How to Break Free From the OCD Chatter

OCD is quite a chatter box.  During the course of therapy a client will inevitably ask me, “When is this chatter going to stop?” Even 160_F_73837678_GpTq1pfrh5UXtP7jBB5lScBNsXTMPfjVthough the client is doing everything they need to be doing, OCD just won’t shut up! 

I reply with blazing hope. Be patient. You can bear all things during therapy with patience. When the going gets rough hang in there. Don’t quit! I’ve seen 100’s of clients get better, just when they thought they never would.

It’s as if there’s a switch in the brain and it suddenly gets flipped on. When this happens it’s visible on the clients face. After many weeks, sometimes months the client is transformed. And I say, “It’s nice to finally meet you.” And we laugh. It feels so good. 

But it wasn’t easy getting there. Exposure & Response Prevention(ERP) is the scariest thing you’ll ever do. Believe me, pablo-118OCD will tell you not to do it! Every nerve ending in your body will tell you to stop.

Acceptance and Commitment(ACT) therapy is mental Kung Fu. Reverse psychology. Letting the thoughts be there and doing nothing to “fix” them. Agreeing with the thoughts and letting your core values drive your behavior no matter how you feel.

Practicing ERP and ACT is tedious work. There’s a lot of repetition. Things aren’t clear right away. It’s uninspiring at first. Once you disprove OCD it gets a little more inspiring and empowering. But in the beginning and middle it’s slow, tiresome and the symptoms are often unrelieved. 

Patience is the hero. It’s magical. It will protect you while you slowly plod forward. It’s the capacity to accept or tolerate suffering. It’s the ability to continue moving forward despite the lack of relief. 

I made a video for you (see below) and when I finished I had a craving for something sweet. I don’t eat much sugar so I found a bag of very old fortune cookies. I grabbed one and cracked it open to read the fortune. I couldn’t believe the message! Unbelievable!

I can't believe the timing of this message!
I can’t believe the timing of this message!

Check out this video I made for you!



16 thoughts on “How to Break Free From the OCD Chatter”

  1. Video was great!! Excellent recipe for success and a giant boost of encouragement. Funny how the word encourage contains “courage” ..just noticed that!

    1. That’s so cool. I’d never thought of that either! I like this one: The word motion is in emotion. Motion creates emotion!

  2. Love this post and especially the video! With a week with lots of “chatter” this was the motivation I needed to be patient!

  3. I dibs the credit for this video #nocoincidences LOL! Great video Tammy. I paused it and screenshotted some of the slides! Thanks so much 🙂

    1. I do get a lot of inspiration for my posts from my clients who are also my hero.

  4. I love the video! It’s all true. I believe there’s a good reason that “Patience is a virtue” is a proverb. Being patient and accepting whatever OCD throws at you during the difficult times is very important. I’ll be the first to admit that there have been hundreds of times when that little voice in my head has said, “Just give up. Quit. You’ll never get any better.” However, I also remember that OCD isn’t exactly the most accurate prediction maker, and occasionally lies to me. (By occasionally, I mean 99.99…% of the time). There are many days when I want to just feel bad for myself, but I try to keep moving forward.
    “It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness…” is a personal favorite saying. Complaining gets you nowhere, action gets you moving. Patience is important when dealing with OCD, but persistence is as well. I try to make a small step every day, because the last place I want (or anyone else, I imagine) is to be stuck standing still. No matter how slowly I’m moving, I just try to keep moving forward. That’s the way to win: be patient, and keep moving forward, no matter how bad things seem or how nasty OCD gets.

    1. Great inspiration packed into this paragraph! You are the light in the darkness for many people!

  5. Haha – great video. I love it! Catchy music! Now you have to tell me how to get rid of the earworm from the music repeating in my head 😉 That’s not a new OCD trick, is it?!

  6. Here’s some content for the voice over.

    OCD: “You can’t withstand the storm.”

    You: “I AM the storm.

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