Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Do I have OCD?” If so, continue reading, because this article is for you.
First of all, what is OCD? Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) causes people to experience frequent, recurring and unwanted thoughts, beliefs and sensations. It affects a large number of people across the United States and is one of the many disorders recognised by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth edition (DSM-5).
People with OCD find that their recurring thoughts and ideas compel them to repeat certain actions – over and over again in some cases. Some well-known examples of OCD-related behavior include washing hands to an excessive level and cleaning multiple times a day. The compulsive nature of these behaviors tends to escalate to the point where the person’s daily life is being severely affected and their quality of life deteriorates.
Not all people who have symptoms similar to OCD experience a severe impairment in the quality of their life. In some cases, OCD-like symptoms are milder, and these people are able to live relatively regular lives, albeit a life regimented by some kind of repetitive actions. These people do not meet the criteria to be diagnosed as having OCD, however. Invariably, clinical OCD has a significant impact on a person’s daily life functioning.
The rigidity of the compulsions that are the hallmarks of OCD makes life difficult for people suffering from the disorder. Generally, the compulsions are not helpful and if the person is somehow prevented from completing them, they experience significant distress. They may understand that their thoughts and obsessions are unhelpful but find it stressful to try to stop the thoughts and behaviors.
How is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Diagnosed?
As with many other mental disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder has a number of criteria that a person must meet in order to get a diagnosis.
DSM-5 defines obsessions as:
- Thoughts, urges or images that are both recurrent and persistent, and which the person experiencing them finds distressing and intrusive. These kinds of thoughts and urges cause a significant level of anxiety and distress.
- The person with obsessive thoughts and urges makes attempts to deal with them by performing some kind of action, known as a compulsion.
Compulsions are defined as:
- Behaviors that are completed repetitively, such as checking and re-checking doors, repeated hand washing, ordering items alphabetically or numerically.
- Mental activities that are performed repetitively, such as counting, praying, and repetition of words sub-vocally.
- These are actions that the person feels compelled to complete due to a particular obsession or extremely rigid rules that they apply to their lives.
- These behaviors have the purpose of reducing the individual’s anxiety or distress levels or may be perceived as a means of preventing some feared situation from happening.
- These behaviors are not logically or realistically connected to the situations that the person believes they will prevent, and/or are performed in a highly excessive manner.
Other things that are considered when a clinician is assessing a person for OCD include the types of obsessions and compulsions and the amount of time that is spent on them.
Generally speaking, for a diagnosis of OCD, the obsessions and compulsions would be required to take up at least an hour a day or have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life in terms of distress, social impact, a person’s ability to work, and the impact on family life. The way that a person with OCD functions on a day to day basis is an important aspect of diagnosis.
Do I Have OCD?
If you’re wondering, “Do I Have OCD?” it’s important that you take an evaluative look at your life. For example, someone who has addictions to drugs, alcohol or prescription medications would not fit the diagnostic criteria for OCD, especially if the behaviors are caused by the addictions.
Likewise, underlying medical conditions need to be considered as a cause for obsessive or compulsive behaviors, and other mental health disorders need to be ruled out. It is not helpful to be diagnosed with OCD if it is another mental health issue causing the symptoms.
One example of mental health disorders that can be confused with OCD is body dysmorphic disorder. People experiencing body dysmorphia are obsessive about their appearance. Only a mental health professional is adequately qualified to differentiate between mental health disorders that may resemble OCD.
Examples of Compulsions in OCD
- Cleaning the home repeatedly
- Washing excessively
- Excessive re-checking of things – for example, locks, door handles, switches and appliances.
- Excessively checking in with friends and family members to make sure they are safe.
- Repeatedly ordering or re-arranging things into a specific order or what you perceive as “perfect.”
Examples of Obsessive Thoughts in OCD
- Being afraid of being infected by germs
- Being afraid that you might hurt yourself or someone else
- Experiencing intrusive thoughts and images of a violent or sexual nature
- Excessive focus on superstitions – things that you regard as either “lucky” or “unlucky.”
Treatment Options for OCD
With OCD, one of the most effective treatment options is therapy. Some therapists would argue that therapy is essential if you want to understand and overcome your obsessions. There are a variety of therapy options that are suitable for working through the issues associated with OCD.
A common therapy option for OCD is known as exposure and response prevention (ERP). Therapists who specialize in the treatment of OCD tend to use this form of therapy more than any other type. ERP is actually a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). ERP has two primary components. Exposure, as the name suggests, requires someone to expose themselves to the same situations, thoughts, objects and so on that trigger the anxiety and compulsive behaviors.
