How to Stop OCD Thoughts
OCD is caused by the ‘what if’ thoughts experienced in high anxiety becoming directed at things in your environment which MAY represent a threat. When no REAL threat is present, your ‘what of’ thoughts focus on health, tidiness, cleanliness, your family and other localized objects.
“What if I do X to my family?”
“What if I don’t wash my hands?”
“What if I don’t turn the light on and off X times?”
“What if I don’t check X?”
All these thoughts are designed to analyze risk in order to take appropriate
action when REAL threat is present, but in high anxiety and OCD no REAL
risk or threat is present.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder symptom, NOT a stand-alone condition.
Because OCD never exists without underlying high anxiety; take away your inappropriate anxiety and your obsessions will simply fade away. OCD is fueled by anxiety-driven ‘what if’ or ‘catastrophic’ thought processes which are stored like habit in the brain.
If you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), you may be plagued by persistent, unwelcome thoughts or images, or by the urgent need to engage in certain rituals in order to stave off anxiety. These Obsessive Compulsive Disorder rituals can be very fast to carry out, such as checking light switches or making sure you have turned off the stove, but many require large quantities of time and concentration.
As a sufferer of OCD:
• You may be obsessed with germs or dirt, washing your hands, clothes,
home or furniture repeatedly
• You may be filled with doubt and feel the need to check things many
• You may have frequent thoughts of violence, and fear that you will harm
people close to you
• You may spend long periods touching things or counting
• You may be pre-occupied by order or symmetry
• you may have persistent thoughts of performing sexual acts that are repugnant to you
• You may be troubled by thoughts that oppose your religious beliefs.
The disturbing thoughts or images are called obsessions, and the rituals that are performed to try to prevent or get rid of them are called compulsions. If the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder sufferer does not carry out the ritual that their subconscious mind wishes them to, the anxiety level can become overwhelming. Panic attacks and all of the associated anxiety symptoms, thoughts and sensations can ensue – and it is this which forces the sufferer to become a slave to their compulsions an rituals in order to prevent an anxiety reaction.
Even non-anxious people recognize some of the symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. ‘Checking’ behavior is common in non-sufferers, but when this behavior becomes obsessive, the OCD sufferer can spend much of their day checking the gas, the light switches or the locks. Some OCD sufferers spend much of their day carrying out the rituals they have developed which can be very intrusive and destructive for both themselves and family members.
Most OCD sufferers realize that what they do makes no real sense, but the fear of the consequences of NOT doing it forces them to continue. There are many OCD sufferers who are so entrenched in their behaviors and routines
that they seem oblivious to the fact that what they do is not what one would call ‘normal’ behavior.
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