Dear fellow OCD sufferer,
I want you to know that I understand what you’re going through. I really do.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder was my tormentor for 20 years. I know the shame and torment caused by intrusive thoughts, the enslavement to rituals and compulsions, the intense, crippling need for certainty. I remember all too well the wild evenings of obsession and devastating fear when the agony was full-throttle torture and relief seemed impossible. OCD is slavery, and I know what it’s like to be in bondage.
I have good news for you: OCD is treatable.
Today, I am free! I still have OCD, but I am in charge of it and not the other way around. I rarely have obsessions, and when I do, I am able to combat them without using compulsions. It is a completely different life. I have stepped from darkness into light, from terror into peace. In the past nine years, I have had maybe 1-2 minor OCD incidents a year, and each of them has lasted only for a couple hours. When I compare this to the continual torture I experienced before, this is more than manageable.
And all this came about after just twelve weeks of intense cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a specific kind called exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP). It is recognized as the #1 treatment for OCD in the world. It is difficult– in ERP, you face your obsessions head-on and refuse to alleviate the anxiety by performing compulsions– but, believe me, ERP is not more difficult than living daily life with OCD. ERP is the correct answer to how to treat OCD. Medication can also help, and in rare cases, a miraculous healing occurs, but for the majority of cases, ERP is absolutely the way to treat OCD.
Please explore the links below to learn about OCD and ERP. Educate yourself and ask lots of questions!
Also, consider downloading the free app nOCD, which can help you create an organized ERP plan. This app can collect data to send to your therapist or can help you if you are doing ERP on your own.
Gaining Certainty through Embracing Uncertainty
What life was like before & after CBT
Obsessing vs. Brainstorming: before & after
A Detailed Post about ERP
ERP is the RIGHT Answer
Better than a Band-Aid
What CBT was like for me
Will treatment change me?
Why You Need CBT/ERP
Have Reservations about ERP?
Preparing for CBT/ERP
ERP & Imaginal Exposures
Uncertainty is the Key
The Problem with Seeking Reassurance
Finding a cognitive-behavioral therapist
Medication vs. Exposure Therapy
Can’t afford CBT/ERP? Try this app or do self-directed ERP!
For Family & Friends
How to Care for the Obsessive-Compulsive in Your Life
HOCD (Homosexual OCD)
A Closer Look at HOCD
Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer
A Big Ol’ HOCD Post
Another Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer
A Third Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer
A Fourth Interview with a Former HOCD Sufferer
Q&A with Former HOCD Sufferer
HOCD Story: Meet Mae, Part One
HOCD Story: Meet Mae, Part Two
OCD & Christianity
(or other religious scrupulosity)
OCD, ERP, and Christianity
I’m a Christian and Take Meds!
Unashamed of my OCD
Is the thought from OCD … or God?
God’s Sovereignty, OCD, the Cross, & His Purposes
Is Mental Illness a Spiritual Issue?
Is ERP Sinful?
OCD & Faith (or Lack Thereof): a Double Interview
Follow question and dancer tag
Other Related Posts
OCD Stockholm Syndrome
Addressing Stigma: I Don’t Choose This
Obsessive-compulsives are Brave
ERP & Profanity
OCD & Nutrition
How I Fall Asleep
My Personal ERP Script (warning: triggers, especially for religious obsessions)