Compulsive acts of verification in OCD (Part 2)

The act of making a verification has a symbolic meaning to the unconscious mind, which is to verify that everything is under control.

Anxiety, stress and internal tension, as well as emocional repressiveness, constitute negative psychic energies, which are transmitted throughout the sufferer’s body all the way up to the amygdale (a very minuscule part of the brain), which thereafter transfers all of this energy onto the Autonomic Nervous System, which is in charge of regulating, among many other elements, the physiological signals of stress and anxiety; it is also responsible for the uprising of obsessive thoughts and the need to carry out compulsive acts.

But enough of theories, let us go straight onto the therapeutic aspects, which are probably the ones that interest you the most right now if you suffer from verifications OCD. If it is evident that stress factors and psychological pressure augment the need to carry out these obsessive acts of verification, and they diminish or even disappear when periods of little psychological tension and great joy arrive, then it is obvious that we have identified a fundamental therapeutical tool, forcefully in the form of changing our perception of situations in our lives, and to stop pressuring ourselves all the time. Also a part of therapy is learning to abandon such extreme needs of being “that” version of ourselves: perfectionist, self-demanding, extremely responsible, needfully an excessively good person (that puts the needs of others before their own), sacrificial, approval-seeking, and repressive of anger and rage.

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Now that we arrive to this particular point, I must say that stress is partially a self-imposed issue. Maybe you are not in accordance with this statement, and you may think other things are to blame for your stress, including exams, family issues, and laboral or economic ones, but the truth is, it is you who is responsible for the meaning you attribute to all these things! I mean, in front of a given situation (exams or stress at work, for instance), two different people can react in completely opposite ways. It may be that one of them lives through it with profound anguish and anxiety, and the other faces it with absolute indifference (because for instance he or she understands that whomsoever does all that is within his or her power is not bound to do more, and because they do not impose any pressure upon themselves.) Of the two, whom do you think is more prone to generate the need for compulsive acts of verification? Yes, you got it right!

For sure you know someone who goes through life with amazing parsimony, relax and tranquility, the typical kind of person who is not stressed out or preoccupied by anything, that cares not for what others say or think about them, in such extreme ways that their attitude may make you quite nervous. I need to tell you that you have a lot to learn from that person; if you were able to adopt that precise attitude about all the aspects of your life, then compulsive acts of verification would progressively descend, and more likely disappear entirely.

This is why the “happiness factor” may achieve for obsessive thoughts and compulsive acts of verification to go temporarily go away in many people. The happiness factor is the fact of experiencing a diminishment of the symptoms of OCD (or the complete cease of their occurrence), as a consequence of severe and abrupt positive changes in life, that carry over enormous improvements to their psychological perception of reality. Some examples of said “happiness factor” are the cases in which Obsessive Compulsive Disorder wanes and dwindles or completely vanishes as a consequence of entering into situations of great joy, total novelty and stimulation, such as student exchanges, going to live abroad, or to be deeply in-love.

I am sorry to tell you that the cure is not something you can be given, gifted with or granted (as for example with pills, massages, acupuncture or surgery); cure from that OCD that bothers you so much can only be attained by yourself with lots of work, discipline and effort. Only you can save yourself. The full array of therapies os only the map that will guide you on your trip to healing, but only you can take that road and walk the walk, step by step.

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