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Three Treatment Issues when you have OCD and Social Anxiety

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Janine is a 38-year-old married woman with two young children. She obsesses continuously about whether her house is neat and clean enough. She frequently stays up until three in the morning scrubbing and straightening. In addition, Janine is socially anxious and has few friends. She worries about what other people think of her and is terribly afraid of rejection. Some of her neighbors get together with their children to play in a nearby park or each other’s homes, but Janine never joins them.
You may easily recognize that Janine has obsessive-compulsive disorder* (OCD). What you may not recognize is that she also has social anxiety disorder. Janine is not alone; researchers estimate that 24% of individuals diagnosed with OCD receive an additional diagnosis of social anxiety disorder (1). In fact, this study found that social anxiety disorder is the most common additional anxiety disorder diagnosis made for those individuals with OCD.
Having both of these anxiety disorders together can make your recovery more difficult. In this article, we will describe social anxiety disorder, explain how it can complicate treatment, and call your attention to three key issues in dealing with the combination of OCD and social anxiety…
Social anxiety disorder is characterized by a persistent fear of criticism or negative evaluation from others. It is essentially a fear of disapproval…
A mental health professional who specializes with anxiety disorders should be able to help you assess whether or not you have social anxiety disorder in addition to OCD…
One way to do this is to trace the path of your irrational thoughts. If the path leads to a fear of rejection, of social isolation, of judgment by others, or of ostracism that is not based in the reality of the situation, then some degree of social evaluative anxiety is present. Depending on the extent that this anxiety influences your behavior, it may be social anxiety disorder.
Tracing the path of the irrational thoughts refers to a process in which you ask yourself, or a therapist asks you, "What would happen then?" in response to the report of fear. For example, if an individual with OCD states, "I am afraid of being contaminated," the interviewer then asks, "What would happen then?"
You may wonder why diagnosing and addressing social anxiety is important to your treatment. Why can’t the treatment of OCD and social anxiety be separate processes? In our experience, social anxiety appears to interact with OCD in a manner that necessitates attention to both disorders simultaneously.
One way that this interaction occurs is that obsessions and compulsions may protect the individual from more threatening social fears. As unpleasant and frustrating as the obsessions and compulsions may be, having to face a high anxiety-producing social situation may be even worse.
For example, a woman with these two disorders may be invited to attend a social function. Even though she may want to attend, she is very fearful of the situation and the potential for rejection. Her obsessions about the fear of harming someone cause her to avoid the situation, and thus, protect her from experiencing the social anxiety.
You may wonder if OCD causes the social fears and isolation because of the bizarreness of the behavior and the concern about what others may think. Perhaps if the OCD is treated, the social fears and isolation will disappear. While this may be the case in some situations, research shows that social anxiety disorder tends to develop, on average, at an earlier age than OCD. Additionally, most of the people we have treated report that their social fears occurred prior to the development of OCD. This corroborates our opinion that the obsessions and compulsions may develop in response to social evaluative anxiety.
It appears that the most severe cases of OCD are in combination with social anxiety disorder. We have observed that the severity of the OCD appears to increase with the degree of perfectionism. For those with the combination of these two disorders, the perfectionism tends to be overvalued. In other words, the individual accepts the perfectionistic beliefs as normal and rational. For example, as described above, the woman with social anxiety disorder may believe that she truly will be rejected by others if she isn’t perfect…

If you think you may have social anxiety disorder in addition to OCD, be sure and bring this issue up with your mental health professional. There’s every reason to believe that with careful attention to these treatment issues outlined that you can not only recover from your OCD, but from your social fears, as well.

Brought to you by Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KERRYG155 7/10/2014 7:04PM

    Good info. It's not surprising that one thing can lead to another. Hopefully a person can get it stopped before it leads to more

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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/10/2014 11:01AM

    Great info!

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NYARAMULA 7/10/2014 1:49AM

    Thanks for sharing.

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ZRIE014 7/10/2014 1:19AM

  great emoticon

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TODDERICKV 7/10/2014 1:16AM

    Good post.

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PRAIRIECROCUS 7/10/2014 1:14AM

    emoticon for posting !

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Have you had a chance to determine where you are…?

