Contd from previous issue
At times, the student used to get stuck with some word which are violent like death, rape, brutal etc. and she has to either cut those word repeatedly and replace it by a softer synonym or completely escape it even though, the answer of the question demand those contents and words. The obsession of the thought plays at the level of mind but repetitive mental compulsion and obsession for long hours of time also cause physical pain to the brain. Now the pain was not only at the level of mind but manifest itself in the physical realm of the brain too which is completely a disastrous experience to the sufferer. The thoughts were extremely irrational to the client that it was like ‘hitting the air’ and she has to prove herself that the air feels no pain until which every other activities of daily life are secondary. Even though there was a rational reason to prove that the thought was wrong, the obsession will stick and remain still, until the thought itself ultimately vanishes or is forgotten by chance. It was a kind of superstition that pops up in the mind that compels us to do both mental and physical rituals at the same time to find a solution for it, without performing which there was always a fear of unknown consequences.
Research has shown that people with Pure O and their incoming thoughts are usually contradictory with their real character or personality. It was out of some chemical imbalance in the brain that compels them to think the way it is and the sufferer knows what they are suffering.
And it is not that people without OCD do not have any bizarre or nonsensical thoughts at times. Studies have revealed that the human brain naturally generates bizarre and inappropriate thoughts and people do have thoughts with common OCD themes like violence, forbidden sexual acts and urges to do inappropriate things in public but the difference is ‘how a person without Pure O respond to those thought’. A person with Pure O treats the thought as if it is real or significant while people without OCD do not respond in a way OCD sufferers do.
How to get rid of it?
Pure O and its incoming thoughts may differ from person to person but one thing to make people strong is by consciously exposing them to things that they are afraid of and that make them uncomfortable.
It is better to clearly understand what the mind is first, than to deal directly with the problem. The mind is a very subtle entity which is very difficult to define but can be known by the function it performs. The sufferer should accept and convince herself first that the mind waves or thoughts are not herself but something which is ‘out there’ objectively different from the first person subjective experience. And this is the biggest Guru mantra for dealing with Pure O. If the sufferer is not convinced with this line of thought, he/she will plague with the disorder for a long time. The more one identifies and associates the incoming thought with herself, the more she/he will suffer. It should be noted that, though the mind belonging as part of ourself, can provoke or occur thoughts known or unknown in a way against our conscious will and this is an intrinsic quality and nature of the mind as liquid is for water.
And OCD sufferer should be very careful about what she consumes. We should avoid consuming any stuff that weakens our mind. In a weak state of mind, the OCD monster is at ease to overpower the sufferer. Staying indifferent and fearless to the thought is the key to overcome Pure O. The more one reacts or responds to the thought, the more the monster will find comfort and happiness, augmenting the volume of thoughts. The sufferer should remember that we are feeding the unwanted thought by reacting more and staying afraid of it. One may sometimes get anger and frustrated with the thought, reacting to it with an angry state of mind. But it should be clear that the way out is possible only in a calm state of mind. Responding to the thought, fear of the thought, anger, frustration and going to the dictates of the mind are food for Pure O. If a person is chased by a dog, the dog will chase until the person stops and remove its fear. Likewise the OCD thought will chase the sufferer until he runs from the thoughts out of fear and the cure lies opposite to that. We should not be the slave of our mind but the mind should be our slave. “I am the master of my mind, not the mind, my master”- this thought should be penetrated into our bloods and bones first and with iron will, we should fight the monster. Through repeated practice, staying indifferent and cultivating fearlessness to the unwanted thought, the irrational obsessive thought will diminish its strength day by day, finally overcoming the thoughts. OCD is refer to as one of the severe mental disorder that can last long for 10 to 20 year but if understood properly ‘what the mind is, its working process, nature and function, the sufferer can get rid of it through cultivation of certain behaviour pattern that act against the will of the Pure O thought supported by will power.
And for those who are uncomfortable disclosing psychological disorder out of social stigma, shyness and fear, this is my humble suggestion as Nietzche once said “ So long as people praise you, you can only be sure that you are not on your own true path but on someone else”.
(The writer is a student of social psychology and he can be reached at [email protected]