In most top sporting teams in the world, their head coach will be an ex-sportsman who has been successful in the sport before, not some doctor nor physiologist nor physicist. There is a reason why: The doctor and physicist may know the physics of it but the successful sports man knows more nuances and minor details of the sport to achieve success. He has been there and done it. He has a far deeper understanding of it.
This is especially true in the case of OCD, where even doctors and psychiatrists themselves do not know and are not even close to knowing what is the cause of OCD. Further, currently they do not have any treatment which can guarantee (Even if guarantee means 95% chance, no need 100%) a cure, and actually, not even guarantee improvement. [Read Extract 1 , 4 ] Seldom are people fully cured from their OCD; most others have to deal with lasting OCD.
I think in this case, it can be valuable to consult OCDers who have conquered OCD, especially those who have done it through thought methods or actions, as compared to those who have done it through medication.
In the year 1999, with the onset of this Strange Obsession of mine, I attempted quite a number of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy treatments without even knowing Psychology then! Actually they are to a certain degree quite intuitive. Lets take a look.
I tried Thought-Stopping exercises. This feeling-thought appeared in my head persistently, so I frequently yelled ‘Stop!’ in my mind. If I total up the number of times I did this, I think it was about, less than 150. This was useless.
I tried pain-association too. Now that I think back it feels amusing. Basically I tried to inflict physical pain on myself when the feeling-thought arises. I pinched or bit myself on the cheeks to do this. If you total up the number of times I did this, I say roughly less than 150 too. And this was again of no use.
Depending on how you put it, you can view it as I tried ERP or view it as ERP was impossible to implement in my case. This feeling-thought-action will just arise when in a peculiar social connection with people. And I HAD to meet people while in school (And also frequently HAD to meet people outside of school too) and, as was mentioned it happens to 95% of the people who were in close proximity to me or had some business (something to do with) me.
Hence I had plenty of exposure. However it was impossible at that point to stop this thought-feeling-action, which was the point of my OCD. The thought-feeling will just occur like an unceasing song in my head.
So now you have Exposure but response prevention was emphatically impossible for me to do.
Another point was in my case the structure of my OCD was such that you could not convince me doing such an Obsession was alright (It was not alright). For example, in say, another a pure ’o’ person’s obsession, who, may, involve thoughts about killing his/her children, In Cognitive Therapy, the psychiatrist may train him/her, asking him/her to carry on and think of such an Obsession, then later on show having such an obsession was innocuous. However, in my case I could not apply this. People were really getting offended from my action-feeling-thought, so this form of Cognitive-Therapy for me was out.
Another thing I did was to try to focus on something else, such as what the teachers were saying or reading a book. However my obsession was to prove too strong still.
Given the futility of anything I could think of to deal with this Obsession, I just gave up at times and let it happened. Now that I have been immersed in Psychiatric literature, I know this is one of the many CBT methods to deal with OCD too. Nevertheless, my Obsession continued to be in similar strong intensity.
Note that in the above, when you see me say tried pain-association 150 times or thought-stopping 150 times, you may take it as a lot. However, given the nature and persistence of my obsession, which was that it was virtually continuous while happening with a particular person, it only happened a small portion of the times the obsession was in effect. So, say, as was mentioned previously, 6 hours out of 7 hours the Obsession may be happening. So these thought stopping or pain association, each of which may take up only 10 seconds, were negligible.
The point I am driving at is the pain-association or thought stopping were self applied actions. I could easily choose to apply them (And the only reason I was applying them was against the obsession) or choose not to. However, the Obsession was not.
Some people (on the internet), not even the psychiatrists, somehow mentioned the thought-stopping or pain-inducing were compulsions. I can laugh at this because the choice was mine and I did not feel any attachment to the thought stopping and pain-inducing nor, importantly, obtain any even temporal relieve from the obsession. It was solely meant to deal with the obsession that I choose to do these. Will not normal ERP or any therapy directed at OCD be compulsions themselves too then?
My OCD did not revolve around the thought-stopping nor pain-inducing.
