Tag Archive | OCD

If it feels like OCD…

It probably is. OCD is insidious in that it hijacks our perspective. A cascade of assumptions come in to play in what seems like a blink of an eye. It’s very easy to arrive at the conclusion, wrongly I might add, before gathering the evidence necessary to make an evaluation. It’s important to note that this behavior is deliberately streamlined in this way because it is much safer to assume that rustle in the grass is a predator than simply the wind or a harmless animal. So, to a degree humans are wired to jump the gun as it were.

Along with ERP, cognitive therapy is important. Learning how to think clearly can be a boon in the evaluation process like the revalue step in the 4-step brainlock system. There’s a downside to those who have the tendency to ruminate though. As my therapist mentioned to me my anxiety/OCD isn’t because I wasn’t thinking correctly but because of the maladaptation to specific thoughts and ideas which is why ERP is/was so helpful for me in breaking the cycle. 

That said I will go through some common cognitive distortions and logical fallacies in the coming months as it tends to help with difficult emotions like anger, guilt and fear which are ancillary to anxiety and OCD.

How Atheism affects my OCD

My atheism has an impact on my OCD as weird as that seems. In the book Can Christianity Cure Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?” by Ian Osborn, Osborn explores how scrupulosity has Read More…

How OCD affects my Atheism

I’ve heard the saying “no Jesus, no peace, know Jesus, know peace.” I think it is clever saying, but Read More…

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  back 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…

So what is OCD?

I’m creating this site to benefit people who suffer from OCD in particular Religious OCD or Scrupulosity. So, what is OCD? According to the DSM-IV:

DSM-IV-TR 300.3

A. Either obsessions or compulsions:
Obsessions as defined by (1), (2), (3), and (4):

1. recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced, at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive and inappropriate and that cause marked anxiety or distress

2. the thoughts, impulses, or images are not simply excessive worries about real-life problems

3. the person attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, impulses, or images, or to neutralize them with some other thought or action

4. the person recognizes that the obsessional thoughts, impulses, or images are a product of his or her own mind (not imposed from without as in thought insertion)

Compulsions as defined by (1) and (2):

5. repetitive behaviors (e.g., hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (e.g., praying, counting, repeating words silently) that the person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession, or according to rules that must be applied rigidly

6. the behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing distress or preventing some dreaded event or situation; however, these behaviors or mental acts either are not connected in a realistic way with what they are designed to neutralize or prevent or are clearly excessive

B. At some point during the course of the disorder, the person has recognized that the obsessions or compulsions are excessive or unreasonable. Note: This does not apply to children.

C. The obsessions or compulsions cause marked distress, are time consuming (take more than 1 hour a day), or significantly interfere with the person’s normal routine, occupational (or academic) functioning, or usual social activities or relationships.

D. If another Axis I disorder is present, the content of the obsessions or compulsions is not restricted to it (e.g., preoccupation with food in the presence of an Eating Disorder; hair pulling in the presence of Trichotillomania; concern with appearance in the presence of Body Dysmorphic Disorder; preoccupation with drugs in the presence of a Substance Use Disorder; preoccupation with having a serious illness in the presence of Hypochondriasis; preoccupation with sexual urges or fantasies in the presence of a Paraphilia; or guilty ruminations in the presence of Major Depressive Disorder).

E. The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition.

Specify if: With Poor Insight: if, for most of the time during the current episode, the person does not recognize that the obsessions and compulsions are excessive or unreasonable