OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) can be a daunting condition to identify and/or be diagnosed with. However, as intimidating as it may seem, receiving a diagnosis can also be a relief, as it marks the beginning of managing and addressing the condition. Thankfully, several strategies can help manage OCD symptoms effectively. Here are some self-help strategies to consider:


1. Delaying

The most ideal outcome for managing OCD symptoms is to avoid giving in to compulsions altogether. However, this is not always possible, as resisting the urge can be incredibly difficult, and you may believe there will be extreme consequences if you don’t perform the compulsion. Instead, try “delaying” your compulsions. When you feel the urge to complete a compulsion, make yourself wait a minute before doing it. Once you’re comfortable with a one-minute delay, extend it to five minutes, then ten minutes, and so on. The goal is to understand that delaying will not cause any negative consequences and, over time, you may start to lose the urge to perform the compulsion at all.

image 1

2. Altering the Compulsion

Do you need to turn the light switch on and off ten times before leaving the house? Do you avoid stepping on cracks when walking outside? These compulsions can be frustrating and time-consuming. Instead of trying to eliminate them completely right away, start by altering them gradually. For example, if you turn the light switch on and off ten times, reduce it to nine times until you feel comfortable, then lower it to eight, and so on. When walking outside, if you typically avoid every crack, intentionally step on one. Once that feels comfortable, try stepping on two cracks the next time. Gradual changes can help reduce the intensity of compulsions.


3. Avoiding Avoidance

Sometimes, compulsions involve avoiding certain things, such as situations, people, or places. To overcome this, you need to “avoid avoiding.” Expose yourself to the avoided situations gradually and carefully, starting with less intimidating scenarios and building up to more challenging ones. This process, known as exposure therapy, is best done with the guidance of a therapist to ensure it’s effective and safe.

image 5

Schedule a Session

Managing OCD can be challenging, and these self-help strategies are just the beginning. For personalized support and a comprehensive treatment plan, consider scheduling a session with us. Together, we can develop strategies tailored to your needs and work towards managing OCD effectively. Reach out today to take the first step towards a better quality of life.