For the month of May, Defying Shadows will be joining the Mental Health Awareness Month by sharing a post daily on a different type of Mental Illness or “Shadow” that people commonly struggle with. Join us in creating awareness and working to end the stigma that goes with these topics! Today we have Melanie sharing on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. ~ Defying Shadows Team.
According to the National Institues of Health:
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental anxiety disorder which produces repeated thoughts or images about many different things, such as fear of germs, dirt, or intruders; acts of violence; hurting loved ones; sexual acts; or being overly tidy.
Some symptoms of OCD “are divided between obsessions: recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or impulses, and compulsions: repetitive behaviors or mental acts that the individual feels driven to perform in response to an obsession.” (dosomething.org)
Contrary to popular belief, not all people with OCD are neat freaks. Some are actually hoarders, seeking to control their anxiety that way. The anxiety someone with OCD feels is real and, however impractical, drives people to do whatever it takes to control it.
Help Overcoming OCD
The key to overcoming OCD and the anxiety it causes is figuring out a way to accept the things you are feeling.
A good strategy to start with is delaying the urge to do something you know is irrational, even though it would calm your anxiety.
Wait for 15 minutes before you feel the initial urge, then, if you still feel the need to perform the ritual, you may. But try pausing for as long as possible.
Educate yourself about anxiety and healthy ways to cope with it. (This sheet has some incredible tools for managing anxiety.)
Don’t forget to go easy on yourself. You’re not going to make any progress putting undue pressure on yourself.
Melanie McKinnon is a wife, mother of 3 plus 1 in heaven, and a barre fitness instructor. She loves writing, Diet Pepsi, hugging her kids and dating her husband. On her blog, Melanie Meditates, you will find subscription box reviews, her experience with anxiety, depression and loss, stories about her life as a mother, and some tips for maintaining sanity. She hopes to encourage and inspire anyone fighting a daily battle.