Before we answer the question of how to accept OCD, let’s count the many ways that OCD can cause pain.
Thought Action Fusion
The OCD brain has trouble differentiating between being in a fearful situation or just thinking about a fearful situation. There’s a big difference but if you have OCD it all feels the same.
OCD is a disorder that causes the brain to malfunction. One of the ways it malfunctions is that the brain can’t tell the difference between a thought and an action. A thought feels just like an action. In cognitive therapy, this is called “thought action fusion.” The brain fuses a thought and an action into the same thing. Thinking about doing something is the same as carrying out an action.
This malfunctioning causes enormous pain and it’s rooted in the imagination.
Distressing Upsetting Thoughts
OCD attacks what’s precious and sacred. It tells you the opposite of what’s true. Whatever you treasure and honor, OCD will try to make you doubt your morality and sincerity.
You love your child so much but OCD tells you that you want to hurt your child. It tells you that you might go crazy and lose control. You might make a mistake and cause harm. It tells you that you’re inadequate and never good enough.
Thoughts aren’t true and feelings aren’t facts. But, OCD doesn’t know that. OCD is a disorder that makes you overvalue thoughts and feelings. “Actions speak louder than words” has no meaning in the world of OCD.
This is just another way the OCD brain malfunctions. It can’t tell what matters most. It’s a disorder of very narrow minded thinking with one goal in mind: certainty. Since certainty can never be obtained it causes endless suffering and loss.
A person with OCD will try to offset the associated anxiety through ritualistic, repetitive behaviors. Clients will say they are doing compulsions to prevent harm, but that’s just OCD trickery. The real reason a person with OCD performs compulsions is to relieve anxiety.
OCD is a disorder that tricks you into magical thinking. Magic is and always has been nothing more than an illusion. But OCD can make it seem so real. An OCD thriver told me: “The Land of Compulsions is Fool’s Paradise.”
There is no true value in performing a compulsion. All it’s doing is giving you temporary relief and making you a junkie. Any minute you will have to perform another compulsion. Your brain will not recover by living in Fool’s Paradise. You keep hoping for it to be different but it never is.
All that is gained from compulsions is a sense of hopelessness. Hopelessness is incredibly hurtful to your spirit and ability to rise up and challenge OCD.
Overestimation of Threat
OCD is a faulty alarm system. The brain malfunctions and tells you there is danger when there isn’t. It gets you stuck worrying about something happening in the future. Meanwhile, in the present moment, you’re actually pretty okay.
But, OCD has a way of distracting you from the present and keeps you living in what if land. Nothing has actually happened but you’re feeling guilty. Depressed. Yet, in this moment, right now you’re actually pretty okay.
There are so many beautiful parts to your brain but the only part that seems to be awake is the alarm system. It’s telling you there’s a catastrophe and everything is tainted. You’re on your knees in tears.
OCD is a disorder that overestimates threat. Even though there’s actually nothing wrong, it feels like everything is wrong.
It’s very painful to think your world is falling apart when it isn’t. You know it isn’t but you can’t seem to get out of what if land. It’s agonizing.
These are just a few ways that OCD causes suffering. So now we must answer the question: How do you accept OCD when it causes so much pain?
I turn to you to “make a way out of no way.” How do you accept OCD? Please leave your comment which will be posted anonymously.