Existential OCD involves intrusive, repetitive thinking about questions that cannot possibly be answered. Individuals will think about really any question. Most don’t have answers, but they feel the need or urge to find the answer right then and there. Often feeling anxious until they do. Let’s go through the treatment for existential OCD and what it looks like to those experiencing it.
It is also difficult to identify existential obsessions, as they can seem like the questions many of us think about often and then carry on with a shrug of the shoulders. Existential obsessions can also be confused with the kind of thoughts encountered by people while they are depressed, constantly going through pessimistic thoughts about how pointless life can seem. And, existential OCD is much more difficult than that.
Typically people with existential obsessions spend hours going over and over these questions and thoughts, and can become highly anxious and depressed. They may be seen as suffering from concerns or existential fears as they seek help, or they may be misdiagnosed as suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Existential OCD is most likely, however when a person fights ongoing distracting, repeated, constant, anxiety-producing, doubtful thoughts of this nature.
In the general population and the media, many individuals have a somewhat stereotypical view of what OCD is all about. Individuals with OCD are seen as individuals who either wash their hands too much or are super-organized and perfectionist. It can be difficult, therefore to identify the forms of OCD that do not resemble these typical stereotypes. The truth is there are a lot of forms that OCD can take.
Even if you don't have existential OCD, at one point in time, you could have had existential obsessions, spending hours contemplating why you have your particular thoughts and wondering precisely what these thoughts might mean. This is yet another form of intimidation that follows obsessive thoughts, and never leads to any real responses. Your obsessive suspicions can not be argued, reasoned, examined, or challenged while you have OCD. This is particularly the case for Existential OCD.
Existential OCD includes distracting, persistent thinking about questions that may not be answered and that in nature, may be metaphysical or scary, or both. The questions generally revolve around life's meaning, intent, or fact, or the nature of the universe or even the existence of one's own. In a university philosophy or physics class, these same questions could come up. Most individuals, however may quit such classes or read about these subjects and move on to other thoughts.
The aim is not to escape or stop the "response prevention" aspect of ERP, so you are taught to comply with your existential thoughts and not try to evaluate, challenge, or disagree with them. You are also discouraged, as this is another way of escape, from finding reassurance from others or even yourself. Sadly, avoidance may become a learned habit that becomes very automatic over time. Unconsciously, without even thinking about it you can avoid your triggers.
What does existential ocd look like
Existential OCD help
How to do an exposure for contamination OCD
Everyone talks about doing exposures, but do you actually know how to do it? Here is an example of what an exposure looks like AND how to respond. This is why the name of the treatment is called exposure and response prevention. It's your choice how far you're willing to go when it comes to your Contamination OCD.
Join the Facebook OCD support group!
🖐🖐Check out my ONLINE self-directed program for OCD 🖐🖐
Externally, the contamination ocd concerns associated with OCD don't appear to be an extremely complicated topic. Dust, bacteria, washing-- what could be less complex? Actually, when you take a closer look, contamination is a fair bit much more complicated than that.
First off, this issue breaks down right into 2 parts contamination ocd fixations as well as purification compulsions. Let us initially examine the nature of obsessive contamination worries. Unlike the popular sight, contamination isn't simply limited to dust, bacteria, and also viruses.
There are virtually no limits to the things that can be infecting. From my own experience, I would certainly presume that the fear of certain diseases might still the leader. Many years ago cancer was one of the a lot more frequently been afraid health problems, however in the last 20 years or so this seems to have been changed by HELP.
One uncommon belief patients have is that extremely small amounts of contaminants can cover huge locations. For instance, they might believe that a decline of blood or urine can somehow be infected layer whole spaces, or even every little thing they possess.
From my very own experience, I would presume that the fear of particular illnesses may still the leader. Numerous years ago cancer cells was one of the much more generally feared ailments, but in the last 2 decades or so this seems to have actually been replaced by AIDS.
One unusual belief patients have is that extremely percentages of pollutants can cover huge areas. For instance, they might think that a decline of blood or urine can somehow be infected coat entire spaces, or perhaps everything they have.
Another kind of obsession can consist of double-checking by a patient to see to it that they have actually not become infected, or asking others for confidence that this has not happened. Patients will certainly often repetitively ask others to inspect parts of themselves they can not get to or see, or points they can not go near. Some will reach to make checklists of things they think may have happened in the past, so as not neglect this important details.
In an attempt to keep clean as well as decrease compulsions, some victims will certainly create 2 various globes for themselves; one clean as well as one dirty. When contaminated they can relocate easily concerning their unclean globe and touch as well as do anything, since whatever in it is already polluted. They might likewise be able to live freely in their clean world as long as they themselves are clean when they enter it and likewise stay that way.
For magical kinds of contamination ocd the service is frequently a magical purification ritual developed to remove or negate the problem, believed, name, picture, or idea. Claiming special words or prayers, assuming opposing or great thoughts to negate poor thoughts, as well as doing actions in reverse, are just some of the compulsions that can be seen. Sometimes the typical washing or bathing may also become part of the wonderful ritual.
" Washing machines" as they are described are possibly one of the most visible among those with contamination fixations. It is not unusual for them to wash their hands fifty or even more times per day. In more extreme cases, hands may be depleted to 200 times daily. Showers can take a hr or longer, and also in severe scenarios can last as long as eight hrs.
Obviously, washers go via huge quantities of soap and also paper towels (utilized in choice to fabric towels which can just be made use of when and also produce laundry). Alcohol preps and also disinfectant hand wipes are additionally popular.
Compulsive bathing and also cleaning are truly fairly futile, as the alleviation from anxiety just lasts until the washer calls something else that is seen as infected. In order to cut down on cleaning, victims sometimes resort to using paper towels, plastic bags, or non reusable gloves to touch points.
In some cases, member of the family have been drawn right into the patient's internet of compulsions. They are made to comfort to clean points that can not be come close to, to inspect the sufferer or the environment for tidiness, or to touch or utilize points that are believed to be infected. This sort of aid, naturally, does not truly assist, as it just locks the sufferer into the health problem as well as boosts helplessness. It additionally brings about bitterness and battling, as relative feel progressively imposed upon and also their lives end up being limited. This is particularly true when a relative is viewed as the resource of contamination.
This is where instead of being scared of coming to be polluted, sufferers fear spreading out contamination to others. The kinds of contamination that can be spread out to others are regarding the same as those that trouble various other victims. There is not just a concern of possibly hurting others, but additionally a fear of having to live with the resulting sense of guilt.
This type of therapy motivates people to gradually experience raising doses of that which is contaminated, while withstanding washing, inspecting, avoiding, or performing magical rituals. By staying with the anxiety, victims come to discover the fact of the matter-- that absolutely nothing truly takes place when they encounter their fears, and also that their efforts at taking preventative measures serve no genuine function. I such as to inform my patients that "When everything is contaminated, absolutely nothing is infected."
Therapeutic encounters are like little experiments to examination people' theories concerning the risks of their specific kind of contamination. If a feared substance or scenario is also difficult to challenge in one entire action, it is come close to more slowly. Some patients can just touch something that has actually touched a feared material or object, and also only later do they go on to touch straight what is feared.
On the surface, the contamination ocd and anxieties associated with OCD do not appear to be a very challenging topic. Allow us initially check out the nature of obsessive contamination anxieties. The kinds of contamination that can be spread out to others are regarding the very same as those that problem various other sufferers. There is not just a concern of perhaps harming others, however also an anxiety of having to live with the resulting guilt. Some clients can just touch something that has actually touched a feared substance or object, and just later do they go on to touch straight what is feared.
Treatment for contamination OCD
Contamination OCD help
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.