Excellent online advocate discusses OCD intrusive thoughts

This is an excellent youtube channel by Chrissie Hodges about intrusive thoughts. Chrissie is an OCD sufferer who has taken the time to talk in detail about the ways OCD occurs and some of the ups and downs she has faced dealing with the illness.

What makes these videos so useful is that she spends a lot of time talking about some of the intrusive thoughts (usually violent or sexual in nature) that some OCD sufferers are plagued by.

Understandably, sufferers are reluctant to talk about these type of thoughts because of the embarrassment and shame they feel and whether the thoughts indicate that they are mad or bad. People suffering from these types of thoughts will often keep these thoughts secret and remain undiagnosed for many years and therefore do not get the treatment that would help them overcome their fears.

Chrissie is thus doing a great job at reducing stigma by talking about some of these uncomfortable topics while maintaining a sense of humour and drawing on her own experience of how OCD sufferers can overcome these fears with effective treatment through cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with a specific focus on Exposure Response Prevention (ERP).

I hope you find it useful and maybe it will help you if you have been putting off a conversation you need to have with your doctor.

For more information about receiving treatment, please go to the other section in our website. Also, you may want to consider attending a support group meeting. We ask that members have a diagnosis of OCD and are over 18 if they wish to attend our groups. You will find our meeting dates here. If you wish to attend, please call or e-mail ahead of the meeting to book your place. If you are not local, OCD Action has a list of support groups throughout the UK.

Dr Fred Penzel’s blog on all matters OCD

Hi everyone. Here’s a link to Dr. Fred Penzel’s blog about OCD. The blog has over 40 blog entries relating to all aspects of OCD; its different manifestations, best treatment options and tips for getting and staying better. I particularly like his article ’10 things you need to know about OCD’.
Also, there are a wide range of articles on intrusive thoughts that have, until fairly recently it seems, been under-reported.
Definitely worth having a look at.

Sensorimotor OCD

Recently, quite a few of our members have reported experiencing ‘sensorimotor OCD’. This is a term that seems to be cropping up more and more to describe the intense focus that is given to automatic bodily functions such as swallowing, breathing, blinking and heart-beat. Most people experiencing anxiety report an increased awareness of physiological changes (sweating, heat, shallow breathing, itching, indigestion) but in the instances our members are reporting, the individual becomes hyper-aware of these bodily sensations which form the main part of their OCD. The person starts to worry that they will always be aware of their breathing, for example and this physical sensation combined with the thought that they will constantly be aware becomes quite maddening.
The problem for sufferers of these particular obsessions is that it can seem extraordinarily difficult to treat.
Currently, the best treatment path is exposure response prevention (ERP). Using a CBT model of OCD, the therapy would focus on removing the ‘petals’ from the ‘vicious flow’ see Veale and Wilson Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for more detail about this. Also, there are an interesting series of articles by Steve Seay, a psychologist in the US, who has given suggestions for ERPs specific to sensorimotor OCD.

David Adam, author of ‘The Man who Couldn’t Stop’ interviewed on Radio 4

David Adam, the science writer and author of ‘The Man Who Couldn’t Stop’ is interviewed on BBC Radio 4s ‘Inside Science’. David has been shortlisted for the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. The interview takes place from 14m51s and 21m22s in the show. As a man of science and an OCD sufferer, his views on OCD are particularly interesting as his irrational thoughts confounded his logical and rational approach to the world.

His experience like all other OCD sufferers really demonstrates how OCD cannot be out-thought or rationalised