Freedom from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A Personalized

G each of the two cleansing cycles We go food shopping on Saturday All cans and packages that can be washed are For boxed goods I put on gloves and carefully open the top of the box and peel it away so that nothing inside could possibly touch the outside Then I put the contents in decontaminated Tupperware containers The kids school books and papers used to be a problemI didnt want to let them into the house but I knew I couldnt do that so we have a special homework room and homework clothes for them I hate this problem and what its done to me I have a great family they put up with me even though I put them through hell I know none of it makes sense but you dont know what it feels like trying to be so perfect to get things clean that you know dont really have to be No one else does this but then I think about getting AIDS or my family getting it And what if I was the unlucky one to somehow get it from something someone with AIDS touched What ifIRAIn Iras description you can see all of the many defining features of OCD anxiety painful thoughts rituals he feels he cant control and the frustrating knowledge that his fears and compulsive actions make no sense But it is in the last line of the excerpt that he provides us with the answer to our uestion about the source of anxiety in OCD What if The intellectual and emotional uncertainty of what if is I believe the root of most OCD symptoms By intellectual I am referring to our ability to uestion any aspect of our lives for example wondering if the door is locked or how you will do on tomorrows test Emotional uncertainty refers to our feelings about unpredictable events usually things that in some way threaten us or the people or things that are important to usThe core of OCD is trying to get rid of uncertainty in our lives in an attempt to be percent certain Everyone sufferer and non sufferer alike knows what certainty feels like There are numerous aspects of our lives for which we take this feeling for granted My car is in the driveway I am sitting on a sofa at this moment reading a book the sun will rise tomorrow However while all of us feel certain about many things the truth is that the absolute certainty we feel is an illusion An event may be probable or improbable but neither is an absolute The inability to feel or be certain is reasonable My car may have been stolen and may no longer be in the driveway Rather than reading a book on the sofa perhaps Im actually in a state mental institution experiencing a very realistic and remarkable hallucination Do I have any evidence to the contrary No after all by definition if Im delusional and hallucinating my senses are not to be trusted Certainly no one around me can answer the uestionmy wife might be part of my delusional system merely saying what I am making her say As for the sun rising some cataclysmic cosmic event might destroy the sun tonight in which case there will be no dawn tomorrow Improbable is not impossibleTo better grasp the deceptive nature of certainty take a moment to imagine someone you love who is not in the room with you right now Is this individual alive If you answered yes how do you know Even if the two of you spoke to each other ten minutes ago isnt it possible that he or she has had an accident or a heart attack or has been physically attacked in those ten minutes And yet if this isnt the focus of your OCD concerns you still feel certain that your loved one is alive Despite the fact that your feeling is based on probability not truth despite the effect the loss of this person would have on you you have no urge to rush to the phone to make sure your loved one is alive You are coping in a normal way regarding your feeling of certainty as truth and not planning to act otherwise unless you receive a horrible phone call informing you of disaster With your OCD symptoms you do the reverserather than waiting for disaster to occur you want immediate answers to your obsessive uestionsHaving OCD doesnt mean that you are consumed by a driven all pervasive pursuit of certainty in every aspect of your life That urge to be certain is restricted to your OCD fears and concerns Some might suggest that OCD concerns are unreasonable as opposed to reasonable concerns They would argue that washing your hands for two hours to avoid contamination or driving around the block fifteen times to make sure you havent hit someone is not as reasonable as worrying about a terrorist attack in the city you live in My response to this is How could anyone argue that concerns about death disease or causing an accident are unreasonable Reasonable vs unreasonable is not the issue Non sufferers might also argue that the issue is not only the type of event but also the likelihood that it will occurthat non sufferers can live with uncertainty without anxiety for what we would identify as low probability events that is events not likely to occurBut this isnt true Everyone becomes concerned with low probability events at times in their lives Imagine being the parent of a teenage girl who is going out on her first date with a boy you dont know who has only had his drivers license for five months The odds are heavily in favor of her safely returning home but how many parents would be unconcerned How would they feel if she was late Consider the anthrax scare that followed the destruction of the World Trade Center on September Although very few people contracted anthrax and even fewer died many people were terrified about opening their mail From a statistical point of view it waslikely that they would be maimed or killed in a car crash than contract anthrax but they were still anxious Why After all you dont hear people asking Do I really need to risk being injured in a car crash just to go shopping at the mall The fact is that we all live with risk We drive cars to and from work We cross streets We go to sleep secure in our belief that if a fire starts our smoke detector will wake us in time And we all take precautions that are unnecessary or dont make sense Parents of newborn babies will often look in on their baby before going to bed If asked why they would tell you how much they just love looking at their baby sleeping so peacefully but they would also admit that they would feel uncomfortable going to bed without checking Lets look at this objectively If you put your baby to sleep at pm there are about three hours between then and your bedtime for something terrible to happen At pm when you go to bed you check the baby and now there is a whole night during which tragedy could occur In reality this is a ritual check that may make the new parents feel better but it doesnt protect their babyIf this concern were the focus of your OCD youd freuently check your baby throughout the night Your OCD wants you to be percent certain who wouldnt want this But there is a problem Uncertainty is making you feel anxious and because of this you make the mistakefrom literally not knowing any betterof trying to alleviate your anxiety by obtaining absolute certainty You try to use logic to change your feelings and that doesnt workThe reason we try to use logic to change feelings is that we are used to believing what our feelings tell ussome things feel so obvious that uestioning their veracity seems unnecessary eg your certainty that your loved ones are alive You experience feelings of certainty for the non OCD parts of your life Because of this when confronted by OCD fears you seek to feel the comforting illusion of certainty you feel in those unaffected parts of your life You desperately try to use what you logically know to change these feelingsit seems as though experiencing certainty should be easy and within reach Armed with logic you pursue the feeling of certainty sending yourself round and round in endless circles I know I dont want to hurt my wife but if I dont want to hurt her then why did the thought of hurting her pop into my head Maybe I have a secret urge to hurt her that I dont know about So maybe I will hurt her But why would I want to do that I love her Everyone knows I wouldnt hurt a fly Ive never hurt anyone Its an endless circle a vicious spiral of frustration and anxiety As you have discovered for every logical answer there is a what ifWhat you need to learn is that logic doesnt change feelings For example imagine that pizza is one of your favorite foods Think about how wonderful it tastes Now suppose you discover it is no longer safe for you to eat this food that your cholesterol is very high so you cant have anycheese in your diet Would knowing that cheese is dangerous for you make cheese taste bad UnlikelyLogic doesnt change your feelings It provides you with reasons to listen or not to listen to your feelings I may deprive myself of cheese because of my cholesterol problem but I will still love pizza What most people dont realize is that what they experience as a certainty is not a fact but a feeling Freuently our feeling of certainty correlates with reality that is most of the time our car isnt stolen the sun rises our loved ones have not been shot along with so many of our other expectations that we come to believe that this certainty emotion is a fact If this were true then how can Democrats and Republicans both have certainty about their beliefs Similarly how can two people who are devoutly dedicated to different religions both be certain In both of these cases at least one group has to be wrong And although the odds of the sun not rising are slim cars do get stolen and people do get shot Rather than representing a factual reality the feeling of certainty at most represents a probability and not necessarily a high one Despite this we cling to trying to feel certain not only because it is so often reinforced by the environment but because we are wired to pursue this feeling So logic fails as it must For some of you the failure of logic and the resulting vicious circle of endless uestioning and anxiety have left you feeling that you are no longer able to discern whether or not something is safe that not washing your hands really may