• Quote of the Day
    "The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases."
    Carl Jung, posted by Daniel
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Daniel

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Spend time in nature: A 2014 study found that people who went on a 90-minute nature walk reported fewer symptoms of rumination after their walk than those who walked through an urban area instead.
 

Daniel

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"Compulsive drives are specifically neurotic; they are born of feelings of isolation, helplessness, fear and hostility, and represent ways of coping with the world despite these feelings; they aim primarily not at satisfaction but at safety; their compulsive character is due to the anxiety lurking behind them."

~ Karen Horney, Our Inner Conflicts (1945)
 

David Baxter

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"Compulsive drives are specifically neurotic; they are born of feelings of isolation, helplessness, fear and hostility1, and represent ways of coping with the world despite these feelings; they aim primarily not at satisfaction but at safety2; their compulsive character is due to the anxiety lurking behind them."

~ Karen Horney, Our Inner Conflicts (1945)

1 but most OCD sufferers are not (fully) aware of this connection

2 most OCD sufferers are away of this connection, aware that the OCD-defenses aren't working, and aware that often they are protecting themselves from something which does not exist at the moment and which may never come into existence. It's a little like fortune-telling but only on the negative aspects of the present and the future.
 

Daniel

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"Thinking about and analyzing your crazy thoughts—that’s like having a skin cancer and sitting around trying to analyze why it has a certain shape and color. That’s not really the point, is it? You’ve got to find a way to cut it out or deal with it.”

The best treatment, by Jenike’s lights, is calling OCD’s bluff, with some drugs to take the edge off the anxiety.
 

Daniel

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“People who live with OCD drag a metal sea anchor around. Obsession is a break, a source of drag, not a badge of creativity, a mark of genius or an inconvenient side effect of some greater function.”

“To resist a compulsion with willpower alone is to hold back an avalanche by melting the snow with a candle. It just keeps coming and coming and coming.”

“I knew what I had to do. I had to ignore the thoughts, resist the compulsion, let the anxiety build, and then let it decay to extinction all over again.”

― David Adam, The Man Who Couldn't Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought
 
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Daniel

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Daniel

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ACT is based on the model that the things people think and feel, or the bodily sensations that one has are not under that person’s control in any meaningful way. But, what a person does while thinking, feeling, or experiencing a sensation is under his or her control. To illustrate this, answer these two questions:
  1. For $1,000 could you prevent yourself from having an obsession over the next 24 hours, and
  2. For $1,000 could you stop yourself from engaging in your compulsion(s) over the next 24 hours?
Most people would probably Experience their obsession but would find a way to avoid engaging in the compulsion(s). This exercise illustrates that while obsessions and compulsions often occur together, they are not technically tied to each other. We can experience obsessions and not engage in compulsions. Also, compulsions are much easier to control than obsessions. This is partially why ACT focuses on what one does and less so on what one thinks or feels.
 

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"An engineer and former patient of mine found it helpful to label his frightening obsessions as synthetic thoughts. I think this is a good way to characterize them. Even if you can't label them in a helpful way, you can at least try to take it on faith that what the thoughts are telling you may not be accurate."
 

David Baxter

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I used to tell my clients to treat it as an object like a train. It approaches and passes you by but you don't have to follow it. Just see it, acknowledge it, and let it go.

You can even hear the Doppler effect as it goes past you. That's okay. You see it and hear it but just let it go past you continuing on its way.

Now its gone past you. Let it go. Now you can continue on with your day. :)
 

Daniel

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Reconnecting to the Creative Fire

I often tell my clients with OCD that our job is to remember that fire can be great as long as it is linked up correctly. Just look at a car. It is a sophisticated explosion device that has found a way to use its energy for momentum rather than destruction.

The goal of OCD treatment is to help reconnect the fire and move it from OCD thoughts and compulsion into creative momentum. In other words, it's about recognizing the underlying thoughts and feelings--even if they initially conjure up anxiety--and getting support with translating them into a better balance of respecting oneself and the people you love.

It's only then that we can see OCD not just as a nuisance, but as a messenger for linking up to our true creative purpose again.
 

Daniel

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In recent years, to better understand the psychopathology of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), increasing attention has been paid to the so-called ‘fear of self’, that is the fear of people with OCD of housing in their inner unacceptable aspects of Self. However, the exact dynamics of the phenomenon is still unclear: to better clarify it, a specific psychological process, termed Retrospective Identification of Motivations and Inclinations (RIMI), will be described here. When a patient with OCD evaluates his/her inner experience (thought, emotion, imagery, etc.) or own behavior in some way as unacceptable, he/she will identify in a retrospective way the alleged negative motivations/inclinations which would have been the source of that experience or behavior. RIMI, not only helps to better understand ‘Fear of Self’, but has also important implications for the therapy.

From another article by the same author:


So far, the psychopathological conceptualization of OCD seems to include different levels.

Indeed, precisely at the surface of the problem, we find a first level consisting in an accurate description and definition of the phenomena: the main clinical manifestations of OCD (i.e., obsessions and compulsions), the most frequent themes of obsessions (i.e., blasphemy, sexual, contamination, etc.), the main kinds of compulsions (i.e., checking, washing, etc.) and so on.

At an intermediate level, instead, we can find more elaborated constructs as the ‘belief domains’ described so far (exaggerated responsibility, over-importance of thoughts, etc.) that lie beyond the purely phenomenological level. These concepts are the result of an operation of abstraction performed by the observer: in fact, they are tacit assumptions often not spontaneously identified by the patients themselves.

Finally, at an even deeper level there can be concepts involving higher-order constructs as the construct of the Self. It is the case of the concept of ‘self-ambivalence’, in whose light some authors have tried to reread also the belief domains.
 
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Daniel

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When anxiety reduces, the person is once again open to dealing with the many other action possibilities the environment makes available. The result of this openness and readiness for the world is increased self-confidence.
 
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