Top 10 Self-Defeating Ideas of OCD Sufferers
Answers for Doubting Minds
by Bruce M. Hyman, PhD, LCSW
- “My symptoms, while distressing and disruptive, are not so bad. My family members put up with it. I can’t change now – I don’t want to upset the apple cart.” “WRONG… You can live as normal life a as you choose. However troubling your symptoms, you never lose the potential for improvement in your OCD symptoms.
- “My compulsions and rituals are rational, real, reliable and necessary ways of staying healthy, safe and in control.WRONG… Unless YOU are willing to actively challenge the irrationality of your fears on a daily basis, you will not make progress.
- ” Since OCD is a biological problem, there is nothing that I can do to help it, short of taking medicine.”WRONG… medicine PLUS behavior therapy is the key.
- “If there is no cure, it’s no use getting help.”WRONG… This is part of the “all or nothing” thinking that often goes along with OCD. Even a modest improvement in your symptoms may significantly improve your life.
- “I can only get better if I uncover the “deeper” reasons for my symptoms.”WRONG… Just knowing “why” you do something does not necessarily cause you to stop doing it.
- “My parents teachers, God, the government caused my OCD, and I will never forgive them for it.”WRONG… Many factors contribute to your having OCD-but mostly it’s your genes. You may not be responsible for this problem, but you ARE responsible for learning to handle it. Getting better means getting over the blame and moving on.
- “I’ve been to plenty of doctors and therapists, and nothing has helped. I must be hopeless.”WRONG… Just because previous traditional talk therapy has not helped is no reason to give up. It is the KIND of help that makes a difference.
- “The medicine is addictive and I will become a slave to it.”WRONG… The medicines for OCD are NOT addictive. Your physician can take you off of them any time without withdrawal symptoms. OCD symptoms, however, often do come back.
- “I’ve tried Anafranil and it didn’t help. Therefore medicine won’t help me.”WRONG… WRONG… Just because one OCD medicine didn’t work doesn’t mean another won’t. If one doesn’t work, ask your physician to try another.
- “The medicine may be contaminated, and I have no control over it after it enters my body. And besides, I read on the Internet that medicines for OCD make you suicidal.”WRONG… You probably ate something today that has more “germs” than the medicine you take for OCD. Side effects from OC medicines are often minimal are not a problem for thousands of OC’s. Every reputable medical and government authority in the country, plus thousands of persons with OCD report that OCD medicines are safe and effective.