harm your family that you did run over someone on the way to the office or that you dont know whether or not the door you are staring at is locked You know what you are feeling but you dont understand why The words you use in an attempt to capture your emotional experience havent been accurate with regard to what is actually happening You tell yourself and others that rituals cant be resisted so you cant stop washing your hands or that your judgment is impaired because you cant tell whether or not your hands are clean after two hours of washing It is hard to separate how you feel from what you know when you dont have the language to communicate what is happening inside As a result both you and therapists inexperienced with the treatment of OCD can end up focusing on the wrong goalsSo are your perceptions accurate Do you know anything for certain Can you get better without knowing The answer to the last is yes Knowing is too difficult Therefore lets focus not on what you know but on what you guess Throughout this book I will be asking you to make your best guess about different situations Coming up with a best guess means you dont have to be sure of your answer This can be very hard because you want to feel that your guess is right If it were right it wouldnt be a guess To help you guess you can use a method that I call the Gun TestThe next time you are having trouble making a decision think of the following scenario Imagine I have a gun pointed at you and your loved ones and I am going to give you a single guess about your concern for example Will this particular contamination kill your children Is the front door open You will only have one guess and if you guess wrong you and they will be killed You dont have to be confident in your guess but you do have to guess because if you dont everyone will be killed What is your guess To date everyone makes the right guess I put right in uotes to denote that it is not so much right as it is merely the same guess that those who arent suffering from OCD would make The Gun Test is an aid to help you distinguish between what you intellectually and logically know from the emotional feeling of certainty you want It wont however make your guess feel rightif it did you would be done with OCD Learning to guess and to live with the conseuences of guessing will play an important part in your self guided programObviously the program you will be designing for yourself in the coming chapters will be built onthan just guesses In thinking about your program ask yourself if the ideas in this chapter have begun to change your thoughts about recovery You probably started with the general goal of wanting to overcome OCD wishing your thoughts and rituals would stop and your anxiety would go away It seemed that getting better would put an end to painful doubting You may have even heard of OCD referred to as the doubting disease But I hope that after reading this chapter you have come to realize that this is wrongdoubt is normal OCD is the problem in which you try to eradicate all doubtand that is impossible As near as we can tell the only people to possess absolute certainty are stupidsomething that you are not Non sufferers may tell you that they are definitely certain about some things The truth is that they feel certain when the odds are not absolute either % or % Technically they are comfortable with uncertainty just as you are in the parts of your life unaffected by OCD To achieve your desire of overcoming OCD you now know that learning to live with uncertainty needs to be one of your goalsCan you do this I think you can Youve seen how you have already successfully lived with many uncertainties every moment of your life The idea is to learn how to cope with your OCD uncertainties the same way you cope with lifes other uncertainties To achieve this you need to understand why you have greater difficulty with uncertainty than non sufferers in other words why do you have OCD To answer this uestion in the next chapter we will look at the factors that gave rise to your OCDChapter No one likes uncertainty but why is coping with it harder for you than for non sufferers Is there something different about your biology Did you somehow learn to have OCD The answer to these uestions is yes OCD is both a learned and a biological disorder and these two factors interact with each other The experience of one of my clients Mary is a good example of the interplay between biology and learning Mary had an eight year history of severe contamination rituals She was afraid of germs and illness particularly hepatitis and was fearful of making herself and her family sick Simply leaving the house was an ordeal Her husband did all the food shopping because she didnt want to touch anything at the supermarket Doctors and nurses who may have had contact with hepatitis may have been there touching everything For the same reason she had not bought new clothes for years Her husband and children had to engage in cleaning rituals when they came home from work or school In discussing history of suffering Mary said she felt like absolute hell during some of those years There were other years in which she wasnt functioning but they somehow didnt feel as badAfter going through an intensive treatment program Mary became basically symptom free During the year that followed treatment she would periodically call me when she found herself slipping Wed make an appointment but Mary always canceled it because in the week between her phone call and our scheduled appointment she did everything I would have suggested she do and her symptoms abated Then a year after her treatment she finally came to an appointment Although using the techniues she had learned in treatment helped her to keep functioning she continued to be plagued by painful urges After a few weeks her psychiatrist and I decided to put her back on an SSRI antidepressant and shortly thereafter her OCD urges ceasedI believe the dysfunctional years that felt like absolute hell to Mary before her treatment represented times when her OCD was a function of both biology and learning For the other pretreatment years when she felt unable to function even though she didnt feel as bad I believe her OCD was being maintained purely on the basis of learned responses After treatment she experienced two kinds of slips slips based on learned factors that were overcome with techniues she had learned in therapy and slips resulting from a shift in her biology which necessitated the use of medication to return to symptom free functioningThough we may never agree on whether the chicken or the egg came first when it comes to OCD we do know that biology precedes learning Research suggests that a person will not develop OCD without having a biological vulnerability to it This means that people dont cause their own OCD It is not the result of some character weakness on your part or something that your parents did to youLets look briefly at the biology underlying OCD before turning to the learned factors What you most need to know about the biology of OCD is not the nitty gritty biochemistry and neuroanatomy but how the underlying biology is related to your emotional experience of OCDOCD and Neurobiology Its Not All LearnedOCD is a neurobiological disorderthat is the differences between you and non sufferers are reflected in the biology of your brain Many of you find these words comforting They are proof that you have a real problemyou arent just being willfully difficult or controlling At the same time its terrifying to think that something really is wrong with you However it would be wrong to accept the neurobiological aspect of OCD as a complete explanation of the disorder Unfortunately many people including professionals make this mistake When treatment decisions are based on this misunderstanding the result is incomplete treatment To understand the underlying neurobiology of OCD is to only partially understand OCDAt present scientific evidence suggests that OCD is genetically transmitted This means that the biology you were born with made youvulnerable to developing OCD Some of you may protest and say your OCD started not in childhood but later in life But because the control our genes have over our lives is very complicated developing OCD later in life is not evidence that genes dont have a role in OCD Encoded in our genes is what age we will hit puberty when our hair will turn gray and how susceptible we may be to heart diseaseThe biological component of OCD is not always active As Marys history illustrates OCD sufferers can experience periods during which symptoms are less severe or even absent even without treatment Some of you may experience symptom free years followed by a return of old or new OCD symptoms while others may experience a predictable cycle of symptoms increasing and decreasing in severity Still others may have symptoms that are ever present These kinds of variations can also be seen in other psychiatric problems such as depression and in part can be accounted for by an activation and deactivation of the neurobiological components of OCDAt this point in time the factors that cause the OCD genes to turn on are unknown Scientists assume that stress and learning as well as biological mechanisms play a role in activating the genes Again we see this kind of phenomenon in other health problems Individuals with a predisposition to migraine headaches will develop them in response to a variety of triggers These include external stressors as well as internal ones such as hormonal changes For individuals without the genetic vulnerability there are no triggers that will cause a migraine headacheUpon reading that there is a genetic component to OCD some of you may be concerned about having children I hope no one would use this information as a reason not to have children If you have OCD there is a one in four chance that your child will have it Important results from OCD twin studies find that there is not a percent concordance for OCD in identical twins that is for a sizable number of the twin pairs only one member had OCD Having a genetic vulnerability for OCD is not the