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  • #402328
    Kaytie
    Participant

    Good Day Tiny Buddha Forum,

    I’d like to stay mostly anonymous- so I will not be sharing much about myself. However, I would like to talk about OCD. The purpose of the thread is to talk about overcoming OCD.

    Question of the thread: what strategies helped you overcome OCD.
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>I hope that this could possibly a self help resource point for anyone struggling. I know I wish I could have found self help strategies besides ‘journaling’  and ‘be kind to yourself.’</p>
    (Professional help including therapy, counseling, psychotherapy  is the best option for treatment of OCD. I recommend that if you are suffering from OCD you seek professional help. It really does help. I am not a mental health professional. I am not a therapist or a doctor.)

    Let’s begin, what is OCD. The following is a direct quote from the international ocd foundation:

    “Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder that affects people of all ages and walks of life, and occurs when a person gets caught in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted, intrusive thoughts, images, or urges that trigger intensely distressing feelings. Compulsions are behaviors an individual engages in to attempt to get rid of the obsessions and/or decrease his or her distress.“

    OCD is hard. When I was young I delt with crushing anxiety and guilt after a traumatic event and OCD compulsions. (Once again I am not a therapist or a doctor- these are things I experienced and that helped me) A few things that helped me:

    -the more you push away that anxiety, that guilt, that anger, that sadness the more it comes back. Often times (at least in my case) it came back much much worse. Think of these ‘unwanted feelings’ like a large cut. If you refuse to address the cut or just present it doesn’t exist because you don’t want to deal with it now, it will just get worse. Eventually the bleeding might stop. It might get infected.

    (In my case) ocd was fueled from ignoring my feelings/thoughts. They kept coming back stronger and stronger to the point where I needed to find things to stop these feelings/thoughts (cue compulsions).

    I like to think of compulsions like a bandage. If you have a big cut slapping a bandaid on may provide a temporary relief until you bleed through the bandage- then what? You replace it with another bandage.

    how dealt with it was:

    you, are not what you think, how you feel, how you look, how you dress. Because those are all things that change. They change and can be changed. Those thoughts do not define who you are. Just because you have a ‘I’m stupid’ compulsive thought doesn’t not mean you are.

    So, what to do. Observing these thoughts without judgment changed my life. So here are the steps I identified: identify an unwanted or compulsive thought, do not focus on it instead take a deep breath, observe the thoughts running through your mind, (I like to picture a tv screen flashing from thing to thing, or a river flowing with thoughts) do not form an opinion of the thought- that makes the thought important, just observe it, eventually the river has to continue to flow and the thought will pass. Often with quick little thoughts it doesn’t take as long.

    That’s all I got for you. These are things I’ve experienced, what I’ve been through, it might not work for you, or for anyone. But I wanted to share in case it helps someone. I hope that others can share how they helped overcome OCD.

    #402378
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Kaytie:

    Thank you for starting this forum. Like all forums here, this too is a Self-Help forum; all information and help shared in these forums is in the context of self-help.

    I suffered from OCD for two decades before I was diagnosed with OCD (and Tourette Syndrome) at 26. Currently I still suffer from Tourette’s tics (less than before)  but not from OCD. Through an ongoing process of emotional healing, starting with my first experience with quality, professional therapy 11 years ago, yoga, tai-chi, daily exercise… and over 7 years of hours-long daily participation in these forums, my mental health significantly improved and I no longer fit the diagnosis of OCD.

    I very much relate to what you shared regarding your healing, Kaytie: (1) “Observing thoughts without judgment changed my life… do not form an opinion of the thought”- this is the key to healing from OCD, I believe: to no longer judge oneself negatively for neither obsessing nor for performing compulsions. (2) “do not focus on it, instead take a deep breath”, I call this strategy Notice-Pause-Redirect (NPR): Notice an ongoing obsession or the urge to perform a compulsion=> Pause=> Redirect to a taking a breath

    I will be glad to share more about my healing from OCD as well as to read more  from you, Kaytie and from other members about experiences with and healing from OCD.

