How To Live With OCD?

“No visible symptoms, no runny nose, just a head full of darkness. No fever or rash no fractures or sprains, just a longing for something unable to explain.”

At times I spend subsequent amount of time at my doorstep after checking my locks, my kitchen stove, my windows, my electronics, and anything else that popped into my head for the twentieth time. After returning home from a trip I unpack my luggage and load the soiled clothes into washing machine even if its 1AM. I clean the kitchen counters over and over for the nth time even if its squeaky clean.

If I dint, I feel utterly trapped between my fear and my obligations. I would be scared to leave my place for anything due to an unnatural fear that even the smallest incident might alter my life horribly. On and off, I beg and plead my brain to stop obsessing over stuff at 3am so that I could have some semblance of sleep. It terrifies that one inconsequential moment could set off any number of chain reactions ,which could be the end of it for me or someone else.

Living with OCD is like mentally living inside a prison, where you are your own prison guard and no one else apart from you can see the cage bars.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD, is a type of mental illness and is not something one can control. OCD can affect all aspects of your daily life including work, school and relationships. People with OCD may have either obsessive thoughts and urges or compulsive, repetitive behaviours.

The reality of OCD certainly goes beyond the misconception that the disorder involves consistent hand washing or double-checking door locks. Obsessive-compulsive disorder for most people can interfere with their lives and make it challenging to complete daily tasks.

A lot of people say ’embrace anxiety’ or ‘do nothing about your OCD’, but by doing nothing you are redirecting your focus towards resisting anxiety. By doing so, you expect to get the right feeling before you can get on with your life and that is what keeps you stuck. You are not supposed to feel ‘Just Right’ before you can move on. You have to be on a state of mind that you are conscious about your OCD. You should be able to acknowledge your OCD patterns but you get on with your life anyway. For, you have to realise that contemplation leads nowhere; trying to get the right feeling actually perpetuates the cycle.

How to deal with it?

  • You have two choices, to control your mind or let your mind control you. When you control your thoughts and emotions, its everything.
  • Accept, then act! Always work with your thoughts, not against it. Accept your feelings (good or bad) and feel through them. Don’t push them away.
  • Uncertainity is the only certainity there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.
  • Practice gratitude! Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have.
  • Exercise, yoga, meditation, self-hypnosis, or breathing exercises won’t magically make everything better on their own, but they can be of great help, and you certainly don’t lose anything by them.
  • If nothing helps, see a professional. A psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor, or even social worker with experience treating anxiety /compulsive disorders.

Overcoming OCD is a broad and complicated game. But what it boils down to, in my opinion, is that you have to take charge of your health. Even just that very first step ,declaring “I am not going to live like this anymore” is a big one. You can get better, remember you are not alone.

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