Many of the individuals I work with are plagued by an obsessive brain. Obsessive brains are repetitive and stuck, living in a rabbit hole of thinking that leads to nowhere but feels so real to the sufferer.
Obsessions are repetitive thoughts that individuals get lost in by thinking over and over again. This repetition leads to internal or external actions that are repeated = compulsions.
Triggers for the obsessions are sometimes external and sometimes internal.
For some feeding into the compulsion relieves the anxiety momentarily but then produces more anxiety and so the cycle continues and the obsessor repeats forever, so it would seem. S/he becomes lost in these obsessions and compulsions.
For others their compulsions relieve anxiety and keep it at bay, like a preference on how to live. These individuals have strict rituals that they feel they must adhere to so that their anxiety stays at bay.
Both types, for lack of a better word, are controlled by their obsessions and compulsions.
The funny thing is that we exaggerate this term so easily, much like we do with depression. “I’m obsessing,” or “I am so OCD about my work-outs or my home”. This is not truly Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
True OCD is all-consuming and feels so real to the sufferer. Others will tell the individual to just stop thinking that way or doing your compulsions. If only it were that easy.
Stop the Cycle
Fortunately, there is hope! OCD is a completely treatable condition through Exposure Response Prevention. It requires facing the worst of one’s fears.
No problem, right? I am joking of course!
I am highly aware of the fact that this will be one of the hardest things you will do. Just remember you will be forever changed by the process and you do not have to do it alone.
I empathize so much with my clients because beginning the work is hard.
It means finding a trusted and skilled therapist to lead you down this path. One that checks in with hang-ups and finds where you feel comfortable to start the work.
Let me be your guide.
Together we can:
- Identify whether you have obsessions: e.g., having repetitive and/or bizarre thoughts.
- Identify if you have compulsions, either internal or external tasks that relieve anxiety or keep it at bay.
- And or find a trusted therapist and discuss numbers 1 and 2 above.