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The color of obsession is blurred!

Obsession - The very sound of this word conjures up images like Shahrukh Khan in Anjaan & Darr, Robert De Niro in Cape Fear, Nana Patekar in almost all his movies etc. However, obsession isn’t always a drive on the wild side & it’s not restricted to the ‘bad guys’.

How best to make a person understand it? I guess by letting you screw a screw in. Just try that. At a certain point you can let go right? You no longer feel the urge to keep turning it in. You know and maybe feel it is okay to stop. This is very much a feel- thing.

What It Is Like To Have Obsessions.
EXAMPLE. Here is an example which is probably not scientific, but here goes anyway. Tell yourself to not think about a pink elephant.I mean really tell yourself that thinking about a pink elephant is not okay, so you can't think about it. Not only that, visualize that Pink elephant you aren't allowed to think about.No Pink elephant, no Pink elephant, no Pink elephant..... Okay, now go look inside your mind, you will probably find that "Pink elephant" is found all over the place. Probably, if you keep doing this for long enough, a pink color in your surrounding might be enough to think about a... Pink elephant.Bad bad bad, I said don't think about a Pink elephant. This is called Thought Avoidance Paradox. What you resist - persists.

And now imagine that this thought you are not allowed to have or rather that you don't want to have is beyond your control and is really stressful in content. That what you are thinking of is not a pink elephant, but instead you taking that knife you see before you and stabbing your mother or guru or brother/sister or you thinking about your girl friend/boy friend, whom you adore more than anything in the world, in the arms of another man/woman or you believing that you’ll drop that chubby little nephew of yours down the stairs, every time you think of holding him.

Would you think it's just a thought, or would you try and find out the why's of you having these thoughts and try to alleviate the anxiety they provoke? What if, you convince yourself for the first couple of times that these are just thoughts; however they would keep tormenting you continuously, without any explanation or warning?

Obsessions are thoughts, images, or impulses that occur over and over again. You don’t want them, you may find them disturbing, and you may realize they don’t make sense: but they continue to dominate your life. Obsessions may be accompanied by feelings of fear, disgust, or doubt. These are recurrent, persistent and unwanted/intrusive thoughts, images, impulses that cause the person much anxiety/distress. If you have OCD (Obsession-Compulsive Disorder) you may try, subconsciously, to "divert" your mind from your obsessions by performing "rituals" or compulsions. Compulsions are acts you perform over and over again, often according to certain "rules." The person feels overwhelmed by the feelings which seem to intrude in every aspect of his/her thinking & are very disturbing thus triggering much anxiety & discomfort. They will try to suppress or neutralize the thoughts/images/impulses by other specific thoughts or actions. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, also known as OCD, is characterized by a combination of obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior, and is often accompanied by feelings of anxiety, depression or both.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says that feelings always change. Don’t give them too much importance. I don’t know yet what his thoughts are on such disturbing feelings that occur again & again & again which forces compulsive actions to ease the ache & stress it causes. Sudarshan kriya doesn’t works when such a feeling is triggered inside the mind time & again. Observing & surrendering it doesn’t help either.

The Obsessions and what they stand for are often in harsh contrast with the person's own convictions and beliefs which makes their impact only greater. A mother absolutely in love with her baby, getting images of stabbing her baby, out of nowhere. A devoted husband ecstatic with his married life & completely in love with his wife receiving continuous images of cheating on his wife or his wife cheating on him, for no reason. It’s terrifying & baffling!

We can all be concerned about how we look, but some people take it bit more seriously than others. Gambling, Movies, obsessed with people, obsessed with a famous person, sex, shopping, obsessed with appearance are but some of the obsessions people have. Seen As good as you gets? Jack nicholson is obsessed with the thought of getting infected with germs and thus, have to wash his hands frequently, with multiple soaps, discarding each soap after 1 use, not touching restaurant cutlery & carrying his own with him, avoiding accidentally touching someone while walking etc.

Compulsions: are physical or mental repetitive behaviors that are used to prevent & relieve some of the anxiety caused by obsessions or to prevent a dreaded event or situation. The control found in doing actions in a very precise manner is very contrasting to the chaos the obsessions are creating in the mind. Although while using this system, the person is aware that it is realistically not connected to the obsessions he is trying to neutralize or avoid in any way, but still it provides him with much needed respite from such feelings. But soon the anxiety returns and then starts the “Cycle of OCD”.

The combination of feelings of having anxiety triggered, not being in control of this and finding relief through actions that give you a sense of being in control makes OCD cycle a self supporting system. The whole time you get positive re- enforcement that this seemingly senseless behavior is actually helping. Although this is not completely true since it has no long- lasting benefits. But still, when anxious, these rituals seem to be a small price to pay, until you get stuck in that vicious circle and find that instead of adding some wanted stability to your life, these rituals are robbing you of your freedom. The person gets a just right feeling after doing these actions.

It is said that most of us have distressing thoughts of violent or sexual nature, which just pop in to our heads. Most of the times they don’t make much of an impact; they don't tend to stick in the person's mind, but more importantly, the person can dispel them as being just a thought. After some time you won’t even remember that you thought like that or you can discard them as ‘Just a thought’. It would be like that dream, which made you restless but which you can’t remember, & thus you begin to believe that you never saw a dream in the 1st place, it was just a feeling.

So why does the normal thinking process effect people with OCD differently? Well, the thoughts don’t let go of them, no matter how hard they try to get rid of it or ignore it. They have a constant feeling of:
“What if I do this?’
“What if these thoughts are for real?”
"What if these thoughts say something about who I am as a person or who my loved one is?”

Part of them knows that this is just a thought, but the OCD part continues, with its relentless doubting. SO they try to find the how’s & why’s for such thoughts & hiding the all the knives in the house, washing there hands continuously, checking if doors/windows/locks are properly shut excessive no. of times etc.

Loss of control
Everyone has occasionally been tempted to do something out of the ordinary, or inappropriate, or even something that breaks the law. However, most of us are able to resist these impulses.
But people who suffer from OC spectrum disorders find it impossible to resist urges to behave in a way that they know is ultimately harmful, either to themselves or to others.
There is mounting evidence that OC Spectrum disorders, like OCD, are partly caused by a deficiency in the neurotransmitter (brain chemical) serotonin. However, some researchers think an excess of another neurotransmitter called dopamine could be a contributing factor. Still other researchers think that they are caused by crucial past experiences & the imprints left by it on a person's psyche & how the person dealt or not dealt with it. They recommend cognitive & behavioral therapies to understand & cure it.

A bad obsession is the constant focus of energy on something to the point that the obsession causes harmful consequences in your life. A good obsession would be focusing on solving a problem or focusing on something good. They are both bad when they are to an extreme but can be fun experiences when they are done in moderation.

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