How to Cope With OCD in Daily Life
Living with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), you may find it difficult to handle the little things in life. These little things like chores, grocery shopping, or even reading a book may seem simple to others. If you are struggling with OCD, however, these little things can often be daunting tasks that trouble you.
Alter Wellness Care treats OCD through therapy programs such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, and dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT. They offer both outpatient programs and inpatient services that can provide you with the care you need to get help with OCD. Their programs offer skills that can help you cope with and manage your OCD symptoms in a healthier way.
What Is OCD?
OCD is often hard to recognize at first. Many symptoms of this mental health disorder can go unnoticed because they may seem trivial at first. Over time, however, these symptoms can worsen. This can cause the disorder to hinder and challenge your daily life.
Defined by the “National Insitute of Mental Health (NIMH)”, OCD is a “common, chronic, and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and/or behaviors (compulsions) that they feel the urge to repeat over and over.”
These obsessions and compulsions can often cause challenges in work, school, and personal relationships. Let’s look at some of the common symptoms of this disorder:
Obsessions are repeated thoughts and urges that can cause severe anxiety. Mental images and being reminded of certain triggers can make obsession symptoms worse. Common symptoms of obsessions from OCD include:
- Fear of unsanitary conditions, contamination, or germs
- Unwanted forbidden or taboo-type thoughts that may involve sex, religion, or harm
- Having aggressive thoughts toward others or toward yourself
- A need to have things in perfect or symmetrical order
Compulsions are repeated behaviors that you are urged to do in response to obsessive thoughts. Common compulsion symptoms include:
- Excessive cleansing of yourself and/or handwashing
- Having order or arranging things in a certain and precise way
- Constantly checking on things; like if the stove is off or the doors are locked
- Compulsive counting
- Constantly cleaning areas you work, live, or spend time in
It is normal to check on things around the house or in your environment. The difference between a person without OCD and a person with OCD is that they cannot control their obsessions or compulsions to do certain things. Uncontrolled thoughts and/or behaviors can become excessive if you are experiencing OCD.
To understand OCD you must recognize the following:
- Spending an hour or more on obsessive thoughts or behaviors can be normal for with OCD
- Getting no pleasure in doing rituals and behaviors but feeling brief relief from the anxiety obsessive thoughts cause
- Problems and challenges in daily life because of thoughts, rituals, and behaviors are also common for those with OCD
Living Without OCD Controlling You
Often hard to recognize at first, OCD can change your life in a myriad of ways. Whether you have been treated in the past and are still experiencing troublesome symptoms of this disorder or feel like you can no longer handle your symptoms on your own, there is help.
It is important to note that for some, OCD symptoms can ease over time. However, if you are experiencing constant worry in your daily life because of OCD, getting help is a way of living a better life despite this disorder.
Coping with daily life while living with OCD may seem like a challenge. Obsessive thoughts and behaviors can intrude on work, school, and dealing with family and friends. However, there is help both through therapy programs, medication, and things you can do on your own to get a better handle on your symptoms.
Therapy Programs That Will Help in Your Daily Life
OCD can make you feel like you are somehow not normal. As though your habits and rituals associated with this disorder make you different from everybody else. It is the type of disorder that can isolate you from others and from daily life very quickly. Especially, if OCD goes untreated, is not treated properly, or does not get treated from the onset of symptoms.
Therapy programs offered by Alter Wellness Care are one way of learning new skills and tools to cope with and manage your symptoms in a healthier way. Our CBT program offers the ability to learn how faulty thinking and your belief system can lead to irrational or interfering emotions and behaviors.
If you are experiencing a constant urge to do something because of a forbidden thought or going somewhere that triggers an upset, CBT can help guide you through those times when things seem to be out of your control. This kind of therapy can be done both one-on-one with a therapist or inside group therapy.
Medications to Help You Cope
Talking to your healthcare provider or a psychiatrist at Alter Wellness Care can help you decide which medication is right for you. Some medications, like Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSIs) that also include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been shown effective when easing the most severe symptoms of OCD.
Daily Life With OCD
Living with OCD symptoms while not in therapy or without the use of medication can be a challenge. However, there are steps you can take to help you overcome some of your symptoms that include:
- Guided meditation
- Reading books about OCD
- Going for walks
- Taking a break (when your symptoms are at their worst)
By understanding OCD, you can learn how to manage it in a healthier way.
Experiencing OCD in your daily life and do not know where to turn? Alter Wellness Care is here to help you get back on track by teaching you the skills and tools you need to cope with and manage your OCD symptoms in a healthier way. We understand that therapy can seem daunting at first for those with this mental health disorder. Our licensed mental health professionals have seen many patients through their struggles to their triumphs in overcoming some of their worst OCD symptoms. If you are ready to live a healthier life without experiencing constant OCD symptoms, please reach out to our amazing team at (866) 311-3510. We are here to help you thrive in your daily life.
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