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Angst and obsession

Angst and obsession

There is a type of obsessive thought which centres itself and reiterates around doubts about whether one has behaved properly, or if one has said something adequate or not, or if maybe one has stopped doing something which corresponds to or is expected of him or her.

This type of thought is a sort of anxiety which maintains some people completely trapped within it all day, every day.

And why does this happen?

Let us explain first a concept, that of software. What is the software of a computer? I am going to literally copy the wikipedia definition: “software is the logical equipment or support of a digital computer; it comprises all the necessary logical components which make the carrying out of specific tasks possible, this is in opposition to the physical components, which are called hardware (or what would be the body derived from the genome, this is my own analogy.)

  • The logical components include, among many other things, computer applications; such as word processor, which permits the user to carry out tasks concerning the editing of texts; the software of the system, as the operative system, which, basically, permits the rest of the programmes to function adequately, facilitating as well the interaction between the physical components and the rest of the applications, and offering an interface for the user.”
  • Let us imagine that the software of an individual comes marked by all the experiences which this individual has lived since it was an embryo in its mother’s womb until said person became an adult.
  • Let us imagine, once more, that the accumulated experiences have generated some logical components which are too rigid and limited, where, for example, pleasure or the experience of pleasure on whatever level, is lived with a great feeling of guilt, much in the same way as those who rigorously strive to be ever perfect, and thus destroy any type of spontaneity and creative and free functioning.

What should this individual do?

Better said what should the therapist do? Teach him or her how to stop this thinking? This to me does not seem the most effective way to go about it. Thanks to my experience in the treatment of obsessive disorders, some very serious, I have been able to ascertain that the process goes through the opening of these logical components, introducing a high dosage of liberty, and, of course, the capacity to connect with the “Eros”, that is to say to develop an erotic relation with the world (not to be confused with “sexuality.”)

This means “opening the mind”, understanding that life is not just obligations and upright behaviour, but a flow of emotions, sensations and ideas which permit one to be openly in relation with the world, not submissive and tortured by one’s thoughts.

For this, liberating anxiety is necessary to liberate obsession, and to liberate the first it is essential to connect with life in a full way, and for this it is essential to amplify, open doors, in the software.

Damián Ruiz

Clinical Psychologist

Jungian Analyst

Director of IPITIA