Music Therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

In order to treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), music therapy can provide alternative besides other more conventional routes.

For a cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), you will learn how to confront situations causing an anxiety, which leads to obsessive and compulsive behaviour, with the guidance of a therapy. A nice piece of music is often used to provide a relaxing atmosphere for patients. Thus, it is possible that anxiety levels can be decreased through music. For the CBT treatment, patients are taught to identify situations which relate to the rise of anxiety level, and to apply appropriate types of music to try and reduce them.

Music therapy and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – Learning to play
Another positive method to reduce the chance of developing obsessive thoughts is by focusing on something more constructive, in our case, by learning to play a musical instrument. There are two advantages of learning this. The main advantage is to divert your focus and attention from your obsessive thoughts, thus increasing the chance of eliminating your compulsive behaviour altogether. The second advantage is the opportunity for you to develop your musicality, you could even take this up as a new hobby or even as a new skill, and even make new friends!If you are not so keen in music, there are indeed other available alternative therapies available, for instance outdoor activities or sports as a form of therapy, or through community work as a form of social therapy. There is no scientific evidence that these could offer an effective remedy to OCD, but they could also help to deal with OCD.

Hypnotherapy to reduce compulsive behaviours
Hypnotherapy is proven as a successful method to reduce OCD. It has the ability to help reducing anxieties that triggers obsessive thoughts. Hypnosis is applied in this technique, to probe into your subconscious thoughts to extract solutions to problems that trigger OCD. This would not be possible with your conscious mind. Through hypnosis, you are taught to respond to visualisation and suggestion by accessing your subconscious mind. This would provide guidance for you to alter and improve your behaviour patterns.
Fish Oils and Essential Fatty Acids e.g. Omega-3 relieves stress

Although still in early stages of research, omega-3 has been shown to have the ability to help relieving stress and depression that are known to trigger OCD. Scientists, however, are realising that omega-3 provides other health benefits as well, for instance: –
* Preventing certain cancers.
* Treating rheumatoid arthritis.
* Controlling diabetes.
* Easing menstrual cramps and the associated pain.
* Easing mood swings.
* Prevention and treatment of heart disease, including high blood pressure.
Although all fish have omega-3 from their fat, oily or fatty fish are specifically rich in omega-3. These include salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, herring, kipper and pilchards.

Herbal Remedies for OCD
Although there is still ongoing research on the roles and benefits of herbs as an alternative treatment and medication, herbs have been used for generations to treat various form of ailments and conditions. They have long been recognised as beneficial to our health and wellbeing. For instance, St. John’s Wort, or known as Tipton’s Weed, Chase-devil of Klamath weed, has been widely identified as an effective herbal treatment for mild to moderate depression without the side effects of conventional drug medication or antidepressants. Other herbs, for instance Valerian, Gingko Biloba, Passionflower, Chamomile, Lemon Balm (otherwise known as Melissa) and Reishi are also widely-used herbal remedies for mental health treatment. However, it is best to find out in more detail from trusted sources regarding the best method to utilise these herbs safely and appropriately.

Music therapy is just one of many alternatives that you can apply to help you to overcome OCD and improve your health and wellbeing. Try to learn and harness music as part of your strategies to beat OCD.

What You Can Do Right Now to Beat OCD

The effectiveness of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) depends on the correct self-help techniques that you applied. In fact, if wrong approach was taken in your effort the recover yourself, you could risk harming yourself instead of doing you any good.

If you follow the right tips and apply the correct self-help techniques, chances are you could achieve dramatic increase in success.

To overcome problems caused by OCD, below is a powerful strategy that can be adopted straight away.
Face your obsessions, but take small steps:

Obsession is the first symptom of OCD in most cases. It can be defined as some mental thoughts that are often uncontrollable, unpleasant as well as undesirable. This in turn triggers compulsions, rituals and habits that you carry out repetitively to overcome or distance yourself from those obsessions.
Once you identified the obsessions, confront them. This is a major step in beating OCD. Identify the root-cause of your OCD. This might not be that straight forward. Try doing a mental map and record what you think are your obsessions, and then prioritise those you think that are severe to you. Try seek help from someone very close to you, for instance your spouse, family members, close friends, if possible, someone who is familiar with your daily routines.

Try exploring your obsessive thoughts, by means of willingly and consciously identify any thoughts that could potentially turn into obsessions, or try putting yourself in a position where you would notice any obsessive thoughts that are likely to trigger compulsions.

Next, identify the compulsive behaviour that you would normally use to overcome the relevant obsessive thoughts.

Then, try to stop yourself from carrying out the compulsive behaviour, in this “confrontation-style” therapy.
This is definitely not easy. So, just try and do this for just, let say, a minute of two, and then release yourself, give in. Next, in a small and consistent manner, repeat the process, but by increasing the time in small increments. Do not force yourself to get a result straight away, just take your time. Seek help from someone you trust, to do this with you and constantly support you. Set a timetable to do this, record your progress, so that you could monitor your performance.

As time passes, you would notice the change, and you would realise that, slowly, you no longer depend on the compulsions and you could control your obsessive thoughts. One thing is for certain, this process takes time and discipline. The key is to take small steps, to be consistent, and to have a systematic record so that you could notice the change.