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What is OCD?
   Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:18 am

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What is OCD?

Permanent Linkby Fable on Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:18 am

WHAT IS OCD?
OCD, or, obsessive compulsive disorder, is a disorder of the brain and behavior. OCD involves obsessions and compulsions, and can cause extreme anxiety.

WHAT ARE OBSESSIONS?
Obsessions (or intrusive thoughts) are frightening thoughts or impulses that occur again and again, completely out of a sufferer's control. Obsessions usually involve other feelings such as anxiety, disgust, guilt, or doubt.

COMMON OCD OBSESSIONS (Source: https://iocdf.org/about-ocd/#obsessions)
-Body fluids (example: urine, feces)
-Germs/disease (example: HIV)
-Environmental contaminants (example: asbestos radiation)
-Household cleansers (example: cleaners solvents)
-Dirt
-Fear of acting on an impulse to harm oneself
-Fear of acting on an impulse to harm others
-Fear of violent images in one's mind
-Fear of blurting out insults
-Fear of stealing things
-Fear of being responsible for something terrible happening (example: fire, burglary)
-Fear of harming others for not being careful enough (example: dropping something on the ground that someone might slip on and hurt themselves)
-Concern about evenness or exactness
-Concern with a need to know or remember
-Fear of losing or forgetting important information when throwing something out
-Inability to decide whether to keep or discard things
-Fear of losing things
-Forbidden or perverse sexual thoughts or images
-Forbidden or perverse sexual impulses about others
-Obsessions about homosexuality
-Sexual obsessions that involve children or incest
-Obsessions about aggressive sexual behavior towards others
-Concern with offending God, or concern about blasphemy
-Excessive concern with right/wrong morality
-Concern with getting a physical illness or disease (not by contamination, e.g. cancer)
-Superstitious ideas about lucky/unlucky numbers and certain colors

WHAT ARE COMPULSIONS?
Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that a person uses with the goal of making their obsessions go away. Compulsions also include avoiding triggers or situations that trigger their obsessions.

COMMON OCD COMPULSIONS (Source: https://iocdf.org/about-ocd/#compulsions)
-Washing hands excessively or in a certain way
-Excessive showering, bathing, tooth-brushing, grooming, or toilet routines
-Cleaning household items or other objects obsessively
-Doing other things to prevent contact with contaminants
-Checking that you did not/will not harm others
-Checking that you did not/will not harm yourself
-Checking that nothing terrible happened
-Checking that you did not make a mistake
-Checking some parts of your physical condition of your body
-Rereading or rewriting
-Repeating routine activities (examples: going in or out doors, getting up or down from chairs)
-Repeating body movements (examples: tapping, touching, blinking)
-Repeating activities in "multiples" (examples: doing a task three times because three is a "good" or "safe" number)
-Mental review of events to prevent harm (to oneself or others, to prevent terrible consequences)
-Praying to prevent harm (to oneself or others, to prevent terrible consequences)
-Counting while performing a task to end on a "good" or "safe" number
-"Cancelling" or "undoing" (example: replacing a "bad" word with a "good" word to cancel it out)
-Putting things in order or arranging things until it "feels right"
-Telling, asking, or confessing to get reassurance
-Avoiding situations that might trigger your obsessions

WHO GETS OCD?
OCD can start at any time from preschool to adulthood. OCD can occur at any age, but it usually occurs around ages 8-12 or between later teenage years and early adulthood. About 1 in 100 adults and 1 in 200 kids and teens in the United States have OCD.

WHAT CAUSES OCD?
Nobody knows the exact cause of OCD. But research suggests a difference in the brain and genes of those affected.

HOW IS OCD DIAGNOSED?
Trained therapists can diagnose OCD. They generally look...

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About Emetophobia

Permanent Linkby Fable on Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:43 am

Emetophobia is the fear of vomit. Most emets (short for emetophobe) mainly fear vomiting themselves, but a majority also fear seeing others' vomit as well. A rare portion of emets fear only seeing others vomit, but are okay with doing it themselves.

Symptoms of emetophobia:
-Avoidance of foods or smells associated with past vomiting episodes.
-Avoidance of germs, hospitals, and sick people.
-Holding one’s breath when around other people.
-Refusing to shake hands with others.
-Avoidance of garbage and other foul-smelling or dirty things.
-Excessive handwashing or bathing.
-Excessive use of vitamins.
-Excessive cleaning of foods.
-Excessive cleaning of food prep surfaces.
-Avoidance of non-packaged foods.
-Throwing away food before it has reached its expiration date.
-Checking other people for signs of illness.
-Excessive smelling and checking of food.
-Overcooking food to kill potential pathogens.
-Avoidance of eating new foods (or extreme anxiety when eating new foods).
-Eating the same (limited) foods over and over again to avoid stomach upset.
-Avoidance of foods that look “weird.”
-Anorexia, i.e., the complete avoidance of eating or severe restrictions in eating.
-Preemptive use of antacids.
-Avoidance of eating foods when away from home.
-Checking for the locations of bathrooms (when away from home).
-Restricting travel away from home (staying at home, avoiding social activities).
-School avoidance or work avoidance.
-Taking one’s temperature excessively or monitoring one’s body for other signs of illness (e.g., checking lymph nodes).
-Superstitious rituals designed to avoid getting sick.
-Only eating foods after other people have already eaten them.
-When eating in public, monitoring other people’s reactions to their food.
-Excessive concern about non-documented food allergies.
-Avoidance of public speaking responsibilities or other situations in which one is the center of attention.
-Avoidance of meetings or other situations in which one might feel trapped, or situations in which one could not easily escape if they became ill.
-Avoidance of planes, cars, and/or public transportation in order to avoid feeling trapped.
Source: http://beyondocd.org/expert-perspectives/articles/vomit-phobia-fear-of-vomiting-emetophobia

A lot of emets censor words. Some do it because the word itself triggers them, others fear jinxing themselves.
V* = vomit
S* = sick
Tu = throw up
D = diarrhea
N = nausea
FP = food poisoning
SV = stomach virus

FAQ time:

Q: No one likes to vomit.
A: Yes, no one likes it, but not everyone lives in crippling fear every day because they're so afraid to vomit/of seeing others' vomit.

Q: Why be afraid of something you can't control?
A: That's the exact reason why emets are afraid of it. One popular theory is that emets generally have an external locus of control, and that forming an internal locus of control cures emetophobia (it has worked for some!)

Q: But you feel so much better after you vomit!
A: They don't think like that. Some emets hold off vomiting for days. Of course, that is not always possible, sometimes you can't hold it back. But when I was an emet, I once held it in for 9 hours, even though I was in immense pain. The nausea and stomach pain was worth it, as long as I didn't vomit.

Other phobias:
Some emets develop additional phobias (disclaimer: not saying all of them do, but a lot of them also have at least one of the phobias below to some degree)
-Agoraphobia: fear of leaving the house or safe place. Fear of going to places they consider unsafe.
-Norophobia: fear of norovirus.
-Germophobia: fear of germs and getting sick.
-Depression: a condition where one feels sad, hopeless, unimportant, and is unable to live in a normal way.
-Anxiety: a nervous disorder characterized by excessive uneasiness and fear. Typically with panic/anxiety attacks and compulsive behavior.

There ARE treatments for emetophobia!
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): is a form of psychotherapy. It was originally ...

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