“I know _____ probably won’t happen, but… what if it happens?”
“I know I shouldn’t be so concerned about this,….but…what if ______?”
Some of us are plagued by these thoughts, and the amount it consumes us is exhausting, time consuming, relationship damaging, and downright painful.
We all have fantastic, weird, and wonderful imaginations. It’s what makes us the amazing humans we are. Everyone at some point has probably asked the above questions to themselves. Everyone can have intrusive, unwanted thoughts and even feel compelled to try to do something to avoid something bad they’ve felt or imagined happen. They might even say “I’m being a little OCD” or “I am a little OCD”.
But, to those who silently suffer with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, we know it is so much more intense than that. We might, very understandably, be annoyed at people saying “I’m a little OCD” because they really don’t get how painful, and exhausting it really is.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a debilitating state of being caught in obsessions that lead to compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted thoughts or images that trigger powerfully distressing feelings. Compulsions are actions or thoughts we do to try to get rid of these feelings. These can be anything from excessive washing, avoiding, or redoing tasks to repeatedly asking for reassurance. We might even make intense efforts to control others’ actions, leading to frustration, and even anger, for both people. Sometimes it’s nothing that we outright “do”, as the anxious war rages completely within our own minds. Doing these compulsions in an effort to end the obsession can lead to a vicious cycle of more compulsions, drawing us farther and farther away from success, friends, family, and happiness.
People who suffer with OCD are some of the bravest, strongest people out there. Silently anguishing and consumed with anxiety, they endure their suffering and also make great (but misguided) efforts for peace, sacrificing themselves in the meantime.
If you suffer with this, or know someone who suffers. Know that this disorder is highly treatable with the right treatment. Many people have sought help from people who didn’t know the right way of helping (sometimes even a therapist) and concluded that treatment didn’t work for them.
Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is the preferred, evidenced-based therapy treatment for OCD. Erin is an experienced practitioner in this treatment, having received advanced training at UCLA and through the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF).
Help is out there. Call today to find out more information.