Visuals depicting OCD

‘A picture paints a thousand words’ as the saying goes, therefore today I’ve been exploring which visual best suits my life with OCD. Is it a bully whispering in my ear, if so what does this bully look like? Do I have a bird sitting on my shoulder chirping nuisance OCD thoughts in my ear to prevent normal behaviour? I entered keywords into Word ClipArt for inspiration without much joy, so moved onto for images to buy.

Entering ‘OCD’ in the search box resulted in 2,174 images – I duly went through half of them (clearly obsessive) but still struggled to bond with any photographs/illustrations. So I entered ‘Mental Disorder’ in the search box – this resulted in 36,344 images! I was on a determined mission, but even I couldn’t look through more than a few hundred, but again nothing really resonated with me.

My partner, who is an illustrator, came up with the image above to represent me living in COVID times, but I’m afraid I wasn’t too impressed that it reflected the reoccurring nuisance thoughts. To be honest, at first glance I thought the dangerous red virus droplets were poppies falling on the umbrella!

So I’ve given him a more specific brief of: brain synapses/neuro transmitters, ping-pong thoughts going back and forward in perpetual motion like a Newton’s cradle, and thought bubbles with scary words in them like contamination, blood, germs, dirt, poo. These things are how I think of my OCD.

I look forward to his next illustration that I’ll add in my next post.

Opposite of Mindfulness

I object to the ‘ful(l)’ in this therapy. What word could be used to empty my mind that is full already with OCD worries? Mindlessness? The definition for mindlessness is certainly not attractive or one you would feel happy to use, but perhaps Mindlessen would work?

I appreciate the purpose of ‘mindfulness’ and the popularity it has gained – my therapist tried hard to get me to do this, but it doesn’t work for me and I’ve been trying to think of a word to describe how I want to reduce thoughts or remove thoughts bouncing around annoyingly and continually, pestering me. Drinking alcohol is the only time my mind doesn’t race at speed – not ideal, but true, and easy/enjoyable to apply rather than medication.

The definitions for ‘lessen’ are: diminish, reduce, decrease, decline, lower, minimize, cut, tail off, ease off, let up, and die down – yes please to all of the above! I need to apply ‘Mindlessen’ rather than mindfulness and that is my slighly controversial thought for today.

Mindlessen rather than mindfulness
Mindlessen rather than mindfulness