Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Tasking the Mind

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).

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, doors can present problems

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

Nine Tips

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.

  1. Mindful breathing
  2. Concentration
  3. Calm your anxiety by relaxing the muscles in your body
  4. Rethink the usefulness of worry
  5. Improving your problem-solving ability
  6. Keeping a journal
  7. Exercise
  8. Music
  9. PRACTICE and PRACTICE!

 

Music

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.

 

Closing…

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,

Sanders

relaxationandmeditationmusic.com

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One thought on “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Tasking the Mind

  1. Ivan Brozincevic

    June 16, 2018 at 1:46am

    Hi Sanders!

    Amazing post man! Just another example of how meditation and relaxation can solve a lot of mental issues and diseases. I agree it is not “normal” to close the door 15 times before leaving the house or to perform those small nonsense rituals. They may cause a lot of stress to a person. However, some rituals and obsessions can be healthy; it just depends on a perspective. I, for example, are obsessed with meditation, exercise, healthy eating and similar. And, it is a part of my morning ritual for every day, and if I skip one day, I might not feel so good and positive and energized during the day. Some people call me crazy because of that lol! While the majority of the “normal” world is jumping out of bed at the last moment, without cleaning and eating properly, I am the crazy one. So my point is I believe that person develops a disease the moment he accepts ridicule and critique from the rest of the “normal” world. Before that moment, that person just has a silly ritual. In my case, I developed mental strength to ignore the opinions of the “normal” world. However, I see a lot of people suffer from that fear of being criticised. It is one of the most significant diseases of humankind.

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    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      June 16, 2018 at 2:32am

      Hi Ivan,
      I agree that meditation can help with a lot of the side affects of anxiety, and that someday we will have a “cure” or at least something that will provide a greater relief for a lot of mental issues. There is a big difference in making a choice to, for example, checking a door 15 times and not being able to choose Not To. I lost track of what normal means a long time ago. We all have our own struggles and we all have the choices to work on ourselves or to just go with it. Ridicule and critique, now those are illnesses we all should work toward defeating!
      Walking in the Path of Peace,
      Sanders

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  2. Andy

    June 16, 2018 at 6:00am

    Hi Sanders just a comment to say I really enjoyed reading this article.

    I suffer with OCD and like you say mine is normally things like checking the doors are locked before bed and the windows are shut and the plug switches are off and then repeat and repeat. It can take me a while to get to bed and my partner has learnt to go up to bed and let me do it. I tell myself I am just being safe and keeping the home secure and that I will sleep better if I do it but sometimes I wish I could just check once rather than continually trying the door handles until something inside me clicks and says yep that’s locked.

    Thanks for your post I have saved it for future reference.

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    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      June 16, 2018 at 6:25am

      Hi Andy, Thank you for sharing. Sometimes it is those little things that make up our day. I hesitate to offer, but perhaps the mindful breathing, one breath in (mantra-Locking the door), breath out (mantra-Door is locked) may help you to continue on. I say hesitate because it seems like trading one ritual for another. Best of luck and I hope you find that little click.
      Walk in the Path of Peace,
      Sanders

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  3. Tom Priesmeyer

    June 16, 2018 at 9:52am

    Very informative article on OCD, and ways to cope with it. I have a close friend with OCD, and it is helpful to understand more of what he is going through. You described him to a T when you gave the symptoms/behaviors of it. I like the idea of using music to calm and relax the mind. I was surprised to learn that so many people were affected by OCD. Thank you for helping educate us on this disorder. Tom

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    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      June 16, 2018 at 6:55pm

      Thank you Tom,for going the extra steps to better understand and help your friend, I am sure it is a help just knowing someone cares. Music can, I think, help by giving the brain something else to focus on, even just a little should help.
      Walk the Path of Peacs
      Sanders

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  4. Danielle Packer

    June 16, 2018 at 6:25pm

    This will be great for my sister who suffers from depression and anxiety, meditation is great for so many things, to clear the mind and be present.
    Thanks so much for clearing up what we need to do. I do agree that we need to do more research, get help from our doctors but also do more mindful practices ourselves or even start meditation with a group or a yoga class!

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    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      June 16, 2018 at 7:01pm

      Hi Danielle, The more knowledge you have, the better questions and research you can do. Leads to a better relationship with your Primary Care Giver and a better life for your sister. A group meditation and/or yoga is a great idea. With depression, sometimes just being there helps more than words.
      Walk in the Path of Peace,
      Sanders

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