Tuesday, January 26, 2010

OCD and Chain Texts- Even Worse Than Chain Mail!

Chain texts are worse than chain e-mails because they are even more invasive, as people are literally attached to their cell phones. Chain texts really can’t be ignored. You have to address them – you can either send misery to another ten people, or delete, and perhaps suffer anxiety. As I said before, people with OCD or other anxiety disorders can be adversely affected by these texts.

My friend Laura brought this to my attention. Commenting on my last blog regarding annoying chain e-mails, Laura writes… "Great blog! Now the chain letters have leaked from the Internet into text messaging as well. I just got one the other day telling me that if I didn’t forward the text my mother was going to die. I hate these things."

Researching chain texts, I found some comments on Yahoo answers...

"I hate them! I know if I read them, most of the time i will be freaked out b/c they are scary...but I don't anyway! But on my phone, they just waste minutes! I dunno why people send them! We all know they aren't true! >:("

"A quick way too get a virus on your mobile and cost you money too get a new system and etc. An endless text message charges out the wah zoo."

There was not one good thing on there that anyone said in defense of these texts.

I found an article about Laura’s text, which was also a chain e-mail, written by Parry Aftab – here is an exerpt:

In 1997, when I was writing the “Parents Guide to the Internet” I began talking to tweens about their online experiences. One mother and tween shared an experience about a chain e-mail the girl had received. “Send this to ten of your closest friends, or your mother will die!” Clearly the kids had upped- the-ante since I was a tween 45 years ago. They hadn’t just moved online. They had moved from offering good luck and happiness to scare tactics.
This 11 –year-old promptly deleted the email, proud of herself for not falling for the message. Then, at 3am she woke up screaming, fearing she had signed her mother’s death warrant. No matter how hard her mother tried to convince her, the only way to get her to go back to sleep was to retrieve the email from the deleted file and send it to ten others. Her mother added a note to delete the message once the recipients get it.

There is actually a group on Facebook, "I Hate Chain Texts," who shares mine and Laura’s opinion:




Wednesday, January 20, 2010


One of my blog readers commented on a recent blog I wrote, “The News Can Do You In.” Her response got me thinking that it is not only the news— chain letters and chain e-mails are responsible for messing up the minds and computers of millions of people. Here is part of Cindy’s response:

“Oh and don’t get me started on the chain emails... they stress me out... I usually delete them but sometimes I’m guilty of forwarding them to my friends... just in case it’s true that I’ll have bad luck for 10 yrs if I don’t fwd them to 10 friends in the next 10 minutes!! Lol”

One vile chain e-mail is the Bloody Mary Curse, which claims to be cursed once opened and warns that not sending it on will cause dire and tragic things. I’m NOT going to put the whole thing on here –

“You are now cursed. You must send this on or you will be killed. Tonight at 12:00am, by Bloody Mary. This is no joke. So don't think you can quickly get out of it and delete it now because Bloody Mary will come to you if you do not send this on…”

I want to let people know that this kind of e-mail can be very damaging, especially people with OCD who may obsess about having bad luck if they don’t send it on. Sending it becomes the compulsion for relief of the obsession. Bloody Mary says something terrible will happen if you don’t send it. Here is another part of it…

“Don't think this is a fake and it's all put on to scare you because it’s real ...

“We strongly advise you to send this email on. It is seriously NO JOKE. We don't want to see another life wasted. ITS YOUR CHOICE... WANNA DIE TONIGHT? If you send this email to...NO PEOPLE - You're going to die.1-5 PEOPLE - You're going to either get hurt or get the biggest fright of your life.5-15 PEOPLE - You will bring your family bad luck and someone close to you will die.15 -25 OR MORE PEOPLE - You are safe from Bloody Mary”

How terrible these are! Why put fear into people?

Here’s what I found on Wikipedia regarding chain letters…

Common methods used in chain e-mails and letters include emotionally manipulative stories, get-rich-quick pyramid schemes, and the exploitation of superstition to threaten the recipient with bad luck or even physical violence or death if he or she "breaks the chain" and refuses to adhere to the conditions set out in the letter.

Reasons for sending these…
1) To defraud you of your identityb) To play on emotions and take your money c) To send it to everyone on your mailing list to clog up the internetd) To pass on computer viruses

And hoax messages also known as e-mail scams often threaten or frighten you to pass on your personal information or a sum of money to the sender.

I refuse to open these types of e-mails because I have been a victim of the anxiety they can cause in the past. I hope that people stop writing these and I also hope that people stop passing them on. NO MORE CHAIN LETTERS!!!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

OCD and UnTherapy

Happy New Year 2010!
My friend Eileen sent this to me and I thought it would be a good way to start 2010. I wish everyone a wonderful year!

5 Ways to Prevent Self-Sabotage in 2010
by Sunny Massad

Getting ready to make a New Year's resolution or are you "over it" because they don't work out anyway? Here are a few ways to keep yourself on track in 2010.

1. Instead of trying to stay positive, try validating the “negative” feelings that lurk in the shadows. What sounds like "whining" is sometimes simply a call for attention! Whining can be attempted communications from your soul to bring awareness that you have needs that are apparently not being met. If you are complaining about someone else, you've either got to communicate with them, back away from them, or shift your beliefs about them so that you can make your peace that "this is the way they are." In short: love them or leave them!

2. Are you sick of repeating the same old story over and over again? Refuse to repeat it. What happened in your past cannot be changed. But the meaning you make of that past is up to you. You have a choice of victimizing yourself over and over again with those memories, or you can identify the lessons you learned from that past and move on! Stay focused in the moment. Find a way to become "stuck in your story no more."

3. If we were to put a microphone up to your brain when you were talking to yourself, would we hear a supportive voice of praise or would we hear the wrath of self-criticism? Practice reversing old damage from those who once criticized you. The longer you repeat what they told you, the longer you will continue to give them power over you. Learn to praise yourself for your own personal admissions and insightful thoughts.

4. If you find yourself complaining about parts of yourself that you mercilessly judge, you have the power to transform your judgments by turning them into goals. For example, if you wish you were in better physical condition, instead of feeling victimized by your own apathy, ask yourself what you want instead of a lousy body and body image and create a step-by-step daily plan to get yourself there.

5. If you are not arriving at the door of 2010 living the life that you want to live, you are not alone. Most people live lives they ACCEPT. Change occurs when the routines that once worked no longer do. If you want to break old patterns, do everything you say you want to do whether you feel like it or not. Your self-esteem will rise and your self-respect will grow. Break your goals into small steps that you can manage. And hold yourself accountable. That is how you can best align your daily life with your values. Go for it. If you drop the ball, and God knows we all drop the ball sometimes, pick it back up. Do it for yourself so you can die with a sense of integrity when it's your time to go!

Setting Intentions for 2010: The UnTherapy Workshop

UnTherapy is geared both toward people who drive themselves too hard and people who do not have enough drive. This self-reflective workshop will teach you practical tools to remove the causes of self-sabotage. Could you use some “aha! moments” about how your unconscious contributes to circumstances that sabotage your own fulfillment and/or perpetuates patterns of stress? If you could use a boost to ensure that you walk your talk this year, this workshop is for you. In an intimate group setting you will learn how to eradicate behavior patterns, reverse self-sabotage, and fuel self-confidence.

Roshani Shay, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Hawaii Wellness Institute