OCD

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Rick
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OCD

Post by Rick » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:19 pm

Any OCDers out there?

I've been obsessive my whole life, but the obsessive-compulsive thing kicked in about three decades ago.

I'm pretty sure 30 years of OCD (sometimes active, sometimes dormant, but always there) has changed the structure and functionality of my little gray cells. This includes the quality of my 'spiritual journey.'

I'm not interested in advice or (God forbid!) diagnosis (been there, had that!) ... rather in comparing notes with other OCDers, specifically in terms of how it affects your dharma study, meditation, etc.

If you're not comfortable sharing on a public forum (it took me a long time before I 'came out') and you wanna talk, pm me. :thumbsup:
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Minobu
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Re: OCD

Post by Minobu » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:34 am

Rick wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:19 pm
Any OCDers out there?

I've been obsessive my whole life, but the obsessive-compulsive thing kicked in about three decades ago.

I'm pretty sure 30 years of OCD (sometimes active, sometimes dormant, but always there) has changed the structure and functionality of my little gray cells. This includes the quality of my 'spiritual journey.'

I'm not interested in advice or (God forbid!) diagnosis (been there, had that!) ... rather in comparing notes with other OCDers, specifically in terms of how it affects your dharma study, meditation, etc.

If you're not comfortable sharing on a public forum (it took me a long time before I 'came out') and you wanna talk, pm me. :thumbsup:
When mixing it with sunyata / emptiness understanding...it's a huge aid.

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Rick
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Re: OCD

Post by Rick » Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:27 pm

Clarify?
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Minobu
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Re: OCD

Post by Minobu » Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:48 pm

Rick wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:27 pm
Clarify?
When we understand the actual nature of this world we dwell in , through the lense and teachings of Lord Nagarjuna's , Sunyata, even ocd can be put to use in Dharma .

It's part of me...i have ocd...but i know that it's not really all that i am...even though OCD fixates and fixates in most of what i do. It's not really real..and then again it is...So the effects of it become less a concern and the reality of it allows me to watch and observe something that is not really real and yet is real....it's a gift...something to play with in my mind....it's like one of the ultimate human delusions...being aware of it in this way i get a glimpse into all that is false about my makeup as a human incarnation...Dharma teaches that I am Buddha..this is a mere affliction..but it is so close to my being and everyday activity ....a chink in the armour of "MY" Buddhahood...

sorry but i can only point to something...can't do much more....

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: OCD

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:31 pm

Rick wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:19 pm
Any OCDers out there?

I've been obsessive my whole life, but the obsessive-compulsive thing kicked in about three decades ago.

I'm pretty sure 30 years of OCD (sometimes active, sometimes dormant, but always there) has changed the structure and functionality of my little gray cells. This includes the quality of my 'spiritual journey.'

I'm not interested in advice or (God forbid!) diagnosis (been there, had that!) ... rather in comparing notes with other OCDers, specifically in terms of how it affects your dharma study, meditation, etc.

If you're not comfortable sharing on a public forum (it took me a long time before I 'came out') and you wanna talk, pm me. :thumbsup:

I don't know if I'm diagnosed or not, I think I am probably am at one time or another, but "traditional" treatment for it is not something I do anymore, nor do I want to. I have mainly the internal component- severe obsessive thinking and rumination, combined with some internal "ritual" to deal with it, and the occasional external manifestation - checking doors, etc.

I would say it affects Dharma positively in some ways, because it is so natural for me to have these hyper-repeating thought patterns and resultant emotions, as I've kind of "softened" them over the years, I've learned to take that same proclivity and apply to things like having mantra going in my head at all times etc.

I also feel like my general obsessive thinking has made aspects of Vipaysana much easier than I think they would be otherwise. In a way, anyone who has had obsessive thoughts and severe emotions has been confronted with them in a way that makes it easier to view them with some clarity, providing you can establish stable enough concentration, which is sometimes a challenge. For me in terms of meditative practice, concentration is the greatest challenge.

It's just a disposition, not an "illness" is how I look at it now, and in some ways it's actually quite a good disposition for Dharma. Like I said, for me concentration is the most difficult aspect.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

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Rick
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Re: OCD

Post by Rick » Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:41 pm

Minobu wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:48 pm
When we understand the actual nature of this world we dwell in , through the lense and teachings of Lord Nagarjuna's , Sunyata, even ocd can be put to use in Dharma .
That's an interesting and creative approach to having OCD. To view it as a blessing, a living (24/7-ish) manifestation of affliction and of emptiness.

I mostly just ignore my OCD symptoms, though sometimes I think about what OCD has done to my brain/mind over the years.

For example, 'by nature' my mind gravitates towards two main states:

1. Being engaged with something (composing a piece of music, watching a tv show, writing an email, having a conversation, teaching, etc.).

2. Falling into a zombie hypnagogic trance-like state that often slides into sleep.

In other words, my mind seems to want to be fully ON or fully OFF. It resists (or perhaps doesn't 'get') the meditative state of being alert but not engaged/attached.

Now this might be just plain human. But I suspect it might have something to do with 30+ years of obsessive-compulsive thought. Obsession = ON (stuck in a thought loop), compulsive rituals turn this OFF. On/off, on/off, on/off ... after a while it creates a deeply entrenched pattern.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Rick
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Re: OCD

Post by Rick » Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:50 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:31 pm
... but "traditional" treatment for it is not something I do anymore, nor do I want to.
Same here. I tried CBT exposure therapy. Hated it, and it didn't help. The only drug that ever helped was Prozac at a high dosage ... but it made me so anxious that it kind of defeated the point! I've grown to pretty much fully accept my OCD ... which might be good, and might not be so good since some of its effects can be deceptively insidious.
Like I said, for me concentration is the most difficult aspect.
I'm interested to hear your response to what I wrote above about the On/Off cycle and zombies.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: OCD

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:28 pm

Lama Zopa Rinpoche has written beautifully on such conditions.
I don't have OCD but rather depression. I hope his input below, which I've found helpful, can be beneficial here as well.
When we have depression, we can also think about the numberless other sentient beings who have depression, and we can think, “As I've been praying, I have received all sentient beings' suffering, particularly depression. I have received it within me and I am experiencing this depression on behalf of all other sentient beings.” Think the depression that we are experiencing is not our depression, but the depression of all sentient beings.

This is extremely beneficial, because we are utilizing the depression as a path to achieving full enlightenment. We are making the depression a medicine and we are using the depression as a path to enlightenment. Depression becomes the means, like tantric practice, to purify many eons of negative karma and to accumulate infinite merit, to achieve enlightenment more quickly. The experience of depression becomes extremely beneficial and useful for the happiness of all sentient beings. So that means, naturally, we are using our depression to achieve the best happiness for ourselves, the highest enlightenment.

...

This negative karma and negative intention happened due to the ego, the self-centered mind. Therefore, this depression and harm is given to us by the ego. When we know who caused the depression, then without delaying even a second, we can immediately return the depression back to the ego and destroy it. Let the ego have it! Rather than taking the depression on ourselves, we just give it back and destroy the ego. In this way, we use the depression to destroy the ego. If we are able to destroy the ego, if there is no ego—no self-centered substantive mind— it means we have bodhicitta, cherishing other sentient beings. This is how we use depression to develop bodhicitta, the door of the Mahayana path to enlightenment, to be able to liberate all sentient beings from all their suffering and lead them to enlightenment. So, the benefits are infinite.

The other technique for depression is to reflect on the buddha nature in our mental continuum. We have the potential to actualize the whole path to enlightenment—all the realizations, all the infinite qualities of Buddha's holy body, holy speech and holy mind. All the potential is there. We just need to purify our minds so that all the realizations, all the qualities of Buddha manifest and come out. Reflecting on buddha nature is another extremely beneficial remedy for depression, depending on what type of depression we experience.
source
Amitābha Buddha!

The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have unobstructed vision in all directions. Everything is in their presence; and I stand in front of them. -- Shantideva

Free Pure Land Buddhism resources

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: OCD

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:40 pm

Rick wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:50 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:31 pm
... but "traditional" treatment for it is not something I do anymore, nor do I want to.
Same here. I tried CBT exposure therapy. Hated it, and it didn't help. The only drug that ever helped was Prozac at a high dosage ... but it made me so anxious that it kind of defeated the point! I've grown to pretty much fully accept my OCD ... which might be good, and might not be so good since some of its effects can be deceptively insidious.
Like I said, for me concentration is the most difficult aspect.
I'm interested to hear your response to what I wrote above about the On/Off cycle and zombies.
I have much the same experience, I also have ADHD-type symptoms though, and that comes into play. I was medicated for those for years, once I decided to completely stop with pharmaceutical medications it took some real effort to get myself out of the "zombie" phases, meditation has done wonders in that department, as have a couple supplements.

The most helpful thing for my obsessive thinking that came from an actual therapy source is this guy:

http://www.drmartinseif.com

He wrote a book on intrusive and unwanted thoughts that is the *only* Western source I've read so far that was of much use to me with my particular obsessive issues.

None of it is particularly shocking to a Buddhist - don't resist thoughts, don;t try to make them go away etc...but there are unfortunately only a few schools of thought in modern treatment that seem to pay much mind to the importance of not resisting.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

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Rick
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Re: OCD

Post by Rick » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:54 pm

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:28 pm
Lama Zopa Rinpoche has written beautifully on such conditions.
Thanks, Monlam. I'm no stranger to depression, it tends to be a part of the OCD process.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Rick
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Re: OCD

Post by Rick » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:56 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:40 pm
The most helpful thing for my obsessive thinking that came from an actual therapy source is this guy:

http://www.drmartinseif.com
Thanks, JD.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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