I would like to cover some information on recovery methods for anyone suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Achieving a good quality of life after or despite of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is absolutely possible. Like all Anxiety based conditions this does take knowledge, courage, Self motivation and a wiliness to think and act differently even when you feel frightened and uncomfortable doing so. Recovery is about seeing the bigger picture and working to the end goal of learning to manage your symptoms and becoming the person that you want to be. It is about living life as you would want to now as if you did not have your anxieties, learning to allow short term fear go up to ensure long term fear and discomfort comes down.

You should seek help for when learning to control your symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder , as having the right support from someone with experience of working with this condition will help your efforts greatly.

For the purpose of providing information on recovery from OCD on this web site, the following guidelines should be followed:

  • It is important to begin to establish an acceptance to the thoughts that you are having. This does not mean you have to like them, it's about accepting that they are going to be there. They are just thoughts and a though cannot and will not hurt you. . The thoughts are a symptom of your condition very much like when you get chicken pox you get spots. The difference here is that with chicken pox you would accept that the spots are going to come and that you would just have to learn to cope with them until they pass over, when the symptom is an obsessive thought this gets harder as you tend to focus on the content of the thought and not the fact that there is a bigger cycle going on that is generating the thought as a symptom. Don't accept the meaning of the thoughts, just accept that you are going to have them. The thing is, the only real meaning behind obsessive thoughts is that they make you nervous and that you are nervous and to be honest, you already know that.
  • Secondly you need to work on postponing the rituals and resistance. Thoughts in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (obsessive thoughts) have the idea that you need to act on them and to do something about them or they will not only bother you indefinitely but the "bad thing" will happen and boy will you be sorry. This is not reality and its unlikely to happen, but you have to find a way to learn this yourself. As you slowly learn to postpone your reaction to these thoughts and instead go about your daily activities without trying to bring your thoughts to an end you will find they start to bother you less and less. This is a slow progress, but it is really effective and can be done. Remember it is not about telling yourself you cannot perform the ritual, just that you cannot do it right now just at that moment.
  • Finally recovery would include practising regular exposure to your obsessive thoughts, this is the process of removing your fear of them and starting to see them as just thoughts that cannot harm you. This kind of exposure can take the form of written scripts that you read or audio recordings that you listen to as its important to work with material that can trigger your obsessive thoughts. Think about how the Amygdala works here, activation does not just apply to a situation it can trigger just as easily to a frightening repetitive thought.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be really effective while dealing with the effects of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder although waiting lists can be long and you need to be prepared to wait. About 7 out of 10 patients treated in this way will benefit greatly from Cognitive Behavioural therapy.
  • Medications could be used by your Doctor to help reduce the symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Obstacles to treatment, what can cause you to fail?

  • The first is the most important, some people choose to hide their symptoms and this is really common trait of people whom suffer an Anxiety Disorder, you must not be afraid to admit your struggles it's really important. Many people hide symptoms due to embarrassment or stigma but all this will do is lengthen your recovery time and give your symptoms years to really develop making everything harder to overcome.
  • Awareness is also a big obstacle- often with an Anxiety Disorder (myself included) we know we are not "right" but we don't know why this is because there does not seem to be a wide awareness of any of these issues. With this in mind people whom are struggling to cope do not seek treatment because they have no idea what is wrong or even what is happening to them and with no name for their "problem" they assume that there is no treatment.
  • As I mention constantly and my main driver for creating this Website, there is consistently a lack of proper or consistent training for health professionals to be able to treat Anxiety Disorders effectively. I still believe that Anxiety Disorders are difficult to treat if you have not felt how this feels yourself, but the main issue is that the current system fails to give the information on what is happening to you and how it works as well as what you may be doing to make yourself worse right at the beginning of your symptoms. This may not stop your whole suffering, but would give you enough awareness to stand back and see your symptoms differently with less fear, ultimately shortening the time in which you suffer greatly.
  • You may have difficulty finding the right therapist locally that has the correct experience to treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
  • Long waiting lists for help
  • Not being able to afford the correct treatment, especially if you can't wait for the NHS lists and need to go private.

Let's look at the available treatments for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

There is so much help available to you if you are prepared to take that help and really commit yourself too your recovery. 

It is very important to understand that with any Mental Health Issue knowledge is power and it would always be helpful to know your enemy and what you are dealing with. Find some good positive information sources and learn about your disorder as a good understanding of why you are like you are really helps to take a lot of the fear away. Do not compare yourself to others, everyone is individual and just because they have a certain thought or symptom does not mean that you will develop it too.

A really good Website to have a look at is:

http://www.ocduk.org/

This is OCD UK site and contains a wealth of knowledge to not only understand what is wrong with you, but also how find help and the different sources of help which are available to you.

They also have an advice line, if you need someone to talk to. The number is:

0845 120 3778

Why not give them a ring and start your recovery today?

Going back to treatment options, let's look what is available, remember Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can be an extremely isolating, upsetting and distressing illness. But it is also a very treatable medical condition and this is great news. Seeking early intervention and appropriate treatment is the key to long term recovery.

  • Your local Doctor, here for your initial appointment and diagnosis. Try not to worry about seeing your Doctor. This is often the hardest step to take but I can assure you that your Doctor will have seen this many times before and will support you and advise on the best treatments for you.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy,  is a talking therapy that has been proven to be effective in treating this condition. Be aware there can be a little wait due to the current NHS waiting lists for this treatment.
  • Medication, can sometimes be helpful, your Doctor can advise on this.
  • Family and Friends, having a support network of the correct family members and friends is really key to recovery from any type of Anxiety Disorder. Yes you should be careful who you talk to as not everyone will try to understand and help, its also worth remembering that anyone suffering feels isolated and isolates themselves. This is counterproductive as staying deep inside yourself and cutting yourself off from others only serves to keep you firmly locked into your thoughts and symptoms and allows them to fester and grow stronger, making you worse. Admitting to someone you trust that you have a problem, and listening to their perspective on things can make the problem seem much easier to deal with. Remember to choose your support group wisely but do have a support group, it can really help you to keep your thoughts and symptoms in perspective.