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  • technique for obsessions effective..

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    Old 07-28-2006, 05:51 PM   #1
    arbegla's Avatar
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    technique for obsessions effective..


    Well, I am currently on medication (Lexapro) and have found it effective in reducing both compulsive and obsessive severity. However, my obsessions are much stronger than my compulsions and are still quite annoying despite relief. I been trying "thought-stopping" dismissing individual obsessions and holding my mind blank until the next one appears then repeating the process etc...Well I found out the hard way, it's not an effective technique. W/out meds, I can't leave my mind clear for longer 3-4 seconds and when my mind races it's impossible to break the flood of thoughts. Lexapro gives me about 10 seconds relief w/ the thought-stop technique, but I don't feel them lessning in intensity...and there's a lingering "background" obsession which is out of reach and is simply thinking obsessively about breaking the obsessions's not strong but it just keeps there so I can never break my mind from OCD literally. I read in a OCD book about recording yourself repeating the phrase in your head and looping the tape around and around...I was confused what they were actually talking about, but decided each time an intrusive thought appeared in my head I would purposely repeat it over and over for 20 times. Then the same way I did it for the next intrusive thought. They said in the book it's suppose to make your mind "bored" of them....Supprisingly the technique was quite effective as it kept my mind on a specific topic that I was controlling and kept me from becoming anxious about thinking about OCD. I tired after about 45 minutes, but was worth it....the obsessions were temporarily less strong and my anxiety diminshed a bit. Has anyone done this and have they been successful with it? I am concerned w/ trying to get my obsessions as low as possible, because they generate very high anxiety and substantial impairment. My outward compulsions are only moderate normally, and the med. has knocked it into an insignificant nuisance. Any advice or tips for thought is appreciated

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    Old 07-29-2006, 07:42 AM   #2
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    Re: technique for obsessions effective..

    I also read in a self-help book to take one of your obsessions, however bad it may be, and to write like a small paragraph about it. Then to write an opposing paragraph in which you make light of the obsession and make it into something funny and ridiculous. Like if you had an obsessive thought about killing yourself, in the opposing paragraph you could write about overdosing on tic tacs or something ridiculous. You're supposed to read it about 10 times a day. And eventually the book says that you get bored of the thought and it becomes less anxiety producing. I can't say I've been successful with it because I haven't tried it yet, but I am going to. It may work for you!

    Old 07-29-2006, 05:05 PM   #3
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    thank you for responding

    Thanks your advice,

    I think there was something I read about writing out obsessions too. I don't know if I am practicing the technique correctly, but what I got from it is that the harder you try to "avoid" thinking about something it generates anxiety and keeps it there. That's why thought stopping didn't work for me, because I automatically started obsessing "am I obsessing" and when doing any action "you are acting on a compulsion" even when I wasn't it. Well this technique has been pretty good so far. Whenever getting "anxious" about obsessing about trying to rid my mind of OCD, I just think about it over and over (on purpose)...or I might purposely imagine big letters "O C D" in the sky and keep it there. Using an anxiety scale at 3:45 this afternoon w/ Lex and ativan working before trying this technique I scored 33 (which is low moderate). About 1/2 hour later that anxiety scored dropped to 28 crossing into mild range score 28 (the cutoff is 30). Not a huge drop but helpful. I'm finding hard to clear the clouds of obsessions from my mind but for brief periods I feel almost "normal". Unfortunately sometimes my meds. cutout and my OCD comes back w/ full anxiety lurches in seconds from somewhere in the 30 range to 66 (my usual score off meds.) which is medium severe according to this scale ( i found it in a book it's not beck's/burns/ham). Using the Yale Brown OCD scale, at baseline I am at 4+3+3+3+3=16.....4 for time constant intrusion, 3 for severe anxiety, 3 for substantial impairment, 3 for little resistance, 3 for little control. Meds. drop it to 4+2+2+2+2=12 which is an improvement, and trying the technique of the book I can temporarily (1/2 hour) bring it down to 4+1+2+1+2=10, 1 for anxiety and resitance. So although I still have near constant intusion it's less irritating and putting in a great fight! Control over obsessions is somewehat improved, but it's still only moderate. Still I'm optimistic!

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