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My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Tuesday, July 19

Original OCD post

I thought I'd include the original for the OCD post I put on Setting the World to Rights Sunday (7/17/05):

I think a person having a particular habit or behavior that they want to stop but also can't seem to make themselves stop doesn't make it an "illness". It seems like it would be better to first approach it as a problem they want solved. It might be caused by a brain disease, it might be related to a particular set of ideas or experiences, or it could be contributed to by both. The solution to their problem could be medicines or ideas or both. While I don't think a medicine can change a person's ideas directly, I think it could change their emotional state.

At the least, I think it might be possible to make a person feel more or less "extreme". In the hand washing example, the person might have a fear of germs. The experience of the fear could be very mild or it could feel very important and urgent and some of that feeling could affected by other factors - lack of sleep, lack of food, other things going on in life. Suppose a medication made the person feel less anxious about things overall. The person is then able to focus more on his thoughts and better prioritize them, feel less anxious (and then feel less need to wash hands - something that might seem comforting in a way), break his hand washing pattern, and possibly even change his mental state overall to the point where he can drop the medication and have his problem solved. This could happen without his even understanding that's what's going on.

Becky Moon
by beckyam on Sun, 07/17/2005 - 10:59 | reply

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