What is OCD?
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder whose main symptoms include obsessions and compulsions, driving the person to engage in unwanted, often distress behaviors or thoughts. It is an anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent and disturbing thoughts and/or repetitive, ritualized behaviors that the person feels driven to perform. Obsessions can also take the form of intrusive images or unwanted impulses.
Not only the person with OCD suffered, but the family who live together also suffer. When OCD becomes dominant, the person feels compelled to ask their family members to do things, e.g. cleaning, avoid touching certain things, take them to places, etc.
OCD is like Brain Lock
At the root of obsessions leading to one’s compulsions is fear, which associated with mis-interpretation of certain events during intense periods of stress. Negative thought patterns started to occur because of perceptions that were misrepresented or misperceived. From that, individuals got ‘hooked’ on negative thought patterns that became obsessive. The behaviors get played out over and over, it becomes a “brain lock” and leaving the individual trapped in this miserable cycle. It also caused a biochemical imbalance in the brain.
Contrary to popular opinion, using drugs isn’t necessary to treat OCD. To treat OCD effectively, we need to work at the level where the problem was formed, the subconscious mind. We need to use comprehensive and holistic means through natural therapies including Mindfulness, Hypnotherapy, Enhanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Havening Techniques and NLP.
Mindfulness to Stay at the Present Moment
One of the methods of dealing with OCD is mindfulness. Mindfulness techniques are easier than many people expect. The area where most people struggle is applying them consistently. Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the present while letting go of the intrusive commands or thoughts that is not really from you.
Calm yourself down by taking deep breaths and reorient your mind towards the present moment. Re-assure: this is NOT me, it’s just the OCD.
Overpowering the Intrusive Commands
Another method for achieving this is by interrupting the pattern leading to the behavior. This means redirecting your thoughts towards something else, so your mind is taken off the OCD impulses. Whenever you hear the intrusive commands, imagine you can turn down the volume, change the sound to become funny voice that you don’t even believe it to be real, etc, and eventually you can ignore it. This requires some practice.
Using Hypnotherapy to Change Perception
Hypnotherapy for OCD can help release and replace negative thought patterns in the subconscious mind. Once these patterns of negative thoughts are modified, then the obsessions can stop.
Through Regression technique, the person is taken back to the event that triggered the original obsession. So, if the person is forever washing their hands for fear of germs or contamination, then the therapist takes the person back to the original event where the person get triggered with the fear and created the obsession, to change the perception of how the person look at what happened.
With Havening technique, we target the original event to delink and remove the associated fear. By doing so, the brain chemistry can also be changed back to normal.
OCD can be completely cured after treatment. The person has to build the mental strength to work against the OCD with the therapist, and overpower it, until he/she builds a new neuro-pathway in the brain, freeing himself/herself from the compulsions or obsessions.
In order to achieve that, it needs repetition of listening to the hypnosis audio given at the sessions, so as to override the destructive impulses and rewire the brain in the subconscious level. Eventually, they will find life becomes so much easier for them and they enjoy significant relief from the symptoms of OCD.
Self Treatment: 4 Steps to Deal With the OCD
Along with seeing the therapist, it is recommended to use the Four-Step Self-Treatment Method to deal with your OCD, mentioned from the book “Brain Lock – Free Yourself from Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour”. Rather than giving in to your obsession or compulsion driven impulses, you can instead learn to organize your mental and behavioral responses. The 4 steps are:
Step 1: Relabel. In this step, you start labelling your impulses as you should: a result of your OCD. In this way, you learn to distinguish between your OCD-driven impulses and normal behavioral patterns.
Step 2: Reattribute. In this step, you attribute your OCD impulses to your medical condition. In this way, you accept that those impulses actually arise from an unhealthy chemical imbalance.
Step 3: Refocus. Focus your mind towards something more productive or constructive. This is a way to work around your OCD impulses.
Step 4: Revalue. Learn to distinguish between constructive and destructive impulses. In your mind, devalue the latter. This would help you deal with your OCD more effectively.
Tips for Family Members:
It is suggested that family members don’t entertain the OCD of the person. It will only make it worse. Help the person by helping him/her to do the deep breathing with the 4 steps mentioned above.
Under this, our clinical Hypnotherapist Sandy will guide you into a state of trance similar to daydreaming. This will allow her to work with your subconscious mind, find out the underlying causes of your emotional suffering, and establish desired outcomes for you. To achieve this, Sandy will use various techniques like Mindfulness, Past Life Regression, Inner Child Therapy, Parts Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Rewind Technique, and more.