same as saying you will develop OCDKnowing that OCD has a genetic component tells you nothingthan there is a reason you have OCD But how does this component lead to your experience of OCD The next step would be to explain that genes and other factors lead to a chemical imbalance in your brain The most studied theory of this sort regarding OCD is called the serotonergic theory Brain cells communicate with one another through neurotransmitters and serotonin is one of many chemicals that the brain uses as a neurotransmitter This theory does not suggest as many mistakenly believe that OCD sufferers do not have enough serotonin in the brain The research indicates that they have enough serotonin but that it is not as available as it needs to be for certain brain communications to take placeHow does this lead to OCD feelings and urges The brain is not a simple organ it has many different parts each with its own special tasks and functions For those suffering from OCD the problem isnt simply the unavailability of serotonin throughout the brain instead it is the unavailability of serotonin in specific parts of the brain The structures of the brain that are affected by OCDthe orbital cortex basal ganglia striatum caudate nucleus and thalamusare interconnected and form a circuit where researchers suspect OCD symptoms originate Messages that are ignored by non sufferers keep intruding on consciousness and reuire conscious effort to be suppressed by those suffering from OCDAt this level of explanation the theories begin to evoke your experience you know the feeling of intrusive thoughts all too well A clearer explanation of the role these brain structures may play in your experience of OCD has been offered by William Hewlett a researcher from Vanderbilt University What appears here is a simplified version of his ideas He suggests that one of the functions of the brain structures involved in OCD is responding to uncertainty with discomfort From an evolutionary point of view this makes perfect sense Imagine primitive man walking through a jungle and hearing a noise behind him His chances of survival will be enhanced if he feels nervous enough to turn around and check the jungle behind him for danger Being uncomfortable with uncertainty is normal and can be healthyAnother function of the brain structures involved in OCD suggested by Hewlett is responding to task completion with satisfactionparts of our brain drive us to complete what we start Again this is normal and healthy From an evolutionary point of view you dont build a complex civilization like ours if there is no motivation to complete anything This is the deficit that youve come to fear and hate this is the biology underlying your experience of I know I did x check the locks wash my hands etc so why dont I know that I did x Again the logical facts we are aware of and the emotional feeling of certainty are two different events And just as you cant instantly make yourself happy sad or mad you cant make yourself experience emotional certainty on commandHaving OCD may mean that you have a lower threshold for these responses so you feelanxious in response to less uncertainty and when an action is completed you dont experience the feeling of completion Its not that youre overwhelmed by every potential uncertainty in your life For example you may have a moment like many of us do Did I set the clock What was that bump in the road Look how cute and helpless that baby isit would be so easy to hurt Most people respond to such thoughts by checking the clock looking in the rearview mirror and turning their thoughts away from what they could do to the baby But the brains of OCD sufferers Hewlett suggests are better at learning avoidance responses The very fact that you so strongly avoid the discomfort elicited by uncertainty makes youlikely in future confrontations with similar situations to experience anxiety and a desire to escape that situationIn this model biology sets the stage for learning You feel greater anxiety in response to uncertainty and try to avoid it However for every logical solution you put forth you find a way to uestion it Obtaining absolute certainty is impossible I touched the faucet knobs after washing my handsmaybe they are recontaminated And what about the doorknob Maybe the last person who touched it didnt wash their hands What am I going to do This is further exacerbated by not feeling the normal satisfaction of completing an act If you have OCD you know the frustration of engaging in a ritual and knowing you have done it but at the same time feeling like you havent agonizing uncertainty Ive been checking the stove for an hour I can see it is off but it doesnt feel like it is offWhat this tells us is that the different presentations of OCD are the result of biology setting the stage for learning OCD responses Your specific ch.

freedom mobile from download obsessive book compulsive epub disorder kindle personalized ebok recovery kindle program kindle living epub with free uncertainty ebok updated free edition kindle Freedom from pdf Obsessive Compulsive ebok Obsessive Compulsive Disorder A epub from Obsessive Compulsive pdf from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder A pdf Freedom from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder A Personalized Recovery Program for Living with Uncertainty Updated Edition KindleG each of the two cleansing cycles We go food shopping on Saturday All cans and packages that can be washed are For boxed goods I put on gloves and carefully open the top of the box and peel it away so that nothing inside could possibly touch the outside Then I put the contents in decontaminated Tupperware containers The kids school books and papers used to be a problemI didnt want to let them into the house but I knew I couldnt do that so we have a special homework room and homework clothes for them I hate this problem and what its done to me I have a great family they put up with me even though I put them through hell I know none of it makes sense but you dont know what it feels like trying to be so perfect to get things clean that you know dont really have to be No one else does this but then I think about getting AIDS or my family getting it And what if I was the unlucky one to somehow get it from something someone with AIDS touched What ifIRAIn Iras description you can see all of the many defining features of OCD anxiety painful thoughts rituals he feels he cant control and the frustrating knowledge that his fears and compulsive actions make no sense But it is in the last line of the excerpt that he provides us with the answer to our uestion about the source of anxiety in OCD What if The intellectual and emotional uncertainty of what if is I believe the root of most OCD symptoms By intellectual I am referring to our ability to uestion any aspect of our lives for example wondering if the door is locked or how you will do on tomorrows test Emotional uncertainty refers to our feelings about unpredictable events usually things that in some way threaten us or the people or things that are important to usThe core of OCD is trying to get rid of uncertainty in our lives in an attempt to be percent certain Everyone sufferer and non sufferer alike knows what certainty feels like There are numerous aspects of our lives for which we take this feeling for granted My car is in the driveway I am sitting on a sofa at this moment reading a book the sun will rise tomorrow However while all of us feel certain about many things the truth is that the absolute certainty we feel is an illusion An event may be probable or improbable but neither is an absolute The inability to feel or be certain is reasonable My car may have been stolen and may no longer be in the driveway Rather than reading a book on the sofa perhaps Im actually in a state mental institution experiencing a very realistic and remarkable hallucination Do I have any evidence to the contrary No after all by definition if Im delusional and hallucinating my senses are not to be trusted Certainly no one around me can answer the uestionmy wife might be part of my delusional system merely saying what I am making her say As for the sun rising some cataclysmic cosmic event might destroy the sun tonight in which case there will be no dawn tomorrow Improbable is not impossibleTo better grasp the deceptive nature of certainty take a moment to imagine someone you love who is not in the room with you right now Is this individual alive If you answered yes how do you know Even if the two of you spoke to each other ten minutes ago isnt it possible that he or she has had an accident or a heart attack or has been physically attacked in those ten minutes And yet if this isnt the focus of your OCD concerns you still feel certain that your loved one is alive Despite the fact that your feeling is based on probability not truth despite the effect the loss of this person would have on you you have no urge to rush to the phone to make sure your loved one is alive You are coping in a normal way regarding your feeling of certainty as truth and not planning to act otherwise unless you receive a horrible phone call informing you of disaster With your OCD symptoms you do the reverserather than waiting for disaster to occur you want immediate answers to your obsessive uestionsHaving OCD doesnt mean that you are consumed by a driven all pervasive pursuit of certainty in every aspect of your life That urge to be certain is restricted to your OCD fears and concerns Some might suggest that OCD concerns are unreasonable as opposed to reasonable concerns They would argue that washing your hands for two hours to avoid contamination or driving around the block fifteen times to make sure you havent hit someone is not as reasonable as worrying about a terrorist attack in the city you live in My response to this is How could anyone argue that concerns about death disease or causing an accident are unreasonable Reasonable vs unreasonable is not the issue Non sufferers might also argue that the issue is not only the type of event but also the likelihood that it will occurthat non sufferers can live