Friday, April 10, 2015

OCD's Myriad of Symptoms

  
    First, know that regardless of the kind of symptoms experienced, cognitive behavioral therapy can tame them back and out of your life. This entails 'talking back' to what we call the OCD bully, and 'exposure,' which is facing the OCD bully head-on.
   Some people panic when they cannot find the particular symptom they are having in any of the OCD books or online sites. They feel they are a unique case or even insane. The fact is, the mind is very creative, so any kind of thought or ritual can be created by it. We are all different and so are the capabilities of our minds. So, do not be worried if your particular OCD issue is not one you've heard of before.
    A sufferer on an OCD message  board was relieved to find that my book lists being obsessed with 'blinking' because that was one of that person's symptoms and it was not found anywhere else.
    Most symptoms are placed into categories...Magical (that we can make something bad happen by doing or not doing a certain thing. Predictions. Superstitions.) Violent (fear of harming someone or ourselves. Avoiding knives and anything that is perceived as a tool that can harm.) Germs (Fear of catching some disease or illness. Obsessive washing of hands or cleaning of our homes. Avoiding places that are deemed contaminated.) Fear of Going Crazy (Thinking we will scream in a quiet place. Fear of losing control in any number of ways.) Scrupulosity (Fear that God will punish us for sins. Fear that we are always in a state of sin or doing something displeasing to God. Doing rituals that entail our religious beliefs more than is required to feel forgiven, pure, or holy enough. Feeling unworthy.) Responsibility (Fear that something we do or do not do will affect the safety or well-being or another or others.) Counting (the urge to repeatedly count things...church pews, sentences, certain designs in fabric, etc.)
   Those are just a few of the many and ongoing kinds of symptoms of OCD. Because they are the ones most spoken about, they are most mentioned. Of course, there are many others, such as being overly aware of our blinking, or swallowing. Obsessing over certain words and names. Having songs stuck in our head, rereading sentences in books until we feel we have read it correctly. Having to have an e-mail grammatically perfect and aligned just so before sending it out. Lining objects up perfectly, such as the cans and boxes in our pantry, pillows on the sofa, pictures on the walls, etc. The list can go on and on. If yours is not on it, then just add it as another one. Don't view it as meaning you are beyond help or crazy.
    You are fine. It's just the OCD bully. Let go of the labels. Fight back and get better.
Read more in the book: Confronting the Bully of OCD

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