Are you experiencing unwanted intrusive thoughts and repetitive behaviours? Is it starting to disrupt your daily life? If so, then you need help right away – you might have obsessive-compulsive disorder. OCD can potentially take over and dominate your life and leave you helpless. However, you can cope with your OCD and live a normal life. But first, you need to adapt several self care strategies This article is dedicated to show you things you can do for yourself to manage your OCD or OCD treatment and gain control of your life again.
Try Self-help Resources
If you have mild OCD, you can take advantage of self help resources to help them create and develop their own OCD coping strategies. They may also use them while you are waiting for treatment of alongside it. These types of treatment are often based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Once you’ve started formulating your own strategies, you can try a few different options to find the one that works for you:
- You can look for online blog sites that offers a range of self help resources and information.
- You could consult with your physician or book a consultation with a certified mental health specialist and ask for some effective self help methods.
- You can also access online materials regarding cognitive behavioural therapy and do some self study and apply what you’ve learned to create your OCD-coping strategies.
Establish a Support Network
Similar to other mental health conditions, many people find it hard to open up and talk about their OCD to other people. They tend to worry about rejection and criticism. If you have kept your OCD as a secret for such a long time, you’ll find it very difficult to express your experiences into words. However, no matter what you’ve gone through it’s important that you spill it out and release all of the anxiety and doubt that you feel inside. But before you can have the nerve to do this, you need to strengthen the relationships around you. It will help you feel less lonely and more confident to cope with your OCD.
Open up to someone you trust the most
Keeping secrets isn’t good, whatever the circumstance may be. So talk to your closest friend or family member about your OCD symptoms. It doesn’t matter if they understand or not at first. What’s important is that you manage to open up and disclose your OCD to other people. So the next time your obsessive compulsive symptoms trigger, they already know why it happens to you.
If you still find it hard to talk to people about your OCD, you can choose to write your feelings in a letter and then talk about. It cuts away the burden of having to open up and make awkward introductions.
Spend more time with friends and family
regardless of whatever health condition you have, it’s important that you keep a close relationship with your friends and family. That can be achieved by spending more time with them. You might not open up on your first bonding. But constantly be around these people and spending time with them will eventually give you the right amount of trust and comfortability to finally open up and talk about your experiences with OCD.
Trying Peer Support
Peer support is also a viable option for people with OCD who are looking to open up and try to express their condition to other people. It can either be with the ones closest to you or meet with people who’ve had similar experiences. Peer support offers the following benefits:
- The feeling of acceptance for your OCD condition.
- Boost in self-confidence.
- Freedom from loneliness and isolation. (it will give you a sense of relief knowing that there are others who’ve had the same experiences as you do.)
- Give you the needed freedom and space to talk with people who understand without getting judged.
- Discover new information and support methods.
- Challenge discrimination & OCD stigma.
You can either contact your local mental health organisation to find a support group near you. You can also find specific support groups for OCD via OCD-UK.
Trying Online Support
If you’re too much of an introvert to get help from a support group, you can consider looking for online support. The ADHD Centre has a strong online presence. We can give you expert advice and diagnosis via Skype assessment or through phone calls. We can also connect you to one of our affiliate organisations and consultants.
If you want help with your OCD, we can give you the best professionals to handle your case. One consultant that we can recommend is Dr. Mukesh Kripalani of the National Health Services. He is an expert in multiple fields of mental health such as body dysmorphia, depression, OCD, and more.
Learning How To Relax
One way to calm your OCD is learning how to control and neutralise your mind through relaxation and stress management.
Managing Your Stress
You should not ignore your OCD. Once you are anxious or stressed out, it can potentially worsen and cause more hindrances in your life. So start looking for ways you can help lower your stress levels up to a minimum. Learn strategies such as the following:
- Avoiding caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
- Indulging in physical activity
- Getting more sleep
- Learning different relaxation techniques.
- Talk to other people, preferably the ones closest to you.
- Keeping a “stress diary”
- Managing your Time
- Learning to say ‘No’
- Relax; take a break
Try Different Relaxation Techniques
Manage your stress by learning and utilising a few effective relaxation techniques. Relaxation can help you take care of your overall wellbeing when stress starts creeping up, or when your anxiety is just too much to bear. Here are some basic relaxation techniques that you should learn to master:
- Deep Breathing – a method characterised by long breaths to calm the muscles and the mind.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation – a method of deep muscle relaxation that is based on the belief that muscle tension is the body’s response to stress- and anxiety-provoking tendencies.
- Body Scan Meditation – a method designed to develop mindful awareness of your bodily sensations and to relieve tension wherever it is found.
- Mindfulness Meditation – the process of being mindful, paying attention to the present experience on a moment to moment basis.
- Rhythmic Movement & Mindful Exercise – the method of using a flow of repetitive movement to promote relaxation. Movements would include walking, running, swimming, dancing, climbing, or rowing.
- Yoga – a traditional method for relieving stress, combines the following techniques: breathing control, simple meditation, and adoption of specific bodily postures
Look after Yourself
Sometimes the way to get better is relying more on yourself rather than other people. So look for ways that can help you relieve your OCD symptoms.
Get Enough Sleep
Lacking sleep promotes stress and anxiety. That’s why if you already have OCD symptoms, you should get the right amounts of sleep to try and reduce the instance that it occurs. Sleep gives you the energy to cope with difficult experiences and feelings. Get at least six hours worth of quality sleep and see your mood and your mental health improve.
Consider finding the right diet
Regular eating will keep your blood sugar stable and boost your mood and energy levels. It’s important that you get the right amount of healthy foods for the best results.
If you’re not used to exercising, it can get a little bit of getting used to. But we can all agree on the number of benefits that it brings to our mind and body.
Get Expert Help
If you haven’t undergone OCD treatment, it’s about time you do. OCD isn’t a condition that you should overlook or be proud of. It can potentially hinder your life if you fail to address your situation. If you think you have OCD, you should get expert help right away. So book an appointment with your nearest mental health clinic and get a proper OCD diagnosis. If you live on or near the London and Manchester area, you can seek help from the ADHD Centre.
While focusing primarily on ADHD care, the ADHD centre London also offers treatment for other mental health conditions like the following: OCD, panic disorder, PTSD, generalised anxiety disorder, depression, and body dysmorphia. Get access to holistic OCD treatment, therapy, medication and consultation from expert psychiatrists who can help you with your condition.
You don’t have to worry if you live within the UK. The ADHD Centre also offers online consultations via Skype. So wherever you are in the country, the ADHD Centre London will always be available to help in overcoming your OCD and let you live a normal life.
OCD is not something that you should neglect. It can be disruptive if you ignore it. So stop living in shame and start opening up to other people, looking for ways on how to relieve your stress, and create your own OCD coping strategies. Make a move and make the effort now! You’ll be surprised at the rate of how your OCD symptoms subside once you do.