False attraction OCD
Ahhhh, you're attracted to someone other than your significant other. Attracted to someone of your same gender. Someone older than you, someone younger. Someone close to you. Someone or something you feel like you shouldn't be attracted to. What the heck are you supposed to do about this? It's making you anxious mixed with a lot of doubt. Is it OCD or is it really you?
By the end of this video (and I know you'll stay to the end) you will learn why you may have false attraction and what to do about it. However, this video is not meant to be used for reassurance.
For most who struggle with OCD, false attraction seems to rear its ugly head. I use the word FALSE attraction, but most don't actually recognize the "false" part.... They will continually wonder, check, ask questions, research online and problem solve until they are blue in the face and STILL at the end of it all, not be sure if it was REALLY them that is attracted or if it was their OCD.
Here is what's happening. OCD by nature not only makes someone doubt their thoughts, but our emotions and physical sensations too. So a natural thought of, oh wow, that girl's cute can send someone through a spiral. They get shocked by the thought. I'm married, I can't have these thoughts. Great...what does it mean? It must mean I don't love my spouse. Maybe I don't think they are pretty enough. I'm thinking about it so much now and avoiding looking at that person again, that I'm starting to notice physical sensations. I'm not sure if I'm aroused. GREAT! If I'm aroused, it now verifies my attraction to them. My anxiety is also verifying to me that this is true.
So what's happening here is all the value I'm putting on a simple thought. What if I just saw someone and had a thought of "they're cute" and moved forward. Nothing has to mean anything, unless we put meaning to it. Without it being reassurance, people simply are feeling attraction or "false" attraction due to the meaning we've put behind it.
With OCD, it automatically wants to throw this meaning in and simply wants you to problem solve. But you're not going to do that anymore. Do you know what you're going to do?
Not figure it out anymore. Dun, dun, duuuuunnn! That's right! Nothing. Nada. Ziltch. See that person and think they're cute. Get aroused. Allow the thoughts. BUT, when it happens, you no longer are going to figure it out and this is what you can say...."Yep" That's a thought. "Coolio" I'm feeling all the feelings" "maybe I'm super attracted, maybe not." You are not problem solving this. Our job is to continue to move forward regardless of the thoughts, feelings, emotions, urges, etc.
When you finally surrender to not finding the answer, your brain stops putting value to it and as I mentioned, it does not matter what you feel "attracted" to. OCD is OCD. White noise throwing out anything to see if you'll connect.
Do you ever wonder if you're really attracted to anyone or anything, mixed with strong anxiety emotions? Live your life! That's your job. Not figure any of this out. This may mean, getting rid of the compulsions. Those things you're doing to avoid the perceived threat.
To gain the upper hand, go over and watch my video about what to do when your OCD tells you that you LIKE these thoughts.
Thanks so much for watching and I'll see you next time.
Do I have false attraction?
False Attraction ROCD
What is agoraphobia?
Leaving my house gives me the tingles. Agoraphobia is defined by an extreme or irrational fear of entering open or crowded places, leaving one's home, or being in places from which it's difficult to escape.
By the end of this video you'll know what agoraphobia is and what I tell my patients on how to treat it.
It's theorized that agoraphobia starts when an individual has one or more panic attacks, causing them to worry about having another attacks and avoiding the places that it happened. The thing about panic however is that it can happen anywhere and the brain is soooooooo good at remembering the places. It sends out the signal that those places are dangerous. People start realizing that their world starts shrinking and shrinking and shrinking. I can't go to grocery stores any more, gas stations are out of the question, driving is a no-no, the last social event caused me to panic, those are out. Forget flying or any type transportation because I cannot get out if I start to panic.
You know the safe place to be. Home. I don't panic at home. What ends up happening is that this magical illusion that home is safe becomes a reality. If the person attempts to leave, even to get the mail, they panic because....they've told themselves that home is safe and WHY ARE YOU NOT IN YOUR HOUSE! How about I give you a panic attack to set you strait.
You can see how difficult this can be for someone. Why panic if we don't have to. Even at the expense of others and missing out on life.
It's not only panic that sets in, but various physical symptoms. Chest pains, chills, diarrhea, feelings of choking, feelings of unreality, nausea, numbness, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, sweating, and shaking. Yikes, with all of these physical symptoms after leaving the house, why would you.
Typically agoraphobia doesn't just start overnight. It's a longer process of eliminating the places, people, things around you.
So how do we get out of this sticky mess! The most effective treatment that works for agoraphobia is called exposure and response prevention.
