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Anthony Bray, MD
Anthony Bray, MD, Doctor
Category: Health
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Experience:  14 years as clinician in the field of Family Practice
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I have trouble with Ocd anxiety staring at signs and objects.

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I have trouble with Ocd anxiety staring at signs and objects. My fear is if I do not look long enough at the sign or object that will somehow negatively affect my heart. How do I stop these false thoughts about staring affecting my heart when my heart has been tested fine and normal recently? Is there something I can tell myself to reassure my mind that my heart is not affected by these staring actions?

Anthony Bray, MD : Hello!
Anthony Bray, MD : The OCD is the key in your situation....
Anthony Bray, MD : OCD is difficult to truly control. It sounds that you are taking the right steps with the combination if medication plus connive behavioral techniques.
Anthony Bray, MD : it usually does take the combined treatment arms via a psychiatrist plus additional therapist to slowly gain control over your OCD feelings....
Customer: Hi Dr bray
Anthony Bray, MD : part of the solution is of course to ensure as you have done that indeed there is no primary problem of the heart >> no structural problem, coronary artery disease, no heart failure and no rhythm disease ....
Customer: If I am staring at a sign on the door or a sign on the tv screen and it goes off screen there is no connection to heart again?
Anthony Bray, MD : once you have a confirmed good bill of health with regard to your heart function then it becomes a matter to strengthen your logical mind strength vs your emotional mind strength with regard to this issue!!
Anthony Bray, MD : right staring at such an object produces no adverse effect on your heart at all!!
Anthony Bray, MD : it is a matter of giving your logical side more power and the emotional ( especially the obsessive aspects) less power ....
Customer: Even on the tv screen after it goes out of view?
Anthony Bray, MD : right not then either....
Anthony Bray, MD : Why would that make any sense, logically thinking???
Customer: I know you have given me great advice recently but when these false thoughts occur about vision affecting heart should I just tell myself that the heart controls itself and is protected and I do not have to worry?
Anthony Bray, MD : i think that some if these issues tie into a lack of understanding if the complex relationships of the body 's physiology... For example I do not really grasp how cell phones can transmit and receive accurately so much information in such a short period of time... My lack of understanding in this regard leaves me suspect to imagine possibilities that do not really exist ... I might imagine impossible magical powers and presume that a cell phone could transport an object --- this is impossible( as far as I know!!) but if I had such an OCD fear then it may not be easy to convince me otherwise ...
Anthony Bray, MD : in such a sense I think you remain in Amundsen trap with regard to your fear of what might adversely affect your heart! As an MD I KNOW that your visual stimulation will not harm your heart at all!! It is a different matter of convincing you of this however!!
Anthony Bray, MD : Yes I think it would be helpful for you to remind yourself of your hesrt's good health ...
Customer: I agree
Anthony Bray, MD : Try to reinforce the facts that your heart function is not altered by visual or tactile stimulation ( looking at objects or grasping steering wheel for examples...)
Anthony Bray, MD : As I have suggested having numerous placards within your home ( like the decorative phrase messages .. peace/ love) having simple messages that remind you of your heart being healthy and not bothered by what you see or feel...
Anthony Bray, MD : Try to be creative in this regard!!
Anthony Bray, MD : Frequent positive reminders should help to comat the frequent negative messages created by your OCD....
Anthony Bray, MD : Have a few periods of meditation each day with this theme as well....
Anthony Bray, MD : keep a reminder stone in your pocket to symbolize the good health of your heart( I have suggested this before)
Customer: Small stone in pocket as well?
Anthony Bray, MD : continue of course your therapy and follow up with your psychiatrist...
Anthony Bray, MD : take your MEDS regularly and don't skip!
Customer: Could the medication cause staring?
Anthony Bray, MD : finally be patient and hang in there as OCD is known to be a difficult diagnosis to "fix" we can treat it but it is a slow and difficult path of forward progress. So try to be patient and hang in there !!
Anthony Bray, MD : I hope that this helps!
Anthony Bray, MD : Let me know if you have further questions! I will be happy to get back with you!
Anthony Bray, MD : Best regards,
Anthony Bray, MD : Anthony Bray MD
Anthony Bray, MD : No the MEDS should not be the cause if you staring....
Anthony Bray, MD : this problem existed before you started on the MEDS, correct??
Customer: Yes
Anthony Bray, MD : Right I know taking ALL if the above steps may seem overkill but this is to combat the emotional overkill in the negative direction which is your OCD!!! This is why all the steps together is what I believe to be most helpful to you in the long run....
Customer: Thank you Dr Bray
Anthony Bray, MD : You are very welcome! Take care!!
Customer: Is it okay I tell myself heart runs on electricity by itself?
Customer: One last thing
Anthony Bray, MD : Yes that is fine!
Customer: About the heart being electric?
Anthony Bray, MD : it may help you to know that a heart transplant patient runs on its own independent electrical system!!
Anthony Bray, MD : Your eyes or hands do not affect the hesrt's electrical conduction function at all!!
Anthony Bray, MD : yes??
Customer: Thank you
Anthony Bray, MD : you are very welcome!!
Customer: Talk to you soon and I will use more skills
Anthony Bray, MD : Ok that's fine! Hang in there! I want you to do well and feel better and less fearful!! Best regards!!
Anthony Bray, MD and 5 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi again I started touching the window shears with my right hand and started clenching my left hand to feel my pulse. I counted in counts of 8 to stop the touching of the shears and stopped. Again no effect to heart from this similar touching ritual? Can I keep using the counting ritual to stop this Ocd behavior? Thank you
Hello again,

