stay at home, you’ll recover, you’ll get better,
The most common answer OCD patients heard from you.
However, this only works if you stay at home and you stop thinking – and most people with OCD, they stay at home and then they think even more, which tires them out even more, and thus the cycle just repeats itself, around and around!
These Unconscious sabotaging compulsions can be sorted into five categories and typically any anxiety sufferer has symptoms from at least a couple of these categories.
The first unconscious hijacking classic travel, here the anxiety heightens the further you travel away from home, so, for example, flying, driving on motorways, going on trains, and the logic here is very simple when viewed from your unconscious mind which is quite a child-like, it’s “If I give him a panic attack on an airplane, he’ll stop flying and he’ll stay at home.”
It’s quite simple when you look at it from this perspective.
The second class of unconscious hijacking is your health – and your unconscious mind in association with your unconscious nervous system can use your health in three main ways to scare you and to frighten you into staying at home.
Firstly, it can make you ill, it can give you serious diseases we know this for a fact. Secondly, the mind can present you with psychosomatic illnesses, like headaches and eczema, chronic fatigue, IBS, ME, fibromyalgia – where there’s no actual disease, but there is an illness and that illness has real physical symptoms, which often make you stay at home.
And then, finally, in this group, there’s hypochondria – where the person fears every little ache and pain and needs constant reassurance that they’ll be okay.
They hate being left alone and this leads to them not being able to work, so they stay at home. Can you see how these patterns start to form?
Category 3 is unconsciously sabotaging your work, and here your unconscious wants you to be at home and not at work, so it unconsciously sabotages you – and you end up doing really, really silly things at work and if someone says “Why did you do that?”
You say “I don’t know!” But you just keep doing them.
Category four is the same thing but sabotaging relationships and it takes a lot of energy and a lot of compromises to be in a relationship. However, OCD doesn’t like to compromise, therefore it’s very common for anxious people to unconsciously sabotage their close relationships, with things like anger or affairs, or to be too controlling, or very rude comments, and unconsciously they try to end the relationship so that they can stay at home and be realigned with their OCDpropensity.
These are unconscious strategies that run underneath your conscious radar.
And the last category is sabotaging your social life, this means getting anxious around friends or in intimate social events, or becoming afraid in social places like cinemas, shopping centers, busy streets, and once again, the logic is simple,
“If she goes out of the house, I’ll scare her, and then she’ll go home!” And when you look at OCD from this perspective, you can see why it takes such a long time to get ready to leave the house, and then to lock the house. And then, once you’re out of the house you have to control everything until you can get back home again.
Let’s talk about some sensible mind-sets that you can develop that will help you when you’re ready to look at some sort of recovery program.
With the right help and the right attitude and enough time, I believe that most people can get their OCD to a very manageable state, or even overcome it, it’s not easy, but it is possible.
So here are 10 things to consider when you’re ready to do something about your OCD.
Tip number one, OCD is not a disease, you weren’t born with it, you didn’t catch it, it’s a complex combination of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, that have unconsciously programmed the brain and the body, and with the right help, it can usually be unprogrammed.
Tip number two, most of the things that need changing are held unconsciously, or you might call it subconsciously, which means they’re involuntary, therefore you can’t consciously think your way out of OCD! Logical thinking makes it worse.
Tip number three, your compulsions are a symptom, not the problem, although they do cause problems. You need help to address the underlying fear of being anxious before the compulsions can be worked on.
Tip number four, you are not your thoughts, the brain is just an organ that coordinates and proposes thoughts, they aren’t truths and just watch the thoughts, just observe the thoughts as they arise and don’t give them any meaning.
Tip number five, your unconscious mind uses the logic of a child to try to keep you safe, for example; it thinks “If he stays in his room, then nothing bad will happen.” This is the simple logic that you need to apply to all of OCD behaviors and then they begin to make a little bit more sense. And if she panics on the motorway then she won’t go out.
Tip number six, don’t wait for motivation to come before you get help. Motivation is an emotion and your emotions are currently not working properly, just get started anyway.
Tip number seven, who will you be and what will you do differently when you no longer have OCD?
And do you have the skills required to do that?
How can you acquire them?
Is there a secondary gain by having OCD?
Does having OCD stop you from having to face reality? An interesting thing you might want to go onto google and search the word secondary gain? It”s an interesting topic.
Tip eight, OCD makes you doubt everything, therefore you need a process to follow that guides you step by step through your recovery, or you’ll begin to doubt trusting yourself to do it.
Tip nine, are your family or caregivers unknowingly keeping you stuck, by pampering to your needs or not knowing properly how anxiety and OCD operate, therefore, giving you poor advice?
And tip number ten, you probably will need some form of professional guidance and therapy to release unconscious habits, to release past trauma, and to change any self-limiting beliefs that you’ve developed.
And I’ll just say make sure you choose a person who really understands anxiety, as in my experience very few people do. I hope this short blog has given you some new perspectives to consider and to better understand your condition.
If you found it useful please share it on social media, and feel free to forward this link to anybody you know who’s battling with OCD or anxiety. And there’s lots more information on my website at www.drmehedi.com
Dr. Mehedi Hassan.