Recovery from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

A Multitude of Recoveries Through Alternative Mental Health Treatments

The following quote is a personal reflection by a female patient (age 20) that has recently undergone KY (Kundalini Yoga) therapy. Her OCD symptoms began at age 10 and her BDD [body dysmorphic disorder - obsessive concern about physical appearance] and social anxiety started at age 17. Her OCD symptoms included only obsessions - the fear of harming others, she was convinced that if she called a relative or friend on their cell phones, she would cause a car accident, or something horrific. The fear she felt "was paralyzing." Her most prevalent OCD fear came in the form of not saying the correct thing in any situation, something that left her "constantly fearful and in check of her own thoughts and words." However, her BDD involved rituals - that of looking in a mirror, sometimes for several hours a day. She had the fear that her right eye and right side of her face were distorted. Previously to entering KY therapy, she had undergone insight-oriented psychotherapy with several therapists for approximately one year. And again, after seeing me the first time and not following through with KY treatment she again saw a therapist while away at her university. Prior to seeing me the second time, she also started using fluoxetine hydrochloride [Prozac] for about 6 weeks, and the side effects became too severe to tolerate and she was switched to paroxetine hydrochloride [Paxil] for 3 weeks. However she found the side effects again too severe to continue. In my experience, her short-term response to KY therapy here is typical. "I first began my work with David Shannahoff-Khalsa and the Kundalini yoga practice during Spring Break of the year 2001. The break was taken from the university I was currently attending, where I am now still enrolled as an undergraduate student. I consulted David for various reasons; the main (and most difficult) ones being anxiety (in general social situations), stress (in the competitive nature of the academics at college), and body dysmorphic disorder. I had also been previously diagnosed three years before with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and depression, both of which I was still struggling with. "The very first session that I had with David altered my experience of anxiety, so much that the rushing of thoughts that seemed so constantly harrowing before had dissipated to a state of calm and relaxation. In addition to this, the body dysmorphic disorder I was experiencing totally disappeared for the remainder of the day. And, finally, the OCD disappeared completely and the results again lasted for the remainder of the day "Despite the immediate advantages, though, within a week, vacation had ended and I returned to my dorm room at college, complete with roommate, and my practice suffered. I rarely found the opportunity to continue with what David had taught me, and the anxiety became a major problem in my life again. The BDD flourished, consuming nearly 2 hours per day in front of the mirror. This was extremely difficult to manage, particularly in light of the fact that my homework often took a back seat to my obsessions. "After this period, and another painful year following that (this time with 4 other roommates, and no practice of the yoga), I finally decided in the Summer of 2002 to return to David, this time with the knowledge and certainty that I would dedicate myself to improving my state of mind. "Before seeing David at this time, my life had completely fallen apart. Up at my university, I had decided to consult a psychologist through a program at the university, and she had suggested that I try medication. Following that advice, I later consulted a psychiatrist who prescribed Prozac for me at 20 mg a day. Even under the influence of the drug for many weeks, I was so completely anxious and depressed simultaneously, that I began to harm my self, by self-mutilating my arm. First I started with the ends of cigarettes, and then, with a razor, cutting so deep on two places on my arm that they required stitches. I also had a severely diminished interest in eating to the point that I would actually avoid two meals per day and I started losing weight and my mother began to question whether I was also becoming anorexic. It was at this point that my doctor was suggesting hospitalization to my parents that I went back to see David. "On the first meeting, everything became manageable again. At this time I also gave up use of the medication. The yoga put me in a state of balance, and gave me peace of mind immediately. I was able to quit cigarettes, and discontinue the self-mutilation as I worked at focusing on my breath and the exercises. I also started to have a normal appetite again. This all happened within a week of meeting with David and continuing the practice. The most beneficial aspect of the experience, however, was the immediate release from anxiety, depression, and OCD, that I received upon the first meeting with him again. The continuation of the practice led to a greater state of peace and general strength that has continued up to this day." David Shannahoff-Khalsa, listed on our directory in Del Mar, CA