Do You Feel Powerless To Control Your OCD?
Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder getting in the way of your ability to enjoy life? Are you tired of trying to manage your obsessive thoughts and control your compulsions? Do you worry about what other people will think of you because of your behavior?
When you’re living with OCD, it’s easy to feel like you’re not in control of your life. You may know that your fears aren’t rational and that your compulsions don’t have to be satisfied—but it doesn’t matter. They’re too powerful to ignore.
Eventually, all the adjustments that you have to make because of OCD can get exhausting. Huge portions of your day may be spent making sure things are clean, performing certain rituals, or trying to manage feelings of guilt or shame.
OCD Can Put A Strain On Your Relationships
Oftentimes, OCD creates a lot of social anxiety. You may worry about satisfying your compulsions in the presence of others, fearing that they’ll judge you for it. Sometimes your loved ones may lose patience with you because they don’t understand just how powerful your obsessive-compulsive behaviors are. This can make you feel profoundly misunderstood and deeply alone. What’s more, people might tell you that OCD is “not a big deal” and that “everyone gets OCD about certain things.”
Here at Back to Balance Counseling, we understand how invalidating these remarks about OCD feel. That’s why we want to provide all the compassion and validation that we can and help you get your symptoms under control.
OCD Is So Much More Than Flipping Light Switches. For Many, It’s A Life-Changing Illness.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a condition more misunderstood than Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. We constantly hear people say things like “I’m so OCD about having my socks folded this way” or “I’m so OCD about having the lights off.” As a result, many people think OCD is little more than flipping light switches obsessively or making sure things are neat and tidy.
The truth is that it’s much more than quirky behaviors. Yes, most people do have some obsessive-compulsive tendencies, even those who don’t have OCD. But for those with the disorder, their negative thoughts and compulsive behaviors interfere with their quality of life. For them, OCD is a life-changing illness. It causes obsessive thoughts that are often irrational or disturbing and creates compulsive behaviors that are difficult to turn off.
OCD Can Lead To A Very Limited And Isolated Lifestyle
Over time, many people with OCD end up becoming attached to their obsessions and compulsions and more and more of their life gets sacrificed as a result. They often give up the parts of their life that make them anxious, which leads to a very limited and isolated lifestyle.
For instance, someone with an extreme fear of germs may resist going anywhere where they run the risk of getting sick. And when they do go out, they may be unable to enjoy themselves because of a constant need to wash their hands or make sure they don’t touch unclean surfaces.
What’s more, a lot of people don’t even realize they have OCD. They may have feelings of guilt and shame or fears about hurting themselves or others without knowing why. Therapy is a chance to learn more about what OCD is, how it affects you, and what you can do to manage it more effectively in day-to-day life.
OCD Therapy Can Help You Build Your Courage And Reduce Your Compulsive Behaviors
When you have OCD, it’s normal to fear that other people will see your behaviors as weird or crazy. With Back to Balance Counseling, you can rest assured that you will be met with compassion and non-judgment. Our goal is to normalize your struggles, validate your pain, and make you feel fully accepted for who you are.
Therapy gives you a chance to be educated about OCD and learn about how it affects the brain. After all, there are so many misconceptions out there. We will help you understand that you’re not alone and that your symptoms are not abnormal. The goal is to increase your awareness about how OCD works and use that knowledge to make positive changes in your life.
What To Expect In OCD Therapy Sessions
The main approach we use for treating OCD is called ERP, which stands for Exposure and Response Prevention. ERP challenges you to tolerate your discomfort instead of resisting it through compulsive behaviors. Basically, the approach exposes you to feared situations in a safe, supportive, and neutral setting, helping you reduce your compulsive need to escape them.
For instance, let’s say you’re afraid of dogs. You and your OCD therapist can create a list of things you can do to ease your fear—first you might watch a video of a dog, then you might go to an animal shelter, then you might pet a dog, etc. In other words, you will slowly build up the courage to tolerate your fear until you can be around dogs without feeling scared.
The great thing about ERP is that it’s all done at your own comfort level and you’re in charge of the pace of treatment. What’s more, your body cannot stay in a heightened state of fear forever. Eventually your body builds up a tolerance to your fears so that they don’t affect you anymore.
Ultimately, I believe that OCD does not have to hold you back in life. Once you realize that you are in control rather than OCD, I am confident that you will feel a deeper sense of confidence and empowerment. We want you to experience the same thing!
You May Have Some Questions And Concerns About OCD Therapy…
I don’t think I can face the things I am most afraid of.
Remember that we will never ask you to do something you’re not comfortable with. We will start ERP slowly and go at a pace that’s right for you. The exposure part of ERP is done in a safe, neutral setting, so it’s not the same as “facing your fears” point-blank. And if you ever feel stressed during ERP treatment, we will stop immediately and work on helping you feel safe and grounded again.
How long will ERP take?
Usually clients see a very significant change in about 10 to 20 sessions. That said, we encourage you to have patience with yourself. There is no pressure to have your symptoms disappear overnight. Your healing journey is uniquely yours and should not be compared to anyone else’s.
What if treatment is too overwhelming and I can’t do it?
It’s normal to feel treatment-resistant when you have OCD. If you feel too overwhelmed to start ERP, we will circle back to the beginning and focus on helping you understand OCD and how it affects your brain. We’ll teach you about what’s really going on when you’re dealing with your obsessions and compulsions. After that, we’ll discuss the life you envision for yourself and figure out the steps you need to get there. We can begin ERP whenever you’re ready to!
OCD Does Not Have To Be In Charge Of Your Life.
OCD can feel overpowering, but the right therapy can help you build up the courage and resilience to gain control over your symptoms. To connect with an OCD counselor, you can reach out today to schedule a free intake call.