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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder


Worries, doubts, superstitious beliefs all are common in everyday life. However, when they become so excessive such as hours of hand washing or make no sense at all such as driving around and around the block to check that an accident didn't occur then a diagnosis of OCD is made. In OCD, it is as though the brain gets stuck on a particular thought or urge and just can't let go. People with OCD often say the symptoms feel like a case of mental hiccups that won't go away. OCD is a medical brain disorder that causes problems in information processing. It is not your fault or the result of a "weak" or unstable personality.

Before the arrival of modern medications and cognitive behavior therapy, OCD was generally thought to be untreatable. Most people with OCD continued to suffer, despite years of ineffective psychotherapy..

OCD usually involves having both obsessions and compulsions, though a person with OCD may sometimes have only one or the other.

Common Compulsions:

  • Contamination fears of germs, dirt, etc. - Washing

  • Imagining having harmed self or others repeating

  • Imagining losing control of aggressive urges - Checking

  • Intrusive sexual thoughts or urges - touching

  • Excessive religious or moral doubt - Counting

  • Forbidden thoughts -Ordering/arranging

  • A need to have things "just so" Hoarding or saving

  • A need to tell, ask, confess Praying

OCD symptoms can occur in people of all ages. Not all Obsessive-Compulsive behaviors represent an illness. Some rituals (e.g., bedtime songs, religious practices) are a welcome part of daily life. Normal worries, such as contamination fears, may increase during times of stress, such as when someone in the family is sick or dying. Only when symptoms persist, make no sense, cause much distress, or interfere with functioning do they need clinical attention.

1. Obsessions.
Obsessions are thoughts, images, or impulses that occur over and over again and feel out of your control. The person does not want to have these ideas, finds them disturbing and intrusive, and usually recognizes that they don't really make sense. People with OCD may worry excessively about dirt and germs and be obsessed with the idea that they are contaminated or may contaminate others. Or they may have obsessive fears of having inadvertently harmed someone else (perhaps while pulling the car out of the driveway), even though they usually know this is not realistic.

2. Compulsions.
People with OCD typically try to make their obsessions go away by performing compulsions. Compulsions are acts the person performs over and over again, often according to certain "rules." People with an obsession about contamination may wash constantly to the point that their hands become raw and inflamed. A person may repeatedly check that she has turned off the stove or iron because of an obsessive fear of burning the house down. She may have to count certain objects over and over because of an obsession about losing them..

3. Other features of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
OCD symptoms cause distress, take up a lot of time (more than an hour a day), or significantly interfere with the person's work, social life, or relationships. Most individuals with OCD recognize at some point that their obsessions are coming from within their own minds and are not just excessive worries about real problems, and that the compulsions they perform are excessive or unreasonable.

SHANMUKHI MUDRA

Shan means six and mukha means the mouth. Sanmukha is the name of the six headed god of war, also known as Kartikeya. Mudra means a seal or closing up.

The posture is also called Parangmukhi Mudra (facing inwards), Sambhavi Mudra (Sambhu is a name of Siva, father of Kartikeya. Hence, Sambhava is the progeny of Siva), also as Yoni Mudra. Yoni means the womb, the source. The mudra is so called because the aspirant looks within himself to find the very source of his being.

Technique

  1. Sit in Padmasana. Keep the spine erect and the head level.

  2. Raise the hands to the face. Lift the elbows to the level of ht shoulders; place the thumbs on the ear-holes so as to cut off external sounds. If the thumbs in the ear-hole cause pain, push the tragus (the small prominence at the entrance of the external ear) over the ear-holes and press it with the thumbs.

  3. Close the eyelids, but turn the eyes up. Place the index and middle fingers on the closed lids so that the first two phalanges only press the entire eyeball. Do not, however, press the cornea. Pull the eyelids down with the middle finger. Push the upper part of the eyelids below the eyebrow upwards with the index finger. Gently press the eyes at both the corners.

  4. Equal pressure should be maintained on the ears and the eyes.

  5. With the tips of the ring fingers press both nostrils equally. The nasal passages fare thus narrowed for slow, deep, steady, rhythmic and subtle breathing.

  6. Stay in this position as long as you can, drawing the vision inwards.

Effect: 

The senses are turned inward and the rhythmic breathing calms the mind's wandering. This brings a feeling of inner peace and one hears the divine voice of his self within, 'look here! Look within! Not outside, for the source of all peace is within yourself.' The posture thus prepares the practitioner for the fifth stage of yoga, Pratyahara, where he attempts to free himself from the thralldom of the sense and to prevent them from running after their desires.

Some of the other asanas which also helps in OCD are Sirsasana; Sarvangasana; Paschimottanasana; Uttanasana; Bhastrika; Nadi Sodhana & Suryabhedana Pranayama without retention, Sanmukhi Mudra & Savasana.


This article has been written by Dr. R. Nagarathna, Dean, Division of Yoga & Life-sciences, SVYASA
This article is published online courtesy
www.vyasa.org
and Arogyadhama


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