According to recent statistics, it takes 14-17 years on average to get treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Unfortunately for individuals suffering with OCD, these years will be spent living half the life they could be. The other half is spent living with OCD, in fear, anxiety, frustration, and performing compulsions.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder will impact 6 out of every 100 adults, kids and teens regardless of race, gender or age. Individuals suffering from OCD can spend hours performing compulsions (repetitive behaviors or rituals to minimize anxiety) as a result of troubling obsessions (unwanted, intrusive thoughts, images or impulses) that cause unwanted feelings; fear, doubt, or guilt. These troubling thoughts and behaviors can take over someone’s life and interfere with normal functioning at work, school, social activities and relationships.
Life’s short, time passes, and before you know it years have slipped by. Years can be spent cleaning, counting, checking, avoiding and giving up on things we once loved.
Here are 15 reasons to start OCD treatment today:
1. Because “managing your OCD” has gotten old
Obsessions steal our peace, compulsions steal our time, and before we know it we’re living half the life we used to. Although we’ve become experts at managing OCD, that hasn’t meant we have saved any time in our day or peace of mind. As we know, one compulsion, two, three is better, but only after 17 are we content. Counting, checking, replaying, cleaning, and confession have overtaken our moments, hours, days and years. You already know, this is no way to live. Unfortunately, the more given up in the name of OCD, the more it will take and before we know it “managing OCD” has become a full time job.
2. Because OCD isn’t going anywhere
Unfortunately OCD is a chronic condition that isn’t eliminated even after treatment. The difference between someone who’s had OCD treatment and someone who hasn’t is no longer getting caught up in OCD ploys and tactics. Therefore, these individuals still can have intrusive thoughts but they don’t lead to compulsions. They can also have the urge to do a compulsion but recognize that will only reinforce their OCD and therefore, abstain from doing so. These individuals have come to realize how OCD manipulates them and know how to combat anything OCD throws at them, therefore they stay OCD symptom free.
3. So you don’t have to say, “I would do anything to get the last 5, 10, or 15 years back that I lost to OCD”
This is the most common saying OCD treatment centers will hear after treatment. Unfortunately, for those of us that have fought the OCD battle for “x” amount of years, we have no way of getting back the time we’ve lost. We can only overcome OCD and move forward in our lives with the tools, techniques, and reminders of how to stay OCD symptom free. We can all look back and see how getting OCD treatment sooner would’ve kept us in school, a job we loved, a passion that drove us, or a relationship we never felt confident going after. We can either remain depressed about that which we’ve lost or get help and return to life better than ever and able to reclaim that which OCD stole from us.
4. So you can finally let go of checking, counting, cleaning, or any other compulsion
Imagine what you’d do with the time you spend doing compulsions if you got treatment for OCD? How would you like to spend your newly earned free time? All of those minutes, which can become hours, days, weeks, and years. Would you rather invest that attention into school, career, relationships, passions, hopes, or dreams? Are you able to go after these when you’re doing hours of compulsions?
5. So you can live in the present rather than worrying about the future
Replay, rewind, redo, recount, and recheck. Did I do it right? Better do it again. Sound familiar? All these compulsions do is take us out of the moment, a moment we can’t get back. Worse, we can become flooded with intrusive, unwanted thoughts and images and drown in them, which also pulls us out of the moment. Remember each moment spent in an obsession or compulsion is a moment we can’t get back and a moment we’re not here.
6. So you can say goodbye to the Bully
Another nickname for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is the “Bully.” OCD get’s this nickname because it is just like a bully in middle, or high school. If we don’t do what the bully says, we get threatened, harassed, and beat up, therefore, we give in. With time, the bully grows stronger and we grow weaker. Before we know it, the bully is dictating how we live in this world and has made us believe we are the accusations it’s placed upon us. We forget who we really are. The more we let the bully dictate our lives, the smaller our lives get, the less we can do and the more frustrated we get with life. Just like dealing with a bully in school, the way to overcoming the bully is finding and exploiting his or her weaknesses. OCD treatment offers this and gives you the strength to know if the bully returns, there’s no reason to be afraid, and that anything it throws at you, you can overcome.
7. Because you’re sick of living in a constant state of doubt
OCD is known as “the doubting disease.” If you have it, you know why this is the case. OCD uses every opportunity to lay seeds of doubt in any area it can in our lives. Our lives end up being buried in doubt. This happens because we end up watering these seeds of doubt by performing compulsions. By buying into these seeds of doubt we create mountains of insecurity, hesitancy and lose trust in our judgment and ourselves.
