Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) belongs to a group of psychological disorders, called anxiety disorders or neuroses. Obsessions are disturbing and unpleasant thoughts, images and ideas that come to mind and are repeated. Mostly they are not made by excessive worries about real life problems. Compulsions are behaviors that people with OCD feel they have to perform. Although these are mostly meaningless and exaggerated rituals, it is difficult to resist them. Namely, they soothe anxiety. Anxiety or anxiety is a condition that is manifested by mental and physical symptoms that are unpleasant. The person feels tension, stress, fear, panic and inner restlessness. Occurs when exposed to a real or imagined threatening situation.
So the circle of OCD makes obsessions – anxiety – compulsion – relief. Obsessions can be unwanted aggressive thoughts, while compulsions can be excessive hand washing or multiple travel locking and unlocking the front door when leaving the apartment. OCD is treated with various forms of psychotherapy.
How does EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques / Tapping) approach OCD?
All problems that have an emotional background, ie. they cause unrest in the system, they are fed by certain events from the past that lead to an imbalance in the energy of the body. Negative emotions are a product of the body’s energy imbalance, and in some they manifest in the form of OCD, ie. repeated unwanted thoughts and specific behaviors.
How can stories that preceded the OCD be revealed?
Generally, people with OCD do not feel safe and want control. The good questions to ask are – When were you out of control in your life? When did certain OCD behaviors begin? Is there an emotional reason that was the trigger? When was the last time in your life that you didn’t have thoughts like this?
And here are three stories for example:
Story 1 – The perfect parent
Iva wanted to be the perfect parent. Her obsessive thought was – I don’t want my four-year-old to sleep alone in bed. She thought that the child would feel abandoned, and a burglar could come through the window. There is an event in Iva’s past in which she herself felt abandoned. She was small and sick, and her mother did not give her enough attention, that is. she was emotionally unavailable. The thoughts that were swarming in her head at the time were – my mom is gone, I’m afraid because I’m alone, where is my mom, will I be ok? Iva did not want the child to feel like her, she did not want to be like her mother, whom she thought was not enough.
Story 2 – Frequent hand washing
John needed multiple hand washes. The thought of his hands getting dirty was unbearable. He felt anxious if he didn’t wash them too much. But beneath his anxiety was sadness, beneath it anger, and then a sense of abandonment and insecurity. Insecurity stemmed from parental quarrels when he was little. During them, he would lock himself in the bathroom where he hid and cried. He felt safe there. In addition, after his parents divorced he was never sure who would pick him up after school. Waiting for them, he felt anxious.
Story 3 – A child who drew pencils
Tea is a six-year-old child who, when she sees pencils, has to put them together neatly. At the attempt to move those pencils, he catches a hysterical cry. After the conversation, it was established that he would hurt his mother if he did not fold the pens properly. Further questions revealed that Tea saw her mother being tied up by burglars. Her mom wasn’t aware of it because Tea was supposed to sleep in her room at the time, so she never talked to her about it. But she did not fall asleep, hearing the commotion she watched a hidden scene unfolding in the living room. Tea, like all other children, interpreted the event in her own way. She blamed herself for what happened to her mother, because she did not put the toys together and went to sleep as her mother told her.
So, there is no single emotional background to any problem and so is OCD. What people with obsessive thoughts and specific compulsive behaviors have in common is the need for control and security. The background feeling of obsession and compulsive behavior is always: I don’t feel safe and I don’t want to be out of control.