How to recognize anxiety
Anxiety. We've all had it before. in this video I will help you identify 15 warning signs that anxiety is creeping it's way in.
Warning sign #1 - Appearing zoned out. when we zone out, we're typically in deep thought. It's okay to be in deep thought, however if we are trying to solve a problem that might be related to a potential fear or worry this is a big warning sign of even more anxiety to come. When other individual start noticing, this is when this warning sign increases. Not being present in the moment while thinking about the past or future is essentially ruminating. We don't want to ruminate, we want to be in the present moment.
#2 - Our emotions increase. We start snapping at something so small. So small that it is almost embarrassing that we got angry in the first place. Something like, my keys fell out of my pocket, I screamed. My child spilled their milk again I snapped at them. The show I wanted to watch is no longer available, I threw the remote. Pay attention to emotions and if they increase sharply for no apparent reason.
#3 - Becoming impatient. That car took 2 seconds to get started at the stoplight. I feel the need for things to be done RIGHT NOW. No time is wasted. When it doesn't go the way I planned, I'm angry.
#4 - Struggling to make eye contact. It's natural to feel uncomfortable when making eye contact. when it becomes a focal point. Something that is on your brain as a potential worry or threat this is when we see it as a problem.
#5 - Not subscribing to this channel - Just kidding. But it will power you up.
#5 - Needing more reassurance. if you don't know by now, reassurance asking makes us feel better. Whether we are asking if everything is okay or we want to know a certain answer. This becomes a problem however when the need for reassurance it's only to reduce anxiety. Especially the reassurance you're trying to seek is the same question you've already gotten a good answer for. This reassurance can be in the form of researching things online or asking somebody.
#6 - Struggling to sit still - if you find yourself more fidgety the normal this may be an indication of some pent-up energy or stress. If you have a difficult time sometimes just sitting, watching TV or playing a video game when these things were enjoyable and easy before this is something to look for.
#7 - Avoid making plans for the future - the future is so uncertain. We don't know anything. Plans that we have can change on a dime. The future makes us anxious. When we find our self not willing to plan anything for the future, it may be an indication that we're not ready to face what's coming up next.
#8 - Cuting your time short or leaving events early- You may find yourself wanting to leave early while hanging out with friends or going to various events. You may even plan for it, make excuses to leave. Essentially, just not enjoying where you're at and longing to be somewhere else.
#9 - Taking too fast - That's right. You may be talking faster than normal. Stumbling over words and simply trying to say what you need to say as fast as you can. You may not even realize you're doing it. When talking fast, you may not even be registering what you're even saying...words may just be flowing out.
#10 - Concentration - If you're finding yourself distracted when doing simple tasks, this may be and indication of anxiety. The brain essentially is problem solving something. It could be important or be random. This lack of attention may be something that bothers you. You cant to be present, but find it difficult to achieve it.
#11 - Noises are too loud - You may be hypersensitive to noises. You're finding yourself cringing, annoyed, angry by various noises thought-out the day. This typically is more than normal. Someone eating, loud cars, that fan at work that is clicking.
#12 - Protecting yourself - You find yourself doing manierisms that protect. You have your phone out more often as to not talk to others. You cross your arms when around people. You won't let others be behind you. You're hyperaware of what is going on around you.
#13 - Hard to breathe - You may notice that simple tasks are exerting a lot of energy. You find yourself out of breathe throughout the day. Shortness of breathe may be a new thing for you. When in normal situations for you, you find yourself struggling to breathe.
#14 - Pacing back and forth - People tend to pace when they are anxious. It gives them something physical to do while they are ruminating or thinking. If you find yourself needing to move around, pace, or walk often, while being stuck in deep thought; this may be an indication that your body is trying to process the extra stress or anxiety within.
#15 - Physical sensations - Dry mouth, tightness in chest, fast heart beats, stomach aches, or headaches. Our body can do some strange things when it's trying to deal with anxiety. It can actually cause physical pain or discomfort to remind us to "fix" the anxiety. Just an extra boost and reminder that something isn't working out well for you.
Ultimately, If you notice any of these 15 warning signs, chances are, you may already be anxious. But that's okay. Anxiety is actually not the enemy. We don't always have to react. We try to focus on what we have control over. If I am overworking myself, I can choose to slow down. If I am isolating myself, I can choose to go out.
Unless we see immediate danger, we don't need to react to anxiety. We see it as a false signal. Maybe just a reminder to slow down and leave things uncertain. Let life by life. Stay in the moment. Notice these warning signs to help you know how you're going to respond to anxiety or for you to know what aspects of your life you have control over and are willing to change.
Soooo, Do you relate to any of these warning signs? How do you know you're about to feel anxiety? Let me know in the comments below.
