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Mindfulness and OCD

10.14.15

A while ago, I met a young man who experienced intrusive thoughts. All he wanted in life was to get rid of those tormenting thoughts once and for all. One day, after coming back from an adventure camping trip he said, “I was so busy the whole time. It was fun mainly because I didn’t have time to analyze my thoughts. I was able to be in the present moment. If I could only do that every day!” He had noticed the difference it made when he was focused on the present moment without constantly evaluating his thoughts. His thoughts had still been there, but he didn’t engage them that weekend. Before this experience, he had neglected practicing mindfulness. He realized that by practicing every day he could learn to be in the present moment without

Is OCD bullying You? You Now Have Options

10.13.15

According to Stopbullying.gov “bullying …involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.” They also state that those that are bullied “may have serious, lasting problems.” This definition sounds very much like the relationship many individuals experience with OCD. Is OCD bullying you? Is there a power imbalance? Who is calling the shots every day? Is OCD causing serious and lasting problems? It doesn’t have to be that way! For starters, you need to know the best way to deal with your bully (OCD), and here are some suggestions. When dealing with the OCD bully, DO NOT: Fight or argue with OCD. This actually reinforces the thinking patterns. Ignore OCD. Advice for dealin

Relationship OCD and the Doors of Uncertainty

10.11.15

[View original article published in Psych Central here] When Adam was about 9 years old, he began to experience contamination obsessive-compulsive disorder. At 14, his fears about possibly getting sick subsided, but he began questioning his religious and moral values. His OCD had morphed. Throughout his high school years, he experienced scrupulosity OCD. His first year in college, he dated on and off, and his OCD continued to target his religion. Then, he met someone special and got married, but he did not live happily ever after. One year into his marriage, he began to question his relationship. He often wondered, “Did I make the right choice? Do I really love my wife? What would my life be like if I had I married my previous girlfriend?”

6 Things You Need to Know Before Starting OCD Treatment

6.8.15

[View original article published in Psych Central here] If you suffer from OCD, you likely feel exhausted every day. The anxiety and tormenting thoughts may lead you to internal and external rituals. These compulsions provide relief — at least temporarily. You probably wish there was a magic pill or treatment that could take the suffering away permanently. If you were told that the answer to a better life is found at the top of a high mountain, would you be willing to climb it? You would be warned, “It will be a stormy and an arduous ascend, but once you get to the top, you’ll find what you are looking for!” Would you take the chance and do what it takes to get there? It could be the hardest thing you’ve done in your life. Would you still

When Your Loved One Has Body Dysmorphic Disorder

4.7.15

[View original article published in Psych Central here. Aaron was a senior in high school, and his grades had begun to decline. He wasn’t interested in hanging out with his friends. He seemed depressed. He’d spend an extraordinary amount of time in the bathroom fixing his hair. Aaron’s father had a difficult time understanding his son’s behavior. He would get irritated when he saw all the hair products in Aaron’s bathroom. Aaron was determined to find the perfect product for his hair. He still had not found it. We all have bad hair days. We also are aware of our physical flaws, but most of us are able to accept them without obsessing or becoming paralyzed by them. If you know someone who has become depressed and is excessively preoccupied

Scrupulosity: When OCD Targets Your Religious and Moral Values

1.14.15

View original article published in Psych Central here. Whenever Marian was exposed to religious issues, she felt overwhelmed by doubt, guilt and anxiety. She had been steadfast in her devotion since childhood. Lately, though, she’d try to avoid anything or anyone that triggered her spiritual obsessions. Her loved ones were puzzled because her commitment had been extraordinary. Conflicting worries consumed her mind and she was becoming depressed. Marian’s example of scrupulosity is one of many variations a sufferer may have with this type of OCD. Sometimes individuals with scrupulosity aren’t religious but feel hyper-responsible to their moral standards. The fact is that once in a while, religious individuals may experience doubts, guilt, re

What is the Prescription for Raising Entitled Kids?

12.22.14

[View original article published in Psych Central here] A 10-year-old girl stomped out of the bathroom when her mom told her she would need to clean the mess she had made after her shower. She told her mom, ”You’re the mom. It’s your job!” A 6-year-old boy went to the grocery store with his mom. He noticed a treat he wanted. His mom explained that they had other treats at home and that she wasn’t going to buy it. He answered, “Well, if you don’t want to buy it, then just give me the money and I’ll buy it.” A 16-year-old girl was angry at her parents for not letting her take the family car with her friends to another state for the weekend. She told them, “If you really loved me, you would let me go!” Does this sound familiar? The pressure y

Being Grateful Despite Challenges

11.26.14

[View original article published in Psych Central here] There are times when we may feel like we cannot be grateful about anything in our lives. Losing a job or feeling burned out can contribute to one’s negative attitude. Experiencing financial losses or not being able to make ends meet can hurt deeply. Enduring physical or mental health challenges can drive us to feel hopeless. Missing a loved one, seeing one’s child suffer, and relationship difficulties could be additional reasons to feel apathetic. The list can go on, but research shows that it’s possible to change our perspective despite life’s hardships. We can change our brain chemistry toward feeling more at peace with ourselves and become more grateful. Consider the following poin

Teaching Kids To Be Grateful Every Day

11.19.14

[View original article published in Parenting.answers.com  here] Why is it important that children learn to be grateful? How can you help them? Here are 3 ideas that will work. Children and Gratitude Research has shown that those who are grateful have better long-term health. They are happier and more pleasant to be around. Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor and author of The How of Happiness says, “People who are consistently grateful are happier, more energetic, more hopeful, and experience more frequent positive emotions. They also tend to be more helpful and empathetic, more spiritual and religious, more forgiving, and less materialistic than others who are less grateful.” When children feel gratitude, they will be happy with

3 Steps To Take When Life Gets Foggy

10.20.14

 [View original article published in Answers.com here] What is your first thought when you wake up in the morning? “I’m ready to take on the day!” But maybe you had a restless night and couldn’t stop thinking about current problems. Perhaps you wish your day never began. All of us experience difficulties at one point or another, and it has been said that what really matters is how we react to adversity. The advice is that we need to confront our difficult experiences with a positive attitude. When we do, things go smoother. But it is easier said than done! Take Lori for example. She was the oldest child of four, and when she was twelve years old, her mom passed away. She missed her mother, and she and her siblin

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