with uncertainty without anxiety for what we would identify as low probability events that is events not likely to occurBut this isnt true Everyone becomes concerned with low probability events at times in their lives Imagine being the parent of a teenage girl who is going out on her first date with a boy you dont know who has only had his drivers license for five months The odds are heavily in favor of her safely returning home but how many parents would be unconcerned How would they feel if she was late Consider the anthrax scare that followed the destruction of the World Trade Center on September Although very few people contracted anthrax and even fewer died many people were terrified about opening their mail From a statistical point of view it waslikely that they would be maimed or killed in a car crash than contract anthrax but they were still anxious Why After all you dont hear people asking Do I really need to risk being injured in a car crash just to go shopping at the mall The fact is that we all live with risk We drive cars to and from work We cross streets We go to sleep secure in our belief that if a fire starts our smoke detector will wake us in time And we all take precautions that are unnecessary or dont make sense Parents of newborn babies will often look in on their baby before going to bed If asked why they would tell you how much they just love looking at their baby sleeping so peacefully but they would also admit that they would feel uncomfortable going to bed without checking Lets look at this objectively If you put your baby to sleep at pm there are about three hours between then and your bedtime for something terrible to happen At pm when you go to bed you check the baby and now there is a whole night during which tragedy could occur In reality this is a ritual check that may make the new parents feel better but it doesnt protect their babyIf this concern were the focus of your OCD youd freuently check your baby throughout the night Your OCD wants you to be percent certain who wouldnt want this But there is a problem Uncertainty is making you feel anxious and because of this you make the mistakefrom literally not knowing any betterof trying to alleviate your anxiety by obtaining absolute certainty You try to use logic to change your feelings and that doesnt workThe reason we try to use logic to change feelings is that we are used to believing what our feelings tell ussome things feel so obvious that uestioning their veracity seems unnecessary eg your certainty that your loved ones are alive You experience feelings of certainty for the non OCD parts of your life Because of this when confronted by OCD fears you seek to feel the comforting illusion of certainty you feel in those unaffected parts of your life You desperately try to use what you logically know to change these feelingsit seems as though experiencing certainty should be easy and within reach Armed with logic you pursue the feeling of certainty sending yourself round and round in endless circles I know I dont want to hurt my wife but if I dont want to hurt her then why did the thought of hurting her pop into my head Maybe I have a secret urge to hurt her that I dont know about So maybe I will hurt her But why would I want to do that I love her Everyone knows I wouldnt hurt a fly Ive never hurt anyone Its an endless circle a vicious spiral of frustration and anxiety As you have discovered for every logical answer there is a what ifWhat you need to learn is that logic doesnt change feelings For example imagine that pizza is one of your favorite foods Think about how wonderful it tastes Now suppose you discover it is no longer safe for you to eat this food that your cholesterol is very high so you cant have anycheese in your diet Would knowing that cheese is dangerous for you make cheese taste bad UnlikelyLogic doesnt change your feelings It provides you with reasons to listen or not to listen to your feelings I may deprive myself of cheese because of my cholesterol problem but I will still love pizza What most people dont realize is that what they experience as a certainty is not a fact but a feeling Freuently our feeling of certainty correlates with reality that is most of the time our car isnt stolen the sun rises our loved ones have not been shot along with so many of our other expectations that we come to believe that this certainty emotion is a fact If this were true then how can Democrats and Republicans both have certainty about their beliefs Similarly how can two people who are devoutly dedicated to different religions both be certain In both of these cases at least one group has to be wrong And although the odds of the sun not rising are slim cars do get stolen and people do get shot Rather than representing a factual reality the feeling of certainty at most represents a probability and not necessarily a high one Despite this we cling to trying to feel certain not only because it is so often reinforced by the environment but because we are wired to pursue this feeling So logic fails as it must For some of you the failure of logic and the resulting vicious circle of endless uestioning and anxiety have left you feeling that you are no longer able to discern whether or not something is safe that not washing your hands really may harm your family that you did run over someone on the way to the office or that you dont know whether or not the door you are staring at is locked You know what you are feeling but you dont understand why The words you use in an attempt to capture your emotional experience havent been accurate with regard to what is actually happening You tell yourself and others that rituals cant be resisted so you cant stop washing your hands or that your judgment is impaired because you cant tell whether or not your hands are clean after two hours of washing It is hard to separate how you feel from what you know when you dont have the language to communicate what is happening inside As a result both you and therapists inexperienced with the treatment of OCD can end up focusing on the wrong goalsSo are your perceptions accurate Do you know anything for certain Can you get better without knowing The answer to the last is yes Knowing is too difficult Therefore lets focus not on what you know but on what you guess Throughout this book I will be asking you to make your best guess about different situations Coming up with a best guess means you dont have to be sure of your answer This can be very hard because you want to feel that your guess is right If it were right it wouldnt be a guess To help you guess you can use a method that I call the Gun TestThe next time you are having trouble making a decision think of the following scenario Imagine I have a gun pointed at you and your loved ones and I am going to give you a single guess about your concern for example Will this particular contamination kill your children Is the front door open You will only have one guess and if you guess wrong you and they will be killed You dont have to be confident in your guess but you do have to guess because if you dont everyone will be killed What is your guess To date everyone makes the right guess I put right in uotes to denote that it is not so much right as it is merely the same guess that those who arent suffering from OCD would make The Gun Test is an aid to help you distinguish between what you intellectually and logically know from the emotional feeling of certainty you want It wont however make your guess feel rightif it did you would be done with OCD Learning to guess and to live with the conseuences of guessing will play an important part in your self guided programObviously the program you will be designing for yourself in the coming chapters will be built onthan just guesses In thinking about your program ask yourself if the ideas in this chapter have begun to change your thoughts about recovery You probably started with the general goal of wanting to overcome OCD wishing your thoughts and rituals would stop and your anxiety would go away It seemed that getting better would put an end to painful doubting You may have even heard of OCD referred to as the doubting disease But I hope that after reading this chapter you have come to realize that this is wrongdoubt is normal OCD is the problem in which you try to eradicate all doubtand that is impossible As near as we can tell the only people to possess absolute certainty are stupidsomething that you are not Non sufferers may tell you that they are definitely certain about some things The truth is that they feel certain when the odds are not absolute either % or % Technically they are comfortable with uncertainty just as you are in the parts of your life unaffected by OCD To achieve your desire of overcoming OCD you now know that learning to live with uncertainty needs to be one of your goalsCan you do this I think you can Youve seen how you have already successfully lived with many uncertainties every moment of your life The idea is to learn how to cope with your OCD uncertainties the same way you cope with lifes other uncertainties To achieve this you need to understand why you have greater difficulty with uncertainty than non sufferers in other words why do you have OCD To answer this uestion in the next chapter we will look at the factors that gave rise to your OCDChapter No one likes uncertainty but why is coping with it harder for you than for non sufferers Is there something different about your biology Did you somehow learn to have OCD The answer to these uestions is yes OCD is both a learned and a biological disorder and these two factors interact with each other The experience of one of my clients Mary is a good example of the interplay between biology and learning Mary had an eight year history of severe contamination rituals She was afraid of germs and illness particularly hepatitis and was fearful of making herself and her family sick Simply leaving the house was an ordeal Her husband did all the food shopping because she didnt want to touch anything at the supermarket Doctors and nurses who may have had contact with hepatitis may have been there