The response prevention stage of ERP is about choices. When exposed to a compulsion trigger, you have a choice whether or not to begin the compulsive behavior. The goal of ERP, therefore, is to work with a therapist in order to reach the point where you can choose not to begin the compulsive actions. Once you can choose not to engage in compulsive behavior with the therapist, you can work on making that same choice on your own.
Some people are alarmed by the idea of deliberately exposing themselves to the things that trigger their obsessive compulsive behaviors. It is a frightening prospect since the disorder is a result of maladaptive coping mechanisms designed for avoidance. With ERP, you have to make an active choice to face the triggers head on. Despite the fear this may cause, ERP is actually a very effective means of developing a range of tools to help you cope with your OCD.
Medication for OCD
Therapy is very effective for OCD, but another treatment option is medication. You can talk to a Psychiatrist about what medications can be prescribed. Even if you decide not to use medication, it is still helpful to explore the options available.
The type of medication most frequently prescribed for OCD belongs to the SSRI class – medications that are usually prescribed to treat the symptoms of depression. SSRIs have been shown to be effective in helping people to manage the symptoms of OCD. When SSRIs are used to treat OCD, however, higher doses tend to be needed than when treating depression. These higher doses are still safe and do not usually increase the side effects.
Helping Yourself When You Have OCD
Working through the issues surrounding your OCD with a professional is a great start in treating the disorder, but professional help is only part of the solution. Generally, therapists will ask clients to complete homework exercises, such as practicing the techniques learned in sessions.
Additionally, there are other things that you can do that will have a positive impact on your overall wellbeing as well as your recovery from OCD. Finding ways in which you can relax, discovering successful distraction techniques and spending time on activities that take your mind off both your disorder and your treatment are all beneficial.
When it comes to relaxing, yoga and meditation can be an excellent place to start. You may find that your OCD treatment can become exhausting, particularly when you’re working on the more challenging exposure aspects. Practicing yoga and meditation can help you to learn how to quiet your mind when you’re feeling anxious or distressed.
Calming your mind can also be achieved through the practice of mindfulness. It is a technique that is sometimes learned during therapy sessions, but once you understand the principles, you can practice whenever you feel the need to. Your therapist can give you advice, and there are also books that you can use to expand your understanding of mindfulness.
It’s a well-known fact that exercise is beneficial for a wide range of mental health conditions – including OCD. When you exercise, you have an outlet for feelings of frustration, and there is the additional benefit in the release of endorphins. When endorphins are released, your body is flooded with chemicals that trigger positive feelings. You don’t have to go to the gym, either. Simply going outside for a brisk walk is just as effective.
Be your own cheerleader and advocate
It can be tempting to look to other people for acceptance and/or praise, but it is important that you don’t rely on others in that way. It’s much better for your recovery if you learn to self-affirm by praising yourself as you progress along the recovery journey. Be your own best cheerleader. It’s also important that you advocate for the things that you need, too.
Don’t wait for perfection before adopting an attitude of gratitude
This advice doesn’t just apply to people with OCD. In all areas of life, you should learn to stop waiting for some kind of perfection or completion before you allow yourself to be grateful. You don’t have to be fully recovered in order to feel grateful. Celebrate where you are on the journey, and the small victories as well as the big ones. You can be grateful for today instead of only focusing on the future.
Talking to God and Looking to His Word
Whatever trials that we face in life, it’s important to remember that we can always lean into God for support. God is always available to offer comfort and gives us the hope that we need in difficult times. The Bible can offer a lot of help when you are struggling. Here are some examples.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23
What this Scripture is saying is that the Lord, who is our Shepherd, will guide us to find everything that we need, including water, food, love, and work – in the same way, that a shepherd would with a flock of sheep. God helps us even when we deviate from what is right. When the psalmist says, “I shall not want,” it’s a clear reference to the fact that God promises to take care of our needs. God protects us; therefore, we have no reason to worry.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6
This verse from Proverbs is a great source of comfort for many people, particularly during difficult times. God says that He will direct our journey through life, but we have to make a complete commitment to Him. When we focus on God and His Word, we’re allowing Him to lead us and depending fully on Him. To fully focus on God, we have to be intentional about turning our thoughts to Him (rather than focusing on our struggles, such as obsessions).
