Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can be a debilitating disorder. However, it is possible to live a fulfilling life with OCD. There are several different ways that you can learn to handle the symptoms of OCD. Ranging from medication to therapy, options are out there. If you want to take the self-help route, then there are a few tips that can help get started. While you still may need professional help, self-help is a step in the right direction.
Living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Without professional help, living with OCD can seem impossible. However, there are ways that you can help yourself. Follow these tips to make life with the disorder a little more manageable.
1. Learn About OCD
Whether you think that you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or you know it for certain, the best thing that you can do is educate yourself. OCD is a very misunderstood disorder. Although people often joke about having OCD, few individuals actually understand what it means to have it.
OCD is a type of anxiety disorder. When you have it, you need to learn everything that you can about it. With that knowledge, you can learn how to manage it. The better you understand your OCD, the better you can manage it.
You can also find out what treatment options you have available to you. Additionally, you might learn about some resources for those who suffer from the disorder. Because over 2% of the US population suffers from OCD, there are many resources available. Those resources can help you cope on a day-to-day basis.
2. Know What Triggers Your Anxiety
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder manifests itself in many ways. Therefore, everyone has different symptoms and triggers for OCD. It’s important for you to understand how the disorder affects your life. To do this, you need to think about your triggers. What situations make you anxious? When do you feel the most stress?
When people suffer from anxiety, they usually know when their fears are unrealistic. For example, you might not hear from your partner for a few hours. After your anxiety kicks in, you might worry that he was in a terrible accident. Although you know that this is unlikely, you can’t stop yourself from worrying about it. It’s an unrealistic fear.
When you have anxiety, write down your thoughts. Then, think about which thoughts are realistic and make notes about it. You should also write down what events occurred before your anxiety. With the help of your notes, you might be able to learn what triggers your anxiety. You can learn your triggers and then avoid situations that trigger anxiety.
3. Accept That OCD Is a Part of Your Life
One of the most difficult things to do is to admit that you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Many people fear to live with a mental illness. More specifically, they fear others labeling them and judging them. For this reason, they deny that they have OCD. However, admitting it is half the battle. When you can admit to yourself that you suffer from OCD, you can start your self-help journey.
Another important step is to admit that OCD will not go away. Unlike an illness, OCD is a part of you. No matter what you do, it won’t go away. While you can manage the symptoms, you can’t make it disappear. Admitting that OCD will always be a part of you is key to a happy life. Once you can admit it, you can look for coping techniques. With time, you can learn how to live with OCD. Millions of people around the world live with it, and you can too.
4. Keep a Journal
If you want to live happily with OCD, then you should try keeping a diary. Although it sounds childish, keeping a diary can help you cope. Every day, keep track of your negative thoughts. When you perform a ritual or compulsion, make a note of it.
In addition to making you feel better about your day, journal keeping has another benefit. It can also help you learn how to cope better with your disorder. If you know how you react to certain situations, then you might be able to make positive changes in your life. And if you decide to see a therapist or counselor, then your notes can help them better understand you.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help
OCD isn’t something that you have to cope with on your own. While self-help is a valuable tool, there is no shame in getting outside help. There are many specialists who can come up with techniques for you to live better with OCD. To learn those techniques, you need to reach out to someone. Research some of your local specialists and find one who you want to see. If you get help from someone, then you could get some incredible results. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!