Common Treatment Mistakes - Trying TOO HARD
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In this new series, we are going to discuss the most common mistakes in OCD treatment. If you’re suffering from OCD, you may find yourself wondering why your OCD seems to get worse the harder you try to make it go away. It seems like a complete paradox. The harder you fight, the worse it gets. It is exhausting. The reality is your struggle is probably not due to a lack of effort, but just misplaced effort and energy.
So in this new series, join me as I explain some of the most Common Treatment Mistakes for OCD Treatment. I hope this helps in your journey to overcoming OCD and helps you let go of the belief that OCD is untreatable.
Hey there. And welcome to another episode of the stress and anxiety show. And so, um, on this episode, we're going to talk about some of the common mistakes that people make when it comes to their recovery. And, um, in some kind of the common pitfalls, if you will, that I see people get caught in and you know, that I, myself got caught in as well. And, um, so, um, but before we delve into that, I just really appreciate if you could, uh, take a moment and show your support for the show by just subscribing and leaving a comment as well. Um, it would just really help us out, um, or a little review. And, um, with that said, as we jump into this, this seriously, one of the reasons I wanted to create this new series on, um, the, the common pitfalls is because, you know, I, I see that a lot of people, you know, they, they, they put so much effort into trying to get better, right.
And that actually is a, a common trap that people fall into. And that's actually the first one that I want to talk about this week, right. Is trying harder. Right. You know, is, is thinking that there's a correlation between the amount of effort you put in and the results you're going to get. And, you know, for our whole lives, we, we operate like that. Right. You know, the harder you work in school, you know, generally speaking, the better grades you get and the better reward you get. Right. And so in many ways, you know, most of us have grown up with that mentality of effort equals result. Right. And, and that there's a correlation there in what we need to realize, especially when it comes to anxiety. Um, and OCD is that it's not about trying harder, right? It's about trying different. It's about, it's about going in, in some ways, the complete opposite way that you think you should go and in so many of us.
So, so one of the things that happens right, is that we get caught in this trap of trying and trying and trying to make a certain thing happened that we can't make happen. So for instance, we try to make thoughts go out of our head. Right. You know, we try to not think certain things. We try to, if we feel a feeling that we don't like, or that it's uncomfortable, we try to get rid of it. Right. And the, the complete paradox of OCD and anxiety recovery is is that the more and more you try to do something, the worse and worse it gets. Right. And so, um, let me go ahead and kind of offer an example. So someone who may have a fear around, let's say, let's just use an example and talk about someone's faith. Right. Well, what happens is, if someone will get anxious about a topic with, regarding their faith, maybe it might be their salvation.
Let's just use that. And, um, what happens is, is the person gets this fear in their mind. Well, like what if I lose my salvation? What if I committed unforgivable sin? What if I go to hell? Um, you know, some of this is this, this kind of, what if thought right now here, here's what we need to understand. The problem we are addressing is this, what if thought here? Right. Because what if by its very nature doesn't exist right now. That's why the brains coming up with it, it's trying to predict a bad outcome and then protect and then protect you from it. Right. I mean, essentially that's the whole, um, function of that, but that part of your mind, right? It's trying to protect you by coming up with futuristic bad outcomes that we don't want to experience and then prevent those from happening.
The problem is that part of our brain can't predict the future, right? So it comes up with all this stuff and then we take it at face value, not considering the idea of all the other things, all the millions of things that never even came up with. Right. And also not taking into fact how many times it's come up with something that thing has never happened. Right. But instead, what most of us do is we get caught at the face value of that thought. So this idea of what if I lose my salvation, let's just go ahead and talk about that. Right. Um, w if, if someone's coming to me and they're, you know, talking about how they've worried about this, and they've gone through their, their initial faith steps, right. They've talked to their spiritual counselor and we've determined that this is now a OCD and anxiety issue.
