Learning to gain control over our thoughts and behaviors
Do you find yourself constantly thinking about something and being unable to deal with it? Do you find yourself repetitively doing some behavior that seems to make no sense, but you continue to do it? We all experience doing things without thinking and the wondering why we did that. But there are people who do it frequently and persistently. Due to these repeated thoughts and behaviors they are unable to function well in other areas of their life leaving them frustrated at themselves. While their behavior usually does not hurt anyone else directly, it certainly does disrupts others’ lives.
If you or a loved one is having that experience, don’t get angry with them or yourself. They are trying hard to be good and helpful in their own way! They may be washing their hands repeatedly, check the stove to make sure it is off, triple-check that the door is locked, or cleaning the house with a toothbrush. These are annoying habits gone wild and frustrating to others. So why do they do it? Because they are trying to gain control. They are replacing a problem they have no control over with one they can work on. Obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior (OCD) may originate that way, but like many behaviors we continue them long after the original reason for them no longer exists and we have forgotten why we did it in the first place.
This is where a professional counselor often comes in. By attempting to go back and uncover how it began, the person with OCD can begin to understand why they did it. Because a compulsion is a learned behavior they will need to substitute other more effective ways to deal with stress. Are you or your loved one ready to give it up and become free of the tyranny of the compulsion? Give us a call.