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Re: What is OCD? phidippus

Posted by ed_uk2010 on February 12, 2015, at 16:36:47

In reply to Re: What is OCD? For those that don't know.... ed_uk2010, posted by phidippus on February 12, 2015, at 15:40:37

>To add humor to the proceedings, I would go all out, don a bandana and pretend to commit hari kari.

You certainly did go to some effort there!

>With proper exposure therapy you are not accepting your obsession, but rather reducing its power to cause you anxiety.

Yes, exactly. Accepting it isn't necessarily the right word. But you are allowing the obsession to occur, while not performing the compulsion.

>As you reduce the anxiety of your obsession, your compulsions will wane.

Indeed, once an obsession loses its power, it's no longer an obsession.

>Her brain needs to be trained to have the thoughts and regard them as inconsequential. Acceptance comes when she can have the thoughts without consequence.

Yes, that's what I mean by acceptance.

>This is often not enough for OCD sufferers. Many people with OCD can identify their thoughts as OCD but still experience a great deal of anxiety.

True. The boundaries are often blurred by doubt, however.

>The key to accepting OCD thoughts is to embrace them as a good idea.

But, is it possible to think they're a good idea? For example, the woman in my example could allow herself to think the disturbing thoughts and realise that nothing bad actually happens as a result, the thoughts are being allowed to occur as 'exposure'. She's not accepting them as 'good', she's accepting them as harmless.

>How can she stop the compulsive behavior?
>By reducing the anxiety she has about her OCD thoughts. Medication can also help.

True.

>If the thoughts are not hurting her family, do they really matter? No. They are horrible.
>
> What are you talking about? These are wonderful thoughts. ;)

This is the question. Does she need to think they are wonderful as part of the exposure therapy? Can't she simply accept their occurrence as being harmless? Wonderful might be pushing it because she will never believe it.

Accepting them as harmless creations of her OCD, on the other hand, seems more achievable. If exposure to the thoughts allows her to view them as harmless, the compulsion will be easier to extinguish.

>I find that OCD sufferers have a difficult time taking medication because of side effects. It happens a lot they get strange side effects and a lot of them, which makes me wonder just how much their anxiety is playing in the genesis of these side effects.

Yes, I agree and this is an issue in other types of anxiety too. Panic disorder pts tend to be most sensitive to ADs because any different/unusual bodily sensations are interpreted as being the start of a panic attack.

Thanks for your post.

 

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