Some other Scriptures you may find helpful are:
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:6-8
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – John 14:27
Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all. – 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Faith Without Works is Dead
It is certainly true that God will always be there to support, comfort and guide us, and we can put our trust in His faithfulness to us when we seek Him. A short verse in James 2:26 reminds us that “Faith without works is dead.” Every Christian needs to consider this verse, no matter what you are facing. While we absolutely need to be reading the Bible and praying and trusting in God to help us in our difficulties, we have to put in the work ourselves, too.
There is nothing wrong with praying to God and asking Him to help you on your journey towards recovery from obsessive compulsive disorder. However, it’s important that you remember that while God will help and support you, you have to put in the work yourself, too. When you combine God’s guidance with your own efforts (both alone and with a therapist) to recover from the symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, you are in a much stronger position.
Although Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can have a huge impact on people’s lives, it is very treatable. There is hope of recovery for everyone who is struggling with the distressing symptoms. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a Christian counselor to help you work through the difficulties that you’re facing. Recovery can be a big challenge, but when you lean on the support of God and others around you, it is possible to walk free from OCD.
“Eye,” Courtesy of Guiliamar, pixabay.com, CC0 License; “Day 021” Courtesy of Holly Lay, Flickr.com, CC BY 2.0 License; “Meds”, Courtesy of Jessica7191, Pixabay.com; CC0 License; “Prayer”, Courtesy of Reenablack, Pixabay.com, CC0 License
Although most people will have heard of OCD, many do not really understand what it is, leading to some misconceptions. This article gives you an overview of what OCD is and what types of OCD treatment are available to you.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is more commonly referred to as OCD. To receive a diagnosis of OCD, someone would need to experience obsessions and compulsions.
An obsession is defined as certain urges, or thoughts, or images that you experience frequently and which you struggle to avoid thinking about. Obsessions are unwanted, and they also cause a great deal of both distress and anxiety when you experience them.
When someone experiences the intrusive thoughts, images and urges associated with OCD, they try to disregard them, subdue them or in some way neutralize them by replacing them with a different thought or behavior.
For example, someone with OCD may be consumed by anxiety associated with the thought that they are going to be involved in an automobile accident, or that some tragedy will affect someone they care about.
The replacement actions that someone with OCD uses to neutralize their obsessive thinking are known as compulsions. Examples of compulsions include types of repetitive actions or mental acts. Someone with OCD may repeatedly wash their hands, or be compelled to clean the house constantly or check several times that doors and windows are locked.
Examples of mental acts that are part of OCD include repetitive prayers, repeating words over and over, and counting. Mental and behavioral compulsions are controlled by the obsession that the person has or by certain rules that they believe they have to follow strictly. The person uses the compulsions as a means of reducing anxiety levels or preventing anxiety entirely, or, in some cases, as a means of preventing some awful tragedy from occurring.
The important thing you need to understand about the compulsions is that they are not based on logical or realistic thinking. An example that illustrates this is the way that someone with OCD may be compelled to switch the light on and off three times every single time they leave a room because they believe that this will prevent their house from catching fire.
To meet the diagnosis of OCD, obsessions and compulsions must consume a lot of time – specifically more than one hour each day – as well as have a profound effect on the person’s ability to function normally.
Someone who only experiences obsessions without compulsions, or compulsions without obsessions, or otherwise doesn’t meet the diagnostic criteria, so it is unlikely that they have OCD. They may, however, have another mental health condition. When mental health professionals perform diagnostic interviews, they use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) to differentiate between different mental health disorders.
The DSM contains different diagnoses for each mental health condition; these are helpful suggestions that the mental health professional can use in deciding which diagnosis to make. Other diagnoses, for example, may more closely match what a person is experiencing, or there may be conditions that have very similar symptoms. With OCD, the specific differential diagnoses that the DSM suggests include major depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, psychotic disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Although anxiety is a part of OCD, anxiety disorders, including phobias and social anxiety disorder, can be differentiated from OCD because they tend to focus much more on fears of places, situations, and objects, and avoiding the feared things is the means by which they hope to reduce anxiety. There are also other types of obsessive-compulsive type disorders that do not meet the criteria for OCD.
These include body dysmorphic disorder – in which obsessions and compulsions are centered only around physical appearance, trichotillomania – where the compulsion is pulling out hair, and hoarding – in which a person experiences distress concerned with discarding items, even broken items.
