Brené Brown On Pathology

Let’s take OCD as an example.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is in the DSM-5. The DSM-5 is The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illnesses, the latest edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s professional reference book on mental health.

Let’s take an OCD ‘PART’ as an example. It might be that your OCD part works hard to stop you from dissociating. Maybe when you are dissociated and not in your body, you feel numb, and your system associates this experience with feeling scared. So, your system doesn’t want to dissociate.

OCD part to the rescue! OCD knows that if it can keep you counting in your head or doing a repetitive action, you will stay in your body. OCD keeps you in your body and stops you from the terrible feeling of dissociating. In this way, OCD can be protective. 

Often, these different parts don’t know that we are now safe and are still doing what they need to do to keep us safe. This is how things like OCD can develop over time.

We all have lots of different parts. Some are wounded and holding pain and trauma (exiles), and some whose job is keeping us safe (protectors). Other examples of protectors might be angry parts that push people away or parts that do things to numb out so we don’t have to feel pain.

Knowing your parts and understanding their role helps you move closer to the parts they are protecting. 

Healing is absolutely possible, no matter how extreme your parts behaviour might be.

Interview of Brené Brown by Tim Ferris: