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Body-Focused Obsessions: Sensorimotor Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

April 9th, 2014
There are so many different types of obsessions and compulsions when it comes to OCD. Perhaps among the less talked about are sensorimotor, or body-focused, obsessions which involve a heightened awareness and focus on involuntary bodily activities and processes. Common examples include hyperawareness of swallowing, breathing, or blinking. Additionally, overattention to bladder and digestive processes -- indeed, any unhealthy focus on a specific body part or organ -- might also fall into the category of sensorimotor obsessions. I think these types of obsessions seem particularly brutal because they involve necessary, ongoing bodily processes. There truly is no escape, and this fact often plays into the sufferer's obsessions.

Trouble Is a Gift: A Story of Addiction, Recovery & Hope

BOOK REVIEW.
“But finally, there I was alone in this apartment, sitting in a chair, staring at the radiator waiting for the little guy to crawl out from behind it. Knowing the bottle was going to be empty in another minute. Wondering how I’m going to get money to buy a new one or if I should ...

Better Days: A Mental Health Recovery Workbook

BOOK REVIEW.
“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”  ~ Albert Ellis, PhD Mental illness is a tricky beast in which the problems in one’s life seem ...

Retelling the Stories of Our Lives: Everyday Narrative Therapy to Draw Inspiration

BOOK REVIEW.
This book began as a project between author David Denborough and the creator of narrative therapy, the late Michael White. Denborough worked alongside White for 15 years, then carried the book to fruition following White’s death in 2008. He has written an excellent work that provides guidance in how to both tell and change your ...

Hypocritical Compulsions: Recognizing the Nonsense of OCD

The Nonsense of OCDThe need for certainty fuels the fires of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Compulsions are performed to reduce anxiety by making sure everything is okay. For OCD sufferers to recover, they must refrain from doing these compulsions and learn to live with doubt, the basis of ...

Six Ways to Help Your Perfectionist Child Find Balance

Six Ways to Help your Perfectionist Child Find BalanceFour-year-old Max would crumple his paper when his drawing wasn’t perfect. He would start over, and often grow angry and eventually give up. His parents noticed his rigidity, but hoped he would grow out of it. When he ...

Five Telltale Signs Your Child is a Budding Perfectionist

Five Telltale Signs Your Child is a Budding PerfectionistI once met a young man who had had many successes in his youth. He was intelligent and outgoing. He had always been the star in high school and had enjoyed the praise he received from others, but ...

My Struggles with OCD in Recovery

My Struggles with OCD in Recovery"Are you being crazy again?" My wife, upon noticing my awkward and all-too-familiar hand gestures, has asked me this hundreds of times. I will complete an apparent pantomime audition of mere seconds, starting with a short series of pronounced arm movements and ...

Blind to Betrayal: Why We Fool Ourselves We Aren’t Being Fooled

BOOK REVIEW.
It would be hard not to judge Blind to Betrayal by its cover. Readers could be forgiven for thinking it’s a how-to book on catching unfaithful spouses. But while there are several stories of infidelity, what’s most pressing to authors Jennifer Freyd and Pamela Birrell is the way that otherwise observant and intelligent people can ...

Helping ADHD Children Make Friends

Helping ADHD Children Make FriendsAttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as defined by the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is “a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development, presenting in two or more settings, and ...

The Connection Between OCD & Psychosis

The Connection Between OCD and PsychosisWhen my son Dan’s obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) became severe, he was in college, fifteen hundred miles away from home. My husband and I arranged for him to see a psychiatrist near his school, who telephoned us (with our son’s permission) after ...

Treating Schizophrenia Successfully

Treating Schizophrenia Successfully Schizophrenia is a complex and often chronic illness that requires long-term treatment. Medication is the bedrock of managing schizophrenia, said Peter Buckley, MD, a psychiatrist and expert in schizophrenia, and dean of the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University. But a comprehensive ...

The Trauma of Everyday Life

BOOK REVIEW.
How many times have you heard someone say, That was the straw that broke the camel’s back? We can try to rally to face big obstacles, but sometimes the day-to-day “little things” add up until, finally, one of those small things overcomes us. Then, it turns out, they were not such “little things” after all. In ...

Mastering the Art of Solution-Focused Counseling

BOOK REVIEW.
There are exceptions to many rules in life. Whether it is a fashion decree about wearing black and brown or the parking law in various neighborhoods, there are many instances where the “rule” does not actually apply. These sorts of exceptions to behaviors, habits, and thoughts are a core part of the process in solution-focused therapy. ...

Your Best Life Yet: A Journey of Purpose & Passion

BOOK REVIEW.
“There I was, on a Broadway stage. Naked with the rest of the cast of Oh! Calcutta! The drugs and alcohol must not have been working because I was literally crawling out of my skin.” So begins the preface of Marcia Ullett’s book Your Best Life Yet: A Journey of Purpose and Passion. This sets the tone ...

Frequently Asked Questions about Adult ADHD

Frequently Asked Questions about Adult ADHDThis article is about adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The childhood ADHD FAQ is here. Is ADHD even a real disorder? Yes, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has over three decades' worth of research supporting its diagnosis in adults and children. There ...

How Do You Grab a Naked Lady?

BOOK REVIEW.
Before they fell out of vogue, roughly 40,000 lobotomies took place in the United States. “Took place” being a rather passive, arm’s-length way of saying that, on 40,000 separate occasions, a person with an advanced medical degree decided to slice another person’s brain. Often, against their will, and sometimes, with an ice pick through the ...

Putting the Fear of Sleeplessness to Rest

Putting the Fear of Sleeplessness to RestFear can be a powerful disincentive to change. It was one of several factors that kept me from undergoing cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) for over a decade. Not that I wasn’t eager to trade in my bad nights for ...

The Depths: The Evolutionary Origins of the Depression Epidemic

BOOK REVIEW.
At some point in nearly everyone’s life, depression will strike. Whether it comes through the grief of losing a loved one, the loss of a job and subsequent financial difficulty, or something else, depression, whether mild or severe, is a part of the human experience. In Johnathan Rottenberg’s new book, The Depths: The Evolutionary Origins ...

Building a Routine When You Have Bipolar Disorder

Building a Routine When You Have Bipolar DisorderHaving a routine helps people with bipolar disorder maintain stability. “Unexpected stressors can lead to episodes for me so the better I can plan things, the more stable I am,” said Elaina J. Martin, who writes Being ...

OCD, Lying, Hyper-responsibility & Honesty

OCD, Lying, Hyper-responsibility & HonestyMy son Dan was an honest child; an unusually upfront, truthful boy, who as far as I know, never lied to me. Teachers and relatives would comment on his honesty as well, saying things such as, “If we want to know what ...

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Following a Single Event

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Following a Single EventFollowing is an example of how post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop after a single traumatic incident. Tony had a somewhat stable childhood. Though his parents divorced when he was 8, he, his mother and siblings stayed in the same house ...

Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Complex Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderMichelle was terrorized for much of her childhood. Her father was an inconsistent presence and her mother expressed outright disdain for her. Often when Michelle went to her mother for comfort, she was accused of exaggerating or being a "crybaby" and sent away. Starting at age 4 until she was out of the house at 16, Michelle was molested by several family members -- including her brother, her uncle and a couple of cousins. As she grew up, different men in the neighborhood also sexually assaulted her. At 19, she began dating Carl, who initially was very affectionate. However, he then began to be suspicious of different friends of hers and concerned about how she spent her time. This escalated into more and more controlling behavior and occasionally he was physically violent.
 
 
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