Origin Stories: Writhing Crawdads

Intrusive thoughts center around morality. As discussed in "What is OCD Really," intrusions range from contaminating oneself to accidentally killing someone to forming incestuous relationships. Many OCD sufferers share similar fears due to widespread commonalities in moral codes (for a discussion on common fears, read "The Diversity of OCD"). Anecdotally and interestingly, obsessional fears begin…

Video Game Portrayals of Mental Health

Welcome to our new series: Media Spotlights! This series will highlight and analyze any form of media or art relating to mental health. Of course, that's a broad category and holds a wealth of meaningful content. Most anyone who knows me is well aware of my love for video games. Let's begin this series by…

Classically Operant Conditioning: How Compulsions Form

An involuntary thought of a sexual act with a coworker constantly repeats in your head, and you begin to rapidly recite poetry. The thought of a disease crawling across packaged meat causes you to wear gloves at the grocery store. Imagery of charred family members results in fire extinguishers in every room of the house.…

From 0 to 100: COVID Obsessions in Eight Hours

Monday's article was supposed to be about how compulsions form. I'm still writing that article—and I'm really happy with how its coming along—but I need to write about what happened to me today (so welcome to a single edit article written at 0130). I started "OCDVID-19: Of Suicide and Self-Harm" with the line "I have…

Teacher in the Gray — Part 4

Virtutem Lunae Soft white light bathes the landscape. A canyon, lifeless only moments before, breathes with new life. Streams whisper through the narrows, gleaming in the moonbeams snaking between trees. A lone fern contrasts sharply with the muted reds of a sandstone wall. Stars paint the canvased sky, winking from their high perches. A gentle…

Teacher in the Gray — Part 3

Ritualistic Self-Destruction A bright white notification on my phone contrasts the dark greens and browns on the monitor above it. The light squeak of brakes floats above the sounds of combat emanating from my headphones: a delivery person has arrived. "Food, brb" sounds from the speakers of half-a-dozen people across the United States. The character…