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Friday, February 18, 2011

OCD: Self-terrorization

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a debilitating mental disorder that impacts your life in ways that actually terrorizes you. The impetous of OCD is fear, which is possibly the impetous of terrorism. OCD becomes a form of self-terrorization.

Whatever it is you fear takes on a life of its own within you, like a virus affecting your mental functioning. You're constantly running from it.

The difference between a phobia and OCD is one of location.

A phobia is a fear of something outside of us, and we avoid it--a fear of heights, or crowds, or spiders, and so forth. As long as we can avoid it, we can function in a normal way. Of course, we're always only one step away from what we fear. The possibility of what we fear confronting us is always in the background--in the backs of our minds--so we're always on guard against it. But, as long as we're not in contact with it, we function pretty normally. When we come in contact with it, our fear erupts and takes control of us until we can escape the object of our fear.

OCD is fear not only of the thing itself but also of the thought of the thing. The thought of the thing and our fear of it become connected in such a way that the thought of it becomes it. Because we cannot control our thoughts, our thoughts take control of us and we react as if the object of our fear is actually present. We think about the object of our fear, it becomes present in our minds, and our fear erupts. We cannot stop it. Fear takes control of our minds and we begin the ritual of trying to rid ourselves of the object of our fear and fear itself.

Our fear is initially a form of self-protection. We need our fear or we will succumb to the object of our fear. But fear is also the basis of terrorism. While our fear serves to protect us, it also terrorizes us, and we are caught in a bind. The rituals we perform are self-protective, also, meant to remove the object of our fear from our minds. Our rituals are our way of dealing with this double bind.

All of this is disruptive to our lives, leading us to bizarre behaviors. We do not function normally. We enter a different reality until the thoughts of the object of our fear and our fear subsides.
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