If one's life is affected by OCD, there is a tendency to behave in a bizarre or self-destructive manner. This behaviour is a conscious attempt to decrease feelings of anxiety and to prevent some, excessively imagined 'catastrophe'. One may just worry, or, one may avoid doing things in a manner which involves rituals and/or repetitive negative thinking, going over and over the catastrophic possibilities in one's mind. Each obsession or compulsion, such as repetitive washing of hands, e.g. one feels compelled to wash hands a fixed number of times (say three) before feeling that they are percieved as sufficiently clean from bacteria or 'bugs'. Similarly, one can check for 'contamination' in the household a fixed number of times. All this may take up hours of time each day, and it makes the life of a person with OCD that much more difficult than a person without OCD.
It is important not to neglect one's entire body and get caught up in this disorder, which is somewhat frowned upon and seen as being eccentric. On the other hand, it is good to be aware that these symptoms are nothing to do with weakness of character or personality, but are symptomatic of the condition itself.
Treatment for OCD may involve drugs (medication), behaviour therapy, (EEG) biofeedback, counselling, alternative medicine, meditation, peer support, socialising, creative activities, employment, flexible organisation, exercise, or indeed anything within ongoing latest research which is statistically proven to benefit or tie-in with short-, medium-, or long-term needs. This may sometimes be rather demanding, or, alternatively, welcome.
These tools may or may not suit your needs. Some people benefit more than others. It is important to do one's best and not to take one's daily activities too seriously, within reason. It is worthwhile for one to practise patience and to adopt flexibility if one is affected by OCD.
|Bryan was a founding member of the ACT OCD Support Group from 1998. Craig joined in 2002. This was disbanded in April 2006 in favour of a peer support program.|
Updated on 29 October 2008