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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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Yesterday and this morning I began staring at my feet looking

Customer Question

Yesterday and this morning I began staring at my feet looking down from a sitting position on the side of my bed. I noticed that I kept on staring at my feet then began this motion of looking up at myself from there in my mirror. I became fixated on doing this ritual which became ocd and found it hard to break. I was late for work this morning but tonight I feel somewhat calmed from the situation however I am worried if I caused any kind of damage to my body by repeating that action through majority of my day off yesterday on and off and this morning. I will begin new CBT therapy tomorrow but I just need some closure to know that these actions did not cause any bodily harm inside or out. thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

My dear friend,

Customer:

sorry it happened again

Customer:

really ashamed at myself

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I see that you are back because you are still needing assurance as to your safety while doing this procedure of bending your neck forward and looking down at your feet.

Customer:

exactly and I am so embarrassed by this

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Give me a moment while I do the same.

Customer:

sure

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

 


 


 


Don't be embarrassed, my friend. This is your OCD, and you will be starting your CBT therapy tomorrow.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Hopefully your therapist will include Exposure and Response Prevention, which is form of CBT ideally suited to eliminating your obsessive thoughts and compulsive responses.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

 


Here is MY report on my action of a couple of minute ago.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

 


My head and neck feel fine.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

 


I have on white socks (because my feet were cold, having worked in my garden today, planting cherry trees.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I was able to wiggle my toes and it felt good.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I looked up and remembered the incident only long enough to write about it.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

 


I know that you need assurance now. That is why I am here, and that is why you are beginning your therapy tomorrow.

Customer:

so no matter how many times during each hour I did this it could not have thrown my neck out of alignment? its just the fear of looking away from my feet which is a false fear that I have to let go

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You will be fine. Let us do it once together now, if you wish. I will count to three and then hit send. You will read this, then look down and look back and answer me. I know that you will be fine. I will also look at my feet. Get ready ! ! !

Customer:

ok

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Fine?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I am. You too?

Customer:

I am fine

Customer:

this fear I have is totally unreal of looking away

Customer:

or looking back up I should say

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Let's do it one more time! Ready, set, go!

Customer:

im ok

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

And ALWAYS will be ! ! ! ! ! !

Customer:

:-)

Customer:

so no matter how many times this was done no harm ever comes to body inside or out?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Try it again. It cannot hurt you.

Customer:

just did it four times in a row and Im still fine

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You have already started your therapy. Congratulations ! ! ! ! !

Customer:

thank you my friend

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

God bless you. You shall be cured. I believe that with all my heart.

Customer:

so I should let this go now with knowledge that no harm was done to the body?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Of course. Still go to therapy tomorrow though to reinforce this.

Customer:

Thank you for your help again I was worried with the long amount of time on this something bad happened when realistically nothing bad happened at all even yesterday or this morning or now?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Wonderful. You are getting over this. I am so delighted.

Customer:

Thanks to you my friend

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You did this yourself. :)

Customer:

thank you

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are so very welcome. I shall keep you in my prayers.

Customer:

I will let you know how CBT goes tomorrow

Customer:

thank you I appreciate your help and prayers

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Thanks. I'd like to know and shall be thinking and praying for your success.

Customer:

thank you my friend I will let you know

Customer:

Enjoy the rest of your evening

Customer:

thank you again

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You too. :)

Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I began CBT yesterday however before I really use the skills I am still trying to get over this foot staring issue. When I got home earlier tonight I took my socks off and started looking down at my feet from a sitting position then stood up and repeating it several times. I think I am trying to make myself think that by doing this no matter how many times everything in my body is okay. Any other suggestion how I can validate my mind to know that this activity has no effect on the heart or any other part of my body? I was not able to really get into this issue with my therapist yesterday since it was my first session. The main problem I have is the looking up part and I am trying to do it naturally without timing which is causing the problem. Any way to solve this mess? thank you

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
Dear Kevin,

I am glad to hear that you have finally started your CBT. Since this is your main concern you should really address it next time you see the therapist.

I am so proud of the courageous effort you are making to retrain your mind to realize that there really is no harm to your neck or heart when you do this movement.

You do realize, at least on the intellectual level that you sometimes get that anxiety reaction of shortness of breath or rapid heartbeat.

By this time you know that it is purely an anxiety reaction, and one that you will soon learn to overcome.

I did think of something that you can try. Go through the same motions of looking down and then looking up, but this time, keep your eyes shut. If you feel comfortable doing this, then keep practicing.

You then next might want to graduatge to a blindfold and do the same thing. You don't have to do this at the same sitting.

If that works, then try dark sunglasses in a darkened room. Try first with your eyes shut, and then with them open. If you can do this successfully then try increasing the illumination of the room slightly at the next session.

