Monday, February 3, 2014

Avoidance is not Benign in OCD or for the Body

frozen shoulder
Frozen Shoulder via Raysto on Flickr
I did an exposure by calling a physical therapist about my shoulder pain.  Part of my health anxiety assuming I must know what is wrong with me, choose the right kind of therapy, and "know before knowing."  The PT said I have a frozen shoulder, which in part arises from avoiding moving a shoulder that is painful, and the more you avoid, the more stuck it gets.

What a metaphor for mindfulness, facing fears, doing exposure therapy for OCD!

Avoidance can bring on the very thing we fear:  anxiety, pain, suffering.

Of course, frozen shoulder is somewhat of a mystery, as to how it arises in the first place. Uncertainty stirs my OCD.

But I am proud of myself for choosing to do something, one step at a time, rather than continuing to wait until the "perfect " time to call and the perfect kind of professional(family doc, physiatrist, physical therapist, massage therapist, chiropractor).

What do you avoid?  What step can you take toward it?


  1. Thank you for this post. It really hit home. Your blog has been a lifeline through a difficult situation.

  2. Great analogy--frozen shoulder, frozen action. I avoid so much, when I think about it. I avoid cooking. I cook every now and then, but it's rare and its An Event. One way I'm moving forward is not freaking out when my husband cooks and checking behind him (over counter cleanliness, the stove being off, etc,). But I really need to do more.

  3. "Avoidance can bring on the very thing we fear: anxiety, pain, suffering." You said it! We think we are making things better by avoidance, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Good Post!

  4. I'm glad you got up the courage to call for treatment. I avoid going to the dentist. And the orthodontist. I did finally go to the dentist a couple of months ago, but my husband had to go with me! Ha! But at least I went, and surprisingly, everything was fine. So, I was worried for absolutely nothing.

    So your post has inspired me to finally call the orthodontist. I'm a little s-s-s-scared but I'll do it.

    1. How was the orthodontist? I know how hard it is to make the call!