Tip #24 The emperor’s new clothes


 Starving for attention

The truth is that with ROCD, the content of the thought does not really matter. IF it wasn’t that particular thought it would be something else to annoy you. The ROCD brain is always looking for something to captivate and hold your attention. And it uses the content of the thought to do that.

The brain just goes and looks for the thing that might bother you the most or  that you hold dearest is what gets attacked the most. And the more you pay attention to it the more attention it wants.  And once that thought stops bothering you, the brain will go and look for something else. The solution is to try and attach no meaning to the thought. Once you attach meaning to the thought it gets “marked” in the brain and the brain will check at a certain time if it is still important to you or not. Of course, once it checks the thought will come into your mind again driving your anxiety.

Content vs.process

I do not think that the brain recognizes content very much but rather processes. Imagine this, the brain shoots 20 different thoughts and only one is really disturbing for some reason. For example, for people with ROCD this thought  “is this really love ?” is the one that sticks.The  anxiety will go up and generate a self-reinforcing cycle. And it is this heightened anxiety cycle that the brain recognizes. So if you feel stressed about something and this generates anxiety this might trigger ROCD thoughts because the brain has associated in the past anxiety with ROCD. This is why I talked about association in one of my previous posts.

Conclusion

It is not really the content of the thought that is important. It is how we react to the thought that is important. And this is what a lot of people with ROCD do not understand and fail to get better because they fight the thought and not the anxiety process.

To get better, we need to let go of the question that is driving our ROCD and focus on re-educating our brain to respond better to these thoughts. Everyone without ROCD has these thoughts as well…but they react differently! If you want to be “normal”, you need to start reacting “normal”.

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One comment

  1. Hello, you’re blog has been really helpful to me, at times it’s even temporarily reassured me that I do love my boyfriend. However, I’m starting to think ‘is this really my anxiety or do I just not love him anymore?’ ‘Am I bored?’ ‘Do I like other people?’ This is the worst, because after nearly 3 and a half years, I do not want anybody else and the thought of being without him makes me break down. I had my first( and only, thankfully!) panic attack in August and since I’ve been diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder. I’ve suffered with a number of ‘obsessions’ including health, pedophilia, sexuality and other ‘spikes’ and it seems when I get these, my feelings for my boyfriend come flooding back. I have had glimpses of hope, but right now I feel somewhat hopeless. You’re a very big inspiration in my ‘getting better’ process, as I see that it can be done, but I just keep going backwards and forwards, and I would be so grateful if you could private email me. Thank you, Lauren 🙂

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