[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
View original article published in Psych Central here. Grace is obsessed about order and having things “just so.” She is constantly checking for symmetry in her surroundings. The time she spends ordering and organizing her things is disrupting her life. She spends excessive time on details and often gets stuck while doing or undoing things until she feels “right” about the situation. This causes her a great deal of distress. Her motivation in doing her rituals is to decrease anxiety and uncertainty about her feared consequence (having a panic attack). Does Grace have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)? Patrick needs things to be perfect and orderly. He is a perfectionist and is preoccupied with details and making lists. His perfectionism
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
Those challenged by OCD most likely have tried to stop the “waves” to no avail. It’s easier to “surf” them rather than fight them. You can learn to accept and tolerate uncertainty and doubt. Love the quote!
Once upon a time a young man was walking through the mountains near his home. A cute little kitten appeared. It looked hungry and lost. He decided to take it home. He took good care of the kitten, but every time he fed it, it seemed hungrier. One day he noticed it was eating a mouse. He realized his kitten was ready for big cat’s food. But the problem continued. The more he fed it, the more the kitten wanted. One day, a friend came to visit him. The friend was shocked and said, “What in the world are you doing with a tiger?” The young man had gotten so used to living with his pet and its demands that he had not even noticed that it had become a tiger! You may have heard similar stories to illustrate how individuals who comply with
Those who don’t have the disorder misconstrue and continue to promote misconceptions about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Those suffering may hide and shield themselves from possibly being hurt and shunned. They may feel ashamed or embarrassed. The fact is that there are still many people in society who have no idea that OCD can be paralyzing, and it should not be trivialized. Only those suffering can change things by letting the OCD Nightmare in their closet get out. The classic children’s book “There Is a Nightmare in My Closet” written by Mercer Mayer comes to mind. Here are some parallels: Prepare for the OCD nightmare to come out. The young boy decides he will defy the nightmare. He gets his weapons lined up and is ready to fac
Any parent who witnesses their children’s excruciating fear will instinctively react to protect, help, and comfort them. That is the expected and the right thing to do. However, when children experience fear due to OCD and anxiety, parents can learn the right skills. They can intervene in a positive way to help their children overcome their challenges and avoid overprotecting them. Grug Crood from the film The Croods comes to mind. Grug was an overprotective father and his favorite words were: “Never not be afraid!” His number one goal was to keep his family free from danger. Of course that advice proved to be ineffective. His belief was that other families had been destroyed because they had not been afraid enough! It turned out tha
[View original article published in Psych Central here] Roger’s parents were nervous about the new school year. They remembered how Roger’s OCD had surfaced. His fear of possibly choking on lunch food had kept him away for weeks. This problem subsided, but Roger’s OCD had morphed into contamination fears. His parents were on edge and wanted to be ready. Parents whose children struggle with OCD wish for them to succeed academically, but when OCD gets in the way, they feel lost and helpless. They may not be sure if the school needs to be aware of the issue. Parents may fear that telling the teacher will single their child out and exacerbate the situation. Deciding when to talk to school staff. There are various types of OCD and severity will