OCD – and self-esteem. They ‘ll call you Bingo the Clowno and you might cannot help repeating it.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a very common state for many people. Individuals who suffer from OCD are “taken over” by repetitive stressful thoughts, ideas and impulses that are contrary to their logic; however, they cannot avoid them.

For example, people with OCD may believe that they suffer from a disease and are in danger, or even experience panic attacks as a result of this, although they know that there is no evidence to support their belief. They may also be washing their hands repeatedly to avoid infections, or feel desperate in the thought that they might do harm to someone that they evidently love.

Biochemically, OCD has the same nature with depression. That is, low levels of serotonin and dopamine. Nevertheless, the boundaries of OCD are not as clear as those of depression. Depression can be easier defined, whereas OCD is not a black or white state. It has numerous symptoms or expressions.

Nail biting, uncontrollable urge to smoke despite nicotine saturation, impulse or fear of talking in an inappropriate way during a social situation, desire to contact someone even if one knows they are not fond of them, failure to remain still in a circumstance that they are required not to move, inability of one to make as a simple thing as to move the glass on the table, can possibly be all symptoms of OCD.

People with OCD perform compulsive rituals because they inexplicably feel they have to. This internal “voice” that command us to do (or not to do this things), can trap us -and sometimes can do it very badly- in a vicious circle of low self-esteem. Thoughts like “I am a loser “, “I always need to make the first step”, “I owe him/her”, can be so intrusive, that the only way to get rid of them is to give in to them and act accordingly. Despite the feeling of relief that one might experience temporarily, after a while, those thoughts will be there, present and even stronger.

Dealing with OCD & low self esteem means that someone needs primarily to have a balanced and meaningful life, such as if dealing with depression. Then, as in any kind of anxiety, exposure works miracles. If, for instance, someone feels the unbeatable urge to e.g. ask for sorry for something they are not supposed to, or the need to contact someone who would not approve or contact them back, then resisting the desire to take any action will directly boost the anxiety, but then it will reduce it in only some minutes; and in the long term resisting and learning to go through this anxiety can restore self esteem and assertiveness.

…Apparently, shouting out “I am not Bingo” can help as well!

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