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OCD: You are not really Crazy

"What if I forget to lock the door and someone robs my house?”
“What if there is some dirt on my hand and I get sick because of it?”
“What if people get angry with me as I talk too much?”

Have these questions come up in your mind again and again, so much, that you feel the need to do something about things around you and you are not satisfied at all. These feelings or urges are known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD. It is a kind of obsessive-ness that makes some unwanted idea or an anxiety or some physical or mental impulse to keep coming back and knock on the door of your mind repeatedly. It forms an idea that is hard to get out of the mind and one is left with a strong compulsion to do something about it in order to feel less anxious about it.

Usually everybody suffers from some form of anxiety. Everybody is burdened with the anxiety to do well in their studies or have success in their lives. These stressful feelings are usually very short-lived and don't last long in a person. But in some cases, these have a long lasting effect. Some thoughts are forever locked in people's minds and take the form of obsessions. They can be anything like the questions above that stops someone from interacting with others, or keeps people checking their doors and windows repeatedly every time they go out of their rooms or houses. In clinical terms, having an OCD is having a clinical disorder, that is, it is a biological based disorder and young people are most susceptible to it in their school or college lives.

How is it that one may have a disorder? The first thing to know is that, it isn't a hereditary disease as some people may think. Neither is it something that occurs to someone by the way they are brought up or because they have a lower will power. It occurs because they way our brain works and how we feel about certain things, for example a distressing thought. Suppose a boy is asked to hand over a school report on a chemistry experiment. This is the beginning of a distressing thought and you start thinking “What if I make a mistake in my experiment and get a zero?”

This causes a great anxiety in him and makes him go through the experiment again and again trying to get the most perfect result, checking and rechecking his numbers. This repeated activity is the beginning of a compulsive act. Doing this, delays his report and consequently he gets less mark. However, this makes him slightly relaxed and the compulsive behaviour has been reinforced. So in the next reports, he continues to worry about his result and the correctness of his report so much that it becomes an obsession. So OCD follows a cycle or pattern of thinking, it starts with a distressing thought which leads to more anxiety, which in turn leads to a compulsive act. The act of relief comes, though it becomes an obsession. Compulsions may sometimes not be associated with obsessions. For example, you can repeatedly keep walking in and out of your room until it “feels right”!

So we can see that we are all susceptible to OCD. In fact, most people I know (including myself) have some form of OCD, although they are mostly harmless. But the feeling can be very strong in some people and may become harmful or make them appear crazy. This can cause us to panic or act irrationally, but the thing to remember is that people with OCD are not crazy.

Whether or not you have OCD can be found out by checking yourself against some symptoms. If you have a distressing thought or anxiety that comes over and over again, if you have some compulsive repeated behaviour that you do to calm down the anxiety and most importantly, if these compulsive behaviour interfere in your life, then you may have a harmful OCD. Being able to identify the thoughts make sure that you are not really crazy.

The good thing is, it is possible to get rid of OCD by trying a few simple things. There are lots of books and suggestions in the internet on how to get rid of mild OCD. In fact identifying your problem is the first and biggest step towards getting rid of OCD. However, if the obsession is strong, then there are medicines available that take care of your anxiety, the source of OCD. Then there is behaviour therapy, which can help us to control our anxiety and obsessive compulsion. This is a slower process but can help us get rid of harmful OCD in the long run.

Those of you who do suffer from OCD, there are some things that you can try to cure your behaviour:

1. Response Delay Since OCD forces you to do something in response to an anxiety, you can try to delay your responses for a certain length of time. For example, every time you feel your hands are dirty, instead of going over to the bathroom immediately, try taking some time before. Initially try a few minutes, then try to delay by hours. This lengthening of time will help you to prevent OCD altogether.

2. Stimulus Control if you have repeated OCD, try to change the order of the repeated compulsions. This will lessen your series of compulsive feats and help you cure it.

3. Exposure and response prevention try to put yourself on situations which makes you feel strongly driven to do the compulsion. Then since you have initiated it, try not to do the compulsion, thereby, telling yourself ways to get out of the OCD.

Remember, ignoring OCD can create barriers to your life in the long run and may cause other permanent mental health risks. So take charge of your life now.
(based on student medical online help sites and OCD foundation)

By Monty Python

The conflict within

Growing up…stepping into the teen years can all be overwhelming at times. Most of us succeed in getting into the flow of things and learn to adjust with the changes that occur with each passing year. However, the rest are not so lucky. We get confused between what's right and wrong and people can't really blame us when we drift away from the right track. Confusion arises in everything. It could be even the simplest thing such as wearing the right clothes to the more important one's such as who you want to be. There's the confusion about choosing the right friends or being with the right guy.

That is why guidance is always important. But who can you really go to with all your personal problems? Yes, friends can be good listeners...but can they give you good advice? That's why it really helps when you have an elder cousin or friend, or just someone close who is a bit more mature or older than you. And you must be sure that the person is going to understand you instead of giving all your secrets away to your parents.

