Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, is often thought to be a disease in and of itself. However, to better understand how to overcome OCD naturally, it is essential to recognize the disorder as a sub-type of anxiety. Moreover, there is an Obsessive Compulsive personality-type, which is related, but not severe enough to be considered a disorder. Since this is a cognitive disease, one must fully understand it to overcome it without medication.
Many people who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) say that it’s like having the “mental hiccups”. Your brain gets stuck in a repetitive pattern of thinking and acting, a vicious cycle, and it seems like there is no way to stop it.
History of Treating OCD:
In the past, it was thought generally that OCD couldn’t be treated. Persons suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder had no choice but to go on suffering when years of psychotherapy had no positive impact on their condition. Today, thankfully, almost all people with OCD can be helped – and some even completely cured.
And one out of every 50 adults in the US suffers from OCD. And it is said to be the 4th most common mental disorder.
OCD individual has obsession and compulsion. Obsession is thought and compulsion is behavior. In OCD there have recurrent and persistent thought, urges, or images. repetitive behaviors include hand washing, counting, checking etc.
Fear of Germs or Dirt
For example, you might constantly focus on fear of germs. If you have a fear of germs or dirt you might obsessively wash your hands many, many times each day, causing your skin to quickly dry out and perhaps even start to hurt. That’s a common example of an OCD behavior.
A doctor told one extreme version of the fear of germs to me. He said that one of his OCD-patients used to force her kids to take a bath whenever they came in from outside, even during winter.
OCD – A Form of Unhealthy Perfectionism
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can also be seen as a sort of unhealthy perfectionism.
You might feel an uncontrollable urge to check and double-check your work, for example, for potential mistakes. Which if found out, you think, would make other people think less of you. You worry and look for errors and have a hard time relaxing.
So, many people all over the world suffer from this disorder. Do you? Are you tired of it? Would you like to learn how to deal with this disorder from an individual formally afflicted?-Then follow the following procedure:
As mentioned, OCD is an off-shoot of anxiety. Everyone has a normal flight or fight response to fear, but with anxiety, the sense of fear is heightened to a point out of proportion to the actual danger. With OCD, this out of proportion since of danger is countered by a need for prevention, rather than fight or flight. The person with OCD will be obsessed about a possible danger, thought, or another scenario, and begins to create rituals which they believe will ward off the danger. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is most valuable psychotherapy for OCD treatment.
The ritual they create may exist in the form of actions, thoughts, or even urges. The important part is that this ritual becomes uncontrollable, cannot help but give in to the impulse to do it. When this ritual begins to interfere with the person’s life to the point that it takes up an hour or more a day, cumulatively, it is officially considered a disorder. Understanding this, and the fact that the ritual was started to avert a danger, is key to overcoming OCD naturally, without medication.
OCD is a cognitive disease, meaning it exists within the mind; therefore, the importance of understanding the disease cannot be overstated. Once you understand the disease, you begin to change the way you look at it and thus handle it differently. Fear is not a bad thing if you can learn to control how you respond to it.
Even if the people around you do not recognize your symptoms, most people with OCD know when the ritual is happening. So, try to change your mindset, and see the urge as a challenge. Maybe tell yourself that you need more adventure in your life anyway, so when the urge hits, make yourself do absolutely nothing for 10 minutes. Each time, delay the reaction longer and longer until your brain begins to process that nothing happens when the ritual is not performed.
Things to Avoid With OCD:
OCD can be a debilitating condition to have to live with. I’m a great believer in doing things, even little things, which make life a bit easier. Here are just a few things to avoid with OCD and hopefully help make someone’s life a tad less difficult.
Using alcohol or other drugs
Drugs and alcohol initially make the sufferer’s need for control and order dissipate. A measure of relief is then felt. However, once the sufferer has sobered up, the guilt of having been out of control and/or any guilt over actions while “under the influence” causes the victim to counteract their feelings of shame and embarrassment, compulsive actions are often increased in an attempt to flush them out.
Trying to control things that can’t – control what you can and let the rest take care of itself
This can be hard, but it can relieve the pressure of solving all of life’s problems. Alcoholics often recite what is called The Serenity Prayer – I think it applies for sufferers of OCD.
Blaming yourself for your OCD
Are you harder on yourself than you would be with a friend who had this illness? Practice being kind to yourself. Stop feeling ashamed for having a disorder that isn’t a weakness, but as true and real as having a Heart condition.
They aren’t going anywhere and will only return stronger. Tackle problems one at a time. “Baby-step” if you have to, but do not stick your head in the sand.
Do not cut yourself off
You need the support of your friends and family to deal with OCD. While there are a great many support groups on the Internet, it is much more advisable to find one in your local community to benefit from personal interaction.
Studies appear to show that overcoming OCD naturally is all about exposure and response prevention. If you cannot make yourself believe the danger is not real, then changing the way you perceive the danger can be key. Remember, you are not stuck in a flight response, but one of prevention. So, harness that knowledge and see the fear as a challenge to be overcome. When the fear does not materialize every time it is challenged, you are on your way to overcoming OCD without medication.