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OCD can change the relationship with the self

Seven years ago I attended a talk by David Adam. He recounted his journey as someone suffering with obsessive compulsive disorder and he blew me away. His level of insight and knowledge of what he calls his strange thoughts and the level of anxiety that they produce left a long lasting impression on me and influenced the way that I work.


For anyone interested in OCD, his book - ‘the man who couldn’t stop’ is essential reading.


OCD can change the relationship with the self. Having ‘bad’ thoughts or compulsive urges does not mean that the sufferer is bad, or should be perceived as such. Disturbing thoughts do not mean the person wants to act on them. The fact that the person finds them disturbing is a key to understanding the turmoil that the sufferer goes through. The thoughts are in opposition to the sufferers personality or usual behaviours. This then causes the sufferer to question who they are and can lead to an insecurity or anxiety of self (ontological insecurity).


We all have a cognitive idea generator which helps us to solve problems, and use our imagination to be creative in an uncensored way. With OCD, this brainstorming becomes obsessional and irrational with triggers resulting from anything and anywhere.


You don’t have to be alone with these thoughts.






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