Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental illness that makes people have unwanted, intrusive thoughts and do the same things over and over again. People with OCD often have recurring thoughts or fears about harm or contamination, making them do something repeatedly, like cleaning or checking too much.
Living with OCD can be incredibly challenging, as it can take up a lot of time and energy and interfere with daily life. Many people with OCD feel embarrassed or ashamed of their thoughts and behaviors. They may struggle to talk about their experiences with others.
However, many people are successfully managing their OCD and living fulfilling lives.
In February of 2018, the blogger Emma received a diagnosis of OCD. Over the past 25 years, she had no idea she suffered from OCD. She wasn’t aware that she was suffering from OCD until she was 26 years old. Like many other people, Emma used to think that OCD was synonymous with being unable to leave a room until she had turned on and turned off the light several times. You could also be obsessed with counting, hate numbers that aren’t even, or make sure your house is always clean. Even though some of these symptoms are real, they only show the second part of the disorder, compulsions. She is conscious of the obsessive habits she engages in.
In addition to that, she is plagued by compulsive thoughts. These thoughts are devious because they are spoken in your voice; they are persuasive, realistic, and almost always upsetting. They are devious because the voice in which they are expressed sounds exactly like yours. Keep in mind that these are just thoughts until we give them some sort of significance. Please don’t give them the satisfaction of figuring out what you mean. Let them go forward.
Emma, who attempted suicide at age 25, started over in life as an entrepreneur to help people with their mental health after she survived the attempt.
Her story illustrates the symptoms of OCD. But with the right help and tools, people with OCD can get past their problems and live meaningful, useful lives. People with OCD can lead fulfilling lives and find effective ways to manage their symptoms. It is important to remember that everyone’s experience with OCD is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. But with the right help and tools, people with OCD can get past their problems and live meaningful, useful lives.
Steps overcoming OCD
There is no one way to get rid of OCD because everyone’s experience with the condition differs. However, some common steps that many people take to overcome OCD include:
- Seeking a professional diagnosis: The first step in overcoming OCD is getting an accurate diagnosis from a mental health professional. A professional diagnosis can help rule out other conditions with similar symptoms and ensure you receive the proper treatment.
- Seeking treatment: A combination of medication and therapy is often the most effective approach to treating OCD. Antidepressant medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), can help manage the intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviors associated with OCD. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that can help people with OCD learn coping strategies for managing their symptoms.
- Engaging in self-care: People with OCD often benefit from self-care activities, such as exercise, mindfulness, and relaxation techniques. These activities can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being.
- Challenging intrusive thoughts: People with OCD may benefit from learning how to challenge and reframe their intrusive thoughts. For example, instead of being consumed by their fears, they can learn to accept and acknowledge their thoughts without overly focusing on them.
- Practicing exposure and response prevention (ERP): ERP is a therapy that involves gradually exposing oneself to feared situations or objects while avoiding the urge to perform compulsive behaviors. It can help reduce anxiety and desensitize people to their triggers.
- Building a support network: Having a support network of friends, family, or peers who understand what you’re going through can be incredibly helpful when overcoming OCD. Support groups and online communities provide a space for people to connect with others who are going through similar experiences.
It’s important to remember that overcoming OCD is a gradual process that takes time and patience. But with the proper support and resources, many people with OCD can manage their symptoms and live fulfilling lives.
“I have obsessive compulsive disorder and it started manifesting itself when I was three… I have only the vaguest memory of life before fear. [Exercise] helped my anxiety in ways I never dreamed possible.”– Lena Dunham
Thank you for reading this article.
I am Daniel, My Psychology KK’s intern.
With you, My Psychology KK.