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The Imp of the Mind: Exploring the Silent Epidemic of Obsessive Bad Thoughts

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Although I don't think he is mentioned in Imp of the Mind, the deeply religious John Bunyan of the 17th century, famed for his spirituality and the writing of thematically Christian books, undeniably suffered from OCD and blasphemous obsessions, in a time period where the threat of stake burnings if such thoughts were openly admitted was very likely. Lee Baer and other OCD writers almost invariably mention him. Baer comments in Imp of the Mind:

The Imp of the Mind: Exploring the Silent Epidemic of O… The Imp of the Mind: Exploring the Silent Epidemic of O…

As someone who has struggled with obsessive thoughts for as long as I can remember, it was amazing to read this book. I wish I found it years ago. Though I knew much of the information due to my own research and being in the mental health field, it was refreshing getting to read this book and hear individual stories and how Dr. Baer's clients worked through their issues. Well that's the thing. I don't think these are intrusive thoughts caused by OCD. I am in not really scared of these thoughts. They're almost comforting... and that's what scares me. What if my harm thoughts are not caused by OCD? What if I'm truly having these thoughts but fighting them because of my moral upbringing? What if one day I give in? That's what scares me. I just don't want there to be a link. I pray to God that my harm thoughts are from OCD. At that point in my illness I was devouring every bit of vaguely “OCD” media I could find: documentaries, news reports, reality TV, celebrity interviews, standup comedy, even specials about psych wards in general – anything that gave me some insight into the humanity of a person with mental illness. the woman who was terrified to go to sleep because the devil would take her for her "bad" sexual thoughtsThis means that, despite the fact you should never say this to someone with it, we actually are all “a little bit OCD”. The difficulty for me, I told him, was that because of the rules of the study, I was not allowed to give anyone instructions about using behavior therapy for their symptoms (since behavior therapy is a highly effective treatment for obsessions and compulsions and could invalidate the results of the drug trial). However, I felt obliged to at least tell him that his understanding of the basic principles of behavior therapy were correct—although I could not give him any specific help in using these techniques while the study was going on.

The Imp of the Mind by Lee Baer: 9780452283077

Very few depict the true face of OCD: unwanted intrusive thoughts that can get fixated on virtually any topic at all. These thoughts are often of a “taboo” nature (sex, violence, morality), and the compulsions are anything that is done (or avoided) to try to make the thoughts go away. Baer's look at obsessive bad thoughts is both illuminating and useful. For those who struggle with obsessions, The Imp of the Mind provides revelations and guidance. Bad thoughts do not signify that you are truly evil deep down, and voluntarily suppressing these thoughts will only make them stronger.Dr. Lee Baer combines the latest research with his own extensive experience in treating this widespread syndrome. Drawing on information ranging from new advances in brain technology to pervasive social taboos, Dr. Baer explores the root causes of bad thoughts, why they can spiral out of control, and how to recognise the crucial difference between harmless and dangerous bad thoughts. I am sorry for what you are suffering. I have suffered even more irrational and illogical worries. All of them seem real. Baer's view is that drugs should be a last resort rather than a first resort and realised that helping people understand more about how their mind works is often the key to success. He reminds the reader that, as with all battles, preparation and staying power are the key. So my question is: When she says get immediate help, does the author say so because she thinks that suicidal ideation can eventually lead to homicidal ideation? That's my fear here. Or does she say so because of those with suicidal intrusive thoughts? As I have already admitted, at times my own imp makes his presence felt, through unwanted thoughts and impulses that go counter to the norms of polite society: to swerve my car off the road or to shout an obscenity in public, for example. And few in number are those people who can honestly say that they have never recognized this imp at work in themselves.

