Chris is constantly worried about catching colds. In fact, Chris washes his hands just about 25 times a day. When asked, Chris says he can’t afford to be sick, and then gets into a lecture about how many germs there are around. Sometimes Chris washes his hands so much that they bleed.
Mary just graduated college and started a new job. She was sitting in a business seminar in a hotel when she began to perspire and her heart started to pound really hard. She also couldn’t catch her breath and had an overwhelming feeling that things were closing in around her.
Johnny had a hard time sleeping since he got back from fighting the war in Iraq. He often had nightmares and woke up in cold sweats. Then he started having flashbacks where he felt like he was actually back in the battlefield.
Tina has always been a “worry bug.” During high school, Tina found it very difficult to control her worry about being on time for class or appointments, her grades, losing her friends, getting her parents angry, her appearance, whether her teachers liked her, and which university she would attend. Since then she has also worried excessively about whether her current boyfriend will leave her, her cats, her work performance, her weight, and having enough time in the day to get everything done. Trina has great difficulty controlling these worries and they often intrude on her day-to-day living.
Jodi goes to great lengths to avoid spiders! If confronted with spiders, Jodi will suffer enormous distress, which can interfere with her normal function; it can sometimes lead to total panic. Sally organizes her life around avoiding spiders. She has an overpowering need to steer clear from yard work or cleaning the garage.
Max is feeling overwhelmed and extremely stressed out. He is having a hard time coping with endless days of depression. Max found that cutting himself with a razor calms him down. He doesn’t feel the emotional pain when he cuts. He says, “Okay, now all the pain in my head, is now on my skin.”
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