A DEFINITION OF COMPULSIONS.
- These are physical or mental repetitive behaviors that are used to relief some of the anxiety caused by the Obsessions or that are applied according to very strict and rigid rules.
- The control found in doing actions in very precise manner seems to be so contrasting to the chaos the Obsessions are creating in the mind.
- The behaviors or mental acts try to prevent and reduce anxiety or are done to prevent a dreaded event or situation.
- But while using this system, the person is also aware that their actions are not realistically connected to what they are trying to neutralize or prevent and know they are excessive.
- The person engages in the ritual and feels some relief of the anxiety she/he was feeling but soon, the Obsession/Anxiety recurs. Since the system worked 1 st. time, it will be repeated and this is what they refer to as the "Cycle of OCD". The whole time you get positive re- enforcement that this seemingly senseless behavior is actually helping. Although this is not completely true since it has no long- lasting benefits. But still, when anxious, these rituals seem to be a small price to pay, until you get stuck in that vicious circle and find that instead of adding some wanted stability to your life, these rituals are robbing you of your freedom.
What Are Compulsions?
Compulsions are mostly physical rituals. The compulsions often acts as a way to alleviate the anxiety that might be for instance caused by an Obsession. This said, a compulsion as well as an Obsession can occur independently of each other.
Is There Such a Thing As Pure "C"?
While you have Pure "O"'s, there seems to be no category like Pure "C"s.
It is said that Obsessions are harder to cure, but stopping a ritual that is helping you to put a stop to anxiety is hard to do also.
The Different Types of Compulsions.You have many different types of rituals, for instance you have Touching, Checking, Cleaning, Washing, Counting and Hoarding. When a person gets stuck on an action this often comes from wanting to do something perfectly and doubting they did. This will make them repeat that same action until they "feel" it is just right.
Actions That Are Commonly Repeated.
- Touching objects/people.
- Checking whether something is safely closed, safely turned off ( Such as a electrical appliance/Stove.)
- Washing your hands.
- Getting up out of a chair.
- Putting something down or picking something up.
- Reading, Writing or Saying something.
Look at the List of OCD- Symptoms for more examples.
Different Reasons Why Actions Are Repeated.1. The "Just Right Feeling".
EXAMPLE. How best to find a way to make non- sufferers understand this, I guess by letting you screw a screw in. Just try that. At a certain point you can let go right? You no longer feel the urge to keep turning it in. You know and maybe feel it is okay to stop. This is very much a feel- thing.
That moment of being able to let go, is much harder for those who have OCD. They may need to repeat the action several times to feel this moment. People who have OCD often have a hard time trusting their own decisions. Wether this has to do with being scared of the responsibility of doing something wrong or just not believing their own capacities is unclear. Sometimes, maybe a combination of both.2. The use of #'s.
If you decide that a certain number has a positive value or symbolic meaning, that's the number of times you will repeat the action. Same with a negative #, which you will avoid using.3. Doubting.
The feeling of not knowing you really have done it correctly or perfectly will result in doubt and repetition. Often will sufferers ask for feedback or approval/confirmation of/from others. No one likes to fail or make mistakes, but people with OCD seem to want even more perfection.
How To React To Someone Who Has Such Rituals.
Same as with the Obsessions, be patient and listen to them.
Don't force someone to stop their rituals, doing this will only increase the anxiety and therefore the OCD.
There is no "real" logic to these behaviors, so don't try and look for any.
The only logic that exists is in the mind of the sufferer and that's why listening is such an important key to understanding them.