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The meaning of OCD

The meaning of OCD

Obsessive thoughts and compulsions are usually seen as a strange way of the mind of expressing itself. They are perceived as appearing out of nowhere, without any apparent cause or reason.

However, when obsessions or rituals emerge, we are actually observing a reaction of the body towards a heightened state of anxiety, and most likely our body has been giving us other signals of this anxiety for a long time. In this article we will explore what suffering from obsessive symptomatology means, how to explore this meaning in yourself and how to act when you notice the symptoms of OCD in yourself.

Why OCD has a meaning

I can sound strange but even though we’re used to perceive obsessions as a phenomenon that appears out of nowhere, which doesn’t have any relation to what is going on in our lives, this is not true.

Many symptoms that we suffer from (mental and physical) can be highly influenced by both our current and past life experiences.

For example: let’s consider someone who grew up in a very strict environment. Their opinion was not taken into account and their nature and personality were ignored systematically over time. It is possible that this person grows up with a lot of fear and anxiety, and that expressing themselves according to their true nature causes them stress. All this can put them in conflict when they decide how to act in a certain situation, because they have to choose to act according to their nature or according to what their environment expects from them.

If this person does not manage this conflict and they do not break with their limiting environment, it is very likely they will develop a high level of anxiety. If this situation lasts long enough and the person does not liberate themselves, the central nerve system will become blocked. This causes the anxiety to become trapped in the mind and this is when an obsessive compulsive disorder can develop.

This is why we cannot ignore that behind the symptoms of OCD there is always a more profound cause.

How can I explore the meaning of my OCD?

Suffering from OCD should cause us to become curious. We have to analyze what is causing our symptoms. Every case of OCD, without exceptions, indicates us that we have ignored our needs or that we haven’t tuned into them for a long time. It is also possible that we have been disregarded our true nature or haven’t acted according to it.

Oftentimes, it is not easy to observe what we actually need and if we manage it is likely that it generates us even more stress and anxiety. How is this possible? The moment we find out what is bothering us; means there is a point of no-return: We either live on with our obsessive symptoms, or we make important changes and work on overcoming our OCD.

How come it is so difficult to make the right changes?

Usually, when we try to make changes in order to overcome OCD, we focus on the wrong things. In order to understand this better we will compare OCD to an iceberg which floats in the sea.

When we see the iceberg we are only able to perceive its peak. In the case of OCD this would be the obsessions and rituals. However, under the sea there is an entire mountain of ice which you can only see the moment you submerge into the ice-cold water.

As you dive into the water the first thing you’ll see is the steep hillside of the iceberg. You could compare this to the trapped anxiety in OCD. Most people are still able to perceive this anxiety in themselves, however not many people are able to see that it is this anxiety who causes the obsessions and rituals and not vice versa.

Now when we dive deeper and get into more profound waters is when we reach the beginning of the iceberg. It is here where we find the true causes of the anxiety and the obsessive symptoms. Most people are not conscientious about these causes which are actually maintaining the obsessive symptoms. That is why it is so difficult to make the right changes in order to overcome OCD.

Most people are so stuck in a limiting situation that it is difficult for them to see it is causing them stress, and more important they can perceive it as impossible to get out of it.

Focus on the true cause

This is why it is so important not to focus on the only visible part of OCD: the symptoms, and to start analyzing what is behind them. We have to start at the top and submerge until we reach the true cause. These causes can be different for everyone and can be difficult to find. It is recommendable to seek help from a health professional in this process.

Once we have analyzed all this we can move on to the next step: implementing the necessary changes in order to free ourselves from anxiety or an inhibiting environment, and to start living a passionate life which is adapted to our true nature.

What should I do once I observe symptoms of OCD in myself?

It is very important to look for help once you notice symptoms of OCD in yourself. It is very difficult to overcome OCD without the help of a professional. Many people wait too long before they come and see us and suffer unnecessarily. With the right help you can overcome OCD! In IPITIA we are specialized in treating OCD and we cure our clients in 80% of the cases.

OCD has an important meaning: it indicates us that we’re not tuning into our real needs and are not living our life according to our true nature!

If you would like to know more about OCD or about how we treat OCD in IPITIA feel free to contact us through info@ipitia.com or by phone at: (+34) 93 528 23 53.

Lisette Zeeuw

Psicóloga Clínica