By the time you get back to the therapist you can tell him or her of your situation and how you have been practicing exposure and prevention techniques on your own with a measure of success.

I am hoping for the best for you. Continue to be brave.

Warm regards,

Elliott
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Elliott today was more of an emotional day for me dealing with my anxiety especially trying to conquer the looking at feet issue. I did try closing my eyes and that did help. I know this sounds weird but the part that makes me worried is the motion of looking back up where I originally started. Its like the anxiety is playing a trick on my mind telling it that it needs more time viewing the feet so that if I do not look down again something will go wrong. Is it the false thoughts that are prohibiting me from moving forward and is there another step I can take to reassure the mind not to keep looking again and again at the feet once I repeat the process? thank you so much and I am really trying hard

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
Dear Kevin,

I admire your courage. OCD is hard to beat by yourself. I look forward to your next therapy session. You absolutely MUST talk to the therapist about this. After all, this is why you are going.

I have an excellent idea on how you could practice response prevention, which is a main technique for treating OCD.

There are neck collars available (at Wallmart and online) that people with neck injuries use in order to prevent them from bending their neck down.

If you wore such a collar (at the appropriate moments and places) then this could physically restrain you and even though you had the obsesssive thoughts to look down, you would not be able to readily respond with the compulsive reaction, and not then have the followup compulsive inability to look back up.

Check out this website. I particularly like the one from Wayfair.

http://www.walmart.com/search/search-ng.do?search_query=Neck%20Collar&adid= 22222222220183760498&wmlspartner=wmtlabs&wl0=790866889&wl1=p&wl2=protective%20neck%20collar%20%20%20hit%20away,%20inc.&wl3=11674482825&veh=sem&_be_query_understanding.gender=off


Just copy and past that into your browser.

I shop tht is helps and that tomorrow will be a smoother day for you.

I am keeping you in my prayers.

Warm regards,

Elliott
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Dear Elliott,


I was doing so good until the urge to start looking down at my feet happened during work today. I took a time out and did some stretches and neck rolls to curtail the urge but it was so strong this time.


After I look down then look back up from my feet is there something else I can say to myself to reprogram my brain.


Also I have this phobia of walking past the microwave and looking at the digital clock on it with fear that if I don't look at it enough before it goes out of view it will affect my heart. Well in this case I took only three glances at it and proceeded away from it walking down the stairs so not to hyperfocus. was this safe to do as well?


Thank you for your continued help and I am trying hard.

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
Dear Kevin,

You are doing so well.

When you look down at your feet, just tell them hi! I was just checking. I'll see you later. And by the way, little feet, I am cured. Looking up can't hurt me anymore.

Looking at the microwave clock cannot do anything more than inform you of the time. Keep it set correctly so you have the right time. You can look at it all you want and it will never ever hurt your heart.

Just keep loving everyone with your heart and it will last you a long lifetime.

Warm regards and keep up the couargeous work to beat this OCD.

Elliott

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have almost conquered the foot issue today however I had a minor setback. I noticed that I repeat the pattern of sitting down on the side of my bed looking at myself in the mirror then I look down at my feet then raise my head back up. When I raise my head back up and can't see my feet I feel the need to repeat this action again. Which would be the best way to finally at that point end the cycle of repeating this movement like that? I am not staring at this point at least but when I raise my head back up should I be doing something differently?

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
Dear Kevin,

Limit this to five cycles

The fifth time you raise your head up, don't look back. Stand up (on those same feet, without looking at them) and without looking down, and walk out of the room and do something else entirely.

Warm regards,

Elliott
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I was doing good today until I had a panic attack this evening and could not leave my condo. I tried very hard to fight it but my symptoms included racing heart beat. My OCD kept making me look at the door to the right of my condo at the peep hole and to the right the reflection of the tv on the microwave oven. My fear is when the peep hole and reflection go out of my view from moving forward that will affect my heart is that false again? I am so sorry for letting the anxiety get the best of me. I did get over the foot issue now this started right afterwards did I cause any harm to heart during these episodes?

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
No harm. Just panic attack which makes you feel like something is wrong with your heart.

Don't worry, Kevin. Go back to the therapist and tell him the most improtant part of the story.

Best of luck,

Elliott
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Dear Elliott,


 


Yesterday when I was taking my blood pressure I started to feel like the cuff on my left arm had changed my pulse. There is no way the cuff pressure can hurt your heart rhythm? Very worried about it today.


 


Kevin

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
Dear Kevin,

There is no way. You were just feeling the force of your strong and healthy heart pushing back where you were temporarily constricted.

OCD.

Warm regards,

Elliott

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