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Anxiety and Your “What If Calculator”

5.21.18

View original article published in Psych Central– Some universities provide a “what if calculator” to help students project possible grades. It provides the percentage they need on each test to get their desired grade at the end of the course. Based on what they would like their final grade to be, they can decide how much work and effort to put into studying for their final exam. If we all had a what if calculator to forecast our future, life would be so much easier! We could say we all are in a possession of a what if calculator. For many of us, that amazing thought-making machine works overtime. The problem is that though our mind means well, its calculations are not entirely accurate most of the time. Quite often, the predictions are wo

Is the Anxious Mind Spreading FUD in Your Life?

3.9.18

View original article published in Psych Central– In the cryptocurrency world, fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) is something investors don’t want to experience. When FUD spreads, the value of the coin will drop, and those who invested will be unsure of what to do and wonder when the pain will stop. FUD is also something that people with anxiety don’t like to endure. They avoid and seek reassurance in order to be sure that FUD (fear, uncertainty, or doubt) is not part of their lives. Yet, they forget that FUD is part of the human condition. When we perceive danger, our survival built-in mechanism warns us, and fear sets in so we can escape or fight the danger. This is a good thing. Otherwise, our ancestors would not have made it, and we w

Scrupulosity OCD and the Sin of Certainty

12.5.17

View original article published in Psych Central– When religious and faithful individuals are told that the unremitting thoughts that they are trying to get rid of are due to their OCD, they have difficulty accepting it. They may remember how and where their symptoms began, and may attribute their sinful thoughts to Satan or being cursed somehow somewhere. They may eventually acknowledge the symptoms as OCD but continue to doubt their worthiness. As they question their thoughts and actions, uncertainty persists. They believe they may find surety if they make a more exerted effort. For example, they may say, “If I pray longer, the intrusive thoughts will stop. Perhaps I didn’t confess all my sins. I must go back and do better. My service to

Just Right: OCD and Kids

10.10.17

View original article published in Psych Central– Landon was a bright intelligent child. He had excelled academically and also enjoyed sports. However, OCD appeared to be getting in the way of his life. There were times when he could not get out of bed because the thought of having to get dressed overwhelmed him. His socks needed to feel just right as well as his shirt and pants. He would repeat the behaviors until he felt just right about it. He seemed to be late to school every day. Things in his room had to be just so. He would be angry and become aggressive when he noticed someone had been in his room. New belongings were challenging as well. When his parents bought him new items such as a backpack, shoes, or clothes, he refused to use

Pedophilia OCD: When OCD Targets the Children in Your Life

9.11.17

View original article published in Psych Central– Rhonda was a kind and religious woman. Most importantly, she adored her kids. However, one day, a fleeting thought showed up in her mind, “Did I touch Ronnie inappropriately,” as she was buckling her son in his car seat. Rhonda became anxious and couldn’t stop worrying about it. “Did I really touch him? What if I did? Am I a pervert? No, I’m not! I would never do such thing! But then, why do I feel anxious? Does that mean I did something wrong? Otherwise, I would not feel anxious.” These and many similar thoughts began to occupy Rhonda’s mind. The more she tried to “get rid” of the thoughts or figure out why she was having them, the more they stuck. Gary was single with many nephews and niec

7 Essentials for Parents of Kids with OCD

8.22.17

View original article published in Psych Central– Looking back to what I now know suggests that my 3 1/2 year old son’s long lasting temper tantrums may have been an indication that something was up. I just didn’t know what it was and wasn’t sure how to become better informed. All I remember is that it seemed like it was his way or the highway. He eventually grew out of those temper tantrums by the time he started pre-school. When Jeff was in elementary school, he would erase numbers and letters until they looked “just right!” At night I would spend a few minutes with each of my sons saying good night. When it was his turn, we would talk and then say good night. But as I was leaving the room he would say, “Say good night mom.” I would say,

OCD and the Pervasive Reassurance-Seeking Compulsion

6.26.17

View original article published in Psych Central – “Are you sure I have OCD?” “What if it is something else?” “Am I going crazy?” “Are these thoughts normal?” These are among many questions individuals struggling with OCD ask themselves. Even when they have been thoroughly assessed and diagnosed with OCD by their mental health provider, sufferers’ doubts and the need for reassurance seeking continues. It has been said that OCD is the doubting disease. Uncertainty is the driving force behind OCD. The need to know the consequence of their thoughts or behaviors leads individuals to compulsions. When OCD targets individual’s fears of contamination, they reassure themselves by doing compulsions such as washing and avoiding certain substances. W

Is It Your Sense Of Integrity or Is It Your OCD?

5.30.17

Many individuals who experience a high sense of responsibility and integrity believe that they just have high moral standards and persist in doing certain behaviors. However, when the guilt persists and the behaviors become repetitive in order to release the guilt and other feelings such as anxiety, it may actually be OCD. Let’s take a look at some situations and discuss the difference. Lisa is driving down the road in the dark. All of a sudden she senses she went over a bump. She worries and wonders if she has run over someone’s body. She can’t stop thinking about it, and the more she reviews the scenario the more she believes it may have been someone on the road. She returns and checks to make sure she didn’t hurt anyone. Matt’s hands ar

Scrupulosity OCD — You Have Choices!

3.30.17

View original article published in Psych Central – “I’m such a sinner. I’m supposed to have pure thoughts. I’m so wicked!” Destiny’s incessant thoughts compelled her to pray, sing hymns, confess, and repent to no avail. Her religious leaders kept telling her that she was not a sinner. They reassured her by telling her that she was a good person. She didn’t know her reassurance seeking was actually a compulsion that kept strengthening her OCD. Her anguish and her need to control her thoughts were affecting her overall functioning. Every time she experienced “impure” thoughts she felt unworthy of happiness or anything good in her life. Her anxiety would swell through her body as a wave that left her feeling guilt and shame, even though she ha

Do I Have OCD?

3.22.17

When you worry frequently about things that are outside of your control, or you must have everything in your life organized perfectly, you may start to wonder if you need to see an OCD specialist. While anxiety does not mean that you have OCD, there are signs of OCD that are very difficult to ignore. What is important to remember is that OCD signs and symptoms are on a spectrum. While you may exhibit some signs, it is the degree of prevalence in your life that matters most. For those experiencing primarily mental obsessions, it is difficult to dismiss a random weird thought as non-sufferers do. Individuals with mental obsessions and compulsions will try to pick apart their thoughts in order to figure them out and resist them. They will also

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