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

“Schizoaffective Disorder
Difficult to define and difficult to diagnose, schizoaffective disorder combines elements of a mood disorder with those of schizophrenia.

What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder characterized by delusions, hallucinations, incoherence and physical agitation. It shares symptoms with bipolar disorder.

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder characterized by delusions, hallucinations, incoherence and physical agitation; it is classified as a "thought" disorder while Bipolar Disorder is a "mood" disorder.

It is estimated that 1 percent of the world's population has schizophrenia. While there is evidence that genetic factors have a role in developing schizophrenia, other unknown causes play a significant part as well.

While bipolar I disorder may include psychotic features, schizophrenia cannot include mood swings. schizoaffective disorder bridges the gap between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.””

“Lupus & Bipolar Disorder: Is There a Relationship?
Problems caused in the nervous system by systemic lupus erythematosus (aka Lupus and SLE) include mood disorder and psychosis, which lead to the question of a link between lupus and bipolar disorder.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (aka Lupus and SLE) is an autoimmune disorder that can cause chronic disease throughout the human body. The exact mechanism which causes the disease is unknown, but as the immune system turns against its own body, all of the major organs such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys are affected. The musculoskeletal, circulatory, integumentary and nervous systems also develop dysfunction. (A.D.A.M. offers more information about this disease.)
It is the problems caused in the nervous system that lead to the question of a link between lupus and bipolar disorder. Dr. John Hanly (2004) writes, “Involvement of the nervous system by systemic lupus erythematosus is one of the most profound manifestations of the disease and encompasses a wide variety of neurologic and psychiatric features.” Of the array of neurologic features, it is the diffuse symptoms in the central nervous system that most closely resemble bipolar disorder:
• Anxiety
• Cognitive Dysfunction
• Mood Disorder
• Psychosis
...Perantie and Brown (2002) write, “The role of the immune system in psychiatric symptoms has been an area of much interest for years … Medical illnesses including HIV infection, systemic lupus erythematosus, and Cushing’s disease are all associated with psychiatric symptoms. In addition, high dosages of prescription corticosteroids (ef, prednisone and dexamethasone) are associated with mood changes, cognitive deficits, and even psychosis. However, the role of the immune system in mediating the psychiatric disturbances with each of these conditions is not clear.””

Brought to you by Multiple Mental Disorders

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KERRYG155 7/9/2014 9:54PM

    I definitely agree that med or drugs can do a lot to mess with the body and mental health of anyone. They are not always our friend.

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    Great refresher for me. Thanks for posting it.

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Where are you…?

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Mental issues are a major part of why people are not able to achieve their goals. Mental issues are not a new concept; however, it is not tangible so it is difficult to measure the amount of one mental [issue to another] to another. What happens with you when you have…?
“Sudden, uncontrollable crying, and sometimes laughing, characterize a little-known illness called PBA, pseudobulbar affect. A majority of patients with these and other symptoms are misdiagnosed with depression and, less often, bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses. Here is information on PBA and why it is confused with mental disorders…
Pseudobulbar affect is a condition that occurs due to other neurologic conditions, and may occur in patients with amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease), multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. Traumatic brain injury via accident or stroke may cause PBA to appear as well. Sometimes PBA symptoms uncover a hidden brain injury.
Although the illness was described over a century ago, it continues to be misdiagnosed with great frequency. Part of the reason is that it can cause depression, as well as lead to other symptoms associated with both depression and bipolar illness. In addition, people with the illnesses PBA is associated with, such as multiple sclerosis, often also have depression or bipolar symptoms. And finally, treatments for mood disorders generally do have some effect in reducing the symptoms of PBA, though frequently not enough to allow the patient to feel normal again.
Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis?
Some reliable tests for PBA have been developed, and more are in the works. Because so many people are misdiagnosed as having depression, bipolar, or other illnesses such as anxiety disorders or even schizophrenia, it's impossible to know how many people in the U.S. actually have pseudobulbar affect. Estimates put the number of patients with PBA between one and two million. With time and education, more people will be identified as having PBA and have access to proper treatment.”

Most often if you are able to get a proper diagnosis and treatment you will see a difference in the rest of your life and your life pursuits. However, the thing about getting proper treatment and diagnosis is that the patient has the responsibility to total describe their symptoms fully and completely.

