Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How can we beat OCD?


The theme of OCD Awareness Week is “Dare to believe . . . together we can beat OCD.”
I like the theme, but I admit that at first it gave me pause. Beat OCD? Could obsessive-compulsive disorder ever really be beaten?
I was thinking in terms of a cure: a medication or a medical procedure or something that would take away OCD symptoms completely and for good.
But there are other ways to beat OCD.
The level of knowledge about OCD in my lifetime has grown tremendously, amazingly. I believe in cures and hope with all my heart for a complete cure for OCD, if not in my lifetime, then as soon as possible to help as many people as possible.
Short of a cure, I believe there are other ways we can beat OCD and other mental illnesses.

*Every time we check the light for one minute instead of five minutes, we beat OCD.
*Every time we delay washing our hands after touching an object we obsess over as contaminated, we beat OCD.
*Every time we don’t drive around the block to check the road for bodies, we beat OCD.
*Every time we read through a chapter just one time, despite the urge to reread it, we beat OCD.
*Every time we walk up the path and don’t turn around to see if the stick is really a nail, we beat OCD.
*Every time we sit with our anxiety and tolerate it, we beat OCD.
*Every time we try an exposure, we beat OCD.
*Every time we take prescribed medication as prescribed, we beat OCD.
*Every time we learn something new about OCD, we beat OCD.


  What other ways can we beat OCD, or other mental illnesses?

26 comments:

  1. You are so inspiring!

    This is such a powerful post! You are right, every time we do those things, we beat ocd!

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. We just have to keep on doing them!

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  2. Awesome post, Tina!

    We beat OCD one little, tiny, courageous, brave step at a time!

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    1. Sunny, thank you. Yes, one step at a time--that's the only way I can do it!

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  3. Wonderful post, Tina! Every time an OCD sufferer doesn't let OCD take control, it gets beaten down a little more. The "small"' victories are really huge!

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    1. Janet, thank you. Yes, what seems to be a small victory really is such a large accomplishment, considering how strong OCD can be.

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  4. Tina, thank you for sharing such a encouraging post. Blessings.

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  5. Beautifully put! I feel such triumph when I take an action that overcomes the effects of anxiety. I don't expect to not be anxious, but I do expect to live without having anxiety paralyze me. Paradoxically, I feel less anxious by allowing the anxiety to be present...but taking action anyway.

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    1. Nadine, Thank you! I love how you put that--not expecting to NOT be anxious, but acting anyway.

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  6. Tina this is just such an encouraging post! But have you heard of electric brain stimulation of the brain to overcome OCD too? The first time this was done (I think) was about 10 years ago I think, at a hospital in Leuven, Belgium. I followed the whole procedure. They helped a man who had severe OCD and who didn't respond to medication or therapy at all. They implanted electrodes inside his brain, much like you would have a pacemaker for your heart. And it worked. It was just very expensive and new, so they said it would only be for severe cases like this man, who didn't respond to any other treatment. If you type in OCD and than Leuven in Google you get links that refer to this.

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    1. Klaaske, I have heard about it but didn't know the details. That's amazing! I can understand with the complexity of it how it would be for just very severe cases. Thank you for sharing this.

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    2. Hi Klaaske! I actually attended a workshop at the 2010 OCD Annual Conference in D.C. that was led by a couple of the doctors who perform this surgery. One of the doctors was from Mass General Hospital and the other one was from Yale, I believe. Apparently, (at least as of 2010) overall doctors only perform like maybe less than a dozen of these surgeries per year in ENTIRE world. I think the number may have been even closer to half a dozen. Anyway, it is only reserved for patients who have really severe OCD and have undergone tons of treatment and different medications with no improvement. The workshop was fascinating.

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    3. Sunny, that must have been fascinating! I know they can help only a few people now, but who knows what the future holds. I think it's very encouraging.

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  7. Very nice tips! Thanks for sharing them with us. Very helpful.

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you found them helpful.

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  8. For me, beating OCD is by not letting it consume me and rob me of happiness and productivity..unfortunately, some days it does just that, but then I have days when I am able to experience such joy in my life. Lovely post Tina.

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    1. Thank you, Krystal Lynn. I hope you have more days of joy than not.

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  9. I like the message here. It's the every day efforts.

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    1. Kristina, Thank you. It's the only way I can change anything--daily effort.

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  10. And everytime you keep your thoughts positive too! :-)

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    1. Lisa, I'm not always successful at it, but keeping my thoughts positive is so important!

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  11. This is an outstanding post! And the comments are very positive. I agree, there are so many ways that we are beating our illnesses. I am so glad you are beating your OCD, Tina.

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    1. Thank you, Madison, for your encouraging comment!

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  12. What a great theme for a post. I so need the reminder that beating OCD is not a state of being, but lots of small steps.

    I beat OCD when I laugh and keep my sense of humor even in the pain.

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    1. Thank you! That's a great way to put it--beating OCD is not a state of being.

      Laughter helps me, too.

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