Psychotic disorders that involve delusional thoughts and poor insight into the psychosis can resemble OCD but can be differentiated from OCD due to additional psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations. Compulsive-like behaviors, such as addictions to substances, can appear to be compulsions, but substance abuse is something which people find pleasurable, whereas OCD is driven by anxiety and distress.
Although obsessive-compulsive personality disorder sounds close to OCD, it presents in an entirely different way. Instead of intrusive thinking and urges, and repetitive behavior, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder involves dysfunctional levels of perfectionism and strict control over life.
Signs and Symptoms of OCD
Physical symptoms form a part of the presentation of OCD. These include compulsions, ritualistic actions, repeating words, agitation, impulsive actions, and isolating from others. Compulsions can present in a variety of different ways, but these tend to be consistent (the person’s compulsions do not change over time). Compulsions are always, in the mind of the person at least, means of alleviating anxiety.
Someone who has OCD will tend to become agitated if, for any reason, they are prevented from completing the compulsive behavior or mental action. OCD can also be apparent in people who hoard things – but in the case of hoarding, there must be distorted beliefs involved, such as thinking that a tragedy will occur if they have to throw something away.
While social isolation is a common symptom of a number of different mental health conditions, it is also a physical sign of OCD. For example, someone with OCD may isolate themselves socially due to obsessive thoughts about catastrophic events happening if they go outside or travel anywhere. This aspect of OCD can lead to depression in addition to OCD.
People with OCD tend to experience certain mood states more than others. Anxiety, of course, is the primary mood that leads to the compulsions, but anxiety can increase when something happens to prevent a compulsion being completed. This anxiety is usually severe and disabling, and may manifest in both physical and psychological symptoms.
Anxiety associated with OCD can prevent the person from doing the things associated with normal life, including holding down a job, going out for a walk, and even leaving their home. When anxiety is persistent, it can cause panic attacks, especially when a person with OCD cannot complete their compulsive actions.
Guilt is another common problem for people with OCD. For example, a person who has the obsessive belief that their father will become sick if they don’t speak to him every single day will experience guilt if, for whatever reason, they cannot call their father one day and he becomes sick. They will believe, however irrationally, that they are to blame.
In psychological terms, people who have OCD are affected by depression and intrusive thoughts that they believe they have no control over. While other symptoms of OCD are more obvious to others, these psychological symptoms are less discernible because they are internal.
That being said, internal feelings can emerge as behaviors such as anger or agitation. When someone with OCD is experiencing these symptoms, it’s important that they feel supported and able to discuss their struggles with friends and family.
What Can I Do About OCD?
If you think that you may be suffering from OCD, it’s best to speak to your doctor about it. Talking with your doctor about the symptoms that you’re experiencing and the way that you are feeling can help you to begin the process of managing your condition.
You may want to discuss with your doctor whether it would be helpful for you to be referred to a psychiatrist. Your doctor may also be able to recommend a therapist who is experienced in working with people who have OCD. Seeing a therapist can be beneficial for helping you manage symptoms and giving you tools to help you cope better with daily life. Another option that can help you is joining a support group, where you can discuss your struggles with other people who experience symptoms of OCD.
Parents of children who have, or are suspected of having, OCD need to offer non-judgemental support to their child, and do their best to try to understand the struggles that their child is experiencing.
You need to understand the levels of anxiety that your child is dealing with, and also appreciate that the obsessions they have may be difficult for them to put into words. While their behaviors may seem irrational and frustrating to you, remember that OCD is a mental illness that your child is not in control of.
You need to be patient with your child and help them to express how they feel about the things that are causing them anxiety. If you suspect your child is experiencing OCD, you should seek help as soon as possible.
Early intervention can give you and your child the support you need to better cope with the symptoms of OCD. Taking your child to a psychiatrist or pediatrician is one means of early intervention; another is to seek the help of a therapist who works with children with OCD.
You should look for a child therapist who has experience in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). These therapeutic interventions have been shown to be most effective for OCD.
Teachers who observe behaviors and other symptoms that may suggest OCD can discuss their concerns with the school psychologist, who will be able to begin a process of getting help for the child who is struggling.
It is important to remember that a child with OCD isn’t being deliberately disruptive in class, and you should be patient and supportive when dealing with behaviors associated with OCD. The school psychologist should be able to give you guidance on how best to respond to the child with OCD.
What OCD Treatment Options are Recommended?
