18 July 2016 - 18:15
Myself Deb, someone who has been struggling with OCD for years and finally with a lot of help, I have found a technique which is really helping me. I want to share it with you folks. Maybe it will help you too. I will try to be as detailed as possible. First of all a little bit about my OCD. I have been suffering from OCD symptoms from when I was 16 years old. Hell at that time I didn't even know what OCD is. I used to think my obsessions were a result of taking stress. It wasn't until I was 24 when I came to know about OCD and was diagnosed with the same.
My obsessions included:
Washing hands and fear of germs
Symmetry concerns (would always adjust my eyeglasses, while washing face would make sure I take the same time to wash both sides of the face etc). It were these symmetry issues which bothered me more as I was not able to pay attention or focus on anything important because at the back of my mind I was always trying to be symmetrically perfect. It made my life a living hell
I have consulted many psychiatrists. Once I was put on medication (Zosert 50mg). It worked a little but showed side effects on me. It was lowering my libido. Then I tried Fluvoxamine which didn't work for me at all. There was a time when I was trying out so many things both medically and inside my mind but nothing worked.
Finally I met a psychiatrist who helped me in a way that now I feel I am slowly gaining control over myself. And let me tell you, it feels just wonderful being able to control my OCD after being controlled by it all the time. I can't tell you how happy I am Yayyyy! Now lets jump to the technique
You can mould the technique to suit your own OCD challenges but the basic concept remain the same.
For example say you are obsessive about washing your hands. You are scared of getting dirt and germs. You keep washing and your brain is never satisfied. It goes on and on.
Now there is something called an anxiety graph.
When your brain tells you that your hands are dirty (even though you know they are clean), it creates anxiety. The anxiety level soars up (say 8 out of 10). Now as soon as you give in to your compulsion and wash your hands, the anxiety level drops to say 2 out of 10 as a result of your activity. But here dwells the real monster of OCD. Everytime you give in to the compulsion to do the activity (in this case, wash your hands), the anxiety drops temporarily but returns again and this time quicker. Every time you give in to the compulsion, the frequency of the anxiety coming back increases. For example you became anxious, you submitted to the compulsion, the anxiety drops but returns again in say 5 mins. Next time you submit to the compulsion, the anxiety now returns in 2 mins, then 1 mins, 20 secs, every second. And you fall in the never ending loop of it.
Here's the trick. Do not fear the anxiety. Embrace the anxiety. Let it flow through your brain, your nerves, your heart, Stay anxious. The anxiety won't drop immediately but slowly over a course of minutes you will find it dropping. The difference this time is your anxiety will not return so quickly. Every time you give in to the anxiety and not to the compulsion, you will notice the frequency of your anxiety attacks decreasing slowly. Once you embrace what you fear you will start becoming invincible to the OCD monster within you.
Try this technique and see if it helps. But remember one thing, you have to be patient. This technique even if it helps you will not help you 100% right from the time you start practicing. Initially it will help you like 30% but that will definitely increase as you keep doing it. Remember never give up. Let your OCD give up on you!
This is a big post. Thanks for your patience. Wish all of you a happy life!