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Emsie

The best approach?

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On 17/11/2018 at 07:37, Emsie said:

My question is, is saying to myself 'that's an intrusive thought or feeling' a complusion? It is helping me to dismiss them, but of course I don't want to be going down the road of self reassurance by saying that to myself as I am feeling anxiety at the time. 

I think its important to recognize the difference between repeated behavior and compulsion.  Repeated behaviors are not necessarily a problem, but they can become problematic in which case they are compulsions.

Consider hand washing for example.  Hand washing is one of the best tools in modern hygiene.  You SHOULD wash your hands before/after certain situations, such as using the restroom or before eating.  But, of course, hand washing can be done compulsively, in which case it can go from being helpful to harmful.  The distinction is how much harm vs how much benefit.

The C in CBT stands for Cognitive, and its there because its important that we not only change our behavior related to OCD, but also how we think.  Noticing and labeling your intrusive thoughts is part of that process, its a necessary part of CBT because it makes you aware of what you are doing and helps you break the cycle of anxiety and compulsions.  Yes its a repeated behavior, but that doesn't make it a compulsion.  Rather than doing you harm its helping you change.  Now if all you do was repeat the phrase after every intrusive thought and don't do the rest of the CBT work then  its possible it could become problematic, but that doesn't mean you should never do it.  Just like hand washing can become trouble if over done, the answer is not to stop, but to just remain aware of why you are doing it and what the goal is.

 

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15 hours ago, Emsie said:

This might sound like a stupid question, but how do you just notice the thoughts/feelings when there is a rapid, huge surge of anxiety and you’ve instantly started to ruminate on it/check things etc, etc? Obviously I know what ‘notice’ means but I don’t know how to notice a thought/feeling.

Basically you just have to do your best.  Do your best to notice intrusive thoughts and relabel/refocus as soon as possible.  The more you do it, the better you'll get and it will become more and more automatic, and require less conscious effort.

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7 hours ago, dksea said:

I think its important to recognize the difference between repeated behavior and compulsion.  Repeated behaviors are not necessarily a problem, but they can become problematic in which case they are compulsions.

Consider hand washing for example.  Hand washing is one of the best tools in modern hygiene.  You SHOULD wash your hands before/after certain situations, such as using the restroom or before eating.  But, of course, hand washing can be done compulsively, in which case it can go from being helpful to harmful.  The distinction is how much harm vs how much benefit.

The C in CBT stands for Cognitive, and its there because its important that we not only change our behavior related to OCD, but also how we think.  Noticing and labeling your intrusive thoughts is part of that process, its a necessary part of CBT because it makes you aware of what you are doing and helps you break the cycle of anxiety and compulsions.  Yes its a repeated behavior, but that doesn't make it a compulsion.  Rather than doing you harm its helping you change.  Now if all you do was repeat the phrase after every intrusive thought and don't do the rest of the CBT work then  its possible it could become problematic, but that doesn't mean you should never do it.  Just like hand washing can become trouble if over done, the answer is not to stop, but to just remain aware of why you are doing it and what the goal is.

 

Hi dksea, 

Thank you so much for your reply and insight here. Really useful and such a good point, thank you. 

7 hours ago, dksea said:

Basically you just have to do your best.  Do your best to notice intrusive thoughts and relabel/refocus as soon as possible.  The more you do it, the better you'll get and it will become more and more automatic, and require less conscious effort.

Thank you. X

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On 20/11/2018 at 19:15, Emsie said:

Thank you. X

You're more than welcome!  I hope it helps!

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8 hours ago, dksea said:

You're more than welcome!  I hope it helps!

Bless you. It helped very much.....thank you again. X

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