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Obsessive – Compulsive Disorder OCD

Is behaviour of the main protagonist Melvin played by Jack Nicholson in ?As Good as It Gets? familiar to you? Do the rituals of Detective Monk from popular series resemble yours? When you leave home, do you always go back several times just to make sure you closed the door and at the same time you conduct a ritual of counting? Do you have problems falling asleep until your books on the table are arranged in proper order? Probably you suffer from OCD (Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder). If you think that you are the only person who has this problem, then you should know that this problem afflicts 2,5% of population. If the disorder runs in the family, the risk of OCD reaches up to 9-10%. OCD consists of two elements : obsessions, that is, obsessive thoughts which are perceived by a patient as embarrassing, illogical and unwanted. Despite the fact that patient finds obsessions absurd and unnecessary, he can?t restrain from having them. The attempt to do so increases the level of anxiety. The second element, namely, the reactions to obsessions, are called compulsions, that is, rituals that give relief to a patient. They consist in for example washing hands, obsessive checking, counting, praying, arranging things in a given order. OCD disables normal life to great extent. The quality of obsessions and compulsions may change in the course of life. Some may disappear and other appear. They refer to one or several aspects: Persistent uncertainty of doing things despite multiple checking, for example: is the door closed, tap turned off, are the things arranged properly and hands washed thoroughly; Usually vulgar or blasphemous thoughts which intensify in places or situations where they are considered obscene, for example sexual thoughts occurring in a church during praying or at family dinner; Continuous, lasting many hours, analyzing, ruminating over one topic that does not lead to any conclusions and disables making any decisions. Even if the decision is made, its legitimacy is undermined, second thoughts and the feeling of making mistake appear; Obsessive thoughts about making something embarrassing or behaving aggressively towards close friends or family, for example hitting your mother, kicking a kid; the realization of these thoughts never happens, however strong anxiety not to do so causes attempt to avoid these situations; Below there are some questions from the Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder Inventory made in Maudsley Hospital in London that...
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Traumatic events in the past

Trauma can be defined in may ways and a lot of different things can be understood by this term. However, such symptoms as persistent feelings of shame, inability to feel one’s worth and dignity, low self- esteem, and various other symptoms – for example, psychosomatic illnesses like inability to sleep well or eat normally, may be a a sign of some difficult events that had taken place in the past. A single traumatic event experienced in adult life will certainly cause less devastation in one’s psyche than repeatedly happening traumatic events over a course of years that became ?a norm? in childhood years. Living in conditions such as as child neglect or abuse, sexual or physical violence, is extremely devastating for a person, and it’s consequences may persist through entire life. Moreover, if some topics have always been forbidden to bring up at home, some questions have never been allowed to even think of – more and more symptoms may develop – because some things can never be forgotten. If there have always been some family mysteries which couldn’t and cannot see the daylight, symptoms like addictions, eating disorders, psychoses or psychosomatic illnesses, and many others, may serve as ?out-speakers? of the past events. Children who were brought up in an atmosphere of threat ever present at home – usually need help, even later on as adults – to get over their past traumas and start healing their wounds. This may be a process of recovery through dealing with shame, guilt, and fear, as well as regaining their dignity, and feeling relief from suffering and pain. What are flashbacks? Flashbacks are connected with past trauma. These are coming back and reoccurring memories or imagined things, not wanted by the person who experiences them. They have a form of images, and appear on and on in front of the eyes of the person – like a nightmare. Flashbacks are usually something one would like to forget about, not to think about it, but they keep coming as haunting thoughts from a bad dream. These can be either real memories or imagined scenes that have never happened. A person suffering from this type of thoughts can wish to escape them, can make efforts to make them disappear and leave him or her alone, but such thoughts come back relentlessly and do not let her/him have a peaceful and calm life. If...
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Depressive mood and sadness are something different from depression. It is important to distinguish them. If your sad feelings are a reaction to a recent difficult event in your life, for example, loosing a close person, death of somebody who’s important for you, divorce, leaving your home or place you felt secure in, moving to a different place and leaving your friends or family, loosing your job, wellbeing, security or something connected with your self-esteem – you may not have a depression, but have temporary adaptation difficulties or it may be a normal reaction to a sad event. In this case, there may be no need for psychotherapeutic treatment, because vivid emotions are a part of human life, even if not all of them are pleasant. Of course if you feel you need help, you know yourself for the longest period of time, so up to a point, you are the best expert of your own feelings. Please feel free also in such a case to contact me and arrange an appointment, during which you will receive support, empathetic understanding and we will decide what can be best for you. In case you often experience sadness and gloomy feelings with no particular reason, you have no willingness to live, you lost your ability to feel pleasure, your interests have faded and little or almost nothing can interest you, and your attention focuses mostly o the feeling of hopelessness of your life and yourself, we may speak of depression. Prolonged depression may start becoming a part of your character, just like low self-esteem and a feeling of hopelessness of life can become a part of one’s way of living. Moreover, other than depressive types of thinking, feeling and perceiving reality can become alien. The apathy may overwhelm you to such an extent, that reaching out for help may be made more difficult. In such a case making a phone call in order to set up a visit to a psychologist, and leaving home may become quite a challenge. However, this challenge, if taken up, gives hope for a better life and may be a beginning of your change. Such a change may help you get out of your gloomy mood and begin to live a happier and more satisfactory life. Author: Agnieszka...
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Anxiety, anger and vulnerability.

Some people, especially the ones who were brought up in an aggressive atmosphere, fear and do not accept any type of aggression both in themselves and in others. As children, they have learnt that aggression is disastrous, and they have suffered a lot due to somebody?s ? most probably one or both of their parent?s ? aggressive upbringing. They may fear consequences of their own actions and be afraid that they may be too aggressive themselves. That is why they repress all kinds of assertive feelings in themselves, because they may fear vengeance or overly aggressive response from the person they are in contact with. This may have some milder or more severe forms. This mechanism may contribute to some further consequences, for example these people may be more vulnerable to bullying. Obviously, the list of causes of anxiety experienced in the presence of other people or when being alone may be endless. Some people are afraid of loneliness, some are afraid of being close with others, others fear particular objects or animals. Many people are afraid of being rejected, and subconsciously decide not to get close with others, which may be the reason why they cannot build satisfying relationships. Author: Agnieszka Guzowska...
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Persistent thoughts

Some people, especially the ones who received strict upbringing or some type of parental care that made them concentrate on rules to a great extent, may suffer from guilty conscience or blame themselves for many everyday things. Sometimes you may be afraid that you acted in a wrong way and may feel guilty, responsible, ashamed, or inadequate because of that. Sometimes you may fear that you are going to be condemned, judged, or abandoned (for example by God or the people you love) for some of your life choices. You may keep ruminating and torturing yourself with various memories or you may not be able to focus on your daily life. If the word ?satisfaction? or ?satisfactory life? has started becoming a distant and unreal expression, you can receive help. If your friends told you many times that you are all right, and this brought only temporary relief, you may probably need some professional help. If you keep having unwanted visions, words or thoughts coming up into your mind, you may need help. Especially in such a case, remaining alone with unwanted thoughts over a prolonged period of time may be damaging for your psyche. Neurotic illnesses need treatment. Do not overlook such symptoms, but reach out for professional help. Author: Agnieszka...
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