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Advice on how to deal with OCD

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following blog entry was written as a response to someone in the “How I got my diagnosis” thread, which has become the most popular one ever to appear on Teens4TS. Check it out today if you have Tourette Syndrome or OCD.

My OCD got really bad about two years ago. I developed a really close friend through track, and before I knew it, I was convinced that his welfare was in my hands. So I had to do things like tapping, blinking, etc., in five times and then count to five. I had to send the same goodnight text message every night, and if I sent something trivial afterward, I had to resend it to ensure his safety.

So I did some research and found this Four Step Plan. For me, step one was all about realizing when I was having an obsessive thought. You need to learn to recognize that this thought is obsessive, so anytime I realized I was worrying over my friend’s welfare, I said to myself, “OK, this is an obsessive thought. I don’t actually need to tap and count to protect my friend. This is an obsession talking. I am having a compulsion when I want to retest him our goodnight message.”

It takes getting used to, but you’ll get the hang of it. You need to call out your OCD, basically. For me, in step two, I had to remind myself that it was the OCD making me feel this way and making me want to do rituals — that I had something wrong in my brain and this wasn’t just my thoughts alone. None of these thoughts have any real meaning.

Step three is the toughest, and I had to wean into it. It is all about resisting the urge of the compulsions — even for a minute, at first. My friend helped me with this one. First, I couldn’t tap and count in his bathroom, and eventually it spread to his whole house, to our classes, to the whole school, to anywhere.

In this step, say you really want to do a ritual — just get yourself to think about something else or do something else for even a minute. As you get better, increase the time before the ritual. With step four, you revalue the thoughts for what they are — just thoughts. Nothing bad will happen. Remember do all the steps at one time every time you have an obsession.

JoeS

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