In a gentle animation, the consistently insightful and thoughtful School of Life ascribes how best to help someone in the psychological grip of obsessive compulsive disorder. They further explain that OCD originates from a past trauma that is manifested through intrusive thoughts and repetitive actions and simple soothing logic is not helpful to the person feeling these things.
There is no use, in such cases, offering simple reassurance. No matter how often one shows the sufferer that no gas is flowing, that the knives are locked away, that they haven’t done anything bad online and that they aren’t disintegrating physically, it doesn’t work …. This is because the true object of terror lies somewhere else. OCD is a trauma from the past that has been projected into the future and metastasized into a paranoia.
They suggest that assistance comes instead from an investigative point of view.
We need to travel back to the source of dread and drain it properly. The world will only feel like a safe place once the unfortunate sufferer remembers their original injury, localises it and separates it off from modern-day anxieties.