OCD, Habits and Tics

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and unwanted habits and tics such as coughing, nail biting, obsessive cleaning or verifying (counting or checking), can inflict unnecessary stress in one’s life, with severe detrimental impact on the individual and the people around them.

If you feel you need help with an unwanted habit or behaviour, hypnotherapy can help you dealing with these, gain control by bringing the involuntary behaviour to your conscious awareness, replacing it if necessary or just getting rid of it.

Tics involve one or a limited number of muscles resulting in a single movement, but in some cases can also be complex producing sequences of movements that might mimic dancing or jumping.

Tics are usually repetitive, although irregular, can be mild or severe and are normally involuntary. Usually tics disappear during sleep. They are more prevalent in boys than in girls and in children and adolescents more than in adults.

Statistically, 1 in 4 children develop a simple tic during their school age (between 3 and 8 years old) but which will then gradually disappear.

Tics can affect people in different ways, depending on their nature, environment and on the response they provoke.

Tics can be motor or vocal, sometimes both.

Tics can also be

  • Transient, they may come and go over a period of time, sometimes one tick replacing another until they gradually cease altogether. They may also be more evident when the individual is tired, ill, excited or stressed.
  • Or chronic, persisting for years or into adulthood, singly or coexisting with several different ticks.

Habits differ from tics as they are or can come more easily under the conscious control of the individual.

Habits are the result of our learning process as we continuously relocate to our subconscious level behaviours that no longer require thought and analysis – and thus freeing space on the conscious level for new learning.

When a behaviour is relocated to the subconscious, it will be performed automatically, without thinking, without interference from the conscious. It becomes a habit.

Most habits are fundamental for our lives; others however become redundant or detrimental. Most of the latter may have been rewarding, fulfilling a function in the past but have lost this purpose – they become empty habits.

Nail biting for instance, may have in the past been used as a form of identification with another person. Later however, when this identification no longer needs to be reinforced, biting our nails becomes an empty habit.

Sometimes a deeper approach into the subconscious and into the causes of the habit may be important and necessary to uncover. At other times, all that is needed is:

  • To make the individual aware of the habit
  • Show that this habit is no longer effective
  • Give the individual power and responsibility to control or stop it.

With hypnotherapy for re-programming habits, the individual can rid him/herself of an unwanted behaviour, grow confidence and pride and discover a new ego-strength that comes from being in control.