8. So you can reclaim things you given up as a result of having OCD
Unfortunately, we’ve all given up aspects of our selves and our lives because of the suffering OCD causes. This means we’ve lost touch with things we used to love in the hopes that if we gave them up our suffering would stop or be minimized. Unfortunately, although we walked away from passions and loves in our lives, suffering has remained. OCD will take anything that you give it, and it usually takes and attacks the things or people we love the most. School, relationships, jobs, peace of mind, or anything else that we’ve given in the name of OCD is rightfully ours. With proper therapy we can come back to life and dictate the life we live and the choices we make, not OCD. This means that with treatment, you can start to reclaim all that you’ve given up and start to regain the territory you’ve lost in your life. Treatment offers recovery and recovery is about owning your life again and living life the way you want; free of the anxiety, suffering, and fear that OCD uses to manipulate us and our actions.
9. So you can feel “normal” again
When’s the last time you felt “normal”? Unfortunately, we realize that OCD has taken over our lives to the point that we’ve lost a sense of feeling normal. It’s easy to see how this happens when you realize the physiology of OCD. But either way, it’s time to feel like you don’t have to do things that aren’t normal and to feel okay inside when you choose not to do OCD compulsions and rituals.
10. So you can feel more confident in life
OCD robs us of our self-esteem and the confidence in our potential, our life and within society. This happens because we know that we shouldn’t be doing compulsions, and that our obsessions are only thoughts, but yet we give them credibility. Lack of confidence can impact every aspect of our life; work, school, sports, relationships, socially, and our self view.
11. So you can have more free time
Who doesn’t want more free time? We all do. Especially individuals with OCD that are used to cleaning compulsively so they don’t feel contaminated. No longer needing to take the time to replay situations and scenarios from the past. No longer spending hours in the shower, bathroom, checking in the mirror, cleaning, counting, etc. What if every minute you spent on OCD, you were able to utilize in other ways?
12. So you can return to school
If you’ve given up anything as a result of OCD, it’s time to return. For some, the greatest impact to our financial wellbeing in life is education. For a lot of individuals with OCD, we’ve chosen to give up school. Returning to school at any age is liberating and allows us to attain better careers and incomes. If you’ve given up your school because of OCD, it’s time to return.
13. So you can go get that job you’ve wanted for so long
Admit it, your work and income have been impacted by OCD. Are you happy at your job? Is it your life’s passion? What would you be doing for work if you were free of OCD? Being free of OCD allows us to return to work in a whole new way, one that is free of concerns, in confidence, and gives us the freedom to go after what we want professionally and financially. With freedom mentally and emotionally, you’ll be able to show up better and be more productive at work. This will give you the strength to do more and as a result, get paid more.
14. So you can get back to dating
If you’ve given up being in a relationship, getting married, or putting yourself out there, it’s time to return to dating. If you’ve been afraid of relationship or commitment because of OCD, with treatment, you can date, get married, or live without the fear that someone will judge you for having OCD.
15. And finally… So you can feel empowered about yourself, your life and unlock your potential
It’s time… Confidence, love, happiness, passion, money, relationships, all of it is waiting for you on the other side of OCD. A new you, a better you, one that is free of OCD is waiting. Do you want to know who that is? If so, do yourself a favor and seek OCD treatment so you can move forward in life the way you’ve always wanted. Each day that you are free of OCD is another day you can live freely and offer your personal gifts to the world.
How to start OCD treatment
The most effective OCD treatment is composed of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure and response prevention (ERP) provided by a therapist at OCD treatment centers that specializes in treating OCD and related anxiety disorders. Proper OCD treatment should be composed of education; helping you understand what OCD is, how it affects us, and understanding how our own personal OCD is manipulating us. Through this education you are able to become your own therapist and learn to manage OCD without it impacting your life. This happens because you have all the tools, skills and abilities to no longer fall victim to OCD’s tactics. With proper treatment, studies have shown a 60 to 80% reduction in OCD symptoms with CBT/ERP. For some individuals showing moderate to severe symptoms of OCD, an OCD intensive outpatient treatment program will be their best option of providing the therapy they need to come out of the OCD cycle. Whether you decide to do an intensive OCD program or weekly sessions, what matters most is that you start to move forward in your life, free of OCD.
We hope you begin your healing today.
International OCD Foundation,. (2014). International OCD Foundation. Retrieved 2 December 2014, from http://iocdf.org