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

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

Panic attacks in OCD | The message behind panic attacks

OCD can cause panic attacks as anxiety builds up more and more and compulsions are taking over your life. OCD manifesting with panic attacks signals that you have reached a critical point as an OCD sufferer and your body is sending you a clear message that it is seriously affected by the condition of OCD.

Panic attacks are your body’s way of showing emotional suffering and asking you to do something about it.  As panic attacks begin to manifest you are left only with the option of recovery because the panic attacks will not go away on their own, unless you do the work required of you to get over your obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Panic Attacks in OCD can come in a very physical manner, through sensations of suffocation, trembling, cold sweats, palpitations, dry mouth etc.

They can also come in a more subdued manner as a sensation of impending doom and feeling that all hope is lost.

Either way, it’s your signal that it is time you recover. And recovery is 100% possible, OCD is NOT a chronic condition. It doesn’t have to be.

Getting panic attacks because of your OCD thought and fears piling up? You must recover – that is the message you are receiving! Don’t ignore the message and instead try to view this as a positive push for you to fully heal from this awful mental condition.

Resist any kind of physical compulsion and try to keep your thoughts as far away from OCD as possible. By you refusing reaction, you are stepping closer to being OCD-free. 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

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

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 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

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