According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common, chronic and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over.”
By analogy, it’s like having an annoying song stuck in your head, but instead of a song, it is thoughts that play on a continuous loop until you have to do something related to those thoughts (often repeatedly) in order to make them go away.For example, a person who suffers from OCD may have a strong sense of agitation over the way the dishes and silverware are arranged on the table, and won’t be able to move on until everything is exactly straight.
Christian OCD Counseling: A Story of Success
Chris’s Story, Part 1
Chris was known for his extreme perfectionism. His house was alwaystidy. His floors were so clean you could eat off of them. His friends often gave him a hard time for being so fastidious.One evening,Chris sat with his best friend, watching a television show.
“No way!Did you seewhat he just did?!Hey, Chris!”
Chrishadn’t heard. He was fixated on a DVD case in the rack on the shelf that was just a little farther out than the one next to it.
It’s okay,Chris thought to himself. Just forget about it. Focus on the show.Chris tried to watch the show, but his eyes kept flickering back to the uneven DVD case. He tapped his fingers, bounced his legs, and became increasingly agitated.
“Fix the DVD case, Chris,” said his friend, jokingly.
Immediately Chris jumped up and carefully slid the DVD case back until it was exactly right.
Maybe for you, the problem isn’t a DVD case. Maybe it’s the color pattern of the books on your shelf, a smudge on your counter, or the papers not lining up on your desk.If Chris’s situation resonates with you at all, then you may be suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
Some people with OCD are quite functional but know that their behavior is neither normal nor healthy.But for others, trying to live with OCD can be a real problem, since the obsessive thoughts can be so extreme that they hinder their capacity to live a full and productive life.Spokane Christian Counseling helps those suffering from OCD to regain control of their lives.
What OCD looks like:
Obsessions: Obsessions can loosely be defined as any uncontrollable, repeated, unwanted thoughts, ideas, or impulses. The focus of the obsession can crowd out normal thoughts and will often bring on crippling anxiety or fear.
The obsession can be about anything that causes disproportionate worry, such as:
- A compulsion to do things perfectly.
- Excessive fear of germs, getting dirty, or becoming sick.
- Preoccupation with and anxiety over others’ real or imagined opinions and motives.
- Fear of doing harm to yourself or to others.
- Obsessive introspection on things like relationship issues.
Compulsions: Compulsions are the behaviors that result from trying to control the obsessions. Often these actions are ritualistic, while at other times they are complex and changing.
Examples of compulsive behaviors include (but are by no means limited to):
- Excessive washing or checking that something has been done correctly.
- Counting, often while performing a related action.
- Frequently moving or organizing items to keep them in perfect order.
The degree of OCD can vary widely. Some people exhibit minor signs, such as a need to straighten every picture in a room, or obsessing over small things. Others can be quite severe and hinder the person’s ability to function in society. Regardless of whether you believe your OCD symptoms to be minor or extreme, if they stand in the way of you living a full life or produce anxiety and stress, then you should consider Christian counseling for OCD.