    Too often members start threads but abandon them following the first/original post. Also, the forums have been slow for a while. I hope that this forum become alive with members!

    anita

     

     

    I

    #402394
    Kaytie
    Participant

    Hello there Anita,

    I appreciate the response- it is very awesome that you have overcome OCD! It’s very difficult for sure. Thank you for sharing your story.  I hope that this forum can help someone.

    Kaytie (Katie)

    #402403
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Kaytie:

    You are welcome and thank you for your encouragement, for starting this thread and for being a member here! Hopefully people who google “ocd self help” or such, will get to this thread and join us. I know that there is a lot more that I want to talk about my experience with and my understanding of ocd, and will post here again. I hope you do too (if you want to, of course).

    anita

    #402396
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Kaytie! ( and others on here)

    I’m not sure if my advice/thoughts will be helpful, because I don’t experience OCD like thoughts very often anymore. This forum and its members  (the entire tiny Buddha forum) has helped me so I wanted to maybe see if I could write something that might help someone else.

    I recently deleted my old account. but- I was scrolling the forums today and saw your post- which really interested me!!! So I’m back again, again. I won’t delete- because I’m honestly not sure why I did in the first place.

    anyway- my apologies for the ramble.

    So my name is Lea, I’m 19 and I’ve personally gone through some of the things you described. I never received an OCD diagnosis- however I showed many signs of ocd and I experienced compulsions. So, because I haven’t had a diagnosis, my experience might be very different than yours- or any other members here. It also could be quite similar.

    I started experiencing compulsions in middle school and they worsened in high school. As I got into high school I began to notice that many compulsive acts and ‘ocd panic thoughts’ came from an insecurity- or as you mentioned a wound and/or event. My train of thought in high school went something like this: ‘I let my dog be beat by a trainer- I’m a bad person. But I promised that I’d never let anything happen to him again. I will keep that promise.’ I remember feeling guilt after this incident. Therefore I ended up spiraling into a compulsive checking routine. I had one of those pet cameras and I’d check on him every hour. When I was at home I’d check on him often. I’d bring treats and let him. If I saw someone on social media post something about how they were spending time with their dog I’d need to go check on him or spend time with him. if I left too long between seeing him I’d get waves of complete sheer panic. I’d completely derail my plans to go see him. Studying and in the work flow? Boom I’d interrupt it to go see my dog.

    I thought- even though I knew it was ridiculous – that he would hate me if I didn’t check on him or ‘spend time with him’.
    I knew it was a problem so order to overcome this I practiced what you’re describing (observing the thought pausing and not judging). Someone else suggested to me that this could be called the Notice-Stop-Pause technique. Which can not only be applied to obsessive thoughts- but anything thought or habit. I currently am actively practicing this technique to stop a certain behavioral pattern that I have created for myself.

    To overcome the ritual- the compulsive checking- I would meditate. I found one certain guided meditation- I don’t remember the one but it was very short. I believe the mediation was one for anxious people and observing thoughts. At first observing the thought didn’t work- because I hadn’t practiced the technique. Personally as I continued to work on this skills- the better I became at overcoming the compulsive thoughts.

    There were times I would just get mad at myself and I wouldn’t check for a while. I’d let myself get so uncomfortable that I was crying. This is not a solution. Don’t punish yourself. A member on the forum gave me a lot of advise on this. And  told me in an indirect way ‘you can’t heal yourself with hate and anger’ as hard as it is, the first step to overcoming OCD is being kind to yourself.

    I must go now, so maybe I’ll post more on this in a few days. Wishing you (Kaytie) and everyone who may read this a wonderful wonderful night/evening/day.
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Sincerely, Lea</p>

    #402867
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Kaytie/ Reader:

    I am posting here today so to bring this thread to page 1, to make it more visible, just in case it may get the attention of someone who suffers from ocd (or from ocd symptoms) and would like to share about the experience and exchange suggestions.

    anita

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