- what if I’m a pedophile but I don’t know it?
- what if some day I go berserk and kill my loved ones even though I would never dream of doing such a thing?
- what if I do something or fail to do something I ought to have done and it causes harm to a loved one?
- what if my sexual orientation isn’t what I think it is?
- what if I think my life is real but it’s really just a dream?
- what if I make the wrong decision when buying a _____ because I didn’t look into all the facts?
Or, maybe you find yourself doing things such as cleaning house, leaving a room, washing your hands, organizing your desk, a certain way because it just feels “wrong” or “upsetting” or you “can’t relax” unless you do them “correctly.
Maybe you find yourself returning home again and again and again because you *think* you locked the door, or turned off the stove, or closed the garage door, but you discover you can’t be absolutely “sure” that you did those things.
OCD can be treated
Obsessive-compulsive disorder causes people to become preoccupied with questions and behaviors such as those listed above. People with OCD tend to get caught in cycles of thinking thinking thinking about their problems, hoping that if they think about things just the right way, that somehow they will be able to find some “answer” that produces calm and relief. Or they get caught in cycles of doing doing doing, hoping that if they do things just the right way, they will somehow be able to move on and feel better. The problem with OCD is that the strategy it seems to need to provide relief is actually the strategy that makes it worse.
But, the good news is that there is really good treatment for OCD that is helpful for many many people and reduces their suffering greatly! Cognitive behavioral therapy, in specific, a type of CBT called Exposure with Response Prevention, is very helpful for people whose problems are more with the compulsion part (the doing doing doing part) of OCD. Furthermore, for people whose problems are more with the obsessive part (the thinking thinking thinking part), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is very useful in helping convince people that it’s possible to relate to the thoughts that come into their minds in a new way. I would like to encourage you to get started today in reclaiming your life.