If you have OCD or related disorders, you can use self-compassion to escape from the mental nursery of nonstop negativity.
OCD and your smartphone both send you notifications when they want you to so something, but marrying your attention to your intentions can keep you from getting lost in either the digital world or OCD hell.
So how exactly do I approach ERP (exposure and response prevention therapy) for OCD? I share the process and steps I use as well as the difference between proactive and reactive ERP.
Join Reid Wilson, PhD, Ethan Smith, and me to learn more about the attitude of OCD recovery for COVID and beyond!
Your younger self may have lessons to teach you about how NOT to get caught in the OCD cycle.
Having trouble motivating yourself? Try the simple yet effective "this before that" technique!
It's unfortunately all too easy to create our own suffering using the tried and true formula of Pain x Resistance = Suffering.
When you have OCD, you might not have had a lot of practice in demonstrating self-love. Knowing your love language can give you a starting point for how to best communicate kindness and compassion to yourself.
When life throws curveballs (as it’s been doing to all of us lately!), sometimes I need to either proactively or reactively remind my OCD that I can use scary content as a weapon just as easily as it can. This is when I do an exposure and response prevention (ERP) exercise I call shower scripting.
The pandemic has reinforced my OCD’s twisted, negative view of the world. As I've been working to identify what could help me strengthen the healthier worldview I gained through ERP, one activity has risen to the top: changing my intake of news and social media.
On July 14, 2020, I lost my soulmate. My 35-year-old Arabian horse, Speciale Lee, died in the ICU of the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital, with me by his side. As I’ve worked to process my grief, I’ve been thinking about all Lee taught me and is continuing to teach me even though he’s gone. Knowing I’m not alone in going through grief right now, as we’re all experiencing loss and grief due to the pandemic, I thought I would share lessons from my love and loss of Lee in hopes that they will bring you as much comfort and hope as they have given me.
Giving OCD credit for your strengths is making a deal with the devil. Here's why.
In this era of COVID-19, OCD is being misused ever more frequently, such as “I wish I had a little OCD” or “we need OCD now,” as if having a mental illness is an adaptive benefit that can protect people from becoming infected with coronavirus. As a person who has obsessive compulsive disorder, I can tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.
Borrowing from some cognitive-behavioral therapy tools for anxiety, in my new Psychology Today blog post, Respond Instead of React: Managing COVID-19 Anxiety, I share five ways we can learn to turn our anxious reactions into more useful responses, helping us and our loved ones cope well in this time of crisis.
My OCD has been extra riled up lately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so much so that I decided I needed to reestablish my authority over it. After writing my OCD a letter and reading it out loud, I felt empowered, and my OCD has been much quieter as a result.
If you have OCD and it’s acting up because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re not alone. But don’t let your self-critical voice or OCD get you down if you’re struggling right now. Instead, empower yourself by validating your experience, modifying your expectations, and self-compassionately accepting your OCD recovery efforts.
Because of the toll the current coronavirus situation could take on people with OCD, Reid Wilson, PhD; Kimberley Quinlan, LMFT; and I have developed the following tips for managing OCD fears about coronavirus. We hope they will help you feel empowered and supported, so that even in this uncertain time, you can keep OCD from running your life.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve noticed that the people who tame OCD most effectively are those who make three strategic shifts in their attitude toward not only exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy, the evidence-based therapy for OCD, but to life itself. Read 3 Ways to Power Up Your OCD Therapy on my Psychology Today blog to learn what they do.
I’ve let fear make a fair number of decisions in my life. But no more. I put my shoulders back and do the things I want to do, acting like all the noise in my head is irrelevant. And you can, too!
Have you ever thought about taking the same arrogant attitude with your OCD that it takes with you when you do ERP therapy? Watch this video to watch how I approached ERP with a new attitude that helped me turn my life around.
What's wrong with saying, "I'm so OCD"? The hypothesis is that when people who have untreated OCD hear other people misuse the name of their disorder, it discourages them from seeking treatment.
With practice, you can learn to transform your OCD triggers into opportunities where you can #faceyourfear and win.
Words have power, and changing "I have to" to "I want to" can be tremendously empowering.
In an effort to stop rushing around the way Emmy Rossum elegantly captures in her song “Slow Me Down," a little over a month ago I took both The Focus Course and The Margin Course. I wanted to learn how to make better progress on important projects with less racing around and more breathing room. Assignments in both courses asked me to identify distractions that interfered with my ability to focus. I came up with a list of 11 types, including email, my phone, my Fitbit, social media and even OCD...
OCD wants you to have the "right" emotion, the one that matches its scary and depressing stories. The exposure exercise is to purposely call forth the "wrong" emotion, the one that's the opposite of how OCD wants you to feel. To learn more, read this post on my Beyond the Doubt Psychology Today blog.
Here are the questions submitted about my blog Interrupt OCD’s Mental Rituals with “May or May Not” (MOMN) and my answers.
Realistic expectations of recovery are so important for the well-being of people with OCD. Because if people with OCD have unrealistic expectations they cannot achieve, they are incredibly likely to beat themselves up, which hurts them and their recoveries. Read more on my Psychology Today Beyond the Doubt blog.
If you have trouble using Shoulders Back/Man in the Park because you keep transacting with your OCD in your mind, otherwise known as “mentally ritualizing” or what some call “pure-O,” read about an ERP technique that’s a bridge tool to help you develop the strength to do Shoulders Back/Man in the Park effectively.
Here are the questions submitted about my blog post Shoulders Back! The Man in the Park and my answers.
The man in the park metaphor is one I use all the time with clients to explain how to most effectively handle OCD.
I wrote a 5-part series for my Beyond the Doubt Psychology Today blog called The Best TED Talks for People with OCD, plus an additional post related to Part 4 about how to feel more connected to others.
How to turn OCD's little wins into BIG victories for your recovery. Read this post on my Beyond the Doubt Psychology [...]
Why my OCD is very sorry it threw a tantrum in a train station. Read this post on my Beyond [...]
Why I never leave home without four special keys...that don't unlock my house. Read this post on my Beyond [...]
I'm not going to say which magazine put "Be a little OCD" in print because this is not about shaming them; that would be doing the very thing that I'm advocating against. Instead, this is about education.
When you have OCD and/or anxiety, your life can be dominated by attempts to attain the BIG Cs: CONTROL and CERTAINTY. [...]
Why do I have a dog toy with a tissue taped to it sitting on my desk? And how does [...]
I read the following paragraph from Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams [...]
"You can do this," I said as I held Lily's hand, the scene before me becoming blurry as my eyes [...]
As I sit here thinking about what an amazing time I had at the 2015 IOCDF Conference—the fun I had [...]