What appears to be simple stress related troubled thinking or even everyday worried thinking or behaviour is actually far worse than people think and could be OCD which can become worse in time for some sufferers without proper treatment!
More people suffer from OCD symptoms than is known!
The amount of OCD thoughts, compulsions, ritualistic odd behaviours, formations and combinations can possibly run into millions of variations which are as complex and varied in their randomness as the millions of other non OCD healthy thoughts we all have.
The combinations of thought patterns that produce both internal and external OCD behaviour are vast and no two people will be the same, similar yes, but always unique and individual.
The reasons, root causes, influences or triggers are always 100% unique to the sufferer and any one approach in treatment will differ from sufferer to sufferer.
Why do people keep OCD symptoms a secret?
Most people have a vague idea on what OCD is and most people know someone who is a bit OCD-ish.
Do you touch the wet paint when the sign says ‘Do not touch. Wet Paint’ ?
There are more people suffering with hidden OCD symptoms than they will ever admit to the outside world or even to themselves which could possibly be due to a lack of knowledge on what it actually is that they are suffering from or experiencing.
Many non sufferers will say that they don’t know why sufferers or anyone with mental health related issues are so ashamed to reveal that they have some mental health problem or OCD urges/ symptoms and they can’t understand why people conceal their fears and insecurities about others finding out that they have mental, psychological or emotional problems even though they are sane and intelligent.
Here is just one of many examples why people like to keep their issue or symptoms quiet!
Well we do, don’t we? Lest we get picked on – for being weak!
In everyday life-society, people have a position, rank and status, reputation or good name and that keeps it all together for them, whether that be a job position or a leadership position or a hard earned lifestyle which produces a high income.
Some people are at the head of a large organisation or body of people where there may be a mass following with a leader or manager who is expected to have a high level of perceived stability, intelligence and strength on many levels and for some sufferers, the mere revealing of any mental health problems or concerns in this area can be very damaging and destructive in many ways for them.
For some people in high positions of power and control, authority and respect, where large amounts of people look up to them or rely on their daily decision-making, judgements and skills, that the very discovering of any mental health issues could be seen by many less informed or ignorant people as a weakness and a reason to attack, dominate or overthrow them, let alone gossip or titter.
The world is built upon an endless ongoing flow of a lack of knowledge and ignorance, is it not?
Any disclosure of such problems will have consequences which could be either real or imagined. Either way at some stage a few select people will point fingers at the very least and that naturally hurts and scares some.
This is just the tip of the iceberg as to why people fear revealing mental health concerns or symptoms or anything that could be misinterpreted as a weakness.
Imagine now if it came to light that the Government leaders of the UK or US have various mental health problems? The media for a start would be on that in a flash and their leadership positions would be in serious question although there would be many who would be in support of such a release of information into the public domain.
Even Winston Churchill openly admitted that he suffered from a deepest and darkest depression and often fended off thoughts of suicide. BUT, it is when it comes out, when it shouldn’t have, that causes the drama!
There will always be a taboo, a stigma against and toward people with mental health problems even anxiety or OCD related symptoms which people will also judge as irrational and unable to cope which can be sometimes true!
What is the difference between known and secret OCD?
For arguments sake you could divide OCD into two areas.
The first area is OCD traditional which involves internal intrusive thoughts actually leading to an outward physical obsessive, compulsive and ritualistic action such as switching lights on and off, touching and moving items, washing hands or the alignment of objects or extreme cleaning and so on.
The second area of OCD which is in a similar area of intrusive thoughts, doesn’t actually lead to carrying them out physically, but possibly fearing that they may carry them out and this in itself is ritualistic or repetitive and leads to the fear or anxiety that they may do so but often don’t!
This is the area of hidden OCD or secret OCD which is a new and emerging condition. Actually it’s not new, it’s just becoming more known and identified and given new labels and descriptions. Words, words, words!
People are secretly suffering in silence without any understanding or knowledge as to why they think the way they do which ultimately leads to negative feelings which can be distressing, fearful and anxious to name just a few.
Ask any therapist!
Ask any therapist and they’ll tell you that at the top of their list of client symptoms and conditions are anxiety ‘related’ problems and OCD with depression not far off, which are one of the most common.
These do not affect intelligence or the ability to just get on with life as long as they’re mild and maintained.
It has now become better known that millions of people are suffering from hidden OCD, but the true amount will never be known for the above privacy reasons.
Traditional or common OCD will result in an appearing thought which may be a strong intrusion that compels one to act upon it and carry out a related task or an action which could be considered a ritualistic behaviour due to its very obsessive nature or repetitive, irrational activities especially to onlookers.
