Techniques for reducing/hiding the severity of the effects of OCD.
I've been having trouble with obsessive actions and compulsive and uncontrollable thoughts for quite some time now, and with some research I discovered that these symptoms may be a side effects of OCD. My question was then answered by a counsellor. However, with stress my symptoms become more sever and harder to control. I am searching for techniques to control or even hide them to save embarrassment. Friends and family suggest not hiding them but I still find it rather embarrassing and distracting.
Well things such as; Perfectionism i.e everything must be symetrical and perfect, constantly having to check/re-check, obsessive thoughts over one issue, uncontrollable thoughts and urges to hurt or do things to people, anxieties caused by suppresed urges and lately I've been somewhat changing what I see, I guess. Example; I'm just looking through a window on my school bus, then an explosion smashes the window. Then, frightened by the... Daydream? I return to reality.
You hit the nail right on the head when you said stress makes the symptoms worse. You mentioned seeing a counselor but have you seen a psychologist?
There are several techniques you can use and they fall under the category of cognitive behavioral therapy and these techniques can be taught to you by a psychologist.
But just to cover a few basics...first and foremost you have to control your breathing. It is possible to hyperventilate without even knowing it. So to control your breathing you take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it for 5 seconds and count this out in your head, and then let it all out through your mouth. I use this all the time and you can do it without people even noticing you are doing it. You continue to breath until you feel calm. Once you are calm, you will be able to think through things more rationally.
As far as the perfectionism, you need to let that go slowly. When you have the urge to line stuff up, etc, you have to walk away. I know it will be hard and you will want to run back but that is when you do your breathing and some self-coaching, i.e., "NO, I AM NOT GOING BACK." And then go and make yourself busy with taking a walk, reading a book, etc.
The checking...I had this problem, have it a little still, but what I do is use verbal ques such as "The door is locked" when I check it or "the iron is off" so that when I have that moment of shear panic, I can remember that I said the words outloud.
As far as the uncontrollable thoughts to hurt people...been there. What I did was I went into a dark room and I actually pictured myself in my mind hurting those people and when you do that you realize that that person isn't you and that you would never do those things. This takes practice so don't expect it to go away after a few tries.
As for the maladaptive daydreaming....OCD people are very, very creative and that is what you are doing with your mind...creating daydreams of worst case scenarios. When you notice yourself going into a daydream, you need to pull yourself out. Keeping busy with other things such as reading on the bus is a good way to do this. I daydream all the time but it doesn't interfere with my life so I don't think that is a problem for me.
Lastly, there are a couple of books you can pick up. One is The OCD Workbook: Your Guide to Breaking Free of OCD. There are many techniques and worksheets in this book for you to use. The other book is Self-Coaching by Joseph Luciani. I loved this book. It explains OCD really well and gives you strategies to turn those negatives into positives using self-coaching. My favoriate statement is "Nope, not going there, so move on!"
Hopefully you will find these things helpful. But a psychologist is really your best bet. There is no substitute for getting it all out and having somebody else help you through it.
That was amazing! Thank you so much, you are a life saver. :) I will be seeing a phsychologist soon, until then I will use these techniques. Thank you so much, I've been waiting for something like this for a long time.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.