touching everything For the same reason she had not bought new clothes for years Her husband and children had to engage in cleaning rituals when they came home from work or school In discussing history of suffering Mary said she felt like absolute hell during some of those years There were other years in which she wasnt functioning but they somehow didnt feel as badAfter going through an intensive treatment program Mary became basically symptom free During the year that followed treatment she would periodically call me when she found herself slipping Wed make an appointment but Mary always canceled it because in the week between her phone call and our scheduled appointment she did everything I would have suggested she do and her symptoms abated Then a year after her treatment she finally came to an appointment Although using the techniues she had learned in treatment helped her to keep functioning she continued to be plagued by painful urges After a few weeks her psychiatrist and I decided to put her back on an SSRI antidepressant and shortly thereafter her OCD urges ceasedI believe the dysfunctional years that felt like absolute hell to Mary before her treatment represented times when her OCD was a function of both biology and learning For the other pretreatment years when she felt unable to function even though she didnt feel as bad I believe her OCD was being maintained purely on the basis of learned responses After treatment she experienced two kinds of slips slips based on learned factors that were overcome with techniues she had learned in therapy and slips resulting from a shift in her biology which necessitated the use of medication to return to symptom free functioningThough we may never agree on whether the chicken or the egg came first when it comes to OCD we do know that biology precedes learning Research suggests that a person will not develop OCD without having a biological vulnerability to it This means that people dont cause their own OCD It is not the result of some character weakness on your part or something that your parents did to youLets look briefly at the biology underlying OCD before turning to the learned factors What you most need to know about the biology of OCD is not the nitty gritty biochemistry and neuroanatomy but how the underlying biology is related to your emotional experience of OCDOCD and Neurobiology Its Not All LearnedOCD is a neurobiological disorderthat is the differences between you and non sufferers are reflected in the biology of your brain Many of you find these words comforting They are proof that you have a real problemyou arent just being willfully difficult or controlling At the same time its terrifying to think that something really is wrong with you However it would be wrong to accept the neurobiological aspect of OCD as a complete explanation of the disorder Unfortunately many people including professionals make this mistake When treatment decisions are based on this misunderstanding the result is incomplete treatment To understand the underlying neurobiology of OCD is to only partially understand OCDAt present scientific evidence suggests that OCD is genetically transmitted This means that the biology you were born with made youvulnerable to developing OCD Some of you may protest and say your OCD started not in childhood but later in life But because the control our genes have over our lives is very complicated developing OCD later in life is not evidence that genes dont have a role in OCD Encoded in our genes is what age we will hit puberty when our hair will turn gray and how susceptible we may be to heart diseaseThe biological component of OCD is not always active As Marys history illustrates OCD sufferers can experience periods during which symptoms are less severe or even absent even without treatment Some of you may experience symptom free years followed by a return of old or new OCD symptoms while others may experience a predictable cycle of symptoms increasing and decreasing in severity Still others may have symptoms that are ever present These kinds of variations can also be seen in other psychiatric problems such as depression and in part can be accounted for by an activation and deactivation of the neurobiological components of OCDAt this point in time the factors that cause the OCD genes to turn on are unknown Scientists assume that stress and learning as well as biological mechanisms play a role in activating the genes Again we see this kind of phenomenon in other health problems Individuals with a predisposition to migraine headaches will develop them in response to a variety of triggers These include external stressors as well as internal ones such as hormonal changes For individuals without the genetic vulnerability there are no triggers that will cause a migraine headacheUpon reading that there is a genetic component to OCD some of you may be concerned about having children I hope no one would use this information as a reason not to have children If you have OCD there is a one in four chance that your child will have it Important results from OCD twin studies find that there is not a percent concordance for OCD in identical twins that is for a sizable number of the twin pairs only one member had OCD Having a genetic vulnerability for OCD is not the same as saying you will develop OCDKnowing that OCD has a genetic component tells you nothingthan there is a reason you have OCD But how does this component lead to your experience of OCD The next step would be to explain that genes and other factors lead to a chemical imbalance in your brain The most studied theory of this sort regarding OCD is called the serotonergic theory Brain cells communicate with one another through neurotransmitters and serotonin is one of many chemicals that the brain uses as a neurotransmitter This theory does not suggest as many mistakenly believe that OCD sufferers do not have enough serotonin in the brain The research indicates that they have enough serotonin but that it is not as available as it needs to be for certain brain communications to take placeHow does this lead to OCD feelings and urges The brain is not a simple organ it has many different parts each with its own special tasks and functions For those suffering from OCD the problem isnt simply the unavailability of serotonin throughout the brain instead it is the unavailability of serotonin in specific parts of the brain The structures of the brain that are affected by OCDthe orbital cortex basal ganglia striatum caudate nucleus and thalamusare interconnected and form a circuit where researchers suspect OCD symptoms originate Messages that are ignored by non sufferers keep intruding on consciousness and reuire conscious effort to be suppressed by those suffering from OCDAt this level of explanation the theories begin to evoke your experience you know the feeling of intrusive thoughts all too well A clearer explanation of the role these brain structures may play in your experience of OCD has been offered by William Hewlett a researcher from Vanderbilt University What appears here is a simplified version of his ideas He suggests that one of the functions of the brain structures involved in OCD is responding to uncertainty with discomfort From an evolutionary point of view this makes perfect sense Imagine primitive man walking through a jungle and hearing a noise behind him His chances of survival will be enhanced if he feels nervous enough to turn around and check the jungle behind him for danger Being uncomfortable with uncertainty is normal and can be healthyAnother function of the brain structures involved in OCD suggested by Hewlett is responding to task completion with satisfactionparts of our brain drive us to complete what we start Again this is normal and healthy From an evolutionary point of view you dont build a complex civilization like ours if there is no motivation to complete anything This is the deficit that youve come to fear and hate this is the biology underlying your experience of I know I did x check the locks wash my hands etc so why dont I know that I did x Again the logical facts we are aware of and the emotional feeling of certainty are two different events And just as you cant instantly make yourself happy sad or mad you cant make yourself experience emotional certainty on commandHaving OCD may mean that you have a lower threshold for these responses so you feelanxious in response to less uncertainty and when an action is completed you dont experience the feeling of completion Its not that youre overwhelmed by every potential uncertainty in your life For example you may have a moment like many of us do Did I set the clock What was that bump in the road Look how cute and helpless that baby isit would be so easy to hurt Most people respond to such thoughts by checking the clock looking in the rearview mirror and turning their thoughts away from what they could do to the baby But the brains of OCD sufferers Hewlett suggests are better at learning avoidance responses The very fact that you so strongly avoid the discomfort elicited by uncertainty makes youlikely in future confrontations with similar situations to experience anxiety and a desire to escape that situationIn this model biology sets the stage for learning You feel greater anxiety in response to uncertainty and try to avoid it However for every logical solution you put forth you find a way to uestion it Obtaining absolute certainty is impossible I touched the faucet knobs after washing my handsmaybe they are recontaminated And what about the doorknob Maybe the last person who touched it didnt wash their hands What am I going to do This is further exacerbated by not feeling the normal satisfaction of completing an act If you have OCD you know the frustration of engaging in a ritual and knowing you have done it but at the same time feeling like you havent agonizing uncertainty Ive been checking the stove for an hour I can see it is off but it doesnt feel like it is offWhat this tells us is that the different presentations of OCD are the result of biology setting the stage for learning OCD responses Your specific ch.

