Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a mental health disorder where invasive thoughts lead to compulsions. OCD is not something that should be joked about or taken lightly since it may alter people’s everyday lives. The compulsions and thoughts are so intrusive for some, that they cannot function in their daily routine, and it can lead to other physical or mental health concerns. There are a few typical ways to alleviate one’s OCD, which are through therapy, support, and medication. However, even though OCD is different for everyone, there are other tips and strategies as well that might help.
Understand Your Thoughts
When dealing with OCD, a person should identify what triggers their intrusive thoughts that lead to compulsions. A trigger can be anything, even something as simple as a certain smell or an object being out of place. Once the trigger is identified, the person should recognize their compulsions and impulses that follow. If someone pinpoints a specific smell as a trigger, they may then connect it to another task or gesture that they feel forced or pressured to complete. Writing down all the triggers, impulses, obsessions, compulsions, and thoughts can help someone learn about their OCD, and how to handle it further. Learning what certain emotions and feelings such as anxiety, depression, and stress occur for each particular circumstance can help as well. One compulsion may make someone more self-conscious than another, so recognizing how one responds to each circumstance will help him or her create strategies to stop their intrusive thoughts and compulsions.
Change up Your Style
For many people, OCD means having to perform tasks in a specific order. They must have everything ‘perfect’ or to their liking or their intrusive thoughts lead them into thinking something may go ‘wrong’. Whether it be cleaning, hoarding, a certain number, or to arrange things, switching up one’s daily life routine may help them combat their obsessions and compulsions.
For instance, some people may feel the need to wash their hands every time they enter the room, so forcing oneself not to wash their hands would be combatting their OCD. Other people feel the need to have numbers in every situation, such as tapping a wooden surface five times in a row, or even completing exactly three brush strokes for every section of hair. Tapping the surface four times and only brushing one’s hair for two strokes would be forcing yourself away from the compulsions, and might help to alleviate some of the overall thoughts, stress, and possible anxiety. For people who must have everything arranged specifically, mismatching socks or shoes, wearing clothing backwards or inside out, or directly changing up other routines may help. Hopefully through combatting one’s OCD, their intrusive thoughts won’t force them into completing the unwanted tasks anymore, and they can feel relief.
Social Support Group
When a person struggles with OCD, there should always be people surrounding them who are supportive and understanding. A good social support group is critical so the person doesn’t feel helpless and alienated. The best kinds of social support come from friends, family, and professional therapists.