In fact, after I stopped schooling in July-August 1999, noting the futility of the thought-stopping and pain-inducement, I stopped trying these two methods. And yet my intense Obsession was to continue for more than a year. So what is to account for this remaining year when I did not really try thought-stopping and pain-inducement?
Then in Feb 2000 I saw a Psychiatrist and was prescribed Fluoxetine. I took only few pills which of course did not work.
In my case, the reason I took merely a few pills was because deep down in me I knew the reason for my Obsession. To me THEN, taking the pills was, to my unconscious, nonsensical.
I mean, if deep down in your heart you know everything is logical, will you take any pills to change it? I mean if deep down you believe 4 + 4 = 8, will you take a pill to change it? You may JUST take a few pills for fun, to see what would happen, and this was what I did.
Later, in about May 2000, I saw another psychiatrist. He tried Hypnosis and some relaxation techniques to deal with my obsession. These were to have no effect too, once I stepped out of the treatment room.
" ......conclude that the response rate to current treatment modalities is still too low in many patients, that some patients remain refractory to any kind of treatment and stress the importance of joint efforts of psychological and biological teams to develop new treatments."
Here is my take on why Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy has limited effectiveness (more than 10% of the OCDers do not get any better or become worse after CBT whether it was combined with SSRI or not in the treatment of OCD. The rest mostly show improvements only)Read Extract 1 , Extract 4 and Extract 11 Take contamination OCD as an example.
In the washing of hands in an attempt to get rid of dirt, in those cases where the patient already consciously knows and can agree verbally that there is no more dirt to wash off and the washing is excessive, ERP whereby the patient is exposed to more dirt and prevented from doing cleaning measures may have this effect to the unconscious:
The patient’s unconscious mind does not view the dirt in it as itself. Rather, it is seeing the dirt as something else. Hence the training in ERP which shows that dirt is Okay serves mostly merely to confirm what the patients’ conscious minds already agrees on. However, as the patient is still seeing the dirt as something else, and in this case as nothing is done to show that the something else is Okay(And it is not Okay), the OCD continues.
In some rare cases, ERP, after it is tried for a long time, causes the patient to know the unconscious issue/problem is no longer part of the patient. But typically such cases may require the patient to have lived with the OCD for years or even decades before this happens.
Once you are convinced this unconscious issue/problem is not part of you, to perform your compulsion will just feel out-right silly or stupid, just like having to, say, blink twenty times before you eat, because then you have no unconscious reason to do your OCD anymore.
I can tell you more details in my case. Throughout the first year and most of the first half of the second year of my severe and life wreaking distressing OCD, practically all the while I was focusing on ridding this very persistent, strong and on-going Obsession, stopping this obsession, getting it away from my mind etc. It was very focus on the ridding of this feeling-thought-action.
Even the psychiatrists who I saw were attempting to help me stop doing the Obsession, fighting it, thinking of attempted methods to do so, as you can see in the methods tried above
However, guess what happened later? Very slowly and gradually, I realized that the crux of my problem was not my obsession in as of itself. The problem was some past issue with people and then-current concepts of reality and attitudes of people. It was due to these that Obsessions occurred.
With the gradual realization of this, coupled with philosophical enlightenment, the Obsessions are not happening nor relevant any more. I have now triumphed over my OCD!
I charge US$85 per 2 hours session for a minimum of 9 sessions. The structure is such that the whole therapy is a one-month course.
It is best to have after each session with me three days break within which you will think of what I have said and reflect upon whether it is reality or not.
I have listed all my lessons here so you know this is not a scam. In these 9 lessons I will have covered ALL that I consciously know that cured my OCD. Hence you will know by these 9 lessons whether you have been helped by my therapy, that is, the lessons will not go on forever but last just these nine. You may request for more lessons if you want emphasis though.
Remember, I will not need you to face your unconscious issue/problem, I will show you how it is now not part of you.
If you have limited time to be in Singapore, you may take only 2 days of break thinking over what I say. So then you can prepare for a stay of 18 days.
If you have financial difficulties, tell me, I may give you a discount.
Remember, I am a person who used to have one of the worst Obsession possible and suffered greatly for two years before my method allowed me to be cured. Obsession no more! And I did it without ERP since it was not possible in my case.
