last year and cleansed her soul.

Please keep our daughter Mary in your prayers and all those who suffer from mental illness as well as those who love and care for them.

– Elizabeth

Is Therapy Changing Me for the Worse? (6:09)

Hello Fr. Josh!

First of all, I’d like to thank you for your podcast, you have blessed my life in so many ways. I have a question that has been troubling me for the last month:

Six months ago I started to go to therapy to treat an eating disorder and depression. My improvement has been so pronounced that even my therapist is impressed.

My family and some friends are very pleased with this development. Personally, I feel great! I feel happier, more confident, and peaceful. Also, I feel closer to Our Lord and very thankful for this improvement. As a result, I’m more active in my parish, and I’m meeting wonderful people there. However, not everyone is happy with this assertive ”new me”: I let a relationship go because it triggered bad feelings and thoughts on me. Also, a friend simply told me that she didn’t want to be my friend anymore, and that I would be alone forever with this new attitude. This keeps me wondering: Is personal wellness and happiness important enough? Am I changing for the worse? Is it a good idea to continue with therapy, even if it means losing friends? What would Jesus want for my life in this situation? Please share your thoughts on this!

Thank you very much Fr.! God bless you!

– Sandra

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