Why relaxing is so much work.
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Exploring the psychological landscape of OCD
We project our peers and ourselves into a sitcom reality, where everyone stays together forever, where disagreements can always be resolved in 24 minutes.
Once conspiracy theories get in your head, they quickly become self-perpetuating and self-reinforcing. These patterns of thinking are tricky to escape.
Americans have spent almost half a decade honing the weapons and armor needed for psychological warfare; these swords won’t easily be made into plowshares.
“Big Mouth” examines puberty through a sort of locker-room magical realism. In Season 4, Andrew Globerman’s anxiety symptoms return as repetitive OCD rituals.
The show "Big Mouth" vividly animates obsessive anxiety about sexual thoughts. It could help some OCD sufferers confront and come to terms with their own intrusive thoughts.
With so many varying interpretations, one wonders: Why did Orpheus really look back? And what, if anything, can we learn from his tragedy?
Trying to force yourself to surrender to sleep is a frustrating and likely fruitless endeavor. There are ways to reclaim your nights from OCD.
We can’t simply command automatic or unwanted thoughts to disappear, but we can choose which to consciously encourage and which to dismiss.
The year 2020 is proving to be uniquely stressful; we can’t afford to waste our mental resources on activities that make us miserable without generating personal or common good.
This election is precisely the kind of inevitable and yet impossible-to-grapple-with “threat” that can baffle our normal problem-solving strategies and lead to obsessive worry.
Why do we still pursue the thoughts, behaviors, and actions that we know are irrational and maladaptive, and perhaps the products of a mental health disorder?
Did you know OCD can inhibit your ability to clean your house? Certain symptoms feed directly into procrastination but it's possible to break the cycle.
Reframing difficult thoughts can dilute their power by associating them with absurd or disinterested ideas.
Mental illness is a difficult subject to portray accurately in fiction, but that doesn't prevent unqualified writers and artists from trying.
Stress can actually make it harder for us to brainstorm creative strategies that might resolve a problem or accomplish something.
The trick is to balance the benefits of staying informed with the diminishing returns from compulsively seeking out more information.
OCD treatment, through ERP therapy, requires sufferers to confront danger and risk harm without protecting themselves. The coronavirus epidemic has flipped all this upside-down.
When you encounter a creative realization of your nightmares—in a comic, a book, a film, or perhaps in a piece you’ve created—you open space for new contexts and understandings.
When you’re thinking—when you’re literally talking to yourself—who is the listener? And what—or who—is talking back?
Giving up on everything can seem an obvious, even organic decision. But it’s an obsolete, irrelevant strategy; programmed in prehistoric conditions, never updated for modern life.
Out-of-control negative thoughts, whether depressed or anxious, are painful. Noting subtle distinctions between rumination and obsession can be crucial to successful treatment.
Why do we invest so much of ourselves into our favorite media? When does a fan become a fanatic?
Whether a negative thought acts like a T-Rex or a tapeworm, the result is the same: a disruption of our mental equilibrium, leading to distraction, anxiety, and suffering.
If a meme is an idea that gets in your head, an "infohazard" is a meme that's actively harmful. But you can strengthen your mental immune system against them.
Why do some thoughts come to mind more often than others? What is it, exactly, that makes us think the thoughts we think? Welcome to the habitat of the internal meme.
Any threat can trigger the short-term fear response – but an anxiety disorder heightens and extends these effects. OCD goes one step further.
As a child, no one explained that this isn’t the common definition of “worried,” and no one asked if I meant something else.
An effective system for keeping our prehistoric ancestors healthy can today misfire to trigger visceral and terrifying obsessions.
Understand that, although it may be painful, you can never not profit when you learn something about yourself.
The same way you can learn to beat a videogame, you can learn to disrupt self-destructive thinking and replace it with newer, healthier behaviors.
Fletcher Wortmann is the author of Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.