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OCD, Guilt, and Religion

12.15.12

[See original article published here.] “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he….”  ~ Proverbs 23:7 Grace had grown up in a religious home. She was familiar with the above proverb. She understood it as a reminder to maintain pure thoughts to be a better person. Unfortunately, she was challenged by obsessive-compulsive disorder(OCD), and every time she read verses such as this, her anxiety and guilt would torment her. Honesty and integrity were often talked about in her home. Impure and blasphemous thoughts were against her religious beliefs. She had learned that if she were to sin, she could take steps to be forgiven. A broken heart, contrite spirit, and confession were essential. Her troubles began in middle school. She was taking a his

Are You Feeling All ‘Stwessed’ Out?

11.18.12

[Published by MomClick Utah and The Daily Herald here.] Are you feeling all ‘stwessed’ out? The other day, a friend took her 3-year-old daughter to the playground. After getting a big push on the swing, her daughter giggled nervously and said, “That makes me stwessed out, Mommy.” My friend smiled and said to herself, “Oh, to have the problems of a 3-year-old.” This is a cute instance of a young child possibly imitating Mom’s words. It also is possible that this young child is already recognizing her body’s natural “fight-or-flight” response when something is not quite right. This young girl most likely felt a slight stomach ache as she swung, and she was able to verbalize how she

What OCD Feels Like

11.8.12

[See original article published here.] Mike’s thoughts were driving him “crazy. One thought would lead him into another and another. His anxiety would shoot to the roof and he couldn’t stand it. He felt these thoughts would never stop tormenting him. He appeared distracted and aloof to those around him. He was too busy thinking. His brain was constantly on rewind and reviewing his thoughts and actions. Did I say this? Did she say that? What if I said this? What if this happened? What if? What if… were constant questions in his mind. Sometimes he felt as if his brain were going to explode because it was racing a thousand miles per hour. He was sure about one thing: he needed 100 percent assurance regarding his thoughts and doubts. He spent c

Mindset Family Therapy

Healing Those Stubborn Emotional Wounds

11.8.12

Mary was experiencing low self-esteem and worthlessness.   She’d say her eyes were “broken faucets.” She’d cry often, and would easily get irritated and explode at her children and husband. She had gained weight in the past year. She snacked all day and would finish a bag of chips in minutes without even noticing. She had difficulty concentrating, felt muscle tension, and above all, she was feeling like the “worst mother in the world.” One day she reported she just wanted to “escape her world.”   She was not suicidal but just wanted a break. She didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel any time soon. Sometimes she would say things like “I feel my heart being crushed. I am a bad person. I am exhausted and ready to quit. Things

Mindset Family Therapy

I had the opportunity to contribute to this article

10.22.12

Boys with untreated ADHD suffer socially, economically later in life By Celeste Rosenlof   October 19th, 2012 @ 8:37pm   SALT LAKE CITY — Boys who suffer from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder may have a plethora of educational and career disadvantages later on, researchers say.   The findings of a 33-year follow-up study published in “Archives of General Psychiatry” comparing men with and without childhood ADHD were somewhat dismal: The majority of men who had been diagnosed as children with the hyperactive disability and not treated, consistently completed fewer years of education, held lower positions in their jobs and earned $40,000 less a year than those without the disability. It also found they were

When Once Is Not Enough

8.28.12

[View original article published in Psych Central here] “Say good-night mommy, say good-night,” pleaded Johnny every night. It wasn’t as if he had not already read several books, been tucked in, and kissed good night. Johnny’s pleas continued every night. After the third or fourth nagging requests, she would get irritated and say, “I am done! This is the last one. Good night!” Johnny would cry and ask for more “good nights.” Mom didn’t know it at the time, but she was reinforcing Johnny’s need for reassurance. One “goodnight” was not enough, but neither were ten. Ritualized hand-washing or other grooming compulsions were absent. There didn’t seem to be any checking compulsions. If there had been, Johnny’s parents probably would have sough

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