It's Not Me. It's My OCD: The Evolution of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Postpartum OCD, and Obsessive Personalities

Tuesday, March 07, 2017 by Meg   •   Filed under General


Every day, people use the phrase "OCD" to describe any number of behaviors, from being meticulous about appearance to the desire to get things completed a certain way: 

"I just cannot go to bed with dishes in the sink. I'm SO OCD." 

SPOILER ALERT: That ain't OCD (though it might be a different condition, so read on). 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a lifelong condition that usually shows up during puberty or early adulthood and is identified by (you guessed it) obsessions and compulsions. OCD is equally likely to occur in men and women, and affects around 2% of the population1. And it can be absolutely debilitating. This is not a "sink full of dishes" type concern. OCD can be a "I'm not leaving my house today because I'm too busy scrubbing my hands raw" kind of concern. 

Aside from the obsessions and compulsions, most with OCD tend to worry, usually about how worried and anxious they are. But make no mistake; whether they are seen as over-reactors, as overly sensitive or as obsessive, the whole thing is scary as fuck. I really think that phrase should be a part of the clinical definition of OCD, which is why they will never hire me to write that book, though I guarantee mine would be more entertaining to read. Maybe I will write my own, dammit....  continue reading

How I Finally Conquered My Panic Attacks (and you can too)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 by Meg   •   Filed under Anxiety

We all acquire anxiety issues a little differently. We all get through things a little differently as well.  Some use cognitive behavioral skills, including humor techniques, deep breathing, thought replacement, self compassion, mindfulness and vocalized defensiveness to get through their panic attacks or scary thoughts. Today my guest poster takes you on her journey towards healing. 

By: Misty Browne

As I step out of the SUV at the airport, my boss’s mother asks me if I’m feeling OK. 

“I’m fine, just a little under the weather,” I respond. 

In line for security I get the same question as the wand runs across my body. I nod and move on. By the time I’m at my gate I can’t breathe. I rush to the bathroom. “Maybe I’m getting the flu,” I tell myself. I splash cold water on my face. Outside of being a touch pale, the mirror reflects green eyes and brown hair falling neatly over my shoulders, the same as always. But I feel different. I feel like I’m going to die. I can’t breathe and my heart is pounding so hard I can hear it....  continue reading

FREE SHORT STORY

Thursday, February 16, 2017 by Meg   •   Filed under Books

GET CRIMSON SNOW HERE

“A gripping ride into frozen insanity. Readers cannot go wrong with this visceral introduction to O’Flynn’s writing.”~Andra Watkins, bestselling author of Not Without My Father

“Insanely evocative writing! I’m a huge fan of short stories and this one is layered, twisted in all the best ways, and expertly written. This sucked me in and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.” ~Beth Teliho, Order of Seven

“O’Flynn created an apocalyptic and barren landscape and took us on a twisting ride. I seriously had to pull the covers up tighter because her powerful words had me cold and scared and wondering who I could trust. This is the kind of story I could see on a show like Twilight Zone.” ~Jennifer Dyer, The Donor

From the back cover:

Green Valley was once known for its fertile farming, picturesque mountains, and abundant wildlife. Now snow and ice cover all but the tallest homes. The only sounds are Maverick’s boots clumping through the snowdrifts and the frigid wind hissing down the mountain. Even the beasts in the woods have gone utterly silent.

But the path forward is clear, especially for one emboldened by optimism. So Maverick keeps moving, trudging through the abandoned town toward the desolate tundra beyond the forest, marring the snow with his bloody footprints.

To leave is a risk. To stay might be suicide.

Either way, no one leaves these mountains alive.

Intrigued? You know you are.

GET CRIMSON SNOW HERE before this offer ends.

...  continue reading

"I'm Not in the Mood." The Usual Decline of Sexual Interest (and what do do about it)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 by Meg   •   Filed under Sexuality/Relationships

“I just want a quickie.”  

“I feel used.” 

“I think we should have sex more often.” 

“I think you need to show me more emotional support first.”

“How about just a blow job?” 

“How about a back rub?”

“Why do you always want sex?”

“Why don’t you want it more?”

“God, I’m just so…bored.”

Sound familiar? If you're like thousands of other couples this Valentine's Day, you might be having one of these conversations. We can't all be like Shannon and Morrison in my second novel, Conviction. (Rawr.)

Sexual issues come up often in relationship counseling, and they can be tricky to tease apart, unlike your husband’s legs. (Ba dum dum, ching). While sexual activity is at a peak in early relationships, it tends to decline over time. But why? We surely love our spouse more now than we do when we met them, don’t we?

Why would our sexual desire so reliably go down (and not in the fun way)? There are quite a few reasons, and obviously all of them cannot be discussed in one post. But while this isn’t a universal truth for everyone, there are a few, very common reasons for a loss of desire. And while I will be addressing the ladies here only because I more often see couples where women have lower drives, keep in mind that these roles can be reversed. 

Come with me. (heh) Let’s check this out....  continue reading

The Pain Disorder That Saved My Life

Thursday, February 02, 2017 by Meg   •   Filed under Anxiety

Pain and depression can go hand-in-hand because of the way brain chemicals like serotonin affect both of those conditions (more on depression here). But did you know anxiety can follow similar patterns? So much overlap. Neurotransmitters are kinda jerky like that. Some people even experience panic attacks related to food sensitivities

And sometimes we stumble upon these relationships by accident. Today I have a guest post from a lovely woman who found out just how closely linked pain and anxiety can be....  continue reading

Are Criminals Blameworthy Or Are They Victims? American Justice, Mental Illness and the Illusion of Free Will

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 by Meg   •   Filed under General

Justice. 

It is an uncomfortable topic, particularly once we begin to explore mental health issues within the context of American prisons. There are currently ten times the number of individuals with serious mental illness in jails and state prisons than there are in state mental hospitals1. Prisons are currently our way of housing the mentally ill, de facto institutions when we find ourselves without appropriate healthcare facilities for long-term commitments.

Most prisoners are worse off biologically and emotionally when they emerge, increasing rates for re-offense. Not that this bothers us much; we assume that one who has been put away is a menace to society anyway, an individual who will surely do more harm than good. After all, you have to do something to get locked up. It is that action that we judge in our courthouses. 

But neuroscientist David Eagleman has a slightly different take on the notion of justice in Incognito. Ealgeman argues that it is not simply the act committed that we should look at during sentencing. To judge an individual, we must identify how blameworthy they are. 

And that, my friends, is a more difficult subject than most realize....  continue reading