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What Could This Be? OCD and tic...
emilyluisa15 posted:
Hi, I'm 17 years old and have had OCD since I was a kid. I have experienced many different obsessions including fear of my loved ones being killed, religious ocd, constantly checking, and more recently fear of causing a car accident or running over someone while driving. Among other obsessions.

My question is.... I have now developed a new compulsion. When I am in any situation I will often start to think of something gross or something I just really don't want to think of and to get that thought away I feel that i must tic. example.... Wincing, closing my eyes very tight, shrugging my shoulders, or shaking my head. The problem is it's getting very hard to hide these tics. Tonight I went to a youth group and everyone was sitting in a circle and It took so much energy not to tic yet I ended up ticing anyway and it was really embarrassing 'cause I kept thinking what everyone else must be thinking about me. Please respond to this Im really frustrated.

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An_249242 responded:
Hi Emily,
I am so sorry that you have to deal with such trauma at such a young age. Unfortunately, I too suffer from anxiety/OCD, and let me tell you that it is a constant challenge for me everyday. No particular day is ever the same, however, with each day that GOD gives me this allows for me to face my anxiety/fears/OCD head on- which ironically gives me a source of strength. My encouragement to you is to never give up. Although you may feel out-of-place or even weird around others because of your ticking, let me just tell you that you are just as normal as anyone else.

In order to control my anxiety, sometimes I have to talk myself through a certain situation. Sometimes I write down what I may be doing at that particular time, or sometimes I just simply pray. My point is, whatever you have to do in order to get through your day, then do IT! No one understands you like you understand yourself, so by all means do what's best for you my friend.

I want to tell you that you are not alone. Keep pressing forward because you have a very beautiful life ahead of you. To end your frustrations, I would suggest that you start encouraging others who may be suffering from anxiety, phobias/ OCD as well. Your story is an inspiration for me!! And who cares what anyone thinks anyway!!!!
Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
Tics are often a way many people try to deal with anxiety of some sort and the more you do it, the more intricate it becomes and it doesn't help with decreasing the anxiety.

Usually, the best route for this would be to work with a cognitive psychologist who can help you learn new ways to think about things and even some behavioral techniques to deal with the anxiety and eliminate the tics.

In the meantime, why not look at our Tips column, watch the relaxation breathing video and use the technique frequently throughout the day.

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