The treatment of OCD involves talking to OCD like it is a separate entity. What is the best way to talk to it?
Sometimes people are really mad at OCD and think of it as the enemy. When I tell kids to give OCD a name, they usually pick names like “poop head” or “jerk.” And they look like this when they’re bossing it back:
OCD is just a 2 year old that knows nothing about life. That’s why it’s asking a lot of unnecessary, ridiculous questions over and over again. “What if?” “What does?” “How come?” Why?”
It’s only two years old, so why yell or get mad at it? Just say, “I don’t know.” “It doesn’t matter.” Here’s what responding to a two year old looks like:
Other clients treat OCD like a two year old. “It doesn’t matter. I”m doing this because I said so.” And then they shift their focus on what does matter. “Do I want to spend my time trying to answer the unanswerable or do I want to have a day with my family with no lost moments?”
I’ve seen clients get so mad and say, “I’ve had enough!” At that moment, they break free. Other clients are more paradoxical and just nod their head and say, “Okay OCD. Whatever. So what? Who cares.” And by shrugging they are set free.
How do you talk back to OCD? It’s important to decide. Your decision should be based on which way empowers you to move on.