Till date, one of the biggest indecision amongst teenage girls face is regarding boyfriends. Those who are close to parents or are at least the goody-two-shoes type face a tug of war between their hearts and their minds. It's true that many parents would ground or punish their kids if they ever found out that their kids are in a relationship. So, it gets rather troubling- to be faithful to parents or to go out with the guy you like?

Aside from the parental aspect, there's the part about acceptance. You might like the guy a lot, but what guarantee is there that your friends would like him too? There are cases where friends start acting weirdly or completely alienate from you, just because you have a boyfriend and they might not have one yet. But that's just normal. Friends feel insecure and think that you will forget them because of a boy. Don't let that happen and let them know what they mean to you. Then again, they might not like your boyfriend for the person he is. But if he really is a nice guy, then it will show as time goes by and things will turn out ok.

But forget about parents and friends for a second and let's just concentrate on you. Is he really the right guy? Would he treat you well? Is he what he seems to be? A million more questions could arise and finally, some honest answers from the girl herself would solve the entire mystery completely. Sometimes we girls get so much into believing fairy tales that we want to believe that we are living in one too. The guy doesn't really have to be perfect. If he makes you smile, if he respects you and if he understands you and is a good person, then everything should go smoothly enough.

Talking about respect, a person should always keep in check the limits that are there to the relationship. A person needs to be sure how far to go with the boy she is going out with. Apart from that, there are things like studies or other commitments that should be kept in mind too. A relationship should never make education suffer. Who knows how long you'll be going out with the guy, but your exam results stick to you and will haunt you every time you apply for university or go out looking for a job.

It's kind of hard to reach any conclusion at all. At the end of the day, it is your choice and your decision. The difference between right and wrong is always hard to detect. But to be our own person…we need to fly around till we find our very own nest. However, if there is scope for you to learn from other people's mistakes, then do it! Yeah, life ain't easy... but it was never meant to be, either!

By Nayeema Reza

Wireless session 2.1

On Thursday, November the first, Wireless session 2.1 was held at Decagon Café. It was partnered jointly by amadergaan.com, Radio Foorti, Decagon Café and Incursion Music and the event was managed by Live².

The show was a little delayed due to technical difficulties [the drums didn't get there on time]. It opened with Shunno covering Maroon 5's 'She will be loved'. They were a soft rock band. The vocal was little heavy on the mike, but the more he sang, the clearer he got. By the time they reached their fourth song, The Sun [Maroon 5], they were in the groove, so to speak. Next up was Annihilate, who gave a forgettable performance. Their version of SOAD's Aerials crashed and burned. The music kept falling apart. The musicians themselves didn't know what the other band members were playing. They also tried doing 'Freak on a leash' by Korn, which featured Amy Lee on vh1 unplugged. They introduced a female vocal as well, but it just wasn't good enough. The song came off more like a parody.

Then came The Babaz. They worked together perfectly. Their music had rhythm. Labib, the drummer, was brilliant with his beats. But the vocal was the best.

Although Kral was supposed to play, their guitarist, Sadi, was ill. So their drummer, Rafa, put together a temporary band of friends. He was on the keyboard and vocals while Labib remained on drums, with Kral's regular bassist and another friend on guitar. Then Imtiaz [Kral's vocal] turned up. He covered a Punjabi remix of Stantorian's Protimuhurte, with music from a laptop. It can't be described in any other way than funny, but entertaining. Then he did a little old school and covered Oasis's 'Wonderwall' [which is not that old, but still] with his guitar and occasional help from Rafa on the drums.

After that there was Infinity. They had Sameer from Powersurge on lead guitar. Their cover of SOAD's Aerials, Sumon's [Aurthohin] Jochona and Artcell's 'Amar Pothchola' were mind blowing. If one didn't see them, one would think it was Artcell playing. They had great tempo and good rhythm and there was some fierce guitar play. The vocals were clear and nothing was overdone.

But it was Sameer who ultimately stole the show with his instrumental performance. Although he had some help on rhythm guitar, bass, keyboard and drums, it was his skilled guitar solos that mesmerized the crowd. After he finished doing two Satriani numbers [Always with me, always with you and Love Thing], people screamed themselves hoarse for an encore, which turned out to be two.

Last but not least, was Eclipse. Their cover of Dream Theatre's Hollow Years seemed rather stale; probably because it came after Sameer's smashing performance. But their next cover of Circus Maximus's 'Silence from Angels Above' redeemed them. When asked about it, Jawwad, an ardent concert-goer, said, 'this was a better show than the Wireless session 1.0 series. And yes, I'm definitely coming to the next ones.'

By Kazim Ibn Sadique
Special thanks to Nafis Tahsin Ahmed Shuvo




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