First of all, I am so, so sorry that you’re dealing with OCD. I understand how devastating it can be, and even though this is a post addressed to an unnamed Mpls/St. Paul resident, please know that my heart beats and breaks for you. I am the communications specialist for OCD Twin Cities, and you should get connected with our organization through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.
If you’re currently being walloped by instrusive thoughts and frustrating compulsions, then allow me the honor to tell you that there is hope. The best treatment for OCD is called exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy, a difficult but worthwhile therapy where you approach your obsessive fears head on. I know that sounds hard, but let me tell you the truth: though ERP is difficult, it is not more difficult than living every day with OCD.
Thankfully, we have some terrific ERP specialists here in the metro.
I worked with Dr. Christopher Donahue. Keep in mind that he does ERP only on a part-time basis, so he sometimes has a waitlist. Please do let him know that I sent you his way!
Another excellent ERP specialist is Dr. Matt Kushner. Though I have not worked with him personally, he has been strongly recommended to me by multiple OCD professionals.
That’s your first step. Contact one of these men– your future heroes!– and set up an appointment.
Secondly, learn as much as you can about ERP. I have many blog posts about ERP. You can also get hold of a copy of either Stop Obsessing! by Edna Foa or Freedom from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder by Dr. Jonathan Grayson. These books will help you prepare for your treatment.
Thirdly, you might think about medication. I recommend my psychiatrist Dr. Kevin O’Connor, who is located in Edina.
These steps can be scary. I know that. It took me fifteen years before I was diagnosed and another five before I found the right medication and ERP. You might not feel ready for this yet, but I think you’ll know when you are. When the daily hell of OCD becomes too much to handle, it will be time for ERP. And please know that ERP is really the best and most appropriate treatment for OCD. There is no better solution out there. On this blog, you won’t hear alternative solutions. I wouldn’t recommend insulin for a cancer patient or chemotherapy for a diabetic. ERP is the correct treatment for OCD, and it’s your door to freedom from OCD.
Compulsions will enslave you further.
Attempting to “solve” your individual obsessions will not gain you any ground.
ERP is your answer, when you’re ready.
I wish you all the best. If you see me out and about, please say hi! I can be found in the Roseville area coffee shops from time to time. One day, maybe it will be you and me having coffee and talking about how life in remission is so terribly grand.
Blessings on you, my friend,