Intrusive Thoughts, Images and Impulses from OCD and BDD are Exhausting
If you suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or body dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), you know first-hand how debilitating these forms of anxiety can be. You may be spending hours each day obsessing or doing compulsions/rituals that only provide you momentary relief. Your brain is thinking non-stop about things you don't want to think about. It's frustrating, tiring, and can be scary. Unlike other mental health issues that seem to get a lot of press, OCD and BFD aren't as well covered in the media. This can leave you feeling alone and misunderstood.
Compassionate and Gradual Exposure Therapy and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) are Key to Healing
So many people who suffer from OCD and BDD spend years in ineffective treatment. Traditional talk therapy usually does not work for obsessive thinking and compulsive rituals. As a Behavioral Specialist and Program Manager for an Intensive Outpatient Program for anxiety disorders, I've witnessed client transformations due to Exposure Therapy and ERP, coupled with mindfulness and self compassion skills. I provide these services on an outpatient basis in my private practice, and make recommendations for a higher level of care when needed.
There are Many Sub-types of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
As you may know, OCD comes in many flavors. Contamination fears are one subset of OCD, and hand washing is probably the most well-known compulsion, also called a ritual. Below is a list of common OCD obsessions:
- Contamination/Germs OCD
- Responsibility/Checking OCD
- Harm thoughts toward others, or fear of harming others OCD
- Sexual Orientation OCD
- Pedophile OCD
- Relationship OCD
- Scrupulosity/Religiousity OCD
- Just Right OCD (things need to feel "right")
- Hyperawareness OCD
Compulsions Aren't Just Physical
Some people may think they don't have OCD because they don't do physical compulsions, i.e. wash their hands excessively, or repeatedly check things. Compulsions/rituals can also be mental, i.e. mental review and reassurance seeking. Mental compulsions can be just as devastating as physical compulsions, and can be alleviated with the appropriate form of treatment.