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What is OCD Self-Help?

By Harriette Halepis
Updated May 17, 2024
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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental illness that requires trained psychological attention. Through therapy, counseling, and prescription drugs, people suffering from OCD can live normal lives. In addition to medical and psychological attention, OCD self-help is also important. This type of self-help refers to the many things that a person living with OCD can do to help themselves get through each day. Most OCD experts agree that there are four critical stages towards OCD self-help.

The first step towards OCD self-help has to do with recognition. By simply trying to understand and recognize urges, certain obsessive behaviors can be stopped. To accomplish this task, a person must be willing to concentrate on each obsessive thought, try and understand that thought, and attempt to get to the very root of the thought itself. If you are suffering from OCD, try to keep in mind that all thoughts you have are symptoms of a medical disorder. If you tell yourself that the thoughts you are having are due to the disorder, then it will be easier to think rationally.

Next, keep in mind that any urges you may have is a direct result of your OCD. The more that you distance yourself from this illness, the better equipped you will be to control any instant compulsions that you may have. This step takes a vast amount of work and concentration, which some people may find frustrating and tiring at first. The idea behind OCD self-help is to work through the first two stages of help thoroughly before moving on to steps three and four.

The third step is a bit more complex than the first and second steps. Embarking on the third step means forcing your brain to do something that it is not accustomed to doing. When you feel a sudden urge to act in an obsessive manner, you must tell your brain to replace this urge with another act. For example, washing your hands hundreds of times is an obsessive urge, but if you can recognize this fact, and switch to brushing your teeth, you will train your brain to move on to another action before your current action becomes obsessive.

Lastly, try and determine whether each action you take is worth your time and energy. When you recognize that a behavior is part of your OCD, ask yourself whether or not you want to indulge this action. Chances are, you'll quickly recognize the difference between an obsessive behavior and a rational thought. However, this fourth step cannot be accomplished without the foundation of all prior OCD self-help steps.

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