Dear Friend With OCD, Don’t Listen to the Lies in Your Head
I know obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) can be challenging and there are definitely harder times than others. OCD means having thoughts that tell you things you do not want to hear. OCD tells you these things because it knows your fears and wants to trick you into believing certain things you do will help. In reality, it will make the worry, the thoughts and the struggle worse.
For example, let’s say you are afraid of getting sick. OCD will trick you into trying to prevent getting sick by telling you to wash your hands. However, once you wash your hands, it will mess with your mind. It will tell you, “You did wash your hands but maybe you missed some germs. I think you should wash your hands one more time just to make sure.”
It is important to know it will not just be one more time. It will come up with other reasons to trick you into doing it again. It is your job to make sure you do not listen to it and do not do what it is saying. Resist it.
Now, I am not going to pretend resisting is easy. It takes a lot of practice. You have to resisting and fighting the urge of whatever it is telling you to do. Listening to OCD will relieve you for a little bit, but it will just keep tricking you. Then, you are stuck under the spell of it. It is important to show it who is boss. It is important to let it know only you can control what you do, not the OCD.
Once you start fighting, it will give you a weird feeling. It will make you feel like you are not following the rules, its rules, but that is the trick it wants you to fall for. It wants you to feel like you are missing something and you are not doing what you should be doing.
Sometimes it even threatens you with your fears. Let’s say we are using the “afraid of getting sick” example and how it can threaten you by using your fears against you. Let’s say it is telling you to wash your hands again but you resist it. Then, it will say “If you do not wash your hands, then not only will you get sick, but your entire family sick will get sick.” It threatens you with something you do not want to happen. You obey it and continue in the normal cycle, but this is a trick.
It is hard to believe it, but the threat it is telling you is not real. OCD lies to so it can have control over your mind and actions. You do not want it to win and must stop it from controlling you.
Do the opposite of what it tells you to do. If it tells you to wash your hands again, after you have already done it, the goal is to not do it. The more you practice this, the better you will become at it. The more you practice resisting, the more you will take away OCD’s power and gain back control. You can also get help from your family and therapist.
My advice to you is to never give up because you are stronger than OCD. You can do anything. Keep fighting because I know you can do it!
To see more from Rachel, check out this song she wrote with Dean Kravitz called, “I’m On My Way.”
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