Right -- the same rules still apply--- touching produces no effect to your heart!! You are OK!!

Yes it is fine to use counting technique if this is helpful for you!!

Take care! Let me know if you have anything further !!

Best regards,

Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi I keep touching a stainless steel table with my hands bent in a fist. Is this also harmless to heart and how should I stop going back to touch table doth my hands like that? Sorry about this again
Hello again!

Yes this behavior is harmless to your heart!

Your heart is fine !

I recommend closing your eyes, count to ten, focus on collecting yourself, think of a place or person of comfort. Collect yourself and reassure yourself of your heart's good health! Avoid returning to the object of this episode of obsession...

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have further questions! Take care!!

Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you Dr Bray the same goes for setting a POP can or bottle down on the counter even if Ocd thoughts tell false messages about heart?
Hello again,

Yes the same goes for setting a pop can on the counter. This action would NOT. Have any adverse action on your heart. Any feelings that you have that this might hurt your heart are just false fears associated with your OCD...

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have further questions or discussion. Take care!!

Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I keep looking at the bottom of an insectiside can is that harmless to body?
Yes this is the same as the other OCD behaviors. It is harmless to your heart and body in general to look at the bottom of the can (insecticide can in this case)

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have further questions. Take Care!!

Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The same goes for looking away from it?
Hello again,

Yes , of course >>looking at it or looking away ... touching an object or putting it down.. these all apply to the harmless nature of these events... no harm to your heart or otherwise to your body...

I hope this helps. Take Care!

Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Any type of movement with using hands like closing a door shut or lifting and putting down somethg isseparately from heart functions?
Hello !

It is separate from the heart yes... Now exertion or exercise will of course proportionally raise heart rate. Touching something does no harm to your heart however!

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have further questions!! Best regards!

Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
If I am having a hard time setting down something like a piece of paper or a bottle am I better off not checking my pulse in my left hand or not thinking about my heart during simple motions like these? Thank you
Hello again,

Yes I think that you are in healthier territory when you can move on to other things WITHOUT CHECKING YOUR PULSE!! This is just a manifestation of your OCD!! To the extent that you can not check your pulse, not worry about your heart and not worry about these ideas if just every little thing affecting your heart --- Then you will be better off!!

The LESS ENERGY that you invest in worrying about your heart , the better!! The more you worry about your heart it REINFORCES THE FALSE IDEAS OF YOU DAMAGING YOUR HEART!!

Try to move on quickly away from such unnecessary distractions to the point that you can!!

I understand that this is difficult!! It becomes a paradox in that how do you NOT do something that your mind is telling you to do?? It is a difficult process. But keep in mind that this is indeed a slow process and try not to be discouraged!! Hang in there and do your best.

If you are distracted by example a fly then the less you investigate your heart( ie checking your pulse... The better !!) , the less attention that you can pay to the fly the better!! Think of this in terms of mental energy. You want to deprive the monster of the energy that it feeds off of...

I hope that this helps and makes sense! Let me know if you have further questions!