❰PDF / Epub❯ ☉ Freedom from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A Personalized Recovery Program for Living with Uncertainty, Updated Edition Author Jonathan Grayson – Qqpokerv.me AcknowledgmentsIntroductionI was standing in an open field looking back into the forest and brush watching the others struggle their way out It was raining I had purposely taken everyone off trail thrPDF / Epub Freedom from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A Personalized Recovery Program for Living with Uncertainty, Updated Edition Author Jonathan Grayson Qqpokerv.me AcknowledgmentsIntroductionI was standing in an open field looking back into the forest and brush watching the others struggle their way out It was raining I had purposely taken everyone off trail thr AcknowledgmentsIntroductionI Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A Kindle was standing in an open field Obsessive Compulsive PDF looking back into the forest and brush watching the others struggle their way out It was raining I had purposely taken everyone off trail through trees and undergrowth so densely packed Freedom from PDF/EPUB or that forward movement was a slow process of stepping over and through bushes and being on guard for branches snapping back from whoever was in front of you Melanie the fourth person to emerge into the freedom of the from Obsessive Compulsive PDF/EPUB clearing shouted Im having a great from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A PDF/EPUB or time The photographer documenting our trip for People magazine snapped a picture Seeing Melanies joy it was hard to connect this woman with the one Id met seven months earlier at my former from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A PDF/EPUB or center The Anxiety and Agoraphobia Treatment Center in PhiladelphiaWhen I met Melanie at our first session she was an extreme suicide risk all medications in her home even aspirin had to be locked in a safe Her parents wouldnt permit her to carrythan two dollars at a time fearing that access tomoney would enable her to commit suicide with over the counter medications She was an attractive and articulate twenty nine year old with a fifteen year history of both obsessive compulsive disorder OCD and body dysmorphic disorder BDD Her OCD focused on issues of perfection When taking notes during class if there were any cross outs stray marks folds or creases in her notebook she would feel compelled to discard the page Similarly she wouldnt tolerate any such marks in her textbooks and would cope with such imperfections by not using the text Though she found school a nightmare of anxiety Melanie did well in the courses she managed to complete But many of her attempts to go to school resulted in anxiety and depression severe enough to reuire psychiatric hospitalizationMelanie also felt as though she was horribly uglyso repulsive that she believed it was a burden for those around her to tolerate her presence This is what it feels like to have BDD a form of OCD in which sufferers cant stand their own appearance She spent endless hours agonizing over her hair and makeup trying to get ready to go out but often wouldnt be able to leave the house Forthan fifteen years she had no memory of ever being free from her anxiety and despairYet here she was on a camping trip And not just any trip but one that Ive been running almost every year forthan two decades as a therapeutic journey for OCD sufferers Even non sufferers might find it difficult to spend a weekend sleeping in tents using latrines without the benefit of running water and taking torturous hikes through the mud and muck For the OCD sufferers I treat especially those with contamination fears the accomplishment of making it through such an experience is often nothing less than a tremendous breakthrough in their recoveryThis camping trip is just one of the approaches Ive found to be of use in working with OCD sufferers during the last twenty five years Earlier in my career as a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at Temple Universitys School of Medicine I was part of a research team studying the treatment of OCD Though our research excelled at delineating the mechanics of treatmentour results and findings regarding the behavioral techniues known as exposure and response prevention are still the core of todays treatment for OCDI felt the need to go beyond the actual treatment processI wanted to address issues our research was ignoring such as relapse prevention So in with an OCD sufferer named Gayle Frankel who was then the current president of the Philadelphia Affiliate of the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation I started the first OCD support group in the country Called GOAL Giving Obsessive compulsives Another Lifestyle our group wasthan a place for sufferers to share their stories Its purpose from the beginning was to help sufferers understand their OCD and to make and maintain treatment gainsHelping people understand their OCD is the key to my treatment approach One of the greatest problems for those of you who suffer from this disorder is the disparity between your inner world and the outside For all of us the person we show the world is not exactly who we are we all have our private thoughts opinions and secrets But for you the gulf between your private and public selves is greater No matter which aspects of your OCD everyone else sees you and I know it is only the tip of the iceberg You understand the pain and frustration of being locked in a strange world in which you know that your thoughts and behaviors make no sense It is as if you have simultaneously lost your mind and at the same time are so sane that you are a witness to the loss You are an expert at knowing what OCD feels like but fully understanding your plight is another storyYou may have heard many explanations for your OCDits a chemical imbalance its a learned behavior These are explanations but they are no better than saying a car works because it has an engine Knowing that a car has an engine doesnt tell you how to fix a car thats not running For you to fully understand your OCD a meaningful explanation needs to bethan logical and scientific It must address your feelings and experience and answer uestions such as Im staring at the stove and can see that it is off Why dont I know that it is offIf an explanation touches you and you cant help exclaiming Thats me then you understandIf you suffer from OCD you have probably seen many different professionals tried numerous medications and read any number of books dealing with anxiety and OCD This book however is different It is not simply a cookbook explaining how to recover from OCD because overcoming OCD reuiresthan simply following instructions Treatment without understanding is like painting by numbers there will be some improvement and symptom reduction but you wantTo go beyond symptom reduction and stop OCD from controlling your life I believe youll do better as a master artist The master artist has the understanding to create and fashion his or her own work This book offers the self guided version of the treatment program used at my center where helping sufferers understand their OCD is the crucial first step to recovery because they cant truly agree to therapy if they dont understand their OCD and the treatment processYour success depends upon your becoming an eual partner in designing your recovery program As youll find in this book with understanding you wont follow a treatment protocol youll design your own Copies of the forms worksheets and other materials found in this book are also available for free download from FreedomFromOCD Part of this book Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder will help you to truly understand your OCD experience You will begin to answer the uestions that plague youfor example How can I not know what I know Why cant I stop ritualizingIn making sense of your OCD you will begin to realize that this disorder doesnt set you apart from the rest of humanity You will come to recognize that the difference between you and non sufferers is a matter of degree not unlike the differences between social and problem drinkers In the case of drinking getting drunk isnt the problem it is how often and how much it interferes with your life For OCD it is not rituals seemingly irrational thoughts or anxiety that differentiates the sufferer from the non sufferer but how much these interfere with your daily life This section will also address the role of medication in recovery and the cognitive behavioral techniues that you will use in your OCD programIn Part The Foundation of Your Program I will demystify the