Does OCD have a spiritual cause? Demons?

Many OCD sufferers have questioned this at least a few times. Does OCD have a spiritual cause? Is OCD somehow connected to demonic possession or the spiritual realm?

The short answer I am going to give you is: It doesn’t matter.

Why doesn’t it matter? Because by you asking yourself questions like these you dive deeper into the OCD rabbit hole and in consequence drift further away from reality. It is an OCD trap.

Now having said that, I personally believe there are always at least two ways of looking at the same thing. Truth being a matter of perspective, you can look at OCD the way you want to look at it.

If a man cheats on his wife he may very well approach it as I was weak and I couldn’t resist the easy opportunity presented to me, or he can approach it as The devil came to me in the form of an attractive woman that tempted me and whose demonic lure I could not resist.

So what’s the truth? A matter of perspective.

I suggest you not to ponder on the cause of your OCD, but the solution of it. And the most effective solution is not within the spiritual approach to my experience. The solution is ERP therapy which is a grounded, realistic and logic-based approach to OCD. I suggest you stick to that and stop right there with the pondering. 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

Is OCD chronic?

OCD is not chronic. Let me start with that and write it in bold letters.

OCD is an actual pattern of thinking and behaving that stems from fear and it is strengthened through daily practice by the sufferer.

Just how you feed your OCD through performing compulsions and reacting to your scary OCD thoughts, you can do the opposite – weaken it and eventually make it go away for good by not reacting to what it tells you.

That’s what ERP is all about. Exposure and response prevention. You must prevent the response of fear not only through your actions, by not performing compulsions, but also in your mind by refusing to let the fear consume you and stand your ground against whatever thoughts come in.

OCD is a hard disorder to beat, no doubt about it, but the good news is recovery is not only possible but very probable if you are determined to get rid of it for good.

If you meet people who tell you OCD is chronic and you must live with OCD forever…these people are not well-informed.

There are so many sufferers who put themselves through the hard work and stress that is OCD recovery and came out to the other side. You can be one of them, 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

Magical thinking OCD

Out of maybe all other types of OCD out there, Magical Thinking OCD may be the hardest one to grasp or to Take seriously for a non-sufferer.

Magical thinking OCD deals with patterns of thoughts like “If I don’t touch this plant before I go to sleep the boat will crash tommorow when we go to the lake“.

Magical thinking OCD connects random actions (or the lack of performing a random action) to an irrational outcome like somebody getting sick, a plane crashing, a pet dying and other catastrophic events.

How can the sufferers actually believe these thoughts? They are simply… Silly!

They believe them because these thoughts come with a tremendous amount of anxiety. Why do people who fall in love do silly things, or see their significant other in a different light than anybody else does? Because of feelings. OCD attaches to feelings, specifically to fear. The “silly” thoughts in magical thinking OCD come with a great load of fear attached to them, sometimes even with physical sensations that reinforce the idea that if a compulsion is not performed the sufferer will bear the consequences. So no matter how bizarre the magical thinking may look from the outside, in the internal world of the sufferer fear reigns supreme, making them act in an irrational manner.

I believe many sufferers of magical thinking OCD feel misunderstood or have a hard time understanding themselves or opening up about their OCD problem because of how it may appear to an outsider. Magical thinking OCD, like any other OCD is curable by resisting the urge to perform the compulsions (a.k.a ERP therapy).

Especially in magical thinking OCD the sufferer may experience connected events, sensations, occurrences that reinforce their beliefs that their OCD is real, that the compulsions must be performed and so on. I urge you to resist this temptations, as your form of OCD is common and you can do it!

Christiana Mane

How to perform self-ERP for OCD 

If you suffer from OCD it is very important for you to break the cycle that you got stuck into, performing compulsions that temporarily alleviate your anxiety, but make your OCD worse in the long run.

Let’s see how you can do self-ERP the correct way and cure your OCD forever:

1. Exposure

The exposure part is the OCD thought. Recognizing OCD thoughts is a simple process because they always come with a great deal of anxiety and pose the question “what if..”.  When dealing with Pure O (pure obsessional) OCD the thoughts can be a little sneakier, harder to identify, because they don’t make you perform a physical compulsion, they want you to chase them and solve them – that is the trap they lay for you.

As you can see, we’ve established that the  E in ERP stands for the exposure – you being exposed to the thought.

2. Response prevention

Here is the tricky part where many OCD sufferers get confused. When you suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder the fear will come in automatically, as the thought comes in. You can’t prevent that and that isn’t the response prevention part of ERP.

The response prevention part of ERP is you acknoledging the thought as an OCD thought and disregarding it. No matter the fear, anxiety, guilt, dispair that the thought brings you, you must disregard it as an OCD thought and do not give it space in your mind any longer. You react with fear automatically, ok, you cannot control that, but only initially. After that you block the fear, you refuse reation.

As OCD specialist Ali Greymond says, you must live parallel to your OCD thoughts, distance yourself from them and never let them consume you. This means of course no compulsions of the physical nature, but also not thinking about it at all! If you don’t perform compulsions, but ruminate about the thought all day long and you give it space in your mind THAT IS NOT response prevention. So be careful when it comes to your attention – where your focus is. If it’s not in the right place, shift it.

Depending on your OCD severity this will seem hard, maybe next to impossible, but you can do it. I know it is hard, but you can do it!

Christina Mane

OCD with physical sensations

OCD can give you thoughts accompanied by physical sensations that reinforce the sense of urgency to perform compulsions. Physical sensations in OCD can make everything seem more real to the sufferer, making ERP more difficult in this situation.

Some physical sensations that OCD can give you include: itching, burning, sharp pain, muscle aches etc. These sensations always come with the OCD thought and consequently with a lot of fear.

It’s very hard to resist the urge, but you must stand your ground against your OCD, be it with physical sensations or without and perform ERP (exposure and response prevention) by resisting reaction and ignoring what OCD is telling you at any given moment. In order for the cycle to break and for you to break free from OCD you must stop showing fear when faced with your OCD thoughts and live your life as if you are already OCD-free.

Don’t be scared of physical sensations, don’t be scared of the brain fog and high anxiety it produces because these are just symptoms of OCD. Refuse reaction and you will be free.

You can do it!

Christiana Mane