Best regards!

Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Is squeezing top of Dunkin donuts coffee stryofoam cup repeatedly harmless?
Hello again,

Yes squeezing a cup is equally harmless as looking at an inject. This will not affect your heart. Still it is in your best interest to control the OCD though.

I hope this helps! Best regards,

Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
My anxiety was bad yesterday and this morning I kept looking at the front and back of a Gillette safety razor where I kept turning it back and forth. Again this has no effect on the heart at all even if the thoughts are strong? Also it seems my worry about the heart has gotten worse the last few days?
Hello again,

Right-- the razor has no effect on your heart! Looking at the razor has no effect in your heart!

Remind me or give me an update on your current medicines please...

Perhaps you need an adjustment of medication to help with your anxiety and OCD...

Keep working with your reminders and behavioral techniques to help calm yourself and keep control. Keep the logical and sensible side in charge and deny the racing wild fear and emotions energy as best that you can!!

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have further questions! Best regards,

Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Looking repeatedly at an apostraphe sign in a word on a tweet message on a cell phone is harmless. I kept telling myself the heart and vision have no connection. Any other advice on this?
Hello again!

Right the apostrophe sign has no effect on your heart...

Use your logical side to fight back these absurd ideas!

The medication for your OCD should be helping some...

Use reminders to remind yourself of the good health of your heart!

The OCD makes you worry about things that have no effect on your heart // no effect on your health... Yes it is true that your vision has no adverse effect on your heart!!

Try to find positive and reassuring ideas/ thoughts/ reminders that help your concentration to stay in a more positive place...

I hope this helps!

Let me know if you have further questions! I will be happy to get back with you! Best Regards,

Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
What would be the best way not to look at the fire extinguisher next to the front door at work? Since it causing my Ocd to act up should I just ignore it?

Yes -- simply ignoring the fire extinguisher would be the best possible outcome. Certain objects such as this may be necessary and just simply removed . ( obviously you can't just remove all fire extinguishers!!)

It is key got you to focus on YOU!! Focus on the fact the the objects of obsession are simply transferred one after another after another... Remove one and here comes another ... The problem truly has NOTHING to do with a fire extinguisher but everything to do with YOUR OCD!! It has everything to do with your MIND!!

So control of these external objects does not work because they are not the source of the problem... You need to gain control over your thought process!!

So take your meds, pursue therapy, use reminders of your good health and reminders that OCD Is the source if the problem and nothing external...

I hope this is helpful for you ! Let me know if you have further questions!

Best regards!

Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Having problem looking at top blower fans in freezers at work. Is it ok to ignore them so Ocd does not get worse? Anything else I can do to stop looking at them?
Hello ,

Yes it is best to ignore the fans as best that you can. Try to focus on something else that is useful to your work or something positive to you. Re- focusing your thought process is the key here. Everyone faces distractions but with OCD the distractions get out if control and gain too much power over you--- keep in mind the problem is your own thought process and not really anything external to you! ( you can't blame the blower fans for distracting you for example!!) they did nothing but exist where they are and function as to how they were wired !!

So focus your thoughts to YOUR advantage--- goals if being productive at work, doing a good job, feeling good about yourself, feeling positive in general!!

I hope this is helpful. Let me know if you have further questions or discussion! Best regards!

Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I was at a friends house and kept looking at a photo magnet on their fridge of a couples engagement. I kept trying to distract my eyes away from it. Again I kept telling myself that vision and heart are separated. Even if I resisted the OCD urge from looking at magnet photo that US still safe for heart?
Hello again,

Yes it is safe for your heart to resist the OCD!!

Best regards,

Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry it has been awhile but I have been working hard on my techniques for ocd. In a situation where I find myself staring at objects on a shelf next to tv set should I just take a breathe and move my attention on tv screen to stop repeatedly looking back?


It is probably a good thing for you that you have not needed to talk for a while.

Yes your thoughts are correct in your approach. Quick deep breath and focus on TV and away from OCD type distractions.... If still trouble you might divert attention further away perhaps even away from TV and nearby shelf ....

I hope this is helpful for you!! Let me know if you have further concerns ! Best regards!!

Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks and as always heart functions are always separate when staring or looking away occurs?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So heart like always is not affected by staring

Hello again,

That's right --- your heart is not affected by staring !!