process of OCD assessment and treatment allowing you to design a recovery program for yourself that you can understand and believe in Then I will guide you through the initial steps of assessing your OCDYour newfound understanding will be transformed into practical knowledge as you use the tools and instructions I provide to further assess your OCD and prepare the materials you will need in your self guided recovery program The most important of these will be the scripts you will be creating to keep up your motivation fight discouragement and overcome difficult hurdles These scripts will help you address one of the greatest difficulties in carrying out a self guided OCD treatment program the absence of a therapist to provide you with support specifically targeted and appropriate to your needs of the moment Although a book cant replace an experienced therapist sample therapist scripts are provided along with directions that will enable you to adapt them to your own needs or to create your own These scripts will appear throughout the book Ideally your recovery program should be a collaboration between you and an experienced OCD therapist This book is meant to be used as an adjunct to therapy or at times when you cant find a therapistPart Personalizing Your Program Treatment Guidelines for Your Specific OCD Concerns is the heart of this book and focuses upon the different manifestations of OCD Each poses special challenges that need to be addressed when designing a recovery program particularly if most of your OCD symptoms seem to fall into a single category such as obsessions focusing on contamination or violent thoughts The chapters in Part will provide guidance for modifying and individualizing your recovery program through examples adjusted treatment guidelines and scriptsEven when your obsessive concerns seem to have a single focus they may affect your life inways than you realize For example if you have contamination concerns you may find that in addition to washing your hands you check the environment for contaminants and mentally ruminate about what you have or have not touched Or if violent thoughts are your focus you may spend your time both trying to figure out what it means that you have such thoughts and trying to find ways to prevent the thoughts from coming into your mind Because of this you will discover advice throughout Part that you will want to incorporate into your recovery programPart Recovery and Beyond will help you complete your recovery Working alone on your recovery can be hard I provide you with guidelines for using family and or friends as helpful supports during treatment However sometimes you will want help from someone who knows exactly how you feel For this purpose I also provide instructions for setting up an effective GOAL support groupYour recovery program doesnt end when you feel you have overcome your symptoms Maintaining your gains is a process that reuires continued effort In the last chapter you will discover why slips are normal and how when you prepare for them they dont have to lead to a complete relapseThe good news is that while OCD can be a devastating and debilitating psychological disorder surprisingly it is one of the most treatable Current research holds that percent of those suffering from OCD will significantly benefit from a treatment involving exposure and response prevention the treatment of choice for OCD This should be a time of hope and optimism for finding treatmentThe key though is finding therapists who are truly experienced in treating OCD who know how to properly use exposure and response prevention instead of offering traditional talk therapies or nothingthan medication When Melanie my camping trip client first came to me I found that her psychiatrist had been underprescribing the SSRI Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor antidepressant she had been taking When this was rectified she went from being an extreme suicide risk to a moderate one Her OCD and BDD though identified early in her previous therapies had never been properly treated Her course of treatment with me included exposure and response prevention and seven months later she was camping and having a great time One year after that trip Melanie was no longer controlled by OCD BDD and depression had completed two semesters of school with ease had spoken at the annual national conference of the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation about her recovery and had gone on her second OCD camping tripToo often I am faced with seeing another Melaniesomeone who has needlessly suffered for years Freedom from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is my solution I believe that OCD when properly understood is not a disorder of hopeless torment but one that can be overcome Conuering OCD is hard work but not as hard as what OCD sufferers already go through every day So I invite you like my campers to find the hope and courage to journey with me to a better placeChapter A few years ago I was in a doughnut shop waiting to be served A well dressed woman was sitting at the counter next to me When her serverJared according to his name tagbrought her doughnuts she had a special reuest Would it be okay if I pay you after I eat she asked Im not going to run out or anything but I just washed my hands and if I go into my purse to touch money they will be dirty and Ill have to wash them againDo you realize how dirty money is she continued Money is handled by so many people that anything could be on it Thats why they dont allow cashiers to both handle money and serve food In fact She went on for uite some time ignoring or pretending not to notice Jareds expression which silently said What is wrong with you Fine pay laterjust let me get back to workThe answer to Jareds unspoken uestion was obsessive compulsive disorder OCDAnd the woman in the doughnut shopto my trained eye an OCD suffereris not alone I am often struck by how many people I pass on any given daydriving my car on the highway walking through a mall sitting in a movie theaterwho likely have OCD as well Statistically for every forty of the thousands of faces I see one is suffering or will suffer from OCD When I was in graduate school in the late seventies I was taught that OCD was a rare and hopeless disorder that only affected about percent of the population in However in the early eighties I uickly realized that these figures had to be wrong At that time I was working at Temple Universitys School of Medicine with Dr Edna Foa who was on the first of her many National Institute of Mental Health NIMH grants that researched and pioneered todays treatment of OCD Everyone I discussed my work with seemed to know of someone who exhibited OCD symptoms significant symptoms like those of the woman in the doughnut shop not the little habits and rituals all of humanity engages in on a daily basis I wondered How could OCD be simultaneously rare and yet so common that everyone knows someone with it Since then worldwide studies have found lifetime prevalence rates for OCD to vary between and percentabout one in every forty peopleFor the most part OCD sufferers are able to remain invisible There are exceptions of course those of you who make no effort to hide your compulsions whose suffering is obvious if in nothing else in your inability to function The billionaire Howard Hughes for example suffered from OCD so severely that his life was reduced to a tortured and limited existence His seemingly bizarre habits and lifestyle coupled with his wealth and fame attracted the media like a magnetThe way OCD looks to outsiders is a far cry from what OCD really is To outsiders the disorder is what the press shows usextreme cases of people who claim they have to do things that make no sense to themselves or others But the truth is that when you have OCD something is happening to you you are not crazy and there is something you can do about itWhy doesnt the outside world have a better understanding of OCD One problem is that many of you are experts at hiding all or almost all of your rituals so you appear to have at worst a minor problem Colleagues at work just think of you as a neat freak or as that man with the odd but harmless habit of circling his car a few times in the parking lot after locking it You function in the world and you dont appear to be in obvious distress Unlike the extreme cases publicized in the press and on talk shows your OCD doesnt seem to be much of a difficulty to live with There are a number of reasons you may strive to hide your fears and rituals For many of you concealing your problem is necessary to keep your job and preserve your relationships Another