OCD Self Help Guide

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OK, I promised an OCD self-help guide in my post entitled Examples of OCD Behaviors. That article talks all about OCD and this one is obviously full of things that can help deal with the various symptoms of OCD.


The Good News Is … OCD Can Be Treated!!


Understand OCD

The first step in this self-help guide is to understand OCD.

With that objective in mind, here are some facts.

  • OCD is the 10th leading cause of disability worldwide.
  • At least 6 million Americans have OCD
  • OCD affects about 1 in 50 adults and 1 in 100 children
  • OCD is not about self-control, it is a neurobiological illness
  • OCD needs an effective treatment as much as any other medical condition

Please see my article Examples of OCD Behaviors for more information on understanding OCD

Supplements

Inositol: A carbohydrate that naturally occurs in our bodies and in foods such as nuts, beans, grains, and fruit.

  • Very well-tolerated, very safe.
  • Can be taken with SSRI’s,
  • Dose: Start low around 2g (2000mg) per day and work up to 18g (18,000 mg) per day.
  • Patients in the OCD trial mentioned below saw results with 18g per day for 6 weeks
  • Side Effects: At doses over 12g/day it can cause some stomach upset.
  • No vitamin or drug interactions.

This double-blind controlled trial showed that illnesses that respond well to SSRIs, namely depression, OCD and panic, respond to inositol with minimal side effects. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9169302/

Specifically regarding OCD the study stated that patients taking 18g/day for 6 weeks had “significantly lower scores on the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale when taking inositol than when taking placebo”. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8780431/

Purchase from iHerb: iHerb – Fairhaven Health, Myo-Inositol – 2 grams in 4 capsules.


Cognitive Behavior Therapy

There is a form of Cognitive Behavior Therapy that has proven effective in treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It is called Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy (ERP)

When it comes to experiencing a significant reduction in OCD symptoms, ERP has an over 80% success rate!

Individuals who undergo ERP are exposed to their obsessions which might sound scary but it is done gradually and many are willing to do it because they hope to find relief from OCD. After the exposure, the individual is prevented from performing the compulsion that usually comes afterward. So if the obsession is checking, they will be exposed to a trigger that makes them want to check something and then be prevented from checking it. This can temporarily raise anxiety levels however during that time the adult or child is being supported and their anxiety will subside. When this is repeated over and over and they see that nothing bad happens their anxiety levels drop or disappear.

This is a very simplistic explanation, there are techniques that will be taught to the individual so they can learn to respond in a different way than they normally do to their thoughts and compulsions. For this reason, It is important to find a trained cognitive behavior therapist to administer ERP for adults and children alike.

Support – Books for Parents, Children & Teens

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. However, you do not pay more when buying through my links. Thank you for helping support my site.

Loving Someone With OCD

Helping Your Child with OCD

A Thought is Just A Thought: A Story of Living with OCD

Kissing Doorknobs

Conclusion

  • Living with OCD is painful and treatment is necessary.
  • ERP is the main and most effective treatment recommended for OCD, results can be seen in a few weeks or less.
  • Medication is inferior to behavior therapy because it does not teach you how to manage the disorder.
  • Medication can take 16 weeks to show results.
  • Get as much education you can from the books listed above.
  • Make some notes about you or your child’s specific behaviors and rituals

Most Important:

  • Find an experienced and trained Cognitive Behavior Therapist to administer ERP
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy can be done online and is as effective as a face to face session.
  • Click on the following link to see how Online-Therapy.com is offering part of its services for free due to coronavirus.

Take an OCD test at the link below. Go to Categories, OCD, scroll down to OCD test.

Get Worksheets Here

Who will my therapist be?

Once you sign up, a personal therapist will be assigned to you based on your profile. This person will be by your side from the beginning to the end. If you wish to change to a new therapist, you can do that from your dashboard with a click of a button.

The therapists at Online-Therapy.com have a wide range of credentials (academic degrees, licenses or certifications) and many hours of hands-on experience. Once you have signed up, you will be able to read your therapist’s full profile from your dashboard by clicking on “Your Therapist”.

Does CBT online work?

Yes. Studies show that online CBT is just as effective as traditional face-to-face therapy*. This online therapy program is based on CBT and provides you with the information, tools, and guidance you need to overcome your problems.

Online-Therapy.com has helped thousands of satisfied people overcome their difficulties and their program has an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars (1039 reviews).


The free access includes: Online therapy program with 8 easy-to-follow sections and 25 worksheets, yoga and meditation videos, activity plan, journal, and tests (communicating with a personal therapist is not included).

Online-Therapy.com an Online Therapy Toolbox

 

 

 

I wish you all the best in finding the most effective treatment for you!

Love,

Alison


Please let me know in the comments below if you have used any of the above recommendations.

If you have any questions or other comments, I would love to hear from you!

 

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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for educational purposes only; it is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical or mental health conditions. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider to evaluate and treat your physical and mental symptoms.


6 Replies to “OCD Self Help Guide”

  1. There is so much joy in me to be learning this here and to know how common OCD is and most of us are ignorant of how to get help. The article has helped me in that regard. I hope to check online soon to see if I can get the suggested Online Therapy. 

    1. Hi Justin,

      Yes, I recommend you check out the Online Therapy. You can start with a free account and then if you want more access you can join the paid program which is well worth it! You could never get everything they offer for the price… and you don’t even have to leave the house!!

      Thank you for your comment.

      All my best,

      Alison

  2. Hello Alison, this is a very wonderful post on OCD. I think that you wrote this one very well and you gave very good information on OCD too. A big highlight of what I learnt here is the cognitive therapy that you mentioned here because it looks like something I have learnt somewhere. I guess to make the therapy work, then a good therapist in this field is required.

    1. Hi Suz,

      Yes, it does help to have a good therapist. I use Online-therapy.com myself and I really like being able to do the therapy remotely but also being able to check in with the therapist and get quick feedback. I like the worksheets too! 

      Thank you for your comment,

      Alison

  3. Those are some staggering stats! I am wondering just how connected OCD and depression and even anxiety is. My friend suffers from both and her dr actually had her go through cognitive behavior  therapy. It did work- for awhile but was not a long term solution. Problem was once she stopped the therapy she slid back to her anxiety and ocd. Have you had any luck with Cognitive Behavior therapy and ocd yourself? If so any other pointers would be appreciated. I did bookmarked the online therapy toolbox, thank you for so much information

    1. Hi ccav66, 

      Yes, CBT – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has helped me with OCD however I understand the backslide when stopping therapy. Any mental health disorder is a constant struggle which is why having wonderful support people like you is vital.

      A few thoughts come to mind with regard to your friend. First, being presently involved in the therapy might help on one hand because the individual is talking to someone who understands & busy learning and being hopeful. Once the therapy is stopped those immediate benefits subside. However, one needs to continue using the strategies taught in the therapy afterward on their own, this is really a key and it does take work and it is not always easy. 

      Other pointers… 

      1. I definitely, definitely recommend trying the Inositol

      2. Go back over what was learned in therapy as a reminder/refresher of helpful strategies.

      3. Take time each day to sit and relax and meditate on the strategies and how to resume using them for relief. 

      4. Examine the diet. Avoid sugar. (See Foods that Help Anxiety and Depression)

      5. Also look into the Pyroluria Protocol.

      All my best to you and your friend! Thank you for reading and asking your question.

      Alison

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