Blog Tour for Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery

book coverAs we head into the last week or so of the blog tour, I have two more reviews to share with you:

Please check out today’s post by Sherrey Meyer:

http://sherreymeyer.com/overcoming-ocd-janet-singer/#more-26512

And from Barbara Rath over at Toss the Typewriter:

http://barbararath.com/2015/04/08/wkly-brief-book-review-overcoming-ocd-a-journey-to-recovery/

Thanks once again to Sherrey and Barbara and all the blog tour participants. There are two more reviews to come over the next week. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

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OCD and Hypnosis

by stuart miles freedigitalphotos.net

by stuart miles freedigitalphotos.net

I recently came across this article about Howie Mandel being hypnotized. Apparently while Mr. Mandel was under hypnosis, many people were able to shake his hand; something he otherwise never allows.

I admit I know very little about hypnosis, which is defined as “a state of human consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness characterized by an enhanced capacity for response to suggestion.” As a teenager, I attended a couple of events where people were hypnotized, and the participants obviously said and did things they wouldn’t normally do. I actually found that frightening.

Sure enough, if you search the Internet for “OCD and hypnosis”, you will find all sorts of claims, ranging from hypnosis as a helpful tool for those with OCD to assertions that OCD can be cured through hypnosis. Can hypnosis help those with OCD? I don’t know. But in my almost five years of blogging, I don’t think I’ve ever heard from anyone who has had first-hand success treating his or her OCD with hypnosis. What bothers me most about this information is that it steers those with OCD and their loved ones in the wrong direction; away from evidence-based treatment that does work: exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy.

In fact, the way I see it, hypnosis and ERP appear to be opposite in some ways. At least in reference to the “reduced peripheral awareness.” While hypnosis reduces your awareness of what’s going on around you because your focus is narrowed, ERP therapy requires you to be aware of what’s happening all around you, so that you can feel the anxiety that is being created by a specific situation during therapy. In the article, Mr. Mandel describes being hypnotized,  “… like a real and natural Xanax.” No anxiety there.

The bottom line is there is no easy fix for those who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder. Recovery is possible, but it likely takes more than being hypnotized. It takes courage, it takes determination, and it takes ERP therapy.

That being said, if you’ve had successful experiences (or not so successful) with hypnosis, I’d love to hear from you. We all can learn so much from each other.

 

 

 

 

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OCD and Hyper-responsibility

 

 

by artur84 freedigitalphotos.net

by artur84 freedigitalphotos.net

Today I’m sharing a post that originally appeared in June 2012:

One of the driving forces behind OCD is an inflated sense of responsibility, or hyper-responsibility. Those who suffer from hyper-responsibility believe they have more control over what happens in the world than they actually do.

In my son Dan’s case, I think a lot of his hyper-responsibility had to do with other’s feelings. He felt he was responsible for everyone else’s happiness, thereby neglecting his own. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and I remember one of his elementary school teachers commenting, long before he was diagnosed with OCD, that  Dan was very well-liked, but she worried about the cost to him. He was constantly being pulled in different directions by his peers, not wanting to upset or disappoint anyone, always wanting to please and accommodate everybody.

Dan also used to give an inordinate amount of his money to charity. Any appeal that came in the mail was answered with a check, and when I once commented that it was great to care about others but he should cut back on his donations to save for college, he became uncharacteristically agitated and insisted on continuing to donate. I now realize he felt responsible for saving the world, and if I forced him to refrain from what had become a compulsion, he would have experienced tormenting guilt.

These are just two of many situations that reflect Dan’s sense of inflated responsibility, and I’m sure all those who suffer from OCD have their own unique examples. As is often the case, I can relate to this aspect of OCD, to a certain degree, even though I don’t have the disorder. When I was young, if a store clerk gave me back too much change and I didn’t say anything, I’d wonder if something bad might happen to me or a family member. My worry was fleeting, not torturous as it would be for those with OCD, but the premise is the same:  I was in charge of keeping everyone safe.

