OCD are initials that seem to have entered common usage in the English language in recent years – but they are often misused to describe someone who simply enjoys doing the same thing a lot of the time. I recently heard one woman say her husband was “OCD about gardening”. I suspect he was just passionate about gardening or perhaps merely spent more time in the garden than was to his wife’s liking.
But OCD – that is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – remains a legitimate term for what is a very real and quite common psychological problem.
I have treated many people at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic for the disorder over the years.
Most numerous among OCD clients have been those afflicted by a compulsion to clean their hands repeatedly – to the extent in some cases that their hands have been rubbed red raw. Their obsession was germs and dirt; they had recurring obsessive thoughts about their hands being filthy and repetitive compulsions to wash their hands in response to that obsession.
Other examples of OCD are people whose obsession is safety and as a consequence they will repeatedly check electrical sockets to ensure equipment has been unplugged before they leave the house, or in some instances leave the the room.
At Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic I have been successful in treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder through a combination of hypnotherapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
It helps first of all to understand what obsessions are. I have already alluded to two – hoarding is another, the compulsion being to collect all manner of items and discard none. Some people are obsessively fearful of harm coming to a loved one and will be compelled to ring or text that person time and time again and on whatever pretence to check they are safe.
As might be gathered, an OCD can be a hugely disruptive part of a sufferer’s life and often has a severe detrimental effect on those close to the sufferer too.
Of people I have treated at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic, those particularly desperate for help have been people with repetitive intrusive thoughts of violent or sexual nature. They are terrified that they may harm a loved one or sexually assault them. An immediate note of comfort on this issue is that OCD sufferers are the least likely of people to act on such intrusive thoughts, not least because they find these thoughts so repellent.
There are other categories of intrusive thoughts, such as magical intrusive thoughts which compel sufferers to act in a certain manner for fear that in failing to do so, some terrible happening will befall them or some loved one. eg they always avoid standing on the cracks in pavements.
The severity of an OCD can vary, ranging from being slightly irritating and inconvenient to those causing extreme distress. Quite often clients who arrive at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic are quite tormented by the disorder and recognise their need for professional help. Others come seeking help as they fear their condition developing further. Certainly, they are correct in that without treatment the disorder is usually persistent.
Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic offers treatment regardless of the severity of the disorder.
As already mentioned we employ a combination of cognitive therapy and hypnosis. The Cognitive Behavioural Therapy involves discussing the disorder with the client and offering a clear and fresh insight into thought patterns and realities. Clients gain an understanding that has hitherto eluded them. Through hypnotherapy, people have their newly-gained insight fixed in their unconscious releasing them of the anxiety that has previously been a consequence of their thoughts.