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If You Have OCD…Consider This:


When I work with children that suffer from OCD, we personify it in order to empower them. When they choose to name their OCD, they will find a funny name such as “germy,” “ozie,” etc.  We talk about shrinking it, and not letting it boss them around.  This empowers them. When I work with adults, they don’t name their OCD, but I help them understand how debilitating OCD can be if they let it run amuck in their minds.

Below are seven statements that summarize the most important issues a person needs to be aware of in order to “be in charge of their own lives again.”

Beware of:

Nourishing and fortifying OCD.  When you give in to its demands and continue the rituals, OCD becomes stronger.  Remember, it has been said that OCD is like a kitten.  The more you feed it, the bigger it’ll get and the more it’ll want from you.  Don’t be surprised when it becomes a tiger and tries to eat you when you least expect it.

Beware of:

Rationalizing.  Yes, we are human beings with amazing brains to find a reason for what we do and think.  However, next time you have an OCD thought, beware of going over every single detail about yourself and making an exhaustive list of the reasons why you are not this “terrible person” with these horrible thoughts.  When you rationalize, you are inadvertently ensuring OCD’s strength over you.

Beware of:

Finding reassurance from your friends, relatives and most importantly yourself.  When anxiety kicks in, most likely, you go back to the situation in your mind or ask others for reassurance.  You want to have a 100% certainty.  The truth is, it will never be enough.

Beware of:

Isolating yourself.  It’s possible you may want to hide your struggles, but isolating yourself most likely will strengthen OCD.  I often hear clients say things like:  “When I get OCD under control, I’ll be happy.”  “I’ll be able to enjoy others.”  It’s difficult to be around others sometimes, but when you believe those statements, you are giving OCD the power.  You may be denying yourself some happiness NOW despite OCD!

Beware of:

Letting OCD get you down.  Learn to recognize the signs and defy it!  Succumbing to compulsions can be exhausting.  Get the education and right kind of treatment in order to learn how to go about it.

Beware of:

Avoidances.  Chances are you avoid situations, things, people, and places that trigger your OCD.  Of course avoiding the triggers helps your anxiety go down; unfortunately, it gives OCD the upper hand.

Beware of:

Believing that by doing the same thing you’ve been doing for the past months or years will finally work.  Sometimes I imagine OCD may be saying:  “Just this once.  Give me a chance.”  The truth is that “OCD’s promises” don’t pan out.  Unfortunately, if you don’t know what to do, you may keep hoping that someday things will work out.

As a therapist specialized in treating OCD, I am here to tell you there is hope and you can learn to manage it.  Yes, there is a lot of hard work involved, but you can do hard things.  You’ve proven that thus far!  You don’t have to let OCD continue to take away what can be a great life!

There is no reason why you should continue to suffer alone and/or unaware. Finding the right kind of treatment will help you learn skills to deal with your own journey with OCD.

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