Monday, December 15, 2014

Self-Help Gift-

This is gift-giving season. If you know of someone suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, add a self-help book as one of their gifts. Might be the most beneficial one that person receives.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tip of the Week

Sometimes those suffering with OCD and/or anxiety issues can experience flare-ups from all the busyness and expectations for merriment during this time of the year. It's an emotional month.
It can mean more visiting, crowds at the stores, supermarkets, and bittersweet memories of past  holidays. A scent can even trigger a reminder of something painful or very cherished. Whatever it is, the emotions come into play. How can they not with all the tender TV holiday commercials, festive decorations  and songs on the radio and throughout many stores, as well as what is seen on the Internet?
Let the emotions soar up and down as they will and do something personal just for you - something you enjoy for the season. It can be a series of little things...marshmallows in hot chocolate, browsing the latest toys in the stores, writing a letter to a dear friend, or taking a ride to see the lights on various homes. 
And if the chaos of the shopping part during this season grates on your nerves, remember that there is online gift shopping. However, a little mingling with the shoppers during this time of year can be uplifting, especially if we keep in mind the 'reason for the season' and bring in the spiritual aspect of it into our lives. 
Attend a church service during this season.
Purchase a gift with care for a needy child or lonely friend/relative. 
Cook a meal to donate to a center or church for the homeless in your community.
Bring candy or cookies to a nursing home.
Decorate a room or two in your house or apartment, even if you live alone. A small Christmas tree, a Nativity set, and/or some fresh pine in a vase.
And don't forget to buy yourself a gift with a sense of gratitude.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

OCD Book Can Help-

Just a reminder that if therapy is not available or affordable from an OCD specialist, please get some help and a wealth of resources from my book: Confronting The Bully of OCD (Winning Back Our Freedom One Day at a Time.) Available on Used and New. 


I have read the book carefully and it is a masterpiece! -- Joseph DeRose, MD

Maran has faced her demons and taken steps to reclaim her life. She's hoping to help others face their fears. -- Gary Buiso,Bay News-A Courier Life Publication,Brooklyn, NY

Offers the best combination of the personal and professional story of OCD. Readers will know exactly what's ahead of them. -- Steven J. Brodsky, Psy.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist

This clearly written book is a practical guide for all people suffering from OCD. -- Dr. Philip Mango, Ph.D.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Tip of the Week-

For many suffering with OCD, holidays tend to cause a flare in obsessive unpleasant thoughts or compulsive behaviors.
It's not the holiday in itself, but the variety of things that come with the holidays. For each person it can be a different trigger. For example, the pressure to be in a happy mood. Stress from meal preparation or from the anticipation of seeing relatives or people not seen in a long time. More crowds in stores. Loneliness during a time of year that radiates the gathering of family and friends.
Whatever the reason, realize it is temporary and will pass. If you will be alone, plan things you enjoy doing, even if they are at home. Do something special for yourself. A culinary treat. A favorite DVD. A long warm soak in the bath. It doesn't have to be a big thing. Little celebrations are the gems of life.

If you will not be alone and are anxious in a social setting due to nerves, make the most of it by taking advantage of the fact that there are people in your life.
Focus on the positives of each person you spend time with. And realize that there are no perfect people. Don't let the OCD bully tell you differently. Or keep you away from a gathering because you are not 'normal' from having OCD.
Having OCD doesn't make for a bad, abnormal, or crazy person. A person with OCD can do the same things other people without it can do. And that includes having a pleasant happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tip of the Week-

First, SMILE, even if you don't feel like it.
Then have a goal for the day, even if it is just a simple thing like getting the laundry done, or getting your paperwork organized. Keep smiling. The OCD bully hates that and usually backs down.
 Do NOT sit around ruminating about a fear or compulsion. The OCD bully gets stronger that way.

At the end of the day you will feel good to have accomplished something despite the onslaught of OCD symptoms. Little things one day at a time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tip of the Week-

Pray. Let us pray for good outcomes in the world around us, and allow our thoughts to focus on the positive rather than the negative. Prayer can chase the OCD bullies away.
1 Corinthians 14:15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.

Friday, October 24, 2014

OCD Triggers Everywhere-

Dire news reports and the changing of the season can surely trigger OCD symptoms.
Take a break from the 'news' to recharge inner calm. Do something enjoyable, even if it is just reading the comics, strolling in the park and admiring the colorful leaves...whatever usually brings a sense of inner peace.
We can't change the news reports or the changing of the seasons, but we can strengthen our ability to react calmer.

Friday, October 17, 2014


What soothes you?  A warm bath? Listening to soft music? A walk outdoors? A phone chat with a friend? Reading scripture? A warm cup of tea? A good workout? Do something that soothes you today to take the edge off whatever stress is currently a flare-up of OCD symptoms.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

News Woes

Bad news day in and day out on the radio, in the newspaper, on TV, and Internet, can frazzle the nerves which exacerbates OCD symptoms. How about not focusing on the negatives each day, and tuning in on the positives? They're there if we look for them. Uplifting real-life stories, uplifting tidbits good news. Here are two web sites:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Laughter is Good-

Even if you are having a terrible day of ruminating or fear-based rituals, a humorous movie or book, can do wonders. Laughter is good for us. It relieves tension and breaks the cycle of distress caused by obsessive thinking and actions. Perhaps just looking at the following photos might give you a laugh.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Helpful Resource

Dr. Steven Brodsky is an OCD specialist. Check out his web site.
Get the help that awaits.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Be Kind to Yourself-

When was the last time you did something nice for yourself? A little pampering helps soothe nerves and restores calm. This can entail getting a massage, a manicure/pedicure, buying some little new thing...a  lipstick, a CD, a tie, a bunch of flowers. We mustn't allow feeling bad due to OCD to rob us of small pleasures.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Eating to Fight OCD

Our choice of food can help us better battle OCD symptoms. Certain foods cause mood swings and anxiety, such as caffeine and sugar. It's best to choose a piece of fruit over a sugary hunk of cake. And to drink decaf coffee and herbal teas...water or seltzer instead of cola and sodas. The calmer we are, the greater our ability to fight back symptoms.

Friday, October 10, 2014


"We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear."
-Martin Luther King

It's important to have some reinforcements in our battle against the OCD bully. Therapist, friends we trust, family members, self-help books and web sites on OCD...all reinforcements. It might not be possible to have all of these, but even one or two will be of great beneficial support.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Don't Doubt Your Strength-

During those times when you feel weakened by your fears/symptoms, keep this affirmation in mind:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Anxiety Can be Good-

If you are trying to fight back the OCD bully by talking back to your fears, and doing things you are afraid to do to get some control again, you most likely will feel anxious for a while.  This is not a bad thing. Keep this affirmation in mind...
 Anxiety means I am making progress by not avoiding.

Monday, October 6, 2014


Saying affirmations to ward off the OCD Bully and to give one courage is always a helpful exercise.
Today's affirmation: 
(Taken from the book: Confronting The Bully of OCD.)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Can't Find or Afford Proper Therapy?

  Specialized therapy for OCD (which is the only kind that works) is not always covered by every medical insurance, and some therapists might not take a particular insurance.
  The reason why one needs an OCD specialist is because they hone right into the OCD and not your life story and talk therapy.  They teach patients 'cognitive behavioral' methods that work, even without needing to take medication. Of course, a person might decide to take a medication to be able to do the technique with less anxiety at the start. That's a personal matter.
  The point is, we need to learn how to fight back OCD.  I was taught to view Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as a bully and treat it as such. This technique was taught to me by Dr. Steven Brodsky in NYC.  I was fortunate to have been able to see him, even though my insurance plan did not cover sessions at that time. However, now Dr. Brodsky takes my plan. Check his web site at: He also does phone sessions if you have no qualified therapist nearby. See if he takes your medical plan.
  And if that is not an option, please order a copy of my book, Confronting The Bully of OCD. It's discounted now on
I sometimes sell it for half price on eBay. The book teaches the technique that Dr. Brodsky taught me, (with his approval.) And he wrote the Preface to the book.
  Wishing you a calm OCD-free day.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Moment by Moment

                            (Photo by author)

 According to the late Dr. Claire Weeks, if one forgets about an obsessive thought or compulsion for even a few seconds, it means one is capable of forgetting about it for a few minutes, and then an hour, and so forth.

                                                           (Photo by author)

So, it's a good idea to take a few moments to notice something pleasant about this season...

