If you have ever experienced the ways that OCD hijacks the thought process, then you know straightaway the power that it can exert over every domain of your life. Better than anyone, you know that OCD will do whatever is necessary to dominate your thoughts, your actions, and your life. Be it Contamination, Intrusive thoughts, Scrupulosity, or any other manifestation of this noxious disorder, OCD plays a game with us: a game that you can win.
Recognizing OCD Lies
In this series, we will be describing the methods, maneuvers, and tricks that OCD employs and providing concrete methods and techniques that you can use to beat OCD at its own game. Once you can clearly discern what OCD is trying to do, you can become more adept at recognizing these deceptions and take the power away from OCD and its lies.
The fact of the matter is that the only power that OCD possesses IS its lies. It lies to gain entrance into the realm of believability. It tells us that something is so, and we take it at its word. (“If I think it, it must be true”). It gains credibility through repetition. Repetition is persuasive and powerful. But that does not, by any measure, make the OCD lies true.
A very useful maxim that I use with my clients is the following: OCD is not necessarily that problem. It is, rather, the struggle against OCD that causes the misery that characterizes the life of an OCD sufferer. By recognizing its tactics, we are better equipped to respond to OCD in a healthy, life-affirming way that takes the power away. By understanding how OCD operates, we can minimize its detrimental effects on our functioning. Most importantly, by learning to be cognizant of how OCD works against us and commandeers our lives away from our control, we can start to return the power over our life where it naturally and originally belongs: to you.
OCD Lie: You Can’t Trust Yourself
The conversation likely starts something like this: OCD: You just had a thought…and because you had that thought means that it is true and that you must act on it immediately! You must fear the thought, ruminate about the thought and take action to prevent the thought (or a feared outcome) from occurring again or else! Person with OCD: Well, if you say so. I am really exhausted and need relief from this anxiety and am terrified that something horrible will happen if I don’t do as you say. So, regardless of how many times you tell me to act, I’m going to comply. I’ll do anything for relief.
Consider A New Approach
So, often, we will follow OCD commands because we don’t know what else to do. Here is a different approach: Recognize that OCD has absolutely no power on its own. It has no ability to make things happen or prevent things from happening. And most importantly, it lies. No act or thought will ever sufficiently satisfy OCD, no matter what “deal” or “arrangement” you make with it. Ignore the bargain it offers-it is never worth the struggle. To learn more about OCD and our in-home, intensive treatment, give us a call today!