Anxiety warning signs
How to stop anxiety
Moral Scrupulosity OCD
We're all built with a moral compass. It tells us what's important. Who we are and what decisions are right for us to be a good person. What happens when it that compass breaks, jumping around the dial trying to find a good spot to land and never satisfied with your final decision. In this video, we will go over the characteristics of moral scrupulosity to see if you can relate and 3 ways we are going to fight it.
If you're obsessing about your ethics, it might not be such a good thing after all. Hear me out, your ethics and morals matter. It's when you have moral dilemmas throughout the day. Questioning and obsessing about your decisions, your ethics, and if you are doing things morally right.
I may have heard the term scrupulosity used to describe religious obsessions. But there are individuals oh, actually a lot of individuals the struggle with scrupulosity have nothing to do with religion. Simply put, they just want to make sure they are a good person. Moral scrupulosity is an obsessive concern about this very thing. Your life might depend on it. You value yourself as it's a very black and white person. This was a good decision, this was a bad decision. This can be determined before the decision is even made. Putting value on something that hasn't even happened yet. Once the person makes this final decision, the brain may say.....you know what bro, ARE YOU SURE?
Here is a checklist of how moral scrupulosity shows itself.
-An excessive concern with being 100% honest at all times.
-Overthinking about the possibility of getting in trouble or breaking the rules.
-Concern and ruminating about past experiences. Those things you can't change and wondering if they were immoral or not.
-Researching if others would make "this" decision. If it makes them good or bad.
-Concern that others would reject you if they really knew about a decision you made.
-Obsessing about an actual moral mistake made and feeling the need to punish oneself.
-Concerned that you've made a mistake because the brain poped in the idea. Having to replay the moments to find out for sure.
-Worried about being disloyal to a partner or spouse or caused someone else to be immoral. A glance at someone may mean you committed adultery.
-All decisions are over-evaluated for their ethics and morals.
Often other themes of OCD like to join the party. It could be contamination, I touched this thing that someone else touched, and if I get them sick, it was wrong of me. Checking - I didn't check all the doors multiple times and if something happens, it may be morally wrong to risk this.
Accidentally causing harm means I'm a bad person. I tripped my child, my carelessness determines who I am as a person.
You get the picture. This all is mingled with anxiety and fear. It may not be worth the risk of being a "bad" person. The compulsions that happen show this:
Lots of reassurance asking - "am I good person" - they may be mentally reviewing their day or doing certain behaviors to make the situation "right" again. Rumination is a big big big one. I'm just thinking and evaluating. Fixing in my brain but never being satisfied.
Now that you know what moral scrupulosity looks like, let's dive into the three ways we're going to fight this.
Okay, here's really #1. use exposure and response prevention. many individuals believe that they must go against their value system when using this type of treatment but this is not the case. In this treatment your whole goal is to be uncertain. this me mean got the problem solving in your brain is no longer something you're going to engage with. You are choosing to stick with what you know and leave the rest uncertain. For instance, send me think that if they have a fear of lying or being deceitful that their exposure must be to lie and be deceitful. If this is not part of your value system it is actually not something you need to do. Instead we focus on those things that you think happened. Those things that you feel you may have lied or have been deceitful. What we end up finding through this whole thing is that what the brain says and what actually happened are two different things. We are exposing to the uncertainty of not knowing if you are a good person or a bad person. We are not going out of our way to make sure that you didn't lie. We are letting life happen as it is. so when the brain says or you completely honest with your boss? my job is to not fall in the Trap of ruminating and trying to figure this out. My job is to respond differently to this.
which brings us to #2 - Respond differently -- Anytime the rain comes up with an idea and it's mixed with anxiety and you have that urge to fix it we are choosing to respond differently. You are almost committing to not find this answer. So I might say. yeah man totally, probably did. what do you think happens when I do this? I almost imagine the brain exploding. It's like, what the heck are you saying. I just told you that you are in such danger right now and that's the response you give me? it actually takes all the value away from this thing. It doesn't take value away from you are values or morals. instead, it is teaching your brain to move forward. To not fall for any threats then you can't physically see in front of you. Responding differently means that you are not doing the compulsions anymore. You might spend some time writing down all the compulsions you do. Compulsions are those things you were doing to be sure that you're a good person, be sure that you didn't lie be sure you'll never hurt somebody be sure you're honest in all your dealings. People tend to be so scared but if they no longer put so much control in this area they will just go off the rails. This is so untrue. We are just simply not responding to OCD and anxiety anymore. Allowing the body and brain to just do it sting when it comes to your values and morals.
#3 - Acceptance - It's important when choosing to do treatment that you have the mindset of acceptance. Acceptance means that you're allowing thoughts to be and choosing to not do anything with them. You accept that you're going to be moving forward in life regardless of the doubting noise in your head. You're not going to make sense and problem solve if you're a good person or not. That is one of the toughest points, choosing to not figure this out. What a lot of people say is, "but if I'm not a good person, I can't live with myself" -- But here's the thing, it's not your job. Your job is to be you, whatever YOU is. We're not determined by what we think we are or what we think we're not. Be you.
