Break The OCD Cycle
Obsessive compulsive disorder cycle is the cycle of obsessions and compulsions you get stuck in.
It is a vicious cycle, wants to be fed and seems unbreakable. Your thoughts become more and more confused and harder to break the cycle the longer your OCD goes on.
There are 4 key elements that drive the OCD cycle.
- 1. Obsessive Thoughts. Lead to your anxiety increasing.
- 2. Anxiety. You become distressed and anxious and look for relief.
- 3. Compulsions. You believe that carrying out your compulsions and rituals will stop or reduce the anxiety and obsessive thoughts.
- 4. Relief. Short term relief is found but soon you are having obsessive thoughts again.
In effect, the anxiety followed by short term relief when you carry out a ritual creates an ongoing, self-reinforcing cycle.
Tips To Help Break The OCD Cycle
There are no set rules to breaking the OCD cycle. Try these ideas in any order and even if they don't work the first few times, be persistent & keep trying.
Put off until later
When you feel the need to carry out a ritual, choose a specific time in the future and agree with yourself to do it then.
When the time arrives, when you are in a different frame of mind, either start the ritual or put it off again to another specific time.
This technique helps deal with immediacy of the anxiety, the hold the ritual has over you and when practiced in the long term will build your self control.
Slower and slower every time
Slowing down the ritual decreases the intensity of the ritual, reduces the anxiety and the pressure you put on yourself. Slowing down helps you absorb and remember the particular facets of the ritual.
This technique brings a conscience to the compulsion (rather than doing it automatically without thought). Being slow and delierate allows you to remember that you carried out the ritual well enough, to your satisfaction and what elements of the ritual you did. Remembering well puts your mind at ease at may prolong the time until the next need to ritualise.
Analyse & understand each aspect of the ritual
Write down every particular aspect of the ritual, in what order, how you feel at the time, how many times, what location, your thoughts and emotions during and what triggers there are.
Once you fully understand every aspect of the ritual, change one aspect of it. It doesnt matter what aspect.
This techinque will help reduce the feeling of normality the cycle has over you and ultimately the knowledge that you know you hold the the power to change, control, reduce and eventually stop.
It doesn't matter what the consequence is, large or small. However, whatever you choose you must commit to doing it when you have carried out a ritual.
This technique brings a tanbgible, conscience to the act (rather than doing it automatically without thought) and gives you a moment to reconsider the ritual prior to starting it. This moment of reflection gives you the opportunity to perhaps put it off until later or even not do it at all.