The Flood Technique For OCD
Today I want to talk about a really great technique that I use very often to combat OCD thoughts and compulsions. Depending on the type of OCD you are suffering from, you can most likely employ this technique to work for you as well!
The Flood Technique For OCD
So, what is the “flood technique”? It is a very simple concept. Put simply, you do exactly what you know will make you anxious and cause your anxiety to rise, in a short period of time. You just keep doing it so much that your brain can’t keep up with all the scary thoughts. Eventually, even very quickly, your brain will forget about the anxiety induced action you did or did not take 1 minute ago, because it’s now worried over the action you are, or are not doing now. I hope this makes sense.
Many of you are probably saying that this is simply cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and you are right. But CBT can involve much more. The flood technique is more simplistic, and a tool in the arsenal of CBT.
A Deeper Look
You have thousands of thoughts that scare you and raise your anxiety every day. You know what they are, you know whatever action you do, or don’t do, that triggers these anxiety inducing obsessive thoughts and feelings. It can be something as simple as turning on a light switch “the wrong way”, or not counting the number of steps you take from point a to point b. You instantly hear the OCD monster in your head tell you the same lie. It’s always something you are afraid of or afraid of happening. The monster says that the bad thing will happen if you don’t perform the compulsion, or go back and “fix what you did wrong”, or what it was that “didn’t feel right”.
Almost always whatever your trigger is has nothing to do with the fear and anxiety produced from whatever it is you’re afraid of. I remember as a child it was my parents dying. If I didn’t feed my dog just right, or write all the letters in my book report just right, and erase them over and over, my parents would surely die. It sounds ridiculous. That’s because it is. OCD is a ridiculous disease. In this example, to flood the brain, I should have simply just written each letter normally, refused to erase them, refuse to count the number of bits in the bowl before I fed the dog. These are examples, just apply it to whatever are your triggers. Then perform more triggers within a short period of time. I’m talking within minutes, just keep doing it.
Most importantly, do not keep track of any of it. Don’t allow yourself to try to keep record of what you did “wrong” so you can fix it later. Every time the OCD monster says that you have to fix something, or do something, you ignore it and do the opposite or nothing at all. Stay consistent. It’s not easy at first, but it will work. Your brain will become so overran with trying to keep up with everything you just did “wrong”, that it will eventually give up and release that anxiety because it is overwhelmed, or flooded. You can compare it to opening up so many applications on your computer that the memory runs out and your computer freezes. System restart!
Open The Flood Gates Now
Whatever your triggers are, the flood technique will absolutely help. It’s not easy, but over time, sometimes even a very short period of time, it will dramatically reduce your OCD. I encourage you to start right now. Yep, now, this moment. Please leave your comments and feedback below!