Brought to you by Multiple Mental Disorders

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KERRYG155 7/9/2014 9:52PM

    I have to say that a correct diagnosis is sometimes hard to come by for all kinds of things though anything with mental health would be even worse.

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Getting Back on Track

Saturday, July 05, 2014

We have all taken time off from our exercising with the intent of getting back on track in a few days. After a while we realize that a great deal of time has passed. Now, you don’t feel so back about missing the exercises. What should we do?
“Most of us feel guilty when we've gotten off track with our workouts and maybe we're even afraid to get our bodies moving again. As a result, we often keep putting it off until we're so far away from regular exercise, getting back in shape seems impossible. But no matter how long it's been since you've exercised, putting it off isn't going to make it any easier. You're better off facing where you are and starting from there…
1. Admit where you went wrong. Take some time to think about what happened to throw you off track and what you might have done to prevent it, if possible.
2. Stop kicking yourself. Guilt, when taken too far, can sometimes keep you from getting back to your healthy habits (e.g., I'm such a loser and I obviously can't stick with a program, so why bother?). Give yourself a time limit (say 20 minutes) for feeling guilty. When time's up, put it aside and move on.
3. Figure out your weak areas. Now that you're trying to get back into exercise, you know how hard it is once you've gotten off track. Now is a good time to look back at common situations that tend to throw you off and notice any patterns. Do you ditch your workouts every time you leave town or have to work late a few nights in a row? Becoming aware of your weak areas and planning for them can help you stay on track, which is your next step.
The only real difference between successful exercisers and those who quit is that successful exercisers are adaptable. They know things will happen in life to interrupt their schedules and they plan for it.
1. Know Your Schedule.
2. Plan your workout.
3. Be prepared…
Of course, you can't plan for everything. You could catch a nasty cold or have to deal with your kid's illnesses or any number of unexpected interruptions. Sometimes you really can't exercise and, if that's the case, make a promise to start some kind of activity (even if it's just stretching or a little walking) as soon as you can…
Getting back to your routine doesn't necessarily mean jumping right back into the same program you were following before. The biggest mistake many of us make when getting back to exercise is overdoing it...or what I call the Guilt Response. When we get off track, our first response is often to jump back in and do twice as much work to make up for what we missed. But, there are a number of problems with that response:
• Loss of strength and endurance. If you've been off exercise for more than 2-3 weeks, you've lost some of that strength and endurance you once had. As a result, your body won't be capable of doing the same level of training you were doing before.
• Injuries and DOMS. Going full-speed with your workouts from the start means you'll be experiencing plenty of muscle soreness (DOMS) and if you keep trying to workout when you're very sore, you run the risk of injuring yourself.
• Dreading your workouts. If you do too much too soon and you're sore, tired and fatigued, you may start to dread your workouts and that's not the attitude you want when trying to get back on track…”

Brought to you by ExerciseForYourLife

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNSHINE5268 7/8/2014 2:16PM

    WOWWWWWWWWWW, YOU are amazing!!!!!! you are simply amazing and INspirational!!!! emoticon

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SAPHRAEL 7/8/2014 10:18AM

    I am so glad to be ON track!
emoticon emoticon

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JULIA_211 7/7/2014 7:13AM

    Excellent advice! Thank you!

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    Great blog!

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    Great advice!

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KERRYG155 7/5/2014 3:08PM

    It is so easy to take that break and often so very hard to get back. I plan on getting back to the pool in a week or so but it will be for short periods of walking so I can build strength in this new hip/leg. Hopefully I can get my daughter there to help me-I'm thinking getting out of the pool could be difficult.

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Computer Warning!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Last week I lost 3 days on my computer because DASH LANE had planted itself in other applications. It took to specialists to find and delete it. They say they will remember your ids and your passwords so that you will always be able to access to that you have problems remembering.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIA_211 7/3/2014 11:40AM

    Thanks so much for this info! I'm so sorry for your computer trouble! emoticon

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BMCOLLEY 7/2/2014 10:20PM

    I just got off the phone with the technicians. That program was still in my computer. I hope this is the last time because they keep you on the phone forever.

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KERRYG155 7/2/2014 9:04PM

    Sounds awful. Glad they found it.

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    Sounds like a mess. Thanks for the warning!

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