There are several different OCD treatment options that are commonly used to help manage the symptoms of OCD. These are Evidence Based Treatments (EBT) that have been proven to be effective for people with OCD. The two major OCD treatment methods are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). These are often used in con junction with support groups.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy aims to challenge maladaptive thinking patterns and help people to change the way that they feel and behave. For OCD, CBT is effective because it can directly challenge the obsessions that are illogical and irrational. By changing thoughts from the irrational to the rational, people with OCD experience changes in the way that they feel and may not feel so controlled by their behaviors and compulsions.
Exposure and Response Prevention therapy (ERP) is a process by which therapists who have trained in ERP techniques will effectively expose their client to a situation or object that normally causes anxiety and help their client to respond in a different manner – i.e. to respond without engaging in the compulsions. ERP is a treatment that takes time as it can only be done in small increments after the person has developed techniques to control their anxiety.
For example, in a situation where a person believes that if they don’t back in and out of their parking spot three times before they turn off the engine, they will kill someone on their next journey, ERP would first focus on giving the person a range of coping skills.
Then, the therapist would start with something small such as starting the car and then turning it off again without going anywhere. Starting small like this gives the therapist the opportunity to assess anxiety levels and to reinforce the coping skills in order to bring anxiety levels down to a manageable point. In small increments thereafter, the therapist will aim to get the person to be able to pull into a parking spot and immediately turn off the car.
Support groups provide people with OCD the opportunity to meet with other people who understand their difficulties and help them to realise that they are not alone in what they experience. Another benefit is being able to learn coping skills and to have hope for better levels of functioning by seeing how others are better able to manage their symptoms.
Although therapeutic treatments are the most effective for OCD, medication is also an option that can be discussed with your doctor or psychiatrist. Medication is not right for everyone, and your doctor will take individual factors into consideration before prescribing.
If you are looking for help in managing your OCD, or are worried about someone close to you who is struggling with OCD symptoms, it is advisable that you consult a doctor who can put you in touch with a therapist experienced in treating OCD. The road to healing is much easier when it is walked in conjunction with a trained professional.
A Christian counselor can help you to heal and be transformed, in conjunction with both God’s presence and your own efforts to challenge your thinking. Secular therapists can also help if you’re not able to work with a Christian counselor due to insurance restrictions. If you’re unsure what your insurance will cover, your provider will be able to give you a list of approved therapists.
Many Christian therapists will offer a risk-free initial consultation, and when you are looking for the right therapist for you, it can be helpful to make several risk-free appointments with different therapists so you can find the therapist you are most comfortable with.
“OCD”, Courtesy of Airpix, Flickr.com, CC BY 2.0 License; “Venetian Blinds”, Courtesy of Sheila Tostes, Flickr.com, CC BY 2.0 License; “Day 021” Courtesy of Holly Lay, Flickr.com, CC BY 2.0 License; “Sunbeam Landscape”, Courtesy of Lars Nissen Photoart, Pixabay.com, CC0 License
What is obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)? Many people do not fully understand what it means to have OCD. The usual idea is that of someone repeatedly washing their hands or perhaps locking and re-locking the door – actions that others obviously find quite strange; but there is more to being obsessive-compulsive than just that.
While many with OCD are quite aware that there is something very irrational about how they act, others are not able to determine this. In fact, they simply believe that they are just more competitive or perhaps more concerned about their work than others.
The reality, however, is that these so-called workaholics or very perfectionist people may, in fact, be suffering from OCD which causes them much more stress than usual, disrupting their personal and professional lives.
The Case of Obsession
“[Obsessives] are self-reliant and conscientious… They look constantly for ways to help people listen better, resolve conflict, and find win-win opportunities. They buy self-improvement books… and they like to focus on continuous improvement at work because it fits in with their sense of moral improvement.” (Michael Maccoby)
While it is often usual for someone to be both obsessive and compulsive, it is not always the situation. It is possible for someone simply to have the former and not the latter. This can be seen in people who are actively always thinking about something of importance. Many philosophers, scientists, lawyers or even criminal investigators may fall into this category. It is an obsession as they spend most of their waking moments contemplating or arguing their point about something – be it an unsolved case, a scientific mystery, or a philosophical quandary.
However, unlike compulsive people, obsessive people feel no need to act upon what they’re thinking. (290) So though they may think about it constantly, they are able to control their actions, especially if they may result in unwanted consequences.
Obsessive people are often described as stubborn, meticulous, very organized, punctual and inflexible. They are also usually inclined to highly intellectual discussion. Moreover, they are usually driven by an internal standard of excellence that is often impossible to reach.