Essentially, you are facing your fears, sensations, panic, and anxiety. Most start slow. They write down all the places they would like to revisit and go and rank them from easiest to go to, to hardest. The ideas is to start getting yourself to that place, but in the right way.
Here is what I mean. If my goal is to get to the mailbox. I may be focusing on sitting on my front porch and noticing how much distress or panic this brings. I need to sit on my front porch, feeling all the feelings, and respond differently to them. If panic attacks happen. Great! We don't run. We don't fix. We sit with the feelings. Some may even say, "yep" there is the panic attack. Sweet, it may last forever. Focusing on taking all this value away from it. Panic isn't the enemy. Your body thinks it's keeping you safe. The panic and distress have to go down. When the distress levels go down, you haven't done any compulsions and you've responded completely differently, some may walk inside for a few minutes and then do it again.
Repeat until the distress levels just simply don't rise as much as they used to. Then, the person chooses to move closer to their goal. Maybe it's sitting in their yard. Read a book. Be there. Again, not fixing, not running, embracing the feelings. You then move closer and closer. Each time this process is done, the brain learns who's the boss. You are the boss. We repeat this for everything on the list.
Ultimately, it's accepting that there will be panic. But it can't hurt you. You can teach it that you're cool with it. Physical symptoms can happen, but you're staying put. It can feel like a tough process, but I find that the anticipation of doing these exposures tends to be worse than the actual thing.
You need to learn to respond the correct way with these panic attacks, click right here to watch my other video on how to do this.
Have you struggled with agoraphobia before? What places do you avoid?
Thanks for watching and I will see you next time.
Treatment for agoraphobia
How to treat agoraphobia
OCD mood swings are a thing. You may have depression, anger, guilt, shame, stress, worry, low self-worth, get easily overwhelmed, and may even cry for long periods of time. But I wonder.....if you didn't struggle with OCD, would you experience all these other emotions?
By the end of this video, you're going to learn why your OCD may a possible cause to some of your other moods and feelings AND what we're going to do about it.
OCD can big whirlwind of distress and doubt. What happens when you're distressed and cannot find a good solution to relieve it. You get angry. Frustrated. Annoyed. You may even lash out at someone else. When there isn't a good answer to your OCD worries, sadness comes about, some may isolate. When we feel overwhelmed, we cry. The body just cannot handle the situation anymore.
There is often a drastic fluctuation in mood with someone who experiences OCD. We tend to think it's just anxiety. But when these unwanted thoughts, images, impulses and triggers happen, where are we to turn? Our body has to compensate somewhere. If I have a thought that God is not real, I may have intense guilt. If I have intrusive thoughts that go against my value system, I may experience disgust and shame.
It seems like a lot of these filter down to depression. The ultimate emotion that says, you're stuck, you're not moving forward, there is no hope for you. What's the point?
It's easy in these modes to start blaming others for triggering the OCD or not helping you engage in a compulsion. Rage and anger join the party. Ultimately, the person just wants relief.
So to me, OCD tends to be the base and intensifier to so many other emotions. Causing them to skyrocket at times and causing someone to feel very low. Even feel like they are going crazy.
So here is what we're going to do about these OCD mood swings.
So here is one method many choose to do is externalize their OCD. Some have given their OCD a name. Sup Jimmy. Oh Karen, there you are.
Externalizing the OCD separates yourself from it. So the intrusive thought you're having is no longer YOU. We're not using this as reassurance to convince yourself that it's not you. We're simply giving you a new mindset to say, "my OCD is telling me this intrusive thought" "my OCD is telling me I am a bad person." "My OCD is throwing some interesting thoughts my way"
We're less likely to feel an emotion attached when we simply acknowledge a thought and move forward. We do not however use phrases like, "this is just my OCD" as a way to convince you. We still sit with the distress and uncomfortableness of it all. Staying uncertain. Choosing to not figure it out or do any compulsion.
These OCD mood swings are arriving because you are internalizing an intrusive thought with a lot of meaning and putting value on it. So if I had a blastomphous thought and internalized it and went through the loops of trying to figure out if it was me or why I would even think that...I'm going to start feeling lots of different emotions. Shame and guilt. If I took this same thought and say, "oh hey there OCD thought" - it no longer puts it all on me. Instead, the disorder.
We can reduce the different emotions by doing treatment. Exposure and Response Prevention; (if you didn't already know that) *wink
To even better have more control over your emotions, watch the 25 tips for succeeding in your OCD treatment here.
What emotions does your OCD make you feel? Thanks so much for watching and I'll see you next time.
OCD and Depression
OCD tips for anxiety
Nathan Peterson specializes in working with OCD and Anxiety related disorders and has done so for the past 7+ years.