Friday, February 5, 2016

Keep an OCD Journal

     It might sound odd to keep a journal about OCD, but you can use it to measure progress and better see what the major triggers are.
     List your OCD fears and/or compulsions by order of intensity...those that bring the most discomfort and those that are the least challenging.  Then begin with those that are easiest to deal with, one by one, and work on eliminating them. Use the 'talk back' techniques, and expose yourself to the very things you fear. Since the first steps will be the least challenging ones, this shouldn't be too difficult, but will give you good practice to work with the more challenging ones on your list. Don't rush your progress.You might have to work on a particular fear or compulsion for a couple weeks. If you are tempted to check if you turned off the stove, for instance, and you usually check three or four times, try getting it down to one time. Then work on not checking the stove at all.
     Journal your progress in doing this, or whatever your particular symptoms/fears are. It's okay if you have to write how miserable or scared you feel facing an OCD symptom. This is normal. When we are accustomed to running away from the fears or trying to shut them out of our mind. Facing up to them brings on all sorts of anxious feelings. And the 'OCD bully' in our brains is not used to being stood up to. Eventually it backs off knowing that we will not cower from the fear or thought and threats. We will not give into a compulsion in order to feel 'safe' from empty threats.
     Of course, the brain will create new fears and new threats...treat them the same way. "Oh yeah? Go ahead, make my day." And you WILL have a good day from facing up to the OCD bully.

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