The doubts that come in can often be answered with a "maybe, maybe not." or a "okay"
Do you ever excessively question if you're making the right decisions or if you're a good person? Let me know in the comments.
Moral Scrupulosity OCD Program
Treat Moral Scrupulosity OCD
What is OCPD - Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
Someone with Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is defined by strict orderliness, control, and perfectionism. But wait! Isn’t that OCD?
In this video we're going to go through the 4 main characteristics of OCPD and how it’s different than OCD.
Someone with OCPD will likely try to stay in charge of the smallest details of their life. Even if it closes them off to new experiences. Unlike OCD, OCPD is a personality disorder. Which means, it involves traits that are in some way problematic, out of the ordinary, with long held beliefs about something. Often, these individuals may find it difficult to relate to others due to their devotion to the rigid rules or control they have. It’s almost as if the rule that is created is FACT and is CORRECT and there is no other way. It makes perfect sense to the individual, who can get frustrated when others do not understand this factual rule they’ve created. It seems so obvious “that this is the way it’s supposed to be and how do you not understand it.”
Here are 4 ways you can tell if you have OCPD:
#1 – Your rigid adherence to rules and regulations. You may be inflexible. It is the way it’s supposed to be. You may be creating order, lists and tasks to help you with these rules. This may be excessive to create and pay attention to the minor details. Even emotions can have regulations on them. The way you act may need to be in a certain way. Facial expressions or words that come out. Individuals can find themselves devoted to work and tasks at the expensive of family or friends.
#2 – An overwhelming need for order - This excessive devotion often impairs social and family activities. The individual may find it difficult to assign a task to someone else due to it needing to be EXACT. You may be unwilling to change or be flexible with what you think is the right way of doing things. The need for perfection is at the smallest detail. Relationships can be strained due to the desire to have things be a certain way. The lack of flexibility is the key here. The individual may believe that whatever thought or what order is, is exactly the way and no other.
#3 – Unwillingness to yield or give responsibilities to others – With this rigidness, an individual may feel completely overwhelmed with completing their task a certain way because they cannot share the load with someone else. It the way it’s supposed to be and no-one better ruin it. The individual may spend time teaching others the rules and the way it should be.
#4 – A sense of righteousness about the way things “should be done” - You know that feeling of doing the RIGHT THING. Whether it’s spiritual or making a morally right choice. This feeling matches those who have OCPD. The way things need to be done according to their rule book is the way “should always be done”. There is no compromise. They get a feeling of “good job”, “you did it”, feel good about you’re doing things. Even at the expense of others or even their time. This rigidity is not only with things they may do around the house, but with their morals, ethics, and their values.
Here is the biggest key to look at. You may think, wow with all these rules, inflexibility, and devotion. It seems like they would live a miserable life. No, actually the person does not have a problem with their thoughts. Instead, they find comfort in their thoughts and believe they are acting according to what is correct. Typically, an individual with OCPD doesn’t seek treatment because they do not see a problem with what they are doing.
Here is the conflict however, an individual who has OCPD can appear extremely critical and unyielding. This causes problems in relationships with family and friends and can even affect their employment.
Someone without OCPD may like things a certain way, they do it the way they want, BUT are willing to change and adapt depending on the circumstance. They understand that there is not just ONE way of doing things. They may not like the change, but are willing to do so.
Remember OCD? They sound pretty similar right? Well, here is your big indication for the differences between the two:
People with OCD have insight, meaning they are aware that their unwanted thoughts are unreasonable. People with OCPD think their way is the “right and best way” and usually feel comfortable with such self-imposed systems of rules.
Those who have OCD don’t like the thoughts, behaviors, and actions. Those who have OCPD do. They may even enjoy the way it is.
Sooooo. Then what treatment works for OCPD?
Typically, people with OCPD don’t believe they require treatment. They believe that if everyone else conformed to their strict rules, things would be fine! But, there are some that are willing, due to loss of a relationships or employment. Individuals may start doing CBT to improve insight and challenge the rigid expectations and learn to better value close relationships. They may challenge these by feeling uncomfortable not preforming their wanted tasks or following their rules. Some also practice relaxation techniques to help the urgency and stress related to following their set rules.
Do you know what will power you up? Subscribing to the channel!
Do you or someone you know have obsessive compulsive personality disorder? Let me know your experiences below.
Thanks so much for watching and I will see you next time.
OCPD vs OCD
Treatment for Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
Nathan Peterson, LCSW
OCD can be tricky! I want to provide useful information for your OCD, anxiety, tics, tourette's, BFRBs, and many other anxiety related disorders.