My psychiatrist has opened my eyes to this topic. It happened when I was doing my routine checkup with him. We started with the usual questions about where my life is at and what’s changed since the last saw each other – no, we’re not dating. He asked about the obsessions. I complained that I still get some that annoy me, but in general they have lessened in number and intensity. He asked about my work, social life, family, and future. I was satisfied and totally not worried on all aspects of life. I had nothing bothering me or causing any worry. When I say nothing I mean not a thing. I was working, going out, on good terms with la familia, and had set plans for my future. Still I was getting obsessions and panic attacks. I would get a panic attack out of nowhere. I start feeling my heart beat rapidly, my breath becomes heavy, my brain starts working as if it’s thinking but no thoughts are present, just the process. It’s a very annoying and paralyzing feeling. I wasn’t having a panic attack over something I was consciously thinking of. Nothing was causing me discomfort in life. That’s when my psychaycay said that the trigger was probably my unconscious.
He once told me that the obsessions are just manifestations. They are red flags. They pop up in order to let the person know that something is of annoyance to him or her. Just like fever signaling the presence of bacteria or a virus in the body. But the difference is that there’s no specific symptom that leads to a specific diagnosis. It’s a bit too general; you get a panic attack, then something unconsciously is bothering the heck out of you (in case the attack wasn’t triggered by something conscious).
At first I took it at face value and didn’t think of it that much. However I was convinced of what he said after I went through what’s to follow. Recently I have been experiencing passing obsessions, by which I mean that I do get a thought, but it quickly goes away without leaving any anxiety behind. A few weeks back, I went to a retreat in the mountain side of this country. It was a two day thing and I had to sleep outside the comfort of my humble house. There, at the retreat, I got several sticky obsessions that triggered anxiety. But when I came back home to Beirut, they faded away, and I started thinking of how silly they were. I told my psychiatrist about this and he explained the situation. My unconscious was unfamiliar with its surroundings. That caused my uncomfortable brain to start going crazy, and its way of telling me was through obsessions, as it has no other way of communicating peacefully with me. It’s as if I am in a relationship with a girl, I come home to find mad at me, and I have to decipher the underlying reasons.
So in short, if you feel everything is going well in life, but you’re still getting obsessions and/or panic attacks, then I have got some bad news for you. Okay, it’s not so bad, it’s just that you need to put more effort (read money) and go see someone who deals with the unconscious side of a brain that has communication issues.
That was a piece of my mind, wishing a peace of mind to you all.