Such a combination of traits, coupled with their high personal standards, often cause obsessive people to struggle with shame as they cannot live up to their own ideals. To cope, they try to rationalize, moralize, compartmentalize, or intellectualize their undesirable thoughts.
Anger is often used to combat those emotions that make them feel inadequate. Some, however, may displace anger from its original source and focus it on a “legitimate” target so they don’t have to feel ashamed about getting upset. (293) Thus, proper emotional expression is something very difficult for them.
Unfortunately, logic cannot solve everything in life. Thus, obsessives often run into problems as they deal with the people around them.
Difficulty with Decisions
Emotional expression is not the only struggle of those with obsession – they also have difficulty making decisions. The fear of failure, of not reaching their internal standards, paralyzes them. They think through the different options, yet may still end up refusing to make a choice out of fear of making the wrong one. Indecision, however, is a choice in itself with obsessives living with the consequences of not picking something.
McWilliams presents the example of a pregnant woman with two obstetricians to choose from. Her decision process took so long that she eventually went into labor and ended up being treated by a very different doctor elsewhere.
The Case of Compulsion
At some point in time, almost everyone has had some form of compulsive behavior. For athletes or entertainers, this may be some special ritual to ensure a great game or performance.
For others, this could be an action to ward off a superstitious belief. But for compulsive people, their repetitive actions do not just seem weird to those around them, they generally interfere with life.
Though they may intellectually know that there is nothing wrong (e.g. the door has been locked), they are still compelled to repeat the action over and over.
Similar to people with obsession, compulsive people also wish to avoid the embarrassment of a wrong decision. But instead of mulling over a decision for hours or days, they rush into the first option that presents itself and deal with the consequences afterward. An example is jumping into bed with a friend or a new acquaintance simply because the situation has become sexually charged.
Very compulsive people do not want to think too much about things. In fact, they often prefer activities that may require less deep thinking, opting for something quite straightforward and possibly mechanical (e.g. craftwork). What characterizes their actions as “compulsive” is not necessarily whether they are detrimental or beneficial, but that they are simply irresistible to the person. “Florence Nightingale was probably compulsively helpful; Jon Stewart may be compulsively funny. People rarely come to treatment for their compulsivity if it works on their behalf, but they do come with related problems.” (295)
Why the Two Disorders are Often Together
Though an individual may have one disorder or the other, many times they come hand in hand as the compulsive behavior is an attempt to deal with the obsessive thoughts. Though others may view their actions as very irrational, those with OCD have to do what they do for peace of mind.
Someone obsessed, for example, with ideas of being hurt by an intruder may constantly lock and re-lock the doors and windows of their home repeatedly before going to bed or even before leaving home. A person obsessed with their partner leaving for another may constantly check up on their partner’s whereabouts through frequent texts or calls.
Dealing With Such Behavior Through Christian Counseling
Illogical as such thoughts and actions may be, people with OCD cannot help but deal with their circumstances. It is a constant burden in their life, but something they are forced to deal with.
Fortunately, though you may have OCD, do not despair – you do not have to be a slave to the disorder. Though Scripture reminds us not to worry but to trust in the Lord, OCD is a medical condition and not a sign of weak faith. God would not have inspired verses such as Matt. 6:27, 31 and Phil 4:6 if He wanted you to live in fear. Something can be done about it.
If any part of this article pertains to you or someone you love, do not struggle on your own. Contact Christian Counseling San Diego, who can help you overcome this condition. By discovering the root of the problem, those suffering from OCD can learn how to manage such undesirable thoughts and compulsions through research-based treatment and God’s healing power. You or your loved one can find that freedom from fear as the Lord gives you rest. (Matt. 11:28)
Psychoanalytic Diagnosis, Second Edition: Understanding Personality Structure in the Clinical Process by Nancy McWilliamsPhotos
“Jenga,” courtesy of Michel Parzuchowski, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Frustration,” courtesy of Creative Ignition, Flickr CreativeCommons (CC BY 2.0); “Stack of Books,” courtesy of Jan Mellstrom, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Alone,” courtesy of Mike Wilson, unsplash.com, CC0 License
San Diego Christian Counseling is an affiliation of professional Christian counselors with many years of experience providing help and counsel to people of all ages and backgrounds as they work through a variety of issues.
San Diego Christian Counseling
5405 Morehouse Drive, Suite #120, San Diego, CA 92121
Mon-Sat: 8:00 AM- 8:00 PM
Sun: 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM