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Mindfulness

Are You Fueling Your OCD?

Imagine that you and your friends go to a park to enjoy a summer evening with a campfire. As your group begins to enjoy the nice bonfire, a park ranger shows up and tells you that all fires need to be put out right away.

How would you extinguish the fire?

Of course, there are countless options. However, let’s pretend that the obvious resources that you want to use are not available for one reason or another. The only potential medium is a pile of wood logs nearby.

Would you use lumber to put the fire out? Of course not, that would be silly since we all know wood is highly flammable. This would only grow the bonfire. What could you do instead?
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Mindfulness

OCD and the Pervasive Reassurance-Seeking Compulsion

“Are you sure I have OCD?” “What if it is something else?” “Am I going crazy?” “Are these thoughts normal?” These are among many questions individuals struggling with OCD ask themselves. Even when they have been thoroughly assessed and diagnosed with OCD by their mental health provider, sufferers’ doubts and the need for reassurance seeking continues.

It has been said that OCD is the doubting disease. Uncertainty is the driving force behind OCD. The need to know the consequence of their thoughts or behaviors leads individuals to compulsions.
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ADHD and ADD

The Ethics of Armchair Diagnosis

When you resort to name calling, you’ve lost the argument. When you resort to diagnosing, they’ve lost credibility. Is it any wonder why non-mental health professionals are diagnosing people out of anger?  


Some people diagnose because of a disagreement. How many times have we heard a friend relay stories about his "bipolar" girlfriend after they have ended the relationship? Or what about a frustrated mother who is fed up with her son’s “ADD” when he refuses to do homework?

When someone does the opposite of what we want them to, it is tempting to label the behavior as a scientific defect. When the problem person has been labeled with a disorder, the blame is completely within their body. We, are off the hook.
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Anxiety and Panic

Passing Life’s Quiz


“Why did you glance over there? Were you trying to cheat? You are a cheater!” my mind shrieks.

Before a high-pressure exam, these falsehoods stampede through my mind like a bulldozing running back. And they are just as powerful.

My offense: glancing over at the neighboring test taker.

But reality doesn’t stop the incoming tsunami of intrusive, unwanted thoughts. “Maybe you are a cheater; maybe you were trying to get an unfair advantage,” my mind barks.
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Brain and Behavior

Scrupulosity OCD — You Have Choices!

“I’m such a sinner. I’m supposed to have pure thoughts. I’m so wicked!” Destiny’s incessant thoughts compelled her to pray, sing hymns, confess, and repent to no avail. Her religious leaders kept telling her that she was not a sinner. They reassured her by telling her that she was a good person. She didn’t know her reassurance seeking was actually a compulsion that kept strengthening her OCD.
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Brain and Behavior

No, Researchers Have Not Discovered the Cause of OCD

If "fake news" is an epidemic, we see it no place more clearly than in the media relations offices of universities that promote their professors' latest research results. Some of the blame falls on the researchers themselves, who have eschewed conservative, careful language in their studies and instead have turned to hyperbole and over-generalization.

The latest example of scientific "fake news" is the supposed discovery of the single cause of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). And we don't have to look any further than the news release published by the University of Würzburg to see how bad the problem is.

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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: March 11, 2017


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

Well, depending on where you live in the world, you'll be "springing forward" late tonight (or early tomorrow -- just depends on how you look at it). Soon, the sun will start rising earlier and setting later (which is great news for many people who deal with the most common type of seasonal affective disorder), but before we reap the benefits of more sunlight, we first must adjust to "losing" an hour of our day.

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Anxiety and Panic

Shrieking in Silence: Can Anyone Hear?

You remember the chilling Kitty Genovese case? As Kitty hysterically shrieked for help -- her voice echoing through the New York night, 38 neighbors ignored her hysterical pleas. The neighbors’ blurry thought process, “Well, maybe someone else will help” or “I am not able to assist her.” Collectively, there was a diffusion of responsibility.

“What does this have to do with mind happiness?” you wonder. Let me explain.
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Caregivers

How to Stop Apologizing for Everything You Do

Do either of these situations sound familiar?

You start an email to your boss with, “I’m sorry to bother you, but…”


A colleague plops his papers down on the conference table, knocking your coffee over. “Sorry! Let me get this stuff out of your way,” you say as you begin cleaning up.

Maybe you’ve fallen into this over-apologizing trap or have found yourself saying “I’m sorry” for things that don’t merit an apology in the first place.
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Addiction

6 Signs You’re a Productivity Addict

Do a search on Google for “productivity” and you’re served up almost 18 million results.

Dive in and you’ll find blogs, websites, apps, op-eds, subreddits, consulting firms, podcasts, and scientific studies devoted to the art of efficiency.

Our obsession in modern society with doing more is rivaled only by our preoccupation with doing it harder, better, faster and stronger. We’re gunning the engines at max speed, cramming our work days full of tasks, then feeling guilty if we steal a quick second to call a friend or read a book for pure pleasure (gasp!).
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Motivation and Inspiration

OCD: “The Bow that You Have to Keep on Tying”

“It just doesn’t feel right. I have to fix it until it is just so!” “I need to figure it out, and once I do, I’ll feel free to move on!” “I have to check all the windows, then I’ll be able to sleep peacefully.” “I have to repeat my prayers until I know God has really heard them.” “Not knowing whether I may hurt my child makes me anxious. I waste too many hours reviewing my behavior to ensure I haven’t harmed her.”

What do those statements have in common?

When individuals experience OCD, accepting uncertainty seems to be the greatest challenge. They have extreme difficulty moving on with their day unless they feel 100% sure the answers to their doubts have been resolved. Whether it is doing something until it feels right, checking or washing, or questioning one’s behaviors, thoughts, or feelings, uncertainty is a main cause for compulsions.
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