All in the Mind
Ep. 4: Road to Recovery
(This series has been written by one of our blogging interns who wishes to remain anonymous)
Situational and Stress Triggers can often trigger obsessive thoughts. When we give meaning to these thoughts, we develop anxiety. To cope with the anxiety and obsessive thoughts, a victim develops strategies, which take the form of compulsive rituals. One way to recover from OCD is to break this chain of events. Obsessive thoughts are essentially illusionary and false. They are based on some weird logic that our brain formulates for us, while another part of us clearly acknowledges the irrationality in all of it. The first and the most difficult step to recover is to control our compulsions and therefore, rectify the flawed logic OCD creates for us. I was always advised to take small and progressive steps. For starters, I tried to reduce the number of check I had to perform. I made my brain realize that reality wasn’t being affected even if I reduced the number of times I checked the door and the window. No thief ever entered our house, and we were never robbed. This created a positive feedback loop. I tried to further reduce the number. I also developed a code word, “Done”. I would close the door and tell myself “Done” as a conformation for the act. “Done” wasn’t a simple word, it was an assurance that the door was closed and there was no way it was opening again. Me - 1, OCD - 0. I treated the other minor compulsions I had in a similar way. I would wait for a trigger and delay the response. I would talk to my brain and try to feed it with calories of rationality. Gradually, I would be able to change my compulsions, reduce the severity and eventually prevent them all together. After that phase, I started actively engaging in a lot of activities. I changed schools and devoted more time to my hobbies and passions. I kept myself engaged for most of the day and kept pushing OCD to a tiny corner of my brain. There would be times when it would keep reminding me of its presence, but now I had the weapons I needed to shut it up. Me - 2, OCD - 0. Today, OCD is something I have almost entirely forgotten. I do not respond to its phone calls or texts. It was a bad phase and now it's over. That is how I was “Done” with OCD. If you have OCD, or you believe that you could possibly be suffering from it, don’t be afraid to seek help. A Google search will tell you that this condition can’t be cured, but with proper assistance, you can easily push it back to a tiny corner of your brain and eventually defeat it.