Hello mental health champions, how are you doing?
Today I wanted to jump a little bit deeper into OCD and repetitive behaviors. Something that I struggle with that can sometimes go unnoticed by myself is these repetitive behaviors. I have always seemed to have mental rituals instead of physical rituals. When people think of OCD, they frequently think of turning the light on and off a million times or excessive cleanliness and organization. However, I have mostly struggled with mental rituals, or at least I had thought. I let my physical compulsions go unnoticed since they became such a normal part of my day. They can also sometimes be hard to identify until someone else points it out or you start to question why you do certain things when you feel certain ways. I have started to realize my physical compulsions because they always happen in accordance with my emotions.
Eating: Something that never used to be a pr0blem but started more so when I started medication is eating as a compulsion. Many times when I feel sad or anxious, I find myself binging food. A lot of times I think it may be a comfort because it is a distraction and easily accessible. I have even binged on really good days. I am not sure if there are any connections between compulsions and positive emotions, but I have also found myself binging when I was having a great day. I think it starts as an “I’ll treat myself” and then maybe I enjoy it so much that I have a hard time curbing the binge. I think sometimes excitement can cause my compulsions too.
Something that may not necessarily be a compulsion but just something that I tend to do in times of stress or sadness is self-isolate. It is not a good habit to get yourself into. Not only is self isolation lonely and difficult, but it is also incredibly hard on the people around you that love you. It can cause many riffs in relationships and people may not understand what they think they did wrong to push you away. I still do this frequently and it happens subconsciously. I usually don’t just choose to isolate and hide but I feel depression, sadness, and anger and it feels like the best way to cope sometimes. Obviously, it isn’t a great way to cope which is why I have tried to teach myself to communicate when I feel that way so the people around me know it’s nothing they did. Maybe eventually I will never self-isolate. However, even though I have this mental health blog, that doesn't mean I’m “cured” from all my issues. I still fight them everyday and I want to be transparent about that.
Another compulsion I find myself doing in times of stress is cleaning. I don’t clean obsessively as in worrying about dirt, it’s usually more just organization compulsions. The good thing with this compulsion is that it actually relieves my stress when things are tidy and clean. So in some ways, it does help. However, if it gets to be too much to an unhealthy level, then I will try to channel my anxiety in a different way. However, I do feel like this is one of my healthier compulsions.
Something else I also do is scroll endlessly. A lot of times I try to use my phone as a distraction and protection, sometimes scrolling can be such a form of distraction and I usually end up feeling worse. I then compare myself or my life to the life people share on social media and then this compulsion will literally lead me to binge or partake in other compulsions.
Another really bad compulsion I have is skin picking. It is so gross and so damaging. Not only does it end up scarring and leaving my face completely broken out, but it also hurts and then leaves my self confidence beyond low. This is then another trigger for me and as I bet you have already guessed, it leads to another compulsion.
Hopefully this answers some questions about my OCD. OCD is so misrepresented and I always like to share more of my experiences and how this illness impacts me and my daily life. Remember that other people may have different experiences but we need to try to have an open mind about mental health disorders and how they can impact other people differently.
If you guys ever want to know more or submit a topic you want me to write about feel free to send us an email to the address below!
Talk to you soon brain battlers, Gracie <3
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