Hidden OCD sufferers will have similar intrusions which can be anything that produces a sense of anxiety and fear with accompanying anticipation and apprehension over its return, that the thoughts will come back later and lead one to fear that they may cause damage or harm to one-self or others but don’t.
These intrusions produce vigilance or a hyper-vigilance in some sufferers, which is a heightened sense of awareness around the thoughts/ feelings and/or fear that they just had or fear it returning etc.
Obsessive-compulsive-disorder or OCD for short is a disorder that most often causes anxiety in the sufferer and this can be mild, medium or severe/chronic. The disorder includes compulsions and obsessions and can take up many hours of a person’s day.
Hidden OCD which mainly revolves around experiencing an unexpected and intrusive thought and this can be repetitive, re-occurring for short or long periods of time.
These type of thoughts spin around the doing of something either to oneself, to another person who is known or to complete strangers/ members of the public and can also include damaging others property or inanimate objects in one form or another.
Basically speaking, intrusive thoughts appear in the hidden OCD sufferer’s mind which will produce thoughts that lead to a mixture of anticipation, apprehension and anxiety or all combined that they may have to do something bad against their will by the strength of what they are experiencing.
This is a common cycle that the hidden OCD sufferer experiences which can be very brief or long-term and can lead people to self-medicating with alcohol, pharmaceutical medication or drugs or other over compensatory behavioural, practices and even far out interests and hobbies to escape or offset their feared way of thinking.
Hidden OCD or secret OCD thoughts can appear at the speed of light and involve the internal chatter saying ‘knock that pedestrian over’ at the edge of the roadside curb.
In most cases, if not all, the experience of such a thought or of such an intrusion produces a high vigilance and fear that makes one even wearier that they don’t knock that person over or cause harm or damage as the intrusive thoughts imply by their very appearance and accompanying anxiety provoking energy.
The very nature of its appearance suggests that its design or its insistence to intrude carries an inbuilt alarm bell for the sufferer to be more vigilant of such harm or damage occurring, because in most cases there is no wish to cause such harm and damage just a fear that it might occur or be carried out and this cycle relates to all these intrusive thoughts.
This is just one of thousands of examples that produce what appears to be the desired effect, may that be, NEEDING a vigilance, apprehension, anticipation or anxiety in your awareness . . . . in-your-awareness.
There is always most often a following state or awareness that appears once the intrusive thought has been experienced as though it were/is the reason it appeared in the first place.
That state is a state of cautionary awareness. The very nature of its appearance takes that person into a certain frame of mind where alertness to something like harm is now established.
Interesting how it makes THAT happen!
When people in positions of power and authority or even care such as teachers or healthcare workers have unpleasant or even unrepeatable thoughts, this can produce feelings of horror and disbelief that they’re actually feeling or thinking like they are and it can be very distressful.
Often the effects of the intrusive thought lead to other problems and also puts the person in a regular daily state of conflict on how they’re expected to behave or conduct themselves, ethically or morally and brings into question their scruples or self-worth and fear being found out for thinking this way etc.
It is the very state that is required to be there, the initial intrusive thought/s just makes that state appear. It is what lies behind it all that is the real problem.
The hidden OCD which generally remains just intrusive and cyclical does lead to other problems or ill-health especially if they are causing distress and severe upset each day.
Others, although rare can have hidden OCD thoughts and they don’t produce any distress or emotional and psychological upset but they do produce a need to keep repeating and/or reminding oneself of what one is thinking or doing.
Some people have OCD both, internally, secretly or externally and thus show the world that they feel nothing, they just act out the drives or the desires or the compulsions and urges and will plod happily along in life however most OCD sufferers are not happy and are just generally suffering from mild to severe OCD.
Do I have it?
Obsessive compulsive disorder is always accompanied by anxiety in one form or another. OCD is an anxiety disorder that is characterised by compulsions and obsessions, ritualistic and repetitive in nature.
These behaviours usually follow intrusive, unwanted and sometimes threatening obsessional thoughts, overwhelming in some cases and grow stronger over time.
Engaging and interacting with these thoughts both internally or externally often produces a reduction or alleviation temporarily until they return later which can be minutes or hours and in some cases just days but for the majority of sufferers it is on and off throughout every day and it never stops and can ultimately lead some sufferers to crash to their knees in tears or worse.
The overall theme is to produce vigilance or a hyper super vigilance around or about an inaccurate sense of danger that is not there for others.
The unconscious mind that produces the intrusions believes you have a need to produce and experience that state that you enter into and create.
There are many forms of OCD which can spin around the whole spectrum of human emotions from guilt, shame, harming oneself or others deliberately or accidentally or even fearing that they may spout out a secret and will be unable to stop themselves with an overall sense of losing control, therefore the external OCD expressions or tasks release or alleviate the pressure for want of description.
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