Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a kind of anxiety disorder characterized by obsessions or upsetting and pervasive thoughts, and compulsions, rituals used to help manage the obsessions. Treatment for OCD often comprises of medication, psychotherapy or both.
There are also a number of self-help ways which you can use in your daily life to help manage with OCD. Here are some useful tips for you to cope with the symptoms:
Brush up on OCD facts
Acknowledging that OCD is a type of anxiety disorder is a major first step to understanding how to overcome it. Research has shown that more than 2 percent of the adult population suffers from OCD at some period in their lifetime. And the symptoms usually appear around the age of 19, they can severely interrupt your life in various ways.
Understand your anxiety
Think about which situations may make you feel anxious. Usually, you know your fears are unrealistic but feel powerless to stop when it comes to anxiety disorder. Writing down anxious thoughts and dealing with each one, noting whether it is a realistic problem or not may help. Make sure to include what had happened before so you might begin to identify your anxiety triggers.
Challenge your interpretation of the situation
Think about your fears and ask yourself whether this is a realistic fear or you are confusing facts with thoughts. Moreover, you should consider whether your thoughts are accurate, what are the negative sides of thinking this way. When you challenge your fears, you can open yourself up to finding new thought strategies.
Accept that your OCD is interfering with your life
Acceptance is always the first step to managing your anxiety.
Keep a journal
Write down your unwanted and intrusive thoughts which make you anxious and notice what rituals or compulsions you did to try to fight against these thoughts.
Try to slowly cut back on your compulsive behaviors
For instance, if you must check to see if the washing machine is turned off 10 times, allow yourself to check 8 times, then 6, 4, 2 times until you are able to check only once. If you are still struggling with OCD, talk with your medical professional about other types of treatment and set an appointment with a psychologist to come up with additional self-help strategies for your unique situation.
Delay performing your ritual
If you must immediately perform a ritual, for instance, if you touch something you must wash your hands immediately, try to delay washing your hands for 1 minute, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, etc. Try to continue the delay between the incident and the ritual until you are comfortable not performing the compulsion.
Individuals who experience obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors may be discomfort with their daily life. Regardless of what you do, you could not seem to shake them off. But help is always available. With treatment and self-help strategies, you might break free of the OCD symptoms and take back control of your life.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017
Obsessive-compulsive Disorder. http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/tc/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd-topic-overview. Accessed January 1, 2017.
Obsessive-compulsive Disorder. http://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/obssessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd.htm. Accessed January 1, 2017.