"Impending Disasters" Associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

March 27, 2018   •  Posted in: 

Sometimes people will take their feelings of dread and impending disaster and concentrate it into a single area of concern. 

Pamela was terrified of germs, of unclean things harming her body and making her sick.  It was not unusual for Pamela to wash her hands twenty times a day.  Public restrooms, stair railings, door handles, telephones, and computer keyboards all presented huge challenges to be hurtled.  She kept antibacterial liquid and wipes in her purse at all times.  Her day at work could not start until she’d thoroughly disinfected all her personal surfaces. 

Because crowds were a potential threat of airborne illness, she scrupulously avoided them.  She never ate a leftover or took food home from a restaurant.  Any cooking was done with great suspicion and extensive precautions against salmonella or other contaminants.  She never ate a raw egg or raw fish.  Pamela’s health was her treasure, and she scrupulously worked to protect it against any and all attacks.  Pamela had taken her anxiety of sickness and death and laser-focused it into an OCD — obsessive-compulsive disorder. 

The first part of OCD is similar to Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), in that there is an obsessive focus on the negative, a mental barrage of persistent thoughts of potential disaster.  Because of the anxiety generated by this thought pattern, a person then develops elaborate rituals and behaviors in order to control the fear.  Pamela was concerned about her health and developed compulsivity around hand-washing and avoidance of germs.  However, the rituals associated with OCD are varied and can include things like having to go back to your house multiple times to make sure all the appliances are off, or never walking on a crack in a sidewalk. 

Some people develop a need to count, to find numerical patterns in their surroundings.  These compulsions provide a temporary relief from anxiety but are extremely disruptive to your life.  Some people who suffer from OCD have unwanted, recurrent thoughts of harming loved ones or engaging in acts the person considers perverted or religiously unacceptable.  To me, OCD is anxiety distilled, a potent onslaught of negative thoughts coupled with crippling ritual, disrupting a person’s ability to function. 

Are you or a loved one struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety?  To help you identify your patterns of worry and what activities or thoughts they are most associated with, consider writing down the answers to this list of questions

Authored by Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE and author of 37 books. Pioneering whole-person care nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Jantz has dedicated his life’s work to creating possibilities for others, and helping people change their lives for good. The Center • A Place of HOPE, located on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, creates individualized programs to treat behavioral and mental health issues, including eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety and others.

Dr. Gregory Jantz

Pioneering Whole Person Care over thirty years ago, Dr. Gregory Jantz is an innovator in the treatment of mental health. He is a best-selling author of over 45 books, and a go-to media authority on behavioral health afflictions, appearing on CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, and CNN. Dr. Jantz leads a team of world-class, licensed, and...

Read More

Related Posts

Anxiety Increases in the Spring?

By: Dr. Gregory Jantz  •  April 12, 2019

It’s springtime. The weather has turned and the sense of renewal is in the air. Beautiful flowers, tree buds, mowed lawns all signal the rejuvenation of flora and fawna. You may be experiencing the sensation of renewal as well. Longer days mean more outdoor activities, more engagement with others, and...

What is Climate Change Anxiety, and How Does it Impact Mental Health?

By: Dr. Gregory Jantz  •  December 15, 2023

There’s a new phenomenon in the mental health world called climate anxiety, also called eco-anxiety. Just like it sounds, climate anxiety causes someone to develop severe anxiety surrounding climate change and the future of planet Earth. Although climate anxiety has many symptoms in common with other mental health conditions like...

Open the Door to Your Problems

By: Dr. Gregory Jantz  •  February 12, 2018

It is so important, as you work toward taking charge of your life, that you begin to insist on dealing with reality instead of perception.  As I've counseled people, I've been amazed at how deceptive people can be to one another.  But the person you and I are best at...

Get Started Now

"*" indicates required fields

By providing your phone number, you consent to receive calls or texts from us regarding your inquiry.
Main Concerns*
By submitting this form, I agree to receive marketing text messages from aplaceofhope.com at the phone number provided. Message frequency may vary, and message/data rates may apply. You can reply STOP to any message to opt out. Read our Privacy Policy
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Whole Person Care

The whole person approach to treatment integrates all aspects of a person’s life:

  • Emotional well-being
  • Physical health
  • Spiritual peace
  • Relational happiness
  • Intellectual growth
  • Nutritional vitality