I find myself constantly coming back to the basics: exposure therapy works; it is hard but not harder than life with OCD; prepare your support system.
Blessings to everyone who tonight is battling this enslaving disorder. I think of you all the time. Today I had multiple opportunities to share about the freedom I have found. It is always good for me to remember what I have come through and how much joy was on the other side.
It was worth walking through the fire. I have NEVER regretted ERP.
Lately, I’ve been talking to some brave, amazing people who are planning to tackle cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), specifically exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP). I know it’s the right next step, they tell me. Any advice?
Glad you asked. Here are my suggestions as you prepare for ERP.
1. Read and research! Don’t go into this (incredible but difficult) therapy with your eyes closed. I believe that the more you know about what ERP entails and what will be expected of you, the better. In fact, I have a friend who had done enough research on it that he realized only one or two sessions in that he knew more about ERP than the therapist did– instead of wasting time, my friend was able to stop meeting with that therapist and find an expert in ERP.
2. Have an open heart. ERP is not the same…
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What exactly happens onc you start ERP? Do the thoughts always come in the form of new obsessions or do they get less and less over time? Most people say ERP helped tremendously, but they still have obsessions. I understand you can never be cured, but if you have frequent obsessions how does ERP help?
Hi friend, good question. First of all, the first 1.5 years after ERP, I didn’t have obsessions or compulsions. At all. AT ALL. These days, maybe once or twice a year.
And while some may still have those unwanted thoughts (obsessions), ERP steals the POWER from them and makes it so that they do not cause that intense, ugly anxiety. They just are what they are. (It was hard for me to ever believe that could be true … yet, here I am 9 years later, proof.)
Hi there sweetie,
I hope you have an amazing week so far. I wrote to you maybe a week or two ago, telling you about how my OCD kicked in again, and how I was afraid I couldn’t keep my new job. You told me to keep my job -which I did, and that it couldn’t follow me to work. Working keeps my mind off of things ( although I feel a bit depressed at home ) , when working, I feel it kind of helps my mood.
I also read that in my area ( Montreal ) ERP can cost around 130$ per session, which isn’t free, that’s for sure. But I am willing to take some money off of my paycheck and get the help that I not only need, but deserve! I’m looking for the best therapist, and asking them questions. It won’t be done in a week, which I’m aware of, but I no longer want to live this kind of life. I also noticed that when my OCD started 4 years ago, after awhile I started believing in God ( which I never really did before, because my family isn’t exactly into that sort of stuff. ) Anyway, all I wanna say is ; thank you for doing what you do, and even though I’m tired and it feels like there’s no end to this misery, I am not giving up. ❤ Giving you some news really soon!
I am SO PROUD of you!!!
Thank you ; it feels good to hear that. ❤