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Growing Trends in OCD

OCD is an abbreviation for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This is a disorder that can manifest at any age, however people who have the disorder will explain that they showed tendencies towards having OCD traits from a young age. There are a number of misconceptions when OCD is thought of. The common mistake is the term OCD is used flippantly to explain an excessive need for tidiness and cleanliness. This disorder in reality has the tendency to morph into very difficult and excessively grotesque variations of behaviour and thinking which can truly disable the individual.

If the mind can think it, the body can most certainly manifest it. Variations of the disorder include: catatonic states where the individual is terrified of being contaminated where the individual overrides any ability to walk and move; ritualistic behaviours which can affect breathing and other important bodily functions; hygiene and overall bodily health; pedophilic thinking and extremely destructive thinking patterns to name a few. A primary problem underlying OCD is fear. Add habit into the mix and you find it near impossible to stop the obsessions and compulsions. The reason behind this results from the level of soothing the individual receives from either the obsession or compulsive ritual or behaviour they perform so that their underlying fear does not manifest. This fear is often attached to some type of catastrophic event where the OCD is used as a means of prevention, often becoming wishful thinking.

A basic function found within all human beings is a natural ability to sooth our emotional pain i.e. crying. This process is naturally instilled in us and developed and nurtured by our primary care givers. However, the individual may not know how to self-soothe and instead creates a complex web of beliefs and behaviours which detract from their ability to neutralize the emotional pain. An additional problem is the use of language during our development into adulthood. Instead of naturally maintaining a relationship with our emotions as you will find in all children, we apply language to our means of expression and as this becomes more dominant in our lives, it eventually takes over. We essentially become language and use language as the means of emotional expression. Most people believe that by explaining how angry one is takes away the anger, but in most cases it does nothing but suppress the anger more. Instead, allowing ourselves to connect with the emotion and allow this to come out and then apply language so that we understand the reasons why this is occurring is the most beneficial way of facing emotional turmoil.

A primary component of OCD focused therapy would be learning to self-soothe and to balance out one’s catastrophic thinking and behaving. If the individual has no possibility of self soothing in a functional manner, i.e. through self talk, emotional release and self gratification, then there is a greater likelihood of them developing obsessive compulsive thinking and behaving patterns which will act as the “ritual” to induce a sense of emotional comfort. Although the overall function is to soothe, the individual reinforces this behaviour extensively to the point where it becomes a “common sense” in the body to which they become dependent on.

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There is a cycle that begins to arise for the individual, which locks them into becoming dependent on this type of thinking and behaving leading to ritualizing behaviours. The rituals are immensely forceful that by not engaging with them sets the individual off on a downward spiral of panic until they eventually have a panic attack. In most of the OCD cases that we come in contact with and treat at HSP, there is a great variation between the various triggers that can set someone off into a panic mode. However, there too is an increased overlap in many cases where many common OCD concerns arise. Some of which are as follows:

Fear of death

Fear of contamination

Fear of contaminating others

Fear of being the devil

Fear of being a pedophile

Fear of killing others

Fear of rejection

Fear of hurting others

Fear of cataclysmic events

There is an interplay within all the above variations and what we usually explain is that OCD begins to fill a particular void for the individual. We assist the individual in understanding the various patterns that emerge and how to neutralize and balance out the need or dependency on OCD. This is essential, as many people who suffer with OCD lack psycho-education in the actual problem and its overall function in their lives. This in itself might sound like a strange idea that OCD has a function in ones life. You will soon realize how reliance is developed and the purpose it serves in maintaining a particular balance in your life. Hence why it is so difficult to get rid of.

Our 6 Week OCD Program is a key and sure step in the right direction in the fight for gaining control of your OCD once and for all.

To read more about the structure: http://www.harleystreetpsychology.com/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd-programme/  

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