How The OCD-Cycle Functions.
For a bystander it must seem strange to see someone go through hours of meticulous rituals, only to find some temporal relief. To see them engage in all kinds of absurd and time-consuming behaviors which end up making them feel unhappy/restricted for having done them.
These contradictions make OCD so hard to understand for some. But just imagine that behind each action is an anxiety- based urge.
Although the relief of anxiety is only temporary, it is still better than no relief at all.
Simplified OCD consists out of Obsessions and Compulsions.
You can read more about Obsessions and Compulsions on different pages of this Site.
But for now this page focuses on the way OCD actually continuously reinforces or sustains itself and why it's a disorder that is impossible to "simply snap out of", but which by understanding the cycle can be worked on.
Here Is a Simple Visual Aid of How the OCD-Cycle Works.
In all OCD is a self- supporting system, the combination of having anxiety triggered, not being in control of this and finding relief through actions that give you a sense of being in control is making the effects of this OCD- cycle so powerful. This is why therapy often includes some kind of Behavioral Therapy.
This type of therapy tries to break the OCD-cycle by slowly but steadily taking away the section that brings the "relief", being the rituals.
If this is done enough times, the tolerance towards the anxiety will get increasingly higher.
Whereas someone would normally immediately resort to using its known system of physical/Mental rituals, they will now have to trust that the anxiety they feel isn't life- threatening and will subside given some time.
Sounds simple enough, anxiety comes up and you wait for it to stagnate and for it to eventually go away.
But that's the whole deal with anxiety, it's scary and one wants to stop this as soon as possible. However, persisting to face the anxiety has helped many regain much of their freedom.