I want to share Becky’s story with you.
Becky came for help with her tokophobia. Tokophobia is the extreme fear of pregnancy and birth, and is often accompanied by other mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression. In this case, Becky was also suffering with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Read more about tokophobia here: Tokophobia. Everything you need to know
What is Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)?
The National Institute of Mental Health defines obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as follows:
A mental illness that causes repeated unwanted thoughts or sensations (obsessions) or the urge to do
something over and over again (compulsions). Some people can have both obsessions and compulsions.
People with OCD may have symptoms of obsessions, compulsions, or both and these symptoms can interfere with all aspects of their lives. In Becky’s situation, it was fuelling her fears and affecting her ability to fulfil her desire to start a family.
Obsessions are repeated thoughts, urges, or mental images that cause anxiety. Common symptoms include:
- Fear of germs or contamination
- Unwanted forbidden or taboo thoughts involving sex, religion, or harm
- Aggressive thoughts towards others or self
- Having things symmetrical or in a perfect order
Compulsions are repetitive behaviours that a person with OCD feels the urge to do in response to an obsessive thought. Common compulsions include:
- Excessive cleaning and/or hand-washing
- Ordering and arranging things in a particular, precise way
- Repeatedly checking on things, such as repeatedly checking to see if the door is locked or that the oven is off
- Compulsive counting
For Becky, her fear of germs and contamination was in direct conflict with her desire to start a family. This is because pregnancy and birth usually require visits to medical environments, which means there is a risk of coming into contact with germs and disease. All this was exacerbated by COVID and the additional risks we are facing because of it.
It’s important to be clear that not all rituals or habits are compulsions. Everyone double checks things every now and then, but a person with OCD generally:
- Can’t control their thoughts or behaviours, even when they recognise that their thoughts or behaviours might be excessive
- Spends at least 1 hour a day on these thoughts or behaviours
- Doesn’t get pleasure when performing the behaviours or rituals, but may feel brief relief from the anxiety the thoughts cause
- Experiences significant problems in their daily life due to these thoughts or behaviours
Becky’s experience of OCD
Becky has had OCD for as long as she can remember and she’s forty years old.
“I was officially diagnosed with OCD at the age of 20, once I was able to find someone who specialized in OCD. Prior to that, I was told that I was just stressed.
It’s taken on many forms over the years from checking, repetition, magical thinking and the one that has ruled my life the most, contamination. These obsessions come from fear of something happening. Then the compulsions that I do in reaction to the obsessions give me a false sense of security that if I do the compulsions then I’m safe.
For instance, if I check the door to make sure it’s locked but then I walk away and still feel like I need to recheck it. I will recheck the lock (even though I know it’s locked, but I still feel doubt), to make sure it is in fact locked.
Another example is repetition. I think I need to do something a certain # of times and if I don’t then something bad will happen.”
What help has Becky previously sought for her OCD?
Becky has been trying to address her OCD for a number of years.
“I’ve been on and off different medications over the years, spoken to psychiatrists, psychologists, done Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, hypnotherapy, neurofeedback / biofeedback.
Over the years I feel I’ve been able to take a tid bit from here and there to use when my OCD flared up, but nothing really seemed to help completely. Until Head Trash Clearance.
Head Trash Clearance is the only thing that has really made a difference.
I feel like my OCD has gone down by 80 percent!”
How has Head Trash Clearance helped Becky with her OCD?
Here’s how Becky describes Head Trash Clearance helping her with her OCD.
“I used to struggle with lots of anxieties, obsessions and compulsions.
I have found that with Head Trash Clearance I can comfort those thoughts and subside the fears that come along with them much quicker.
Before I would dwell on those obsessions and compulsions for hours, if not days. But now I feel I can subsidy those thoughts and feelings within minutes.”
Head Trash Clearance has been used successfully in reducing anxieties and phobias for many years, so to see this extend to OCD is wonderful news for those who suffer with OCD.