The Imp of the Mind: Exploring the Silent Epidemic of The Imp of the Mind: Exploring the Silent Epidemic of

boy sitting next to her that he was really attracted to. Soon, whenever he saw an attractive boy in school or on the street or in the gym, he would find himself scanning his body to try to feel certain that he wasn't sexually aroused. "Was that the first tingling of an erection?" he'd ask himself. Of course, simply thinking about the area would sensitize it, which might be enough to convince him that he really was homosexual. He might then go home and lie Why do I have such thoughts? I know all the psychological and physiological theories—which I will discuss in detail later—yet for me, a literary description often captures most vividly what is happening: Here is none other than my own personal Imp of the Perverse, perched perhaps upon my right shoulder, whispering thoughts about running the dog over into my mind's ear. Just who is my imp? For me, Edgar Allen Poe depicted him perfectly in his 1845 short story "The Imp of the Perverse": This book by a psychologist who helped developed some of the therapy used for OCD actually seems a bit dated now, but it was only published five years ago (in 2001). Anyway, Baer focuses on the obsessive part of OCD (that's the imp, from Edgar Allen Poe's "Imp of the Perverse"). Baer likes his classic quotes and has many, which add a bit of historical interest and depth to his book. Modified from Rachman, S., & de Silva, P. (1978). Abnormal and normal obsessions. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 16, 233-248.) I think it gives good insight on individuals with OCD and one of the characteristics of OCD being intrusive or unwelcome thoughts that seem to not go away.Informative, interesting and incredibly accessible. The writing is clear and concise, with a sort of gentle therapist's tone that never feels condescending or trite - Baer's explanations of how obsessive worries work, how they differ from 'normal thought processes' and how to treat them are frank but hugely empathetic. Now another thing I like about this book is it doesn't tout itself as a cure all, but also explains in a caring way that you may still need to end up seeing a specialist, and it explores this as well. It goes into exposure therapy, cognitive behavior treatments and when all else fails psycho-pharmacology and how drugs can help with the process. If you have or suspect you have OCD, especially if it is primarily obsessional, this book may give you a lot of comfort and is a must read.

Summary and Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Imp of the A Summary and Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Imp of the

A useful resource, though I think the author should have made an effort to distinguish more between OCD and "pure O", where the former is accompanied by a compulsive action often unrelated to the nature of the obsession, i.e. the seemingly nonsensical repetition of flipping a light switch on-and-off to prevent someone's family member from getting into a car accident, and where "pure O" is limited to intrusive thoughts without the accompanying compulsion to perform a specific action to rid oneself of such thoughts. An innate and primitive principle of human action, a paradoxical something, which we may call Perverseness, for want of a more characteristic term.... Through its promptings we act, for the reason that we should not. In theory, no reason can be unreasonable: But, in fact, there is none more strong. With certain minds, under certain conditions, it becomes absolutely irresistible. I am not more certain that I breathe, than that the assurance of the wrong word or error of any action is often the one unconquerable force which impels us, and alone impels us to its prosecution. Nor will this overwhelming tendency to do wrong for the wrong's sake, admit of analysis, or resolution into ulterior elements. It is a radical, a primitive impulse-- elementary.... The description of the control and need for certainty by those who feel disempowered may certainly resonate with the imagery of the Imp disturbance. Sufferers may also find comfort with Lee’s efforts to help individuals learn to tolerate each thought and challenge themselves to face their fears- in this case the creature that torments them. Of course, those practicing acceptance and commitment therapy may not appreciate Lee’s imagery of the Imp and in fact challenge the Imp as simply an entity that could be simply protecting oneself from their ultimate fear (in other words, how could you hate something trying to protect you).

Overall, the text does a very well job normalizing intrusive thoughts. I appreciated the historical references made of past historical notes made referencing OCD thoughts and stories of modern day cultural icons that may have also experienced difficulties with obsessive symptoms. And ‘The Imp of the Perverse’ shows us that we all know this, deep down, because, deep down, we all have that impulse within us. It’s just that most of us don’t act on it. The id does things purely because it wants to, and does not think about whether they are morally right or wrong. If it feels good, id thinks you should do it. Except, of course, that the id doesn’t think at all, at least not in any meaningful sense. While it was often difficult to read, I'm glad that Baer places special emphasis on intrusive thoughts of harm/violence, especially considering the tremendous fear and stigma accompanying these themes as well as the huge gulf between the violence of these thoughts and the dispositions of those suffering.

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