reason you may try to hide OCD is that you simply want to avoid the humiliation of being labeled crazy So even if you engage in a few small ritualsenough to have others label you a neat freakyou make sure no one sees how anxious you are underneath that neatness This ability of yours to successfully function under stress has a special name competenceAnyone who is successful in the world has this ability Imagine coming to me for treatment If during your first session you found me shaking stuttering and discussing a terrible problem I was having at home youd uickly decide you were in the wrong place Youd expect that whatever problems I might have I would pull myself together and do my job There is only one difference between me and you I dont rely on using this competence as often as you doCompetence works both for and against you On the one hand it allows you to function in the world There are many accomplished individuals whose OCD wed never know about if they hadnt admitted to the problem publically Actor director Billy Bob Thornton as well as former host of Nickelodeons Double Dare show Marc Summers are both very forthright about their OCD and have managed to find ways to have successful careers It is important for you to recognize this strength in yourself Some of what I will be asking you to do later will seem very hard but what you are doing now is also very hard How many of your colleagues and friends who dont suffer from OCD could function as well as you if they were under the same constant level of anxiety and stress Bravery is not a feeling bravery is how you behave when you are scared You are among the bravest people I know The strength and competence you are accustomed to using in order to get through your daily life can help you succeed in treatmentBut competence can also work against you It has led many of you to delay seeking treatment After all if you are trying to hide your problem seeking treatment might be a flag to others that something is wrong If your OCD started when you were a child or an adolescent you may have felt especially afraid that adults if they discovered your secrets would confirm that you were going crazy Jessica for example came to my center at age sixteen after having hidden her OCD for five years During the previous school year she had begun to obsess about harm coming to her family and felt the need to protect them with numerous rituals involving movement and symmetry Every time she went through a doorway she felt she had to touch the left and right sides of the doorway to protect her family She would continue to do this until it felt right Her OCD only became evident to her teachers and family when her anxiety became so intolerable that she no longer felt capable of hiding her pain and rituals In crashing she was one of the lucky ones She worked very hard in treatment and was able to overcome her OCD I have worked with sufferers who successfully hid their OCD for twenty years or longerWhere does this leave you Trapped with anxiety painful thoughts rituals you feel you cant control and the frustrating knowledge that you logically know your fears and compulsive actions make no sense You dont understand what is happening and you are surrounded by people who understand even less about it than you do Often your friends and family are aware of your OCD and will try to offer helpful advice You dont have to wash your hands againthey are clean The door is locked we can leave now Yes for the fiftieth time Im sure you didnt hit anyone on the way home you can stop askingMost of the time you dont listen to the advice Others tell you not to worry because your fears make no sense You already know this Their exhortations merely confirm your suspicions that you must be losing your mind So you desperately try to hide your symptoms because who wants to be thought of as crazy Though you may succeed in appearing normal to the outside world you know something that non sufferers dont You know how anxious you feelYour family would like you to stop ritualizing but you know they have no idea what stopping will do to you Indeed there have likely been occasions in which you tried to resist ritualizing Even though your most feared disaster didnt occur your anxiety probably increased In the end you may have gone on a binge of ritualizing that lasted far longer than usual And as anyone with OCD knows five hours of handwashing isnt simply washing your hands over and over It is a hell in which every repetition is accompanied by mounting frustration and anxiety Why cant I stop Why dont I know my hands are clean when I know they must be How long is this going to last On such occasions you didnt stop ritualizing because you finally felt you got it right you stopped because of exhaustion The whole process felt crazy and out of controlNo matter what disaster you may fear with your OCDillness death or whateverusually the feeling that I cant take another second or I will lose control or go crazy is almost certainly present In the previous Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV the psychiatric handbook for diagnosing mental disorders OCD was listed as an anxiety disorder This probably comes as no surprise to you Although OCD has been given its own category in the DSM V we know that anxiety is the driving force behind OCD an anxiety that feels overwhelming and endless an anxiety that spirals out of control as attempts to reassure and neutralize fail over and over again So even if your obsessions and compulsions are literally attempts to avoid potential disaster they are also attempts to make your anxiety stop In order to avoid intolerable out of control feelings to avoid going crazy you ritualize Ritualizing may not make sense to your friends and family members but they dont know what will happen to you emotionally if you stop Given all they dont know about OCD listening to their advice really would be crazy Despite its crucial role in OCD anxiety is not the defining feature of OCD OCD has many different facescontamination concerns and handwashing repetitious checking of doors stoves and locks concern about violent or sexual thoughts How can so many different manifestations all stem from the same problem What ties them together What is the core of OCD and the source of the painful anxiety it evokes In preparing to write this book I created a survey uestionnaire that asked sufferers and their families to describe their experiences with OCD It was disseminated at my center and over the InternetIra a forty eight year old man has suffered from OCD since he was nineteen years old The following excerpt from his survey response provides us with an answerI work in the city and its such a filthy place If I could have my way I wouldnt go there that way I wouldnt have to go near so many dirty peoplepeople sneezing coughing touching everythingbut thats where my law firm is During the day Im not too bad I have dirty clothes for wearing outside and decontaminated clothes for home I make sure to keep my hands away from my mouth during the day and Ill only go out to lunch at certain clean restaurants But when I get home thats when the ordeal begins I make everyone in the family come into the house through the laundry room That way they can take their clothes off down there go straight to the downstairs shower to wash and then put on house clothes I have everyone keep house clothes separate from going out clothes The going out clothes have to be washed three times before I feel they are clean After Im done with them I run the empty washer twotimes to get it clean enough to wash the house clothes My laundry procedure is as follows I take a shower and put on gloves to take the going out clothes to the washer I carefully put them in and then put the detergent in and turn the machine on I then take the gloves off throw them away and wash my hands When the cycle is finished I get another pair of gloves put the detergent in and start the machine Then I throw away those gloves and wash my hands Then I do this onetime When the final load of the night is done I clean the outside of the machine with ammonia durin.

Freedom from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A Personalized En Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A Kindle - tant u’auteur connu certains de ses Obsessive Compulsive PDF É livres fascinent les lecteurs comme dans le livre Freedom from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder A Personalized Recovery Program for Living with Uncertainty Updated Edition ui est l’un des lecteurs les plus recherchés Freedom from PDF/EPUB or Jonathan Grayson auteurs dans le monde.

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