If you have OCD then at some point in your life, you’ve probably asked over half of these questions.
These Questions About OCD Are Very Reasonable to Ask
These questions will be answered in some form…in some manner…at some point…
Why am I having these specific thoughts? Who cares? You’ll never figure it out.
Why am I obsessed about this and not something else? Your brain is on overdrive trying to protect something that is precious and sacred to you.
What do these thoughts say about me? They say that you’re thinking like the rest of us.
Shouldn’t I be able to control these thoughts and stop them? I’m sorry I didn’t know you had a power that no one else has.
Am I going to act on these thoughts? Time will tell. Meanwhile live your life.
Why do they seem so very, very real to me? Hmmm…Maybe thoughts are connected to the central NERVOUS system.
What if I’m having these thoughts because they’re premonitions or it’s my intuition? Time to play the lottery then.
How do I know this is OCD? What if it’s not? Time will tell.
Did something happen in my past that gave me OCD? Whatever the case, when you’re ready to confront OCD you’ll have to suspend analysis.
It’s bad enough everything else I’m dealing with, and now this? It’s better to figure out what all of this makes possible. A positive mindset is like kryptonite to OCD. It deprives OCD of its powers. A negative mindset and a positive mindset can’t coexist. Only one can be the master.
What kind of God gives people OCD? It’s nothing more than an assumption that God is the cause of suffering. You can find no evidence of this.
“I lift mine eyes to the hills; from where does my help come?” (Psalms 121:1-2) The psalmist isn’t saying his pain comes from God. He’s saying my help comes from God.
For a life-changing read, get the book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner.
Shouldn’t everyone be worried about this? Follow the majority. In a room full of 100 people, how many would be worried. Not many? Then this is unreasonable worry.
Should I tell people I have OCD? If you disclose do it gladly and don’t complain if people don’t give you the response you hoped for.
When do I let the person I’m dating know that I have OCD? What is the purpose of telling them? I’m not saying you shouldn’t. I’m asking what do you hope to achieve by telling them? I ask this question of my clients and my favorite answer is, “I think it’s time to tell them so that they understand I don’t need their protection. I want them to help me to confront, not avoid.”
My spouse doesn’t know what I obsess about. Should s/he? The content of your obsession is irrelevant. It’s more important that your significant other understand the nature of OCD and how he or she can help without feeding OCD.
Should I tell my job I have OCD? There’s no blanket answer for this. If you need reasonable accommodations then you’ll tell them.
Has anyone ever tried [this] medication? Yup. Did it help? Nope. Yup. Not sure.
When can I stop taking this drug? If you stop the drug then you’ve got to make sure there is PLENTY of exercise, adequate sleep, juggling, meditation, comedy, affection, thrills and adventure, healthy eating, self-compassion and tree hugging in your life.
Is there a drug that works better than others? Every BODY is different.
How long does it take for this drug to work? It varies.
Can I get healthy without medication? You’ve got to make sure there is PLENTY of reasonable exercise, adequate sleep, juggling, meditation, comedy, affection, thrills, adventure, healthy eating, self-compassion and tree hugging in your life. If you can’t put that combo together, take the medication.
What does it mean to “sit” with the thoughts? They’re unwanted. I don’t want them! How am I supposed to just let them be there? I just spoke with someone on the telephone who’s never had therapy for her OCD. She asked me the same question. She said the chatter is 24/7. She repeatedly said, “I don’t want these thoughts.” The more you don’t want them the more they’ll keep coming.
As long as I’m busy I can try to avoid the thoughts. Stay busy, that’s good, right? Nope. Welcome the thoughts. Provoke the thoughts but don’t try to avoid them. It’s not about staying busy. It’s about living your life. Doing what you WANT to to and NEED to do.
Can’t I replace a bad thought with a good thought? Yikes.
I’d never act on these thoughts, right? It’s just OCD. Right? Time will tell.
Have you ever heard of anyone else who has these thoughts? If you have OCD and I’m an OCD specialist…what are the chances?
Why did I have two completely OCD-free days and then boom, it’s ba-a-a-ack??? A setback is a setup for a breakthrough.
Can the obsession change? How often can it change? Nothing has meaning except the meaning you give it.
Even if I get unstuck about [this] won’t I just get stuck on the next thing? Nothing has meaning except the meaning you give it.
I shrugged this one off years ago. But, now it’s back and I can’t seem to get past it like I did once before. Why? Nothing has meaning except the meaning you give it.
Why am I so angry? You’re feeling like a victim? You’re not being assertive? You’re doing something, but not gladly?
I don’t seem to have any patience. Why? This isn’t who I used to be. You’re trying to answer something that isn’t answerable?
Why do I always feel like a volcano about to explode? You’re not being assertive? You’re not stepping out of your comfort zone?
I used to be passionate. Now I’m just angry. Why? Anger is a form of passion!
Is my brain fried or something? I can’t focus! Start juggling.
Why do I have to reread everything? I feel like I can’t comprehend anything I read! Start juggling.
Why can’t I be present? I feel like I can’t listen to anybody. I feel disconnected. Practice being in the here and now. Use all of your senses and stay in this moment. Right here, right now, you’re pretty ok. You can’t feel certain emotions until you’re out of this storm.
I can’t get anything done. My mind is racing. Should I take time off? To do what? Race more?
Would it help if I journal about things that make me anxious every day? It’s good to make a list of your triggers so you can eventually confront them.
Should I write down all my thoughts. Keep track of them? It’s good to make a list of your thoughts so that you can rank them in terms of easiest to hardest and then begin to confront them starting with the easiest.
Should I journal about my feelings? Maybe it would help to get my feelings out. Feelings are the problem not the solution. Focus on action. Life rewards action.
What if I’m in the small percentage of people who can’t be helped by ERP? Time will tell.
What if I haven’t told you everything you need to know? Oh well.
Can you guarantee it will work? Can you guarantee I don’t have cancer?
Won’t ERP make my OCD worse? Since when does stepping out of your comfort zone the first time feel better!
This whole idea about doing exposures feels too overwhelming. Don’t you think we should wait until I feel ready for this? You might wait a very long time and meanwhile life passes you by.
What other kinds of therapy can treat OCD besides ERP? CBT is more than ERP.
I tried this once before and my anxiety didn’t come down. What if my anxiety doesn’t come down? You can do anything feeling anxious. You can’t do much avoiding.
Ready for the answers to all of these questions?
Of course I have an answer for every question!
But, I think YOUR answers would be VERY interesting.
In fact, I’m so confident about how interesting your answers will be, that I’m going to gift my recent book, “The OCD Coloring Book Journal” to the five people who answer these questions, in a manner that reflects the most effective way to Boss OCD Back.
You don’t have to answer every question!