Tag Archive | Anxiety

Exposure and Response Prevention

I’ve completed my ERP therapy. Thanks to both medication and ERP I’m in a “complete” remission of symptoms. I can truly tell you I hope to never go through that again, but I do not regret doing so [ERP] (and would do it again if needed to). I feel peace and am relatively anxiety free. Results may vary from individual to individual, but for the most part a significant decrease in symptoms is expected should one complete therapy.

So, what is ERP and how/why it works. The basic idea is actually deceptively simple. That doesn’t mean it is easy. Let’s take the example of someone who is afraid of heights. This fear of heights triggers an uncomfortable amount of anxiety at a certain level. We start with a scale from 1 to 10 (or 1 to 100). This scale is known as subjective units of distress (aka SUDS). This person who is afraid of heights would ┬áback away from the balcony (avoidance/escape response) if on say, the tenth floor. By Read More…

Having OCD Sucks

OCD is one of the most treatable mental illnesses. Fortunately, there are medications and treatments that can help significantly with this disorder. There are also some drugs in the works being tested for treatment resistant OCD that show a lot of promise. So, what pitfalls await us? It will usually come from ourselves. OCD is a disorder of pathological doubt (pathological in the sense that it interferes with our quality of life). If you check to see that the stove is off, say twice, not such a big deal, you are probably normal, if a bit neurotic: five times- we’re starting to waste our time: ten times – we have a problem. Coming to terms that we have a bonafide mental illness is both relieving and scary at the same time. The fact that there is a name for it and others recover from OCD, is a source of hope, but the stigma of mental illness Read More…

What does religious OCD look like?

Religious OCD is where someone becomes obsessed with morality. Some may believe they have committed a sin, when they haven’t. Some have unwanted intrusive thoughts and misinterpret it as sin. What usually follows is that the OCD sufferer performs a neutralizing action either through compulsive praying or in my case thought neutralizing and avoidance.

I’m what is thought of as a purely obsessional or “Pure-O.” I have blasphemous thoughts that I do not want and I either try to avoid them, I’ll try to neutralize it through using logic and reassurance. I would even pray.

Hey I thought you are an atheist? Well, yes I am.

That means you don’t believe in God, right? Well…..yes.

So then what’s your problem? Now we get to the crux of why OCD is a mental disorder and not some existential problem. The problem is certainty or the lack thereof. The threshold that OCD requires is 100% certainty, not Read More…