According to a website, obsessive compulsive disorder (ocd) is a mental illness that causes repeated unwanted thoughts or sensations(obsessions) or the urge to do something over and over again(compulsions). It is characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears that led to compulsive behaviors.
In simpler terms, ocd is a mental illness wherein certain thoughts come to a patient’s mind stemming out of anxiety or fear and which cause him to believe that if they don’t do a particular thing in a particular manner something bad will happen. That something can be anything which their mind dictates them.
It makes people do certain acts repetitively like washing of hands frequently because of the fear that germs will harm them or arranging things in a particular order because of their belief that if they don’t do so, something bad will happen (which can be anything that their mind makes up when it finds itself in a seemingly difficult situation).
For last few months I have been showing signs of ocd. I happen to arrange things in a particular order or act in certain ways in certain situations. In the course of my mental health journey sometimes the symptoms totally vanish and sometimes they come back to me. I have never been overpowered by obsessive and compulsive behavior for very long but I have struggled with it at various times, in various phases of my mental struggle.
Just for an example, say I am writing this blog. I am writing this blog and in midst of it could occur to me that if I don’t write the blog in italics, it will not be well received by the audience. Now this is an unreasonable thought. But out of the fear and anxiety that it will not be well-received I will compulsively change the fonts to italics lest the bad happen.
I am going out to play badminton. I am tying up my shoes and in the midst of it, it could occur to me that if I don’t tie the right show first, I will lose in the game. So,there is a strong compulsion born out of fear and anxiety, stemming from an unusual thought process, to wear and tie the right shoe first.
These are just examples. These have never happened to me. But these examples pretty much demonstrate how an ocd mind can work. Some cases are more severe and their thoughts and rituals more preposterous.
For some months I get completely out of these thoughts but owing to the mental trauma I suffered some months back(maybe) I have again started having these unreasonable thoughts and fears for the last few months.
I can distinctively tell when a thought is an ocd thought and when it is not. Sometimes (these days many times) I act on my ocd thoughts but I am always aware that these are compulsions arising in me and have no sound basis to be fearful or be anxious about. What happens is my negative belief overpowers my intellect that something bad will happen (my mind dictates what that something is) and I seem to have full faith that I need to do something in a particular way in order to counter the ill. Even though I can distinguish such thoughts from normal ones I tend to be compulsive in acting out in a specific manner.
This is because I have too much fear, and anxiety still brooding in me. But I have controlled it before, and I am going to control it again from today. Whenever I will have such thoughts, instead of acting out compulsively I will say- ‘Swamiji will take care of the matter’ and thus get control over my ocd tendencies.
Soon I will fully come out of this ocd as I don’t want anything unwarranted to stay in my psyche which soils my overall well-being. And neither I want to label myself associated with any particular mental illness as I know that makes it far worse. It can be controlled, managed, treated, overcome and diminished.
My therapist uncle told me that if such thoughts and compulsive behavior can be kept at less than 72.5% of the times than it is considered normal and it happens to people. I can do that so I don’t need to associate myself with this. Swamiji sab sambhal lenge.