Worries that Take Over Your Life
Do you feel driven by unreasonable thoughts or by fears that aren’t justified? Is it hard to let go of certain thoughts or worries? For example, you may worry that if you don’t do certain things, someone you love will suffer. Or, you may be unable to stop yourself from thinking about a problem that you already know the answer to. You might be terrified you’ll hurt someone, or that if you don’t do exactly the right behaviors, you’ll be the one who ends up hurt. There are lots of variations on these common OCD-style worries, also called obsessions. They can make life pretty miserable at times.
You might also find yourself constantly scanning your environment so you are aware of any potential dangers. This kind of worry is called hypervigilance and is a very common in OCD, anxiety and trauma.
The behaviors that are connected to your obsessive thoughts might be compulsive behaviors.
These behaviors include things like repetitive behaviors, counting, washing, checking, etc. You may know that the behavior makes no sense but feel powerless to stop yourself from doing it. Sometimes these behaviors don’t really get in the way of you living your life, but sometimes they seem to take over your life.
Even worse, when you’ve tried to stop doing these behaviors, the anxiety that results from stopping gets more intense and miserable.
Eventually the relief that you get from giving in and doing the compulsive behavior again seems worth the cost of the anxiety. You know what you’re doing isn’t working, but you can’t take the anxiety either. It seems that no matter what you try, you are stressed out and feel stuck.
You aren’t alone.
OCD is a fairly common neuropsychiatric illess (the fourth most common in the US) and 1 in 40 adults suffers from it. Not everyone has typical OCD. Although behaviors like handwashing are relatively common, there are lots of people with OCD who have no issues with washing, who don’t get stressed out by messy rooms and who don’t “check,” but whose lives are taken over by other worries and compulsive behaviors.
I’ve enjoyed a lot of success in helping clients overcome OCD. Part of what helps is understanding the mindset that goes with OCD so that you can learn to work WITH your brain rather than against it. This understanding plus practicing a variety of behaviors, can lead to a lot of relief.
What if I don’t have OCD but still have a lot of anxiety?
The same kind of understanding about how to work WITH your brain as opposed to against it is extremely helpful for all kinds of anxiety. Anxiety doesn’t have to run your life any more. Take the first step by booking your free consultation now.