Through therapy, Dan addressed his hyper-responsibility, and learned to accept the fact that he was not responsible for the happiness or safety of others. Indeed, he could not control these things if he wanted to; his goals were unattainable. He could not prevent world hunger, animal cruelty, or the myriad of other wrongs he tried to right.

Of course, it is important for us to all work toward a better world, and make meaningful contributions to society. But the impetus for our actions should not be tied up in obsessions and compulsions, or based on our fears and anxieties. With OCD, the true meaning behind actions is not always easy to decipher, and that’s where a good therapist can help. Hyper-responsibility needs to be addressed, so that more attention can be paid to who we can really control: ourselves.

 

Posted in Mental Health, OCD | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery -Three More Reviews

high res photoWe’re more than halfway through the blog tour! Here are the most recently posted reviews:

http://www.mattbieber.net/janet-singer-review/

http://alisondotson.com/2015/04/01/review-of-overcoming-ocd-a-journey-to-recovery/

http://www.grownchildren.net/grownup_children_project/2015/03/detachment-parenting-how-does-it-apply-when-our-young-adults-become-seriously-ill.html

Enjoy!!

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OCD, Tics, and Tourette Syndrome

by ambro freedigitalphotos.net

by ambro freedigitalphotos.net

When my son Dan’s obsessive-compulsive disorder was at its worst, he developed facial contortions, or twitching, as well as some noticeable tics. As if having severe OCD wasn’t frightening enough!

As it turns out, tics and Tourette syndrome are not uncommon in those with OCD. Statistics vary, but approximately 50% of children with OCD have, or have had, tics and 15% of them have been diagnosed with Tourette syndrome. So what’s the connection?

In this two-minute video, Dr. Barbara Coffey confirms that there is indeed a genetic relationship between OCD and tic disorders. In fact, if a child presents with tics or Tourette syndrome, there is a good chance he or she will have some family members who have OCD, with or without tics or Tourette syndrome.

The good news is that, in those with both conditions, treating OCD usually results in a reduction, or even disappearance, of tics. Because OCD is typically anxiety driven, and anxiety appears to exacerbate tics, this result is really not surprising. What is interesting to note, however, is that the recommended treatment for OCD (ERP therapy, SSRIs) differs from the accepted treatment for tics and Tourette syndrome (relaxation training, habit-reversal training, and standard neuroleptics as well as other meds). For those who are interested in an in-depth discussion of these two disorders and their relationship, I highly recommend checking out this article by Dr. Charles Mansueto on the IOCDF website.

As with most issues related to OCD, it can get complicated. Dan’s twitching intensified when he was taking atypical antipsychotic medication, and he developed jerky movements as well. Combine this with tremors and a non-stop bouncing leg, and it was tough to see him in this condition. I can’t even imagine what it must have felt like.

Thankfully, I’m happy to report that in Dan’s case, his twitching, tics, and all movement issues resolved once his OCD was treated, and he was off all his medications. But it took a while. His diagnoses of depression and GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) also fell by the wayside once his OCD was under control. So while he had multiple diagnoses and issues when things were really bad, each one of them appears to have stemmed from his obsessive-compulsive disorder.

As is often the case, it always comes back to the same thing……the importance of getting proper treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder. If other concerns remain after the OCD is under control, they can be addressed appropriately. But you just might be pleasantly surprised to see multiple issues resolve once OCD isn’t calling the shots anymore.

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Overcoming OCD Review from 71° and Sunny

book cover

Thank you so much to Monique over at 71° and Sunny for her heartfelt review. The blog tour has been amazing so far, as each reviewer sees the book from his or her own perspective. I hope you’ll check out what Monique has to say!

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The Blog Tour Continues…

 

book coverThe blog tour for Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery is in full swing.  Thank you to Tina at Bringing Along OCD for her recent review. Check it out!

Posted in Mental Health, OCD | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments