Don’t Sneeze and Drive

Last year, when I first found out that the official label for what I experience is OCD, I did as much research as possible on the topic. Know your enemy, right? I came across a post by Robert Leahy, PhD called How Do Obsessive Compulsive People Think?, which is  a nice read in and of itself, but within that article he includes this link to a diagram from his book  Anxiety Free: Unravel Your Fears Before They Unravel You, which depicts the thought process from trigger to behavior and all the twisted paths in between.

I “unraveled” this morning and evening , and turned a 15 minute commute into a 45 minute one (twice) thanks to having some OCD episodes around driving. For some reason, I just wanted, instead of being angry at myself for that, to just sit and think about what happened, filling out Dr.Leahy’s diagram as my guide. I drew, made colorful, and personalized Dr.Leahy’s diagram, making it fit my experience this morning. Taking time to break it down makes it a bit less, scary, don’t you think? I suppose the colorful Sharpies helped too. And whoops, I forgot the arrow from Negative Evaluation to Though-Action Fusion. Don’t forget to check out Robert L Leahy’s original diagram for comparison and to see his own example, which is very fitting for Pure O/intrusive thoughts.

my personalized OCD thought diagram - Taken From Robert L. Leahy's book Anxiety Free: Unravel Your Fears Before They Unravel You
my personalized OCD thought diagram – Taken From Robert L. Leahy’s book Anxiety Free: Unravel Your Fears Before They Unravel You
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3 thoughts on “Don’t Sneeze and Drive

    • I think it helps me identify how I think. It’s honestly not something I go to while in the middle of an episode ( I don’t think I’m there yet with any techniques). But I can say it has helped me BIG TIME with my Pure O. I feel like OCD is less scary for me when I read about how psychology perceives my thought process. It feels less alarming and emotional that way, you know?

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