Thursday, January 7, 2010

Do You REALLY Want to Know?

Description of which areas of the brain are involved in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder from The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge, M.D.:
"We detect mistakes with our orbital frontal cortex, part of the frontal lobe, on the underside of the brain, just behind our eyes. Scans show that the more obsessive a person is, the more activated the orbital frontal cortex is.
Once the orbital frontal cortex has fired the 'mistake feeling,' it sends a signal to the cingulate gyrus, located in the deepest part of the cortex. The cingulate triggers the dreadful anxiety that something bad is going to happen unless we correct the mistake and sends signals to both the gut and the heart, causing the physical sensations we associate with dread.
The 'automatic gearshift,' the caudate nucleus, sits deep in the center of the brain and allows our thoughts to flow from one to the next unless, as happens in OCD, the caudate becomes extremely 'sticky'.
Brain scans of OCD patients show that all three brain areas are hyperactive. The orbital frontal cortex and the cingulate turn on and stay on as though locked in the 'on position' together -- one reason Schwartz calls OCD 'brain lock'."
So how am I feeling? Well, we have this new green bin for organic waste and kleenex, and I have this sinus thing, so I'm using a fair number of kleenex and technically I should open the theoretically clean little green bin every time I need to put in strawberry ends or banana peels or kleenex, but every time I have to touch it I feel a desperate need to wash my hands, so I either have to wash my hands until my skin looks like something that should be made into a purse, or I have to make little piles of peels and tissues until a future time when I have to wash my hands anyway, then I open the green bin and put in the stuff and THEN wash my hands.
In other words, my caudate nucleus is a little sticky, and I'm in brain lock. You?

3 comments:

Amber said...

Yes, I do really want to know. And I'm sorry that you're dealing with this. And I also hope that, knowing it, you're able to find some help.

And sinus things suck, so I hope that resolves soon.

NoisyBluebird said...

A couple of years ago I went to an anxiety disorders group for a couple of months. I always sat next to the nicest girl that always smelled great. It wasn't until after I found out that she was OCD that I realized it was her excessive hand washing, use of hand sanitizer and therefore moisturizers that made her smell so pretty. Then again, it's not surprising since 'connect the dots' isn't always my forte. My green bin is in the garage because it's hideous. I rarely use the liner bags. Twice in the summer I had to clean the entire thing because maggots were oozing out of the lid. Given this senario I don't think it's possible for ADD and OCD to coexist in my brain. Ok, I'll shut up now.

Magpie said...

this may be a stupid stupid comment, but can you just leave the lid off...?