Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Treating OCD with Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy can be an effective way to help individuals cope/manage difficulties associated with conditions such as Stress, Anxiety, OCD and Depression. So do not despair, therapy could help you get your life back on track! Learning how to manage stress differently going forward is the key to your recovery and success.
What is OCD?
OCD is a serious anxiety-related condition consisting of an ‘obsession’ and a ‘compulsion’. It can be one of the hardest behavioural stress reactions to understand, especially to the non-sufferer.
The OCD sufferer is constantly plagued by persistent ideas or intrusive thoughts which are often terrifying, even though they know that they are totally irrational. These obsessive thoughts seem to come out of the blue, for example ‘Did I lock the front door?’, ‘I think I left the cooker on?’ ‘I’m going to harm somebody’, ‘Today I am going to die’. Even though the OCD sufferer tries to reject these thoughts they seem unable to stop them.
Check the signs and symptoms of OCD.
How the OCD Sufferer copes
In order to deal with these distressing and often terrifying thoughts and feelings, the OCD sufferer will often go through a ritualistic compulsive action. This can be, for example, washing their hands every time they have touched something or continually checking that they have locked their front door. Although the OCD sufferer may try to break this vicious cycle or somebody else may try to stop them, they become increasingly agitated, anxious and panicky and usually end up giving into the ritualistic compulsive action.
Deciding whether Professional Help is needed
If you want to determine whether your obsession or compulsion is normal, or in fact a problem which requires professional assistance, then please consult the checklist below:
- Your problems are impacting on your physical health. You may not be taking prescribed medication, attending medical appointments or looking after yourself properly (eg washing, eating or drinking enough).
- Your problems are preventing you from leaving your home. Sometimes people with OCD or BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder) become housebound.
- Your problems are seriously affecting your work and social life. You are unable to continue working, you’ve lost your job, you are avoiding seeing friends and family, your partner has left you.
- Your problems are preventing you from caring adequately for your children. OCD sufferers usually take too much responsibility for caring for their loved ones.
- You’ve tried many different self-help options but you are unable to overcome the problems on your own.
Seeking Professional Help
Fortunately nowadays, OCD is more widely recognised by both OCD sufferers and professionals due to increased information being available. This means that more accurate diagnosis and relevant assistance can be offered to the OCD sufferer.
In some instances your GP/Medical Practitioner may feel it relevant to prescribe you medication to help you deal with the stress, anxiety and/or depression that you are experiencing as a result of the OCD. This is usually beneficial and can help the individual get through some very difficult times. However, it is also essential to deal with the underlying stress actually causing the problem.
There are many ways that we can successfully work with OCD, one of the most well-recognised being Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This, combined with Clinical Hypnotherapy, can be an excellent way to help you achieve the positive behavioural changes needed to reduce anxiety and start regaining control of your life.
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