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Treating obsessive-compulsive disorder: Meditation can help

Treating obsessive-compulsive disorder: Meditation can help

There is no single approach to dealing with obsessive-compulsive disorder.OCD), but many people find relief through meditation.

If you haven’t tried meditation to help you manage your obsessive thoughts and actions, this is a good time to learn the basic techniques. Even if meditation thousands of years ago, it has recently been undergoing a major overhaul thanks to popular apps like Headspace and Calm.

Comprehensive treatment is recommended by medical professionals, performed by meditation experts, and praised by people with OCD.

Dorothy Grice, MD, Director of the TIC, OCD and Related Disorders Program psychiatry The Icahn School of Medicine on Mount Sinai believes that meditation (along with other therapies and / or medications) can be an effective way to manage OCD thoughts or needs and the stress that arises with them.

In fact, meditation is said to help relax and facilitate stress, among other benefits.

Transcendental Meditation

Adam Delfiner began to have symptoms of OCD at a young age. He says Transcendental Meditation (TM) It has helped him overcome what he calls “What Ifs”. He also wrote a thesis on the subject.


This particular type of meditation is practiced twice a day when the mantra is repeated. Mantras are meaningless words. Kelly McKay, a professor of Transcendental Meditation in Brooklyn, NY, says they exist to focus on a “silent, stable, and silent kingdom”.

As a TM meditator, you are allowed to concentrate on nothing. McKay says the practice is moving your brain from tension to a state of relaxation.

Mindful Meditation

Unlike Transcendental Meditation, mindfulness meditation practices do not require mantras, you can use them if you wish. You can sit, lying down or walking, standing or walking.

Carla Stangenberg has been meditating for more than 20 years and leading students to the meditation mat at the Jaya Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY. He describes meditation as a “mental workout”.

It’s all about anchoring your attention to something, he says. Focused breathing and using it as an anchor, you can turn your attention to the present.

Although Stangenberg mostly practices Buddhist root meditation, he has tried other types and believes that everyone can help. Reflecting meditative meditation serves to calm and calm the busy head. This attracts Stangenberg because when he feels stress or anxiety he turns to breathing through meditation.


The calming or centering effects of meditation work for Laura Fortune. When Fortun was diagnosed at the age of 12, Fortun says he experiences OCD “as something in a disconnect or gap”.

He says that emptiness separates his “earth, center, body, breath, self, inner witness,” but meditation focuses again.

It is known as the anchor. Whether or not you are always there is what you think is taken for granted worrying about a friend or relative or about feeling the urge to tell things over and over again. He pays attention to your breath, mantra, or images through guided meditation. When you focus on something else, you will be able to encourage obsessive thoughts and compulsive tendencies.

Instead of worrying about locking the door, you can focus on your breathing. Where do you feel? In your stomach? Chest? Your throat?

Jon Hershfield, a marriage and family therapist who specializes in treating OCD and related disorders, explains the process: Being able to recognize when you are lost in thought and return to the present without having to participate can help break and force the obsession cycle.


Hershfield has written two books on mindfulness – OCD’s Mindfulness Workbook and OCD daily care, says practice can help relieve OCD symptoms.

It also emphasizes the importance of the anchor. Pay attention to your breathing and notice when your head changes, he says. Then return to the anchor – the sensation of breathing.

Over time, he says, you will be better able to get your attention back when you are activated.

Part of the Treatment Plan

Meditation and other activities that promote a sense of well-being and tranquility can help manage OCD symptoms. But doctors and therapists say they are only a part of treating the disease.

Hershfield loves the ability of meditation to wrap itself in scary narratives and turn your attention back to the present. It can reinforce the effects of other treatments, such as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), which helps you know or change bad thought patterns and recognize and change exposure and response therapy (ERP) when you acknowledge thoughts that disturb you without responding to them.


Gric also believes in the use of CBT and ERP along with other activities that can promote a positive sense of health, relaxation and well-being. The key is to find a “positive sense of commitment”.

Meditation is one such activity. And anyone can do it.

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