WHERE IS THE EMPATHY? | Neurotic people feeling misunderstood

People who worry excessively often feel misunderstood, mislabeled and not taken seriously by the people around them. To a sensitive neurotic person the outside world may seem like a scary place filled with monsters. Where is the empathy? Why don’t others feel my pain? Why doesn’t anyone understand me?

These questions may be present in an attempt to explain the apparent lack of emotional connection to others many neurotic people experience. There is a logical reason why you feel this way. Fear acts like a magnifier and a separator. It magnifies every negative detail in your reality and separates you from the real world by convincing you it isn’t safe out there.

Your fear is the missing link that explains why you feel isolated. Your fear is why others don’t understand you – because they cannot feel this fear. In the absence of it, those around you see things in a more rational, calm manner and things do look very different to them.

If you are experiencing life as a neurotic person you may have a though time feeling understood and connected emotionally to people and that is because you are experiencing life through a different lens than other people. Neuroticism can range from mild to severe. The more you let this trait take over your personality the more separation you will experience and the uglier the world will look to you.

That is not to blame neurotic people. They suffer tremendously and all OCD sufferers are neurotic people by default. What I want to tell you is you can change this about yourself if you feel like it’s causing you problems (and chances are it is). Many neurotic people feel like their worrying and anxiety is part of their core personality and they cannot change it, but I am here to tell you that you can change it if you really want to. You would be amazed by the power of repetition and habit. I am not saying it is easy, but it is possible.

By admitting your excessive worrying is causing you suffering you can take steps to tone it down and eventually become a calm, controlled person if you so desire. I will give you the steps you need in order to become less neurotic in a future article, very soon, but please keep in mind you are not alone in the way you feel!


 

Christiana Mane

Benzodiazepines and OCD (Xanax, Klonopin, Valium etc.)

This applies only for severe OCD cases.

I would like to reiterate I am not a fan of medication of any kind for OCD because I see OCD as a strong negative-thinking mental loop, a disorder of beliefs, rather than a chemical one, so I do not condone using medication as treatment.

Can OCD sufferers benefit from benzodiazepines? Most OCD-related literature talks about SSRIs as a potential treatment for OCD, but how about the anxiety-lowering drugs – wouldn’t they make more sense?

In my opinion and experience benzos do a lot more for an OCD sufferer than SSRIs.

SSRIs treatment is based on the hypothesis – emphasis on hypothesis– that OCD is some sort of chemical imbalance and messing with serotonin might help it…somehow…

There might be OCD sufferers who say SSRI meds helped them but they are a small minority and what I mostly see is a very minor improvement. I do not believe in SSRIs as a solid treatment for OCD.

Let’s tackle benzos and how they fit into the equation. Benzos are a fast-acting medication, unlike SSRIs. Their effect is immediate and they tackle the major problem in OCD – anxiety and fear. They don’t necessarily eliminate compulsions but they alleviate the torment of permanent anxiety that accompanies the condition of OCD. They may diminish the sense of distorted reality caused by fear. They give the sufferer a short-lived sense of relief. The downside: they can stir an addiction to them and the withdrawals are often severe.

I do believe benzos can help though, but in very specific cases and in a very specific way. We know by know that ERP (exposure and response prevention) is the way to go to get rid of OCD, but in a severe case of OCD the anxiety might be so strong and may already manifest in a physical way (panic attacks, psychosis, pain in the neck area, dry mouth) that starting ERP in this condition can be impossible for the sufferer.

If unbeknown to them, the person suffering from OCD, took their condition to a point where it is so debilitating that they lost contact with reality and are in constant panic, then I believe taking benzodiazepine medication can level their condition to a place where they can start tackling it. Artificially lowering the anxiety level in the beginning will give the sufferer a chance to “breathe” and calm down from the storm before starting on the journey of healing from OCD.

Calming down a nervous system that is in overdrive , sending strong signals to the body and the mind that everything is doomed is a necessity when we’re talking about very severe OCD. A person with very severe OCD may not be able to start doing ERP without benzodiazepine medication in the beginning.

It’s very important to be careful when taking benzos, and I believe only people with very severe OCD case should consider them, but they have their place in the equation. Where we want to be is doing ERP constantly and benzos like Xanax or Klonopin may help jumpstart the process, that’s where I see their role in OCD recovery.

The sufferer must be very determined to NOT rely on them to recover, must be determined to only use this as a stepping stone to being healthy and not let the meds do the work because they will be back to square one in no time.  You can do it!


Christiana Mane

OCD and binge eating

OCD puts you under immense amounts of stress. To alleviate that stress many OCD sufferers resort to eating for comfort. Delicious, junky foods have the property of making you feel a short burst of pleasure that takes away anxiety in the moment and this may become the drug of choice for many people with OCD that seek a temporary escape from the mental torture they experience.

So if you suffer from OCD and you also suffer from binge eating disorder, they may not be that separate at all, they may intertwine in an attempt to take away the pain of living with OCD.

The good news is that you don’t have to focus on binge eating at all to solve it, you will get rid of rid as you get rid of OCD.

You don’t even have to be fully recovered from OCD in order for the binge eating to stop. Binge eating stops halfway through your recovery because there will be no need for it. This applies, of course, if the fear and anxiety that stems from OCD are the feelings you are trying to run away from when comfort-eating.

If your binge eating disorder is due to other feelings or issues, you might have to work on it a little more afterwards. Binge eating disorder is also called compulsive eating, so it’s a compulsion by itself.

What do we do with compulsions? We don’t do them. We don’t engage in them.

The same way you don’t engage in OCD compulsions and resist the agonizing urge to do what it says (hopefully you’re doing this by now and not letting OCD boss you around any longer), you don’t let binge eating disorder boss you around either.

No matter how it FEELS, you CHOOSE your behaviour. Feelings are just feelings, they will pass if you show strength enough times.

Compulsions in OCD are meant to allevietate feelings of extreme anxiety and uncertainty. Compulsions in binge eating disorder generally don’t stem from fear but from dissatisfaction, grief, depression etc. but they are still compulsions meant to alleviate…something. 

I see a pattern here.

If your binge eating comes from your OCD don’t worry about it, focus on OCD recovery.

If your binge eating comes from other issues, either work on those in therapy or apply the same method we do with OCD by withstanding the storm.

You can do it!


Christiana Mane