Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Give your mind a different task!
Sometimes, for some of us, its easy. Lock the door and walk away. Sometimes, its “Let me double-check the door” and sometimes we may just get stuck, checking and re-checking the door. A simple 4 step process, 1. Is it right? 2. A feeling of unease, 3. Correct or check. 4. Relax and move on. But we get stuck between level 2 and 3. Correcting/checking does not allow us to move on, not until a certain ritual or sequence is complete. And very, very simply; that is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
And the solution? Equally as simple. I did it, I may even have checked it, time to continue on…yeah but… Nothing is really simple, not when it comes to our minds. There is no switch, no mute button for that little voice, So what do we do? We educate ourselves. Get the professional’s opinions. We follow the Doctor’s directions. We educate ourselves some more.
If we are lucky, we get a treatment plan that allows us to manage our symptoms and live our lives. We all could do a little better though. I think that is how we ended up here, just looking to do a little better. I’m not a professional, just someone who approaches life a little from the side. I hope some bit of information or a tip you pick-up will give you a better quality of life experience.
Complex words and a simple Video
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder where people feel the need to check things repeatedly, perform certain routines repeatedly (called “rituals”), or have certain thoughts repeatedly (called “obsessions”). Common activities include hand washing, counting of things, checking to see if a door is locked and difficulty throwing things out. Most adults realize that the behaviors do not make sense. The condition is associated with tics, anxiety disorder, and an increased risk of suicide.
The cause is unknown. There appear to be some genetic components. Risk factors include a history of child abuse and following infections. The diagnosis is based on the symptoms and requires ruling out other drug related or medical causes.
Treatment involves counseling, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and sometimes antidepressants. CBT for OCD involves increasing exposure to what causes the problems while not allowing the repetitive behavior to occur. Without treatment, the condition often lasts decades.
Obsessive–compulsive disorder affects about 2.3% of people at some point in their life. Rates during a given year are about 1.2%, (worldwide). It is rare for symptoms to begin after the age of 35, and half of people develop problems before age 20. Males and females are affected about equally. The phrase obsessive–compulsive is often used in an informal manner unrelated to OCD to describe someone who is excessively meticulous, perfectionist, absorbed, or otherwise fixated.
Most people with OCD understand that their notions do not correspond with reality. They feel that they must act as though their notions are correct. People with OCD use rationalizations to explain their behavior. A person compulsively checking the front door may argue that the time lost and stress caused by one more check is less than the time and stress of being robbed.
Mindful Meditation…OK, Relaxation
Being mindful means focusing our attention on the present moment, without judging it. It involves a quiet, calm and conscious observation of what is happening at the moment. Regular practice of mindfulness meditation will make it easier for you to be more mindful in your daily life. Each time an obsessive thought intrudes, just observe it without judging and allow it to pass away, remain become aware of the present moment. If you are walking, just focus your attention on each step that you take. If you are eating, slow down and focus on the food and how it smells, feels and tastes.
How hard is it to meditate? As simple as one breath in and out. Mingyur Rinpoche is a Tibetan teacher and master of the Karma Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. He teaches in a down-to-earth manner, mixing humor and his own experiences within meditation and scientific research.
While practicing mindfulness meditation, OCD sufferers may experience high levels of anxiety at first since it can bring out fears and worries. With regular practice, you can learn to be more comfortable with these fears without automatically reacting to them. Some easy to follow meditations are on the Guided Meditations Page, and on the Anxiety Guided Meditations Page
Here are nine tips that may help. I wrote about these in another article, General Anxiety Disorder 9 anxiety coping strategies that will help. All are discussed in more detail here.
- Mindful breathing
- Calm your anxiety by relaxing the muscles in your body
- Rethink the usefulness of worry
- Improving your problem-solving ability
- Keeping a journal
- PRACTICE and PRACTICE!
Music enhances the mood we are in. To overcome feelings of sadness or of anxiousness, try a lighter, more happy music. Something to remind you of past good times or a brighter future. If you would like some suggestions, check out some of my selection at: Binaural Beats, Alternative Music, or Flute Music.
Everyone has different tastes in music. Maybe you will like some of my suggestions, maybe not. I think that is OK. The important thing is to find a style of music that helps promote the feelings you want to exhibit, calm and peaceful. And don’t neglect the other “mood” music, sad, games, and Party! All play a big part in our everyday life.
Obsessive compulsive disorder affects about 2.3% of people directly. Indirectly, the numbers are much higher. Each year, more and more are affected and there is No Known Cure. Having OCD or being the support for a loved one with OCD, education is the key. Do your own research, find the questions to ask the Primary Care Givers and make sure to follow their advice. Kook at and discuss alternative measures.
I would like to hear your thoughts on using meditation as a way to relax and to cope with Obsessive–compulsive disorder. If you have any questions or suggestions on other alternative options, please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below. I will reply as soon as I can!
Walking the Path of Peace,