Could the behavior of invoking and facing change itself into OCD when diagnosed with anxiety, OCD and phobia?
After having suffered for almost 6 years, this May of 2018, I finally decided to rid myself of the phobic thoughts. I read some articles over the internet about exposure related therapies and mindfulness related ones. Have tried them both since 1 Month and now I am confused. Please suggest:
1) Should I explicitly invoke phobic thoughts and face them. If I do so what should be the frequency. Also, as I move ahead with this approach, could this behavior of invoking and facing change itself into OCD?
2) I read few articles on mindfulness and many of them suggested to keep on with daily life and if the phobic thoughts come to mind then instead of stopping them, observe them and let them dissolve without taking actions on them. The problem with this approach is, after a few days, I start ignoring the Phobic thoughts instead of letting them in.
Please suggest a correct approach between the two or any other alternate approach which could help me in this regard.
*Please note: I do not wish to divulge about by phobia as it is embarrassing for me.
Phobia is common and do not fight it
Human mind is made for thinking and its duty is to think. These thinking mechanism makes the human capable of many things. So thinking is positive.
Thinking style depends on people to people. Positive and negative and sometimes neutral. Positive thinking is always good. Negative thinking is not always good. But on many occasions negative thinking do create a pathway for contingency planning. and therefore negative thinking cannot be avoided completely and should not be done so.
You were diagnosed with Anxiety, OCD and Phobia in 2012 and was on Cipralex 10mg for almost 2 years. Now you recovered. That is really good.
You need to understand anxiety and phobia to treat it. Anxiety is part of your body's natural defense mechanism and phobia comes when your perception about anxiety is misinformed. In any case both of them are hand in hand. Usually counseling and psychotherapy are used successfully to clear these problems.
It is good that you are reading articles to help yourself. But I would not advise you to do that further. an able therapist can help you in more ways than articles does.
Now to answer your questions:
1. Thoughts are automatic and the more you try to avoid those negative thoughts, they come on more vehemently than before. don't fight with the thought. Instead engage in activities which are engaging and interesting like sports or hobbies. These activities will help you overcome phobic thoughts.
2. You are doing right. Practice mindfulness with awareness, and automatically these phobic thoughts will go away.
I also advise not to give any time period for the resolution. Because that invites anxiety.
Phobia is embarrassing and the best method is to understand it and stop worrying about it. It is common and almost half of the population do have some kind of phobia.
1) Should I set a time and invoke my phobia and sit through it to develop confidence
2) Should I carry on with regular activities and if these thoughts come to mind I let them come without ignoring them and continue with whatever I was doing prior to it?
Please let me know.
Carry on with regular activities and mindfulness
Dear XXXXXXX Thanks for the follow up
The second option you gave is more apt. Carry on with your regular activities. Learn to enjoy the life as it comes. Engage in new activities which are engaging and entertaining. Be active in some sports etc. When you are active and engaged, usually the phobic thoughts do not come. Even if they come, let them come and go. Ignore them. Ignorance automatically happen.
Secondly, practice mindfulness wholeheartedly. You do not seem to understand mindfulness fully. do learn it from a scholar and apply it fully and wholeheartedly. It should work wonders.
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