This is so well put! And I agree with Janet: as I sometimes say, “When the hell of OCD is worse than the hell of ERP, you’ll be ready.” The only thing harder than ERP was living daily life with OCD, which made the therapy worth it. Now that I am about eight years out from my life-changing ERP experience, it is harder and harder for me to remember why I ever avoided it. Every single thing in my life improved via exposure therapy; it is one of the single greatest decisions I’ve ever made in my life.
If you are thinking about ERP but too scared to start, it’s okay. It will be there and available for you when you realize the scale has tipped– and that life with OCD is worse than the treatment, which, though difficult, has years of evidence showing it brings freedom.
I’ve previously written about recovery avoidance in reference to obsessive-compulsive disorder, where those who have OCD refuse to embrace proper treatment and fight their disorder. In general, recovery avoidance is attributed to two things: fear and incentive. All things being equal, a person will not seek recovery unless the incentive to get better is stronger than the fear of getting better. Those who are familiar with exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy know that the thought of engaging in this treatment can be terrifying to people with obsessive-compulsive disorder; they are being asked to face their worst fears and refrain from completing compulsions that they believe, on some level, keep their world “safe.”
For those of us without OCD, this is often difficult to understand. While many of us can relate to experiences where we have had to face our fears, dealing with OCD seems to…
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