Hello Brave One!

Here is this week’s spotlight on Hyper Awareness/Somatic OCD:

Hyper Awareness and Somatic OCD is characterized by recurrent and persistent intrusive (unwanted) thoughts, urges or images about Hyper Awareness and Somatic OCD along with compulsive, repetitive behaviors or mental acts aimed at reducing anxiety/distress or preventing a feared outcome from happening, all of which cause distress and impairment in functioning.

Common Hyper Awareness and Somatic OCD Obsessions:

  • Excessive focus on physical sensations/automatic functions such as breathing, blinking, twitching/bodily movements, thinking, heart beat, ringing in ears, etc
  • Fear that you will always hyper-focus on these things and may miss out on life
  • Fear of not being able to swallow/choking
  • Fear of not being able to breathe
  • Fear of always having to think about blinking/automatic movements
  • Fear your heart will explode
  • Fear you will forever hear ringing in your ears

Common Hyper Awareness and Somatic OCD Core Fears:

  • Missing out on life, ruining meaningful experiences
  • Permanent suffering, feeling hopeless/helpless/disconnected/alone

Common Hyper Awareness and Somatic OCD Compulsions:

  • Checking for somatic symptoms
  • Ruminating about somatic symptoms/automatic functions (Am I breathing enough/correctly? Should my heart feel this way? Is this a “normal” thought or ruminating or obsessing? Do I still hear that ringing? How does that movement feel?)
  • Excessively distracting from awareness
  • Reassurance-seeking about what is normal

**Please note: themes help us get more information out to individuals suffering with OCD, but anything can become obsessive and/or compulsive and themes can overlap. It’s also important to remember that the content of OCD is not important, it’s all the same mechanisms responding to different triggers. We recommend working with a therapist trained in ERP.

Stay Brave!

-The OCD MN Team