“What will happen if I don’t perform compulsions in OCD?”

Will what I fear come true?

 

The inability to deal with uncertainty is what keeps people in the loop of OCD. You don’t want to risk your fear coming true so you can’t let go. What if it comes true?

You just performed a compulsion. Temporary relief. But you know what else happened – your OCD became stronger. You fed the beast another piece of your life, will and soul. Its grip on you became stronger and you are now back to square one with anxiety consuming your every living moment.

You suffer from OCD. Nothing will happen if you don’t listen to what it says. I repeat. Nothing. Actually…

You will recover. That is really something isn’t it?

If you don’t listen to OCD and refrain from giving it anymore of your time and thoughts it will vanish into thin air and you’ll get your life back. What I am describing in few words is actually a laborious and hard healing process that will take some months but it is worth it to get your life back on track.

Before giving in to OCD again just know that you are feeding it again and that it will never be enough. OCD took a lot from you and you are still giving it more.

Start doing ERP today and cut off the symbiotic chord between you and your obsessive-compulsive disorder. It will hurt you and threaten you. It will skyrocket your anxiety, but your brain will finally understand that there is no danger and no more obsessive thoughts will be sent your way.

I wish you all the best and I know you can do it!


Christiana Mane

What to do if you have an uncommon OCD theme

People who suffer from OCD often have themes that circle along the same subjects and fears but there are exceptions to the rule.
I am going to list a few common OCD themes: Harm OCD, Suicide OCD, HIV OCD, Cancer OCD, Homosexual OCD, Pedophilia OCD, False Memory OCD and the most common one in my experience Spiritual OCD.

There are other common ones..but what to do if you have an uncommon OCD theme?

I made a video on my Youtube channel (name of channel: OCD RECOVERY CHANNEL) adressing this issue.

But the basic idea is that even if you feel like your OCD theme does not fit in a box that you assume it’s supposed to fit in this doesn’t matter that there is anything wrong, or that it is not OCD and it is something else that you are dealing with. That;s not the case.

OCD grabs onto what is valuable and important to you, so it may just happen that your values are a bit different than the rest of the population. You may just get triggered more by some other situations or outcomes. It is still OCD and you already know what we do with OCD: we get rid of it.

Start doing self ERP NOW! You can do it!


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

Feeling depressed during and after OCD recovery

OCD takes a high mental toll on you and when you aren’t crippled with anxiety you may experience the other side of the coin, which is a feeling of depression and emptiness. I am going to explain to you why this happens and how to handle it.

In the beginning stage there is always hehe anxiety but as you progress through your recovery you will see it go down and be replaced with feelings and sensations that are different than what you’re used to.

Feelings of emptiness

As OCD used to be your focus all day, as it goes down it may leave you feeling empty, as you are not used to not having your thoughts and compulsions NOT take away most of your time and energy. What is there left for you to do now? You would think you’ll feel so happy and free when you stop compulsions but there is a time frame of adjusting and taking on New activities. Here is the key of getting over the feelings of emptiness: filling your time.

The activities you should choose are the ones in which you are actively involved and preferably contribute to raising your self-esteem. Something where you work with your hands, create something – like writing a book (you don’t have to become a writer, just if you enjoy writing), crafting items, painting, taking classes or trying to get in better physical shape. These kinds of activities raise self esteem and help you fill up your time.

Watching movies or youtube videos is not bad, but these activities are static and may not contribute to your personal growth, that’s why I suggest something where you actively, physically get involved.

The feeling of emptiness will dissipate, do not worry about it, as you have just been through a storm and must rebuild parts of your foundation. As you start filling up your time with things make sure those things do you evoke stress and do not trigger old obsessions – very important to keep in mind.

Feelings of being lost, not having a direction, depersonalization

Realizing you reacted the wrong way to simple, harmless thoughts that took away most of your life essence can leave you in a state of dissociation. You may ask yourself “Who am I actually?”, “What direction is my life suppose to take right now?”, “How was I stuck in such a horrible place for so long, how was I so foolish?”

These questions are usual after OCD recovery and when you find yourself in a better place it’s important to not beat yourself down again. Many OCD sufferers have a self-destructive nature they must keep in check. Many OCD sufferers also have high expectations of themselves and being directionless is a horrible state to an ex-OCD sufferer. What I am here to tell you is that you are not directionless, stop reacting to thoughts of these nature. These feelings can easily become obsessions on their own and may start the OCD cycle once again if you let them.

You are not directionless, you just made an amazing accomplishment (or you are fighting for it) and that is recovering from OCD. There are many people out there with many mental illnesses that may never recover, you are on the right path. That direction will come to you, just go with the flow and stop trying to control everything, as this got you into OCD in the first place.

Easy does it. No reaction to these feelings.

Feelings of depression, self-hatred

The true drama of OCD is that it does take away a lot of your time and life force. And you let i do so for very long. Of course you are not happy about it and you may feel this depression-like state, mixed with guilt and self-hatred.

Again. Other feelings which are totally normal and which should not stir a reaction in you. They will pass as long as you don’t give them power.

These feelings are just signs you are doing great in recovering from OCD, as they are just fragments of dust that remain after you withstood the storm. Congrats. Now don’t give into them ever again. You are a strong, strong individual for being on the road to full recovery because not many people are and because this is a very hard task, mentally.

Ignore the feelings and take your life back fully. 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

OCD is an addiction to the feeling of temporary relief

When confronted with an OCD thought, however hard it may be, it’s very useful to step aside and look at the bigger picture. You’re living your life worry by worry, compulsion, by compulsion…what are you trying to achieve?  It’s not sustainable because your OCD will always want more.

Ok, you solve this one compulsion, there will be a next one within hours or minutes, what will you do then? You’ll give in again and the cycle will continue forever. You are stuck in a loop, similar to the one addicts experience when they say “just this last time, then it will be fine, I will quit.”

