Obsessive compulsive disorder is a specific kind of anxiety disorder that can be characterized by an overwhelming need to behave in a certain way. Usually it involves obsessions and pervasive and upsetting thoughts, alongside compulsions or rituals that are used to help manage those thoughts. Treatment for OCD typically includes a combination of medications and therapy, but there are self-help solutions that might help you to manage your condition.
1. Educate Yourself
Sometimes, the first step towards living a healthier life is getting to understand the problem that you’re actually facing. OCD is a common anxiety disorder, and more than 2% of people in the United States suffer from this problem at some stage in their life. Usually, symptoms will appear in the teenage years, but they can overwhelm people at any age.
2. Challenge Your Fears
Sometimes, thinking carefully about your concerns and challenging your automatic feelings with logical, reasonable responses can help you to overcome the anxiety that’s common in OCD. Usually, the fears surrounding OCD are completely unreasonable, and pushing yourself to recognize that can help you to start to get a handle on the situation. Of course, this doesn’t work for everyone, but it might give you the start you need to start considering alternative approaches in your thought process.
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3. Keep a Journal
Sometimes, writing down your unwanted and intrusive thoughts can help you to understand them better. Note down the rituals that you perform on a regular basis, and keep a detailed diary of your activities. Remember to draw attention to good days, as well as the bad, so you can look back and congratulate yourself for your hard work. The journal may even be useful in your psychotherapy sessions when you’re getting treatment.
4. Try to Delay your Ritual
If you need to perform a ritual, it might help to push yourself into delaying that ritual wherever possible. For instance, if you feel that you need to wash your hands immediately after touching someone, you should try to delay the process for at least one minute, then three minutes, then five minutes. Sometimes, gradually progressing the amount of time you delay actions for will help you to build up more resilience during recovery.