Monday, January 25, 2016

Obsession or Problem-Solving? Rationality or OCD? Am I Doing This Right?!

Me worry?
The precursor to the MAD Magazine guy.
As my incoherent title suggests, I'm a little confused, overwhelmed, unsure . . . doubtful even. It makes sense, since I have the "doubting disease," but it's hard to tell when it's legitimate and I need to work through it or when it's OCD and I should treat it. This leads me to my current conundrum. I'm not sure if I'm overthinking this or if I'm approaching it correctly in an attempt to get the best results.

Because I have Pure-OCD, it is hard to nail down my compulsions–a problem I've talked about before. It would seem that this sort of OCD requires a different touch when it comes to exposure and response prevention. However, the guidebook my therapist and I are working through is slightly generic when it comes to creating exposures for someone like me. They have one example of a woman who is afraid of her baby. The exposures involve the baby. I don't have a baby. What I have are a bunch of evil thoughts that make me feel sick all the time. The only option for this, according to the book, is to write a script, record it and then listen to it for an hour and a half twice a day. Needless to say, I think that approach needs some fine tuning.

Firstly, listening to the script works okay before it gets monotonous. Now, I know the idea of ERP is to get bored by the stimuli that usually provokes anxiety. That's all well and good, but I'm only getting bored by that one scenario. I basically wrote a script like it was a story happening, so I'll get bored by that one possibility regarding that trigger, but there are myriad others. My thinking is that I need to get a touch more general, no less graphic and add some other stimuli in there. For example, maybe I should write, read and listen to the script during exposures. Maybe I could add triggering sounds or pictures into the mix. I've read some suggestions along these lines and I'm a little overwhelmed. I see my therapist in two days, and I'm sure she will have some ideas. Do any of you?

If you have experience with imaginal exposure for Pure-OCD, I really want to hear from you. Leave a comment below with your thoughts or find me on Twitter. Thanks!

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