OCD and Crime

by c. guoy at
Man arrested after Jo Cox shooting is 'obsessive compulsive who rubbed own skin with Brillo pads' relative claims.

The above statement is a  recent headline from the Daily Mirror, a British newspaper. The story goes on to discuss the eccentricities of the man arrested for the recent horrific killing of Jo Cox, a Member of Parliament.

Talk about misleading. While it certainly is possible this man has obsessive-compulsive disorder (untreated), those with OCD are no more likely to commit crimes than the general population.

The headline might just have well have said, "Killer has brown eyes." It's just not relevant to the crime. Those with OCD who have obsessions of harming others live with the torment of these thoughts because they are so repulsed and frightened by them. Compulsions are created as a way to make sure these acts are not carried out. Those with OCD who have obsessions about hurting others with a knife, for example, will hide all the knives in their home or not go near the kitchen. They do not act on their obsessions. They WILL NOT take a knife and hurt someone, at least not because they have OCD.

Coping Strategies

You’re Beating OCD – Now What?

For many people, the journey through obsessive-compulsive disorder and back to good health is a long one. Getting the correct diagnosis, or even just recognizing you have OCD, often takes years. Then comes the search for appropriate treatment, followed by a long-term commitment to therapy and hard work. We know recovery is possible, but it is rarely a "quick fix."

I try to imagine what it must feel like, after being controlled by OCD for so long, to finally have your life back? Relief. Gratitude. Excitement!

Coping Strategies

OCD and Alcohol

by pong

As many of us already know, obsessive-compulsive disorder is a disease of doubt, fueled by uncertainty. But in some ways, certain aspects of OCD can also be viewed as an addiction. In this post, I talk about Jon Hershfield's description of reassurance-seeking behaviors:

If reassurance were a substance, it would be considered right up there with crack cocaine. One is never enough, a few makes you want...


OCD and Sensitivity

As most of us know, obsessive-compulsive disorder is comprised of obsessions, (thoughts, images or impulses that recur and feel outside of the person’s control), and compulsions (repetitive behaviors or thoughts engaged in with the intention of negating obsessions). What many people don't realize, however, is that the thoughts that become obsessions in those with OCD are typically no different from the thoughts that most of us experience.

Coping Strategies

OCD and Illness

As most of us already know, there are many things we can do to keep ourselves healthy. We can eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. We can nurture our positive relationships and move on from our negative ones. We can practice mindfulness, gratitude, and stress-reduction techniques. We can do yoga. We can help others. The list goes on and on.

Coping Strategies

OCD and Support for Caregivers

As many of you know, I've written a book about my son's journey through severe OCD. As a result, I've had speaking engagements and interviews where I've enjoyed meeting people and discussing different aspects of the book. One comment I get a lot focuses on how lucky I was to have a supportive husband throughout our ordeal. We were truly "on the same page" and worked together as a team to help our son as best we could. We'd bounce ideas off each other and collaborate on each decision that had to be made.

And it was still so difficult.

Coping Strategies

Why Is It So Difficult To Fight OCD?

I've previously written about recovery avoidance in reference to obsessive-compulsive disorder, where those who have OCD refuse to embrace proper treatment and fight their disorder. In general, recovery avoidance is attributed to two things: fear and incentive. All things being equal, a person will not seek recovery unless the incentive to get better is stronger than the fear of getting better. Those who are familiar with exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy know that the thought of engaging in this treatment can be terrifying to people with obsessive-compulsive disorder; they are being asked to face their worst fears and refrain from completing compulsions that they believe, on some level, keep their world "safe."

For those of us without OCD, this is often difficult to understand. While many of us can relate to experiences where we have had to face our fears, dealing with OCD seems to take "facing our fears" to another level.

Why is this?

Coping Strategies

Confessions and OCD

I've previously written about my son Dan's need to apologize. This need was in fact a compulsion - a roundabout way of seeking reassurance. It worked for a long time, until I finally realized I was enabling him by telling him he had nothing to apologize for. OCD sure can be tricky!

Another compulsion that is not uncommon in those with obsessive-compulsive disorder is the need to confess. If your OCD involves harming obsessions, you might confess these thoughts to your sister, who has asked you to babysit your niece and nephew. Maybe she shouldn't leave her children alone with you? If you had a tickle in your throat while buying cookies at a bakery for said niece and nephew, you might confess that maybe you were sick and you might have possibly touched the cookies, and so maybe the children shouldn't eat the possibly contaminated cookies.