OCD Follow-up

OCD Follow-up
Dr. Phil follows up with Phyllis, who used to be so obsessed with cleaning that she spent 12 to 15 hours a day doing it.

"When I saw the fighting going on in the show, I was sick to my stomach," says Phyllis, recalling the arguments she used to have with her daughter Bianca because of her obsessive cleaning. "I remembered every word that Dr. Phil said to me, so I knew what I needed to do. When I got home it was difficult. I went on Zoloft and the anxiety [was] lessened. When I would go into Bianca's bedroom, I would face what he told me I needed to face and I would walk out of there. That seemed to get easier every day. We don't fight any more."

Phyllis continues, "Cleaning doesn't consume me any more. I started listening to music again and learned to take back the things I once enjoyed. I go to the gym five days a week and power-walk two miles a day. Dr. Phil, when I watch you now, I sit down and watch you. I don't dust, vacuum or cook. My whole outlook has changed. Dr. Phil gave me back my life."

Phyllis' daughter Bianca adds, "It's just so awesome to see how happy she is. Finally!"
"Well, I gotta say, you look amazing!" says Dr. Phil. "Hey, I am pretty good! Really, the hard work started when you got home and it didn't start immediately, did it?"

"It took just a couple days," says Phyllis."The most important thing you said to me that really got me going was that I wasn't crazy. I figured if you thought I was, you were going to tell me! I said, 'OK, I need to figure out what I have to do to get over this.' And I just went from there. I read your book [Self Matters] four times."

Phyllis explains that from doing the exercises in Self Matters, she found out who her "pivotal people" were. This helped her realize her obsessive cleaning was based on fear. Phyllis was able to trace her behavior back to comments that her mother had made to her: "I was trying to be who she wanted me to be all these years...until I found my authentic self," explains Phyllis. "Then, I was like, you know what? I'm not going to be who everyone else wants me to be. I'm going to be who I want to be."
Dr. Phil tells Phyllis that when she first appeared on the show, he received many letters from viewers who said her story hit home. He surprises Phyllis by introducing her to Vicki, a woman who had written in saying that seeing Phyllis' story changed her life.

Vicki's letter reads:

Dear Dr. Phil, I watched your show on OCD. I so identified with Phyllis and her obsession to clean. I felt so bad listening to her daughter Bianca, realizing that's what I did to my children too. I wanted to thank Phyllis for helping me to open my eyes. I've now begun to try to get back the lost time with my daughter. Thank you, Phyllis. And thank you, Dr. Phil.