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OCD Unravelled

By Rania Sa’adi , Family Flavours - May 13,2024 - Last updated at May 13,2024

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

By Rania Sa’adi,
Rapid Transformational Therapist & Clinaicl Hypnotherapist

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

(OCD) manifests differently for each individual

Common obsessions include fears of contamination, doubts about safety or orderliness and intrusive thoughts of harm coming to oneself or others.

These obsessions trigger intense anxiety, leading to compulsive behaviours aimed at reducing the anxiety caused by the obsessions. Compulsions may involve repetitive actions such as handwashing, checking, counting, or arranging objects in a specific manner.

Causes

The cause of OCD is believed to be a result of combination of factors, including genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors.

Additionally, and according to Marisa Peer, a renowned therapist and creator of Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT), the need to be ‘in control’ contributes highly to the development of OCD, a thought process that goes:

“If I can’t control the thoughts and feeling I have inside me, I can control everything outside of me”.

Symptoms

Symptoms of OCD vary in severity and intensity but generally include:

Obsessions: Persistent, unwanted thoughts, urges, or images that cause distress

Compulsions: Repetitive behaviours or mental acts performed in response to obsessions to alleviate anxiety or prevent a feared outcome

Avoidance: Avoiding situations or triggers that provoke obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviours

Impairment: Significant distress or interference in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning

Addressing OCD

One of the unique approaches to resolving OCD is by addressing the underlying beliefs and emotions driving the condition. This is done by accessing and understanding the subconscious mind and reprogramming negative thought patterns through techniques such as RTT.

Here are some key strategies based on this approach:

Identifying the root causes: This emphasises the importance of unravelling the root causes of OCD, which often lie in past experiences, traumas, or negative beliefs formed during childhood. By exploring these underlying issues, individuals can gain insight into the origins of their obsessive-compulsive patterns

Challenging negative beliefs: Through RTT techniques, individuals can challenge and reframe negative beliefs that contribute to OCD symptoms. By replacing limiting beliefs with empowering ones, individuals can shift their mindset and develop healthier coping mechanisms

Cognitive restructuring: Here, we use techniques to change the way individuals perceive and interpret intrusive thoughts. By challenging irrational beliefs and replacing them with rational alternatives, individuals can reduce the intensity of obsessions and compulsions

Mindfulness and relaxation: Incorporating mindfulness practices and relaxation techniques can help individuals manage anxiety and stress associated with OCD. Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and progressive muscle relaxation can promote a sense of calmness and reduce the urge to engage in compulsive behaviours.

Behavioural exposure: This means using gradual exposure techniques tailored to individual needs, allowing individuals to confront their fears in a supportive and controlled environment

Although OCD seems like a complex condition that can significantly impact an individual’s life, it is treatable if the correct approach is used.

By understanding the underlying root cause of OCD and implementing strategies, individuals can overcome obsessive-compulsive patterns and regain control over their thoughts and behaviours.

Seeking professional help from a qualified therapist or mental health practitioner is essential for developing a personalised treatment plan tailored to individual needs. With determination, support, and effective strategies, individuals can break free from the grip of OCD and experience a greater sense of well-being and fulfilment in life.

Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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