You are addicted to the feeling of temporary relief, because going without it is painful. Uncertainty is painful to you, you crave safety. Just know that, by chasing the feeling you are throwing your life away. You will be forever stuck in the OCD loop because in a twisted way it serves you and comforts you.

Break the addiction cycle today, right now. Next time you are craving that temporary feeling of relief from the terror of an OCD thought choose to withstand the storm. Do this enough and your brain will rewire to not crave that feeling of relief anymore, it will scale down the anxiety because it will understand there’s nothing to be afraid of. If you don’t react with fear, the mechanism/loop eventually stops. Don’t want to sound like I blame you, but it is your fear that drives OCD. Without this source of fuel OCD just doesn’t have anything against you.

It may hold you hostage right now, but you have the power to turn the tidesyou can do it!


Christiana Mane

The MINDSET you need to recover from OCD

When you do exposure and response prevention a.k.a not reacting to OCD thoughts with fear, you need to be aware that you must be in the right mindset.

The keyword here is power. You need to be in a mindset where you are fed up with OCD, fed up with it ruining your life and making your world smaller and smaller. You need to just be done with it and with its tricks. Always talk to it/about it from a position of power, as you are in control and not a victim of it anymore.

Getting out of the victim mentality is a guaranteed way of getting out of OCD.

Fear will be there and anxiety will skyrocket but you are still in power – that’s the mindset. Make up your mind that whatever happens OCD is not your master anymore and you are not its slave. When a thought comes in label it and move on, no remorse and no negotiations. You are its boss. Adopt the belief that what it says is false, that what is makes you do is silly and that you are done playing this game for good.

You will see progress in no time and if you have physical symptoms they will gradually subside when you adopt that position of power that I told you about.

So no more games, no more playing wack-a-mole with OCD, no more victim mentality you are done with OCD for good.

You can do it!


Christiana Mane

Is OCD true? What happens if I don’t do OCD compulsions?

Will my OCD fears come true? These are the questions that stand between you and your recovery. 

The catch is, even if I told you NO, it is not true and nothing bad will happen if you stopped compulsions you will not believe it. Because your mind has been trained for so long (by you reacting with fear) that you are in danger, there is no way to rationalize yourself out of OCD – does not work.

I will tell you what works: you stopping the compulsions and the mental gymnastics trying to solve OCD thoughts and find safety. 

Learn to live outside the safe zone and I know it is painful, agonizing, to resist compulsions in the beginning but start right from this moment. Say NO MORE. Say I AM NOT PLAYING THIS GAME ANYMORE to your OCD and stick to this. 

You will get better and you will finally get that reassurance that everything is fine, but only after you resisted OCD urges for at least 2 months. 

It is worth it and you can do it!

Christiana Mane

The technical explanation of OCD (you MUST understand this in order to heal!)

So why is OCD happening to you? OCD’s fuel is your fear of a certain thing or situation. At some point in your life you have reacted with fear to a certain thought. Out of thousands of thoughts we have on a daily basis, one scared you very badly. You sent a signal to your brain: this is dangerous.

You did this once, twice, many times and your brain learned that that particular thought or theme is a scary thing.

In dangerous situations the fight or flight mechanism is triggered in our bodies with the aim to protect us from anything that is dangerous (a.k.a that creates fear). Your brain doesn’t tell the difference between fear created by a thought or a bear approaching you, it still reacts with the same goal: to protect you and get you away from danger.

In order for you to be protected of what you are afraid of, your mind created the compulsions that OCD makes you engage in and whose role are to alleviate the danger you create by showing fear when faced with certain thoughts. You must view OCD as a learned behaviour not as some chronic condition or chemical imbalance.

It is a chemical imbalance, but it is created by your fear! As soon as you stop reacting with fear to the thoughts OCD sends you, it loses all its power over you. But this is a process, we are humans, we don’t have an ON/OFF switch to our fears. The process of recovery starts when you decide, I emphasize DECIDE, to stop reacting to these thoughts, disregarding them and labelling them as nothing more than OCD acting up.

Very hard task, I know it is no easy job, but as I said before, it is the only way out of OCD. Meds, meditation, supplements…nothing will get you out as effectively as you stopping reaction and bearing the anxiety that comes with this action.

The first few days of stopping reaction will be riddled with terror and anxiety, but at the same time you brain circuits remodel, the fear connection becomes weaker day by day when you refuse reaction and compulsions and soon enough you will be free from OCD. This relates to neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to remodel according to patterns of thinking and behaving.

The OCD recovery process takes 6-10, maybe 20 weeks, depending on how strong and firm you resist the urges. You will have setbacks, but never get discouraged, you are human and you are on the course of getting out of the OCD loop. Cut yourself some slack, but never let OCD dictate to you again.

As weeks go by, OCD thoughts will become rarer, resisting them will become very easy and your recovery will be complete.

You can do it!


Christiana Mane

How should one behave while recovering from OCD

With OCD there comes a set of negative emotions like sadness, numbness, guilt, shame, regret and of course, a lot of anxiety.

While being riddled with this cascade of agonizing feelings and trying your best to resist OCD compulsions you may experience a great deal of stress.

How should one behave and withstand the recovering period?

People will sense and maybe call out your negative emotions, they may question what is wrong. I strongly advise you not to try faking happiness or appear carefree to please anybody around you.

How others see you is not important when you are recovering from OCD. What’s important is how you see yourself.

Don’t add another layer of pressure on yourself by trying to appear a certain way or trying to appease people. Your number one priority is OCD recovery and that is your job. Put yourself first and do the hard mental work that is required in order to heal from OCD forever – and than you will truly be happy, no need to fake it.

You can do it!


Christiana Mane