The leaves changing on a tree, the coolness now felt in a breeze, a bite of a crisp fresh apple. It's all there, we just have to take our attention away from one thing and place it on another, like changing the channel on TV.
Even a few moments of an enjoyable distraction can help the outlook we have become hopeful, and help one gather up some strength to fight down the bully of OCD.
Turn this very moment into an OCD-free one. And after the moment is over and the OCD symptoms return, know that they can be gone again and again, and then for longer periods of time, until gone for good. It happens to many OCD sufferers. It can happen to you. Go ahead, find something pleasant to focus on for a moment, even if it is one of the photos on this page.
Wishing you many OCD-free moments...hours...days...weeks...months...

Friday, October 3, 2014

Have You Talked Back to the Bully Today?

 Remember, talk back to the OCD bullies in your head each day. You can change the program in your brain that causes much of the distress by changing how you react.
Picture yourself as Clint Eastwood or Arnold Schwarzenegger facing up to the enemy.
Whenever a troublesome thought or compulsion tries to win you over, tell it: "Go ahead, make my day!" or "Hasta la vista, baby!"  Egging on the danger you fear will break the cycle.

In the meantime, be patient with any anxiety this might cause. You are not used to behaving this way toward 'the bully' -  just as a child is not accustomed to fighting back the school bully who takes his or her milk money each day.

When she or he finally faces up to the bully, naturally some anxiety, even fear, will emerge. But bullies often back away when they realize their threats are no longer tolerated. And for the victor, that is a great feeling.
Start small, with some little OCD bothersome thought or compulsion, then move on to the bigger bullies.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Stuck? One Step At A Time...

  It's not fun to be stuck with a frightening obsessional thought or a ritual/useless behavior, that one can't stop doing. And it's even less fun to be criticized or scolded for it.
   1- Realize that unless one experiences the exact suffering, one cannot know the exact nature of a situation. Being angry at others for their attempts to help is wasted energy and only adds stress, which fuels OCD.
    2- Like it or not, the best way to relief, is to face and fight back the fear and compulsion, as if it is a cruel tormenting bully. Go ahead, take the chance! What have you got to lose?  Talk back to your fears. Dare them! It's surprising at how liberating it is to finally face those inner threats, like the bullies that they are.
    3- Easier said than done? It sure seems that way. One step at a time, is the key.  For example, if it's a matter of being afraid to get on a bus or train (the reason doesn't matter - germs, terrorists, whatever) then just walk to the bus stop or train station for starters...for a day or two. Then on the third day get on the bus or train, for one stop, and get off. Do this until the anxiety begins to lessen.  It might take a week or more.


It will be a feat accomplished toward winning back freedom from OCD.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Keep a self-help OCD book on hand. Don't let it collect dust on the book shelf. Sometimes we need reminders on how to keep the OCD at bay or better deal with it, and most of the OCD self-help books will be a great help with that.

You can get one of  the following on
 1) My book: Confronting The Bully of OCD (Winning Back Our Freedom One Day at a Time)  By Linda Maran
2) Overcoming Obsessive Thoughts. How To Gain Control of Your OCD. By David A. Clark and Christine Purdon

3) Stop Obsessing. How to Overcome Your Obsession and Compulsions. Revised. By Edna B. Foa and Reid Wilson

There are many other good books - just search the web.

Have Seasonal Fun Despite OCD-

      (Photos by author)

Autumn can be a drab depressing time for some. Shorter days, leaves falling from the trees, and vacation time ended. But it can also be a wonderful fun time of enjoying the colored leaves, autumnal treats, and brisk cooler weather.
Choose the positive side of the season, not the negative. And don't let any obsessional fears put a damper on having some good experiences this season.
Think of things to do that will lift your spirits, even if you are having symptoms of OCD. Fight back, and get out and enjoy the season anyway.  You'll be glad that you did.
Here are a few things you can do to chase the OCD obsessions away, or at least distract you from them...
  Take a walk in a local park and enjoy the changing colors of the trees and the refreshing temperatures.
  Visit a farm stand and pick up a pumpkin to brighten your space. (Neighborhood fruit stores also sell pumpkins and mums.)
  Make a pumpkin or apple pie.
  Treat yourself to some apple cider, available in many stores this time of year.
  Boil up some water with cinnamon and apple peels to give a wonderful seasonal scent to the kitchen.
  Check to see if there are any farmer markets or green markets coming to your area and go to one.