If you think compulsion is tough to treat, imagine an Obsession which just sticks to your mind and does not go away. But I have done so to not only the obsession but the compulsions from my earlier days!
I shall now provide free an Exercise I have pioneered. The Fractions Exercise. Overview: Many forms of OCD involves numbers or repeitition, after all, OCD is about repetition which by definition usually associates with numbers. This exercise can be performed against them. For those OCD which deals itself out in degrees or intensity, we may use fractions of intensity against it. There will be some forms of Compulsions where you cannot apply fractions nor intensity against it, notably hoarding OCD and a few others. For these, you can use another exercise which I call Doubting Exercise[Even though the doubting exercise can work even if in your case fractions exercise is working]. I may, just may, share Doubting exercise at another time. Also, if you have mainly obsessions, both of these exercises are difficult to implement. You will have to use my self-Psychoanalysis and philosophy method for it. My P&P method can be used for compulsions too. Note that the two exercises, doubting exercise and fractions exercises are mainly just exercises which may be able to relieve some of your anxiety when you really cannot stand your OCD anymore and just want a break from them. It will usually not cure them. To cure, you may have to use P&P. Okay, back to square one where you wan to know what Fractions therapy is about. I re-emphasize that in the usual case, it can only give you a temporary relief(Not even complete relieve perhaps, but it may lessen your anxiety for a while) from your OCD. This exercise alone cannot cure OCD usually. Lets take a number of examples and from there you can know how to apply fractions therapy to your OCD: If your OCD is about having to touch carious things an x number of times, the next time you want to do it, think of what about doing it x.4 times. How to do it .4 times? Simple, instead of fully touching the thing as in the usual case, touch it the x times then think aabout and perform touching it another time, but this time softly. How will it affect your anxiety concern? However, You must always remember to keep questioning about what exactly happens when you touch the extra soft time. Just think what will happen. If you want to touch less, sure, touch it x-0.4 times then, meaning the last time you touch it , touch it softly. A big point for this therapy is to keep asking what exactly will happen when you touch that extra or less soft time. For example, if you had thought touching it x times will solve a 'bad luck' concern of yours, think what will this 0.4 extra or less time will do to your bad luck. If your OCD is about repetitive washing of hands to try to get rid of germs or dirt, the next one time your OCD urge occurs, perform it. Then try to wash another extra 0.2 times. By 0.2, I can mean, say, wash an EXTRA time for your forefinger or nails or whatever. However, You must always remember to keep questioning about what exactly happens when you touch the extra soft time. Just think what will happen. If your OCD is about counting to a particular number or doing a ritual a number of times do the additional extra or less .z number. However, You must always remember to keep questioning about what exactly happens when you touch the extra soft time. Just think what will happen. If your OCD is a checking OCD, where you keep having to check the stove or door repeatedly, after performing one set of your OCD, do an extra .6 times. How to do .6 times , you may ask. Well, instead of pushing the door or turning the gas knob once more after your set, push it just slightly and turn-check it just slightly an extra .6 time more. However, You must always remember to keep questioning about what exactly happens when you touch the extra soft time. Just think what will happen. There are hundreds or even thousands of OCD in the world, each with its various patterns. I have listed some common ones and may list more in future. However, the point here now is you get the gist of the Fractions Exercise and can apply it to your case if your OCD suits it. I realize some OCDs slip through this exercise too, for example, the OCD where you are required to have your household items in a particular place. For this, You may need doubting exercise. Do note once again do not expect a cure from this Fractions Exercise. Sometimes, after you kept doing your OCD for hundreds of times and you want a break from the repetition and anxiety, doing the Fractions Exercise MAY give you a temporary break from it. But you do really have to question what happens when you do the fractional more or less time. However, this works indeed, because the question of 'What happens when you do a particular compulsion the .7 more or less time' is indeed an interesting question to ponder about. Do note too that my Self-Psychoanalysis and Philosophy Therapy is TOTALLY distinct from the Fractions and Doubting Exercise. Self-Psychoanalysis and Philosophy seeks to resolve your OCD from its Source. If you have questions about how to tailor the Fractions Exercise to your OCD, you may contact me via the email available at www.ocdcured.com
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