Well, the thing is we have to separate that and we have to treat it like an OCD and anxiety issue, right. It doesn't matter what the person is anxious about. It could be germs, it could be driving, it could be leaving their house. It could be their faith. It could be their sexual, uh, sexual orientation. Right? The, the topic of the fear is, is in many ways irrelevant, because we don't want to assume that that's the problem. The problem is, is that they're trying to get, get rid of, or there's this huge, emotional surge that they're experiencing with this fear. And when that happens, um, the person gets, you know, ultimately what the person's trying to
Do is trying to neutralize
The emotional experience, right? So they think that because of the, the content of the thought is what they're afraid of. That if they can figure that out, it will resolve their emotion and there'll be okay. But what we're actually dealing with here is a, a false alarm that's going off in the body. Right? And the more and more we do behaviors that reinforce the idea that that is something we should be concerned about. That's something we should be afraid about. The more and more that alarm is going to go off. Right. Which is why we need to understand that when we're dealing with OCD and anxiety, if we're trying to get rid of our thoughts and feelings, it's going to backfire on us, it's going to make us worse. And that's what happens is people start doing compulsion's right. So in this case, listen, since there'll be a lot of spiritual, compulsion's like praying or seeking reassurance or reading the same articles again and again and again, right.
And then you go into physical things like avoiding, right? So some people might avoid church. Some people might avoid other places. Some people might avoid certain music. Um, and, and then there's checking and all this stuff that goes on and all this energy we put into trying to control this instance, control the sphere, or get rid of these emotions or get rid of these thoughts is actually the very thing that's fueling it, which is what is so paradox. One, what's so hard to get someone to understand, and this is the trap that people get in as they get in this, this I'm going to keep putting more and more effort in, and that's the thing is most people that are really stuck in OCD and anxiety. A lot of times, it's actually not a result of a lack of effort. In fact, it's, it's just misplaced effort, you know, and, and that's, that's one of the things that I see again and again and again.
And so the key, you know, when we're talking about these common missteps that people make, um, is, is not trying harder, right? It's about taking a step back and saying, look it, especially if you've been dealing with this for a long period of time, you know, some cases, months, years, I mean, even some cases, decades, right? I mean, there's people out there that, that, that I meet all the time, right. That have been wrestling with a certain fear for extended, extended periods of time. And, and they're so frustrated because they feel like they're trying so hard and they are in many ways, they're just, they're just misplacing the energy into the wrong thing. And it causes feelings of frustration, feelings of hopelessness. Right. And, and that ultimately is what I believe that causes people to even feel things like, uh, you know, not wanting to live anymore or being suicidal is like, is because they're working so hard and they're getting worse and worse and worse in, in, you know, if you can take a step back, if this isn't something you wrestle with and kind of re you know, just imagine that for a second, it's like, yeah, like it makes sense why people get hopeless.
Right. And that's where I was, right. Just to be fully transparent, right. Um, you know, many years ago, and in the big shift on the journey in, and if we can, uh, really avoid this pitfall, or even if you're in this pitfall to get out of it is to stop trying harder at the things, you know, are not working and shift your perspective right. And shift the belief structure. And that's a lot of what we talk about over at restored minds, right. In our, in our coaching programs, right. Is belief structures, right. And are, you know, understanding this from a completely new lens. Um, you know, and, and once we're able to understand that there, then we're able to do the correct things. And that involves, you know, obviously align, aligning ourselves with the right behaviors and behavioral modification tools that are ultimately not going to reinforce this loop that can break us out of the sloop and get us to start to see the issue from a much clearer perspective when our body isn't shooting off this fight or flight system.
So, um, so that just is the one common, um, you know, pitfall I want to talk about in this, in this episode. Um, and then as we move in this series here, I'm going to talk about, uh, three more, you know, that I really see people, um, get caught in. So thank you so much for taking the time to hang out today. Um, my name is Matt Codde and, uh, and we have additional resources for you. If this is something you struggle with over at restored mine's dot com and also have some links down in the notes below that will direct you to some downloads, as well as some additional free trainings that you can access. Um, again, [email protected] And if you found this helpful, we would really appreciate your support by liking in subscribing and even sharing this with someone, you know, or on your social platforms, just to help get this, uh, information and resources out to people. So thank you so much for hanging out today and I'll see you guys soon. Take care.