People who are neat and tidy will sometimes refer to themselves as being “OCD,” but in reality, obsessive compulsive disorder is so much more than being organized. It’s a mental illness that causes obsessive thoughts and urges or compulsive, repetitive behaviors (most people have both obsessions and compulsions). Not only that, but these thoughts and behaviors are more than nail biting or worry, they can be so severe that they cause severe anxiety and according to WebMD, can have a major impact on someone’s day-to-day life.
Thankfully, this disorder can be maintained with the help of therapy and medication. It can be a lifelong condition that takes a lot of self-care and work, but it is possible. While proper treatment from a medical professional is necessary for managing OCD, there are some strategies you can try on your own to help manage your symptoms. For those who need it, we’ve compiled a list of some helpful tips on how to better deal with OCD.
Identify Your Triggers
The first step to managing OCD symptoms is to understand what your triggers are, says HelpGuide.org. These triggers could be particular thoughts or situations that are known to bring on obsessions and compulsions. “Record a list of the triggers you experience each day and the obsessions they provoke. Rate the intensity of the fear or anxiety you experienced in each situation and then the compulsions or mental strategies you used to ease your anxiety,” writes the source.
Keeping track of these triggers may help you anticipate your urges. If you can anticipate an urge, then it may help you control those compulsions before they arise. This is the key to easing the symptoms. For example, some people with OCD feel a compulsion to repeatedly check that all doors and windows are locked or appliances turned off, but if you anticipate that you might feel this urge, you may be able to take extra care to lock the door or turn off the appliance the first time, so that you don’t feel compelled to check it again.