Like other mental illnesses, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is highly misunderstood within the culture. Many people believe that the disorder is just behaviors, such as persistent organization, washing one’s hands all the time, or checking the lock on the door constantly. But, what people do not realize is that OCD is a lot more than just these behavioral actions.
The misconceptions overlook one prevalent aspect of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. David Adam, reporter at Nature and author of The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought, explains that OCD begins with an obsession, which is usually a disturbing thought that will not stop, and a compulsion is usually a repetitive behavior in response to the thought. Once someone acts on this thought, they increase the likelihood that the thought will return which creates a cycle. Adam explains that this cycle is what defines the obsession and compulsion as a disorder because it has the ability to to affect the person’s quality of life. This cycle often makes the disorder debilitating for those who suffer from it.
Despite the severity of the disorder, it is undermined in society because its understanding is manifested through jokes. The ideas and depictions of OCD presented by these jokes has much larger consequences than many people realize. Adam explains that these expressions of the disorder can be harmful to those actually suffering from OCD because they are not able to recognize the symptoms.
David Adam, reporter at Nature and author of The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought
Narcissism is a disorder commonly joked about and misidentified, but in it’s purest form it takes a major toll on everyone that involved. High level narcissists are selfish to an extreme. They typically have little to no morals and never worry themselves with how other might be feeling.
Dr. Linda Martinez-Lewi became captivated by narcissism, with a focus on helping those around the narcissist to recover from effects of the traumatic relationship. Dr. Martinez-Lewi reveals most narcissist have almost zero chance of curbing the disorder, but those around them can learn to recover, even while still interacting with narcissistic personalities. Further detailed in her published works, Dr. Martinez-Lewi explains the first step is to identify the toxic narcissist. From there, the doctor states you can work from the advantage of, “know[ing] him or her better than he or she knows themself…Stay in your own truth, in your own boundaries, and not be reactive.”
For more tips and information, pick up a copy of Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life, Dr. Martinez-Lewi’s latest book.
Dr. Linda Martinez-Lewi, author of Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Social media has become a source of constant comparison between ourselves and our peers, which can lead to us feeling like we’re not doing as well or enjoying life as much as others. It often seems that everyone on social media is happier and more fulfilled than you.
Neil Pasricha, author of Two Minute Mornings: A Journey to Win Your Day Every Day, says people want to be happy, more than anything. We also know what to do to become happy, because the research has been done. The biggest roadblock to our happiness is anxiety, we live in a high-pressure world, which seems to zap the happiness from us. Sharon Weil, author of ChangeAbility: How Artists, Activists, and Awakeners Navigate Change, says that we are always changing. While writing her book she found that timing is everything. When change is too slow, too fast, or comes out of nowhere, it can be upsetting, causing shock and grief, which leave little room for joy.
It’s important to take time for yourself during changes, according to Weil. This is because we experience fear during a change, which causes our body go into anxiety mode. If we stop and take time to just even focus on our breathing we can reverse the fear and prevent an anxiety attack. The fear is what actually takes the happiness from us, and if we can learn how to reverse it, then the happier we can be.
Fears can also keep us from making changes that will make us happier. A lot of people fail at resolutions and goals because the motivation is not big enough to overcome their fear of change. Most successful changes happen when we are motivated by someone or something we love. Fear holds us back, but love seems to send us forward towards a happier life.
Neil Pasricha, author of Two Minute Mornings: A Journey to Win Your Day Every Day
Sharon Weil, author of ChangeAbility: How Artists, Activists, and Awakeners Navigate Change
In the modern era of social media, demanding jobs, and anxiety, it may seem nearly impossible to find the joy you dream of. We talk to two experts about how to overcome our fears, withstand constant change, and feel more happiness in our everyday lives.
Teaching Girls to Code: The mission to close the gender gap in tech
Technological advancements are happening every day. But statistics show the tech field is dominated by men. Reshma Saujani decided to do something about that and began an organization dedicated to teaching girls to code, and hopes to empower a new future of innovation.
Everyone wants to find happiness, but what are we really searching for? We explore the science behind happiness, how our brain achieves the elusive emotion, and how it all depends on who you are and where you are.
Tim Bono, assistant dean in the college of arts and sciences, and a lecturer in psychology at Washington University, St. Louis
Frederic Lenoir, philosopher, sociologist and religious historian. Author of the book, Happiness: A philosopher’s guide
One morning without warning, Giulia Lukach experienced a psychotic break. We talk to her husband Mark about Giulia’s mental health journey, his own experience as a caregiver, and how they overcame three stints in the psych ward.