Mindfulness meditation is all the rage in the west now. It’s true, the East suspected it would be good for the mind thousands of years ago. They didn’t have any scientific proof back then though so yeah they got lucky.
What is it?
Well they say if you really know something, you can explain it in simple terms… so i’d say mindfulness meditation is non-judgemental awareness coupled with deep relaxation.
Compulsions are everywhere, and we overcome procrastination by realizing that there is no compulsion in our lives. With OCD however, it’s far more complicated.
The obsessive compulsive would get a thought that causes them overwhelming distress (named by various professionals as an ‘intrusive thought’.) Their brain would then try to fix it, at least temporarily by performing a compulsion. This doesn’t have to be physical. Unfortunately the brain, largely subconsciously, is not doing the right thing. Mindful meditation can teach it to do the right thing. In time. Obviously it’s very difficult to resist at first, so i’ll try and find some literature and videos and guided meditations that will help.
I am still incredibly obsessive compulsive. Unfortunately I had it since about 10 and couldn’t channel it due it being severe. I had some decent therapy though, eventually. And whilst in hospital read about mindfulness. With therapy, (the best type being ERP for OCD), like any mental illness, the goal i’d say is to resolve subconscious conflicts. With OCD though this is trickier due to the compulsions and anxiety complicating things. Dr Paul Salkovskis has some great methodology and is a UK leader in the field of OCD, check him out.
Let’s take it from the beginning. So I started to get obsessions;
- Lack of enjoyment, fulfillment, immersion and prosperity. Couldn’t ski properly, couldn’t play my piano. Since age 10 approx.
- I started acting like I was OK to feel accepted by the world and to scrape by.
- Couldn’t engage in a relationship with my first girlfriend. Causing hurt to both parties.
- Since about year 8, I couldn’t study any where near my ability at school, scraping by just using my high IQ id already created to just about pass things.
- Anxiety started kicking in. This causes untold complications. The constant anxiety felt was worse than that of someone with panic attacks as there was no release.
- Couldn’t read (or pay attention) properly. Missing out on lifetimes of fulfilment.
- I saw an opportunity of freedom at a top ten Uni, I thought this would become the end of it. I thought I’d snap out of it. Unfortunately not. A period of about 6 to 12 months of a lot of drug taking, finding some peace.
- Despondent around my peers and friends, causing lack of relationships with more girlfriends and friends.
- Causing confusion with friends as to my intelligence, well being and objectives.
- After passing an HND in Mechanical Engineering (there was a reason I chose it still, it’s cool), I decided I must have a mental illness.
- Diagnosed with OCD at the age of 22. My first glimpse of freedom came, but I was too ill to take it all in the therapy was not good enough. Even though it was at the top Priory Hospital.
- to be continued and added to my book.
The rise of reason has reached a new peak. I have new insights on medication, meditation and my, (what’s best described as), ‘immersion’, has come of age.
It’s been roughly a year since I wrote the first two chapters. I will have to re-read them to see how much I agree with. Or maybe I won’t, maybe my spontaneity will be a jem to read. My writing will reflect the fact that my immersion has improved for the better. ‘How so?’. Well, it has come along after I have meditated with the feeling of anxiety for longer periods of time. This will really help the OCD sufferer. Once you are used to practicing meditation, really focus on the core. I call it ‘immersion’, ‘the core’, ‘anxiety’ and ‘overwhelming feeling of doubt’. Focus on it as much as you can and say things out loud, like ‘I am at peace’, ‘I am at ease’, and ‘I am comfortable’. I am experiencing my ‘immersion’ reaching new heights after focusing on it for a very long time for a few days now.
I fell for the roulette delusion one last time this morning, but now I know, thanks to my meditation, that it won’t happen again next time. The machines are getting cut back to max spin £2 in the UK. Timely. It’s a shame because now I’ve overcome it, I won’t get the chance to show everyone that I have by resisting them. Ah well, it’s a really great thing anyway, a lot of people will be saved from addiction because of the new law. It’s like a hypnosis. Anyway back to OCD.
In terms of mini obs, I have to catch myself out checking conversations on my phone obsessively, or worrying relentlessly about the state of my flat and not doing anything about it, only making the rumination worse. Eventually i am at ease especially with the violent obsession and the existential obsession, which I briefly mentioned before was about stabbing myself in the neck; it was a constant one for a time. Worse in the morning. One which was actually much more distressing was the existential obsession. I know, it shouldn’t be, just realize we are all in the same boat, ‘right?’. It hasn’t been as easy as that. It’s been hard to let go of the feelings it produced, and guess what… it was indeed a psychosis. So not only can I call it the ‘existential obsession’, I can call it a ‘psychosis’. Of course, there is also a need to step back and not call it anything from time to time. But then the feelings come. The disturbing detachment from reality that was almost constant. It was so debilitating that I’ve never been able to work and relationships have suffered (more on this next). It was so constant that now, I’ve never consistently felt this level of immersion before, and i’m sure i’m only at where everyone is at most of the time. Of course, there has been times throughout my existence where my immersion has been great, but not very consistently. I’d get stuck on thoughts too much, almost certainly obstructed or diverted. Another thing I get, which I used to think was due to losing concentration, is a vision where everything is magnified and dizzy. I now realize that people don’t get this, and is likely something else than just the medication. I also get very paranoid, like a really bad social anxiety, it’s more than a spike. Another thing, I have been great on the olanzapine: the antipsychotic. Due to my new level of meditation, I am able to reduce both the olanzapine, and the clomipramine, getting rid of the side effects; these can be shaking, fatigue, lack of energy, panic attacks (yes, really. for me anyway), and lack of motivation with a certain numbness.
But hey, I can treat it in the same way with my own ERP. ERP ERP ERP!
Now I am aware there are doubts as to the effectiveness of some medications, including clomipramine. So what are my views on this? Well, I feel that medications are a good thing to a certain extent. They are good to suppress and block out the distressing feelings, giving you a pathway to make changes to your responses. Even though some studies have shown that clomipramine isn’t effective, I have also read articles that argue, from studies, that it is. Whether it is effective for OCD or not, I agree on its use in severe cases. I have needed medication to get at least some peace to be able to absorb therapy and learn to meditate; They clear the pathway to change. Nevertheless, it is us, the sufferer, who must make those changes. The medication doesn’t, we do, they are not a cure. More later my spontaneity has ended.
I’m not a writer. My life has been drastically effected by mental illness of varying degrees since about age 10. I have mostly experienced the discomfort and overwhelming irrational anxiety of OCD, but also collide with depression, psychosis and addiction. Mental illness is scar tissue of the mind and I am going to heal it.
During my life, I can present well superficially and often would attempt to mask my symptoms. Being used to struggle to contain the symptoms such as severe anxiety, it would result in me having to leave jobs and not complete courses as well as other lifes challenges.
After becoming caught up in a fantasy world of gambling and somewhat detached but complex ruminations…
At 32 and diagnosed for 10 years, I’d like to share my recovery. I’m not a writer. I am something else. What I am, you can decide for yourselves.