OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and is more common than many suffers realise. It shows itself in several ways, it may involve a strong compulsion to repeat certain behaviours such as checking equipment has been switched off, washing repeatedly, tidying and arranging things in certain ways. It may involve a compulsion to repeat certain rituals, such as counting or arranging things in a special way. It may manifest itself through intrusive and unwanted thoughts, often about things that make the sufferer feel very ashamed or afraid. It may show itself through a fear of contaminating others or being contaminated by germs.
Most of us have certain idiosyncrasies and may like things done in a certain way but when this interferes with your sense of well being, and stops you from doing things, leads you to avoiding certain things then it may be time to seek help.
OCD is driven by anxiety and shame and it attacks the suffers ability to trust their own senses. It can be likened to a bully and telling the sufferer that bad things are likely to happen, it would be terrible if they did and it is the sufferers responsibility to stop them from happening. The trouble is responding to the compulsion makes it more likely to continue. If you feel you need to check if the door is locked every time you leave the house, and go back several times to check, the very act of checking makes your brain think the checking was needed. Like a bully, if you give in to OCD, it will tend to come back for more.
Just like dealing with a bully, the best way to deal with OCD is to stand up to it. This is not easy and if you suffer from OCD you may need support to overcome it but like all bullies if approached with confidence and determination, it can be overcome.
Negative Thoughts and Biased Thinking
It can be important to think about the way we see things and the way we respond to what others say and how they treat us. Sometimes we may be jumping to conclusions and our thinking may be biased against us.
The following is a list of these negative thoughts:
Taking things personally i.e.assuming that somebody else’s actions are directed, personally towards you , for example if they leave the room when you enter it. The reality may be that they need to go somewhere and it has nothing to do with you.
Taking the blame taking responsibility when it is not yours e.g. “She looked really fed up, it must be because of me.” It could be because she has just had a difficult phone call or a rough day.
Mind reading believing you know what someone else is thinking e.g. “She thinks I am stupid.” She may well be thinking the opposite, something different or nothing at all.
Discounting the positive rejecting good things as though they do not count or filtering them through to the negative e.g. “She is only saying that because she wants me to feel better” “Doing that is no big deal.” We tend to ignore the good things.
Emotional reasoning mistaking feelings for facts i.e. supposing you really are inadequate just because that is how you feel.
Catastrophizing thinking that if a small thing goes wrong it will be a disaster e.g. if I do that wrong I will never be able to go there again.
Over-generalising assuming that because something happened once or twice it will always happen.
Predicting the future or fortune telling I will never be able to make friends with her or I will always be on my own.
Labelling or name-calling there is something wrong with my mind, I am useless...boring...stupid.
Wishful thinking things would be better if only I were funnier, more attractive, more sporty...
Question your thoughts, do not accept them as facts, explore them and see if you have real, hard evidence for them or are there other ways of seeing things, more positive ways of seeing things?