This post contains some of the best OCD quotes.
What Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?
You may have heard people say, “I’m so OCD” to describe their need to be tidy. But OCD is not a habit or a quirk. It doesn’t bring a sense of fulfillment.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a mental health disorder that is associated with anxiety, fear, doubt or disgust, or any combination of these.
The American Psychiatric Association (2013) defines OCD as having recurrent, time-consuming obsessions or compulsions or both that cause significant impairment.
Obsessions are “recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or impulses that are experienced, at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive and unwanted, and that in most individuals cause marked anxiety and distress.”
People with OCD try “to ignore or suppress such thoughts, urges, or images, or to neutralize them with some other thoughts or action”—that is, with compulsions.
Compulsions are “repetitive behaviors or mental acts that the individual feels driven to perform in response to their obsession or by strictly applied rules. The behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing anxiety or distress, or to preventing some dreaded event or situation; however, these behaviors or mental acts are not connected in a realistic way with what they are designed to neutralize or prevent, or are clearly excessive” (APA 2013, 237).
OCD may include fear of losing something (e.g. your life ending, losing relationships, going insane, great harm coming to people you love, living in pain, etc.).
People with OCD often feel like a slave to their mind and feelings.
People with OCD often struggle with feelings of shame after engaging in repetitive behaviors or mind loops.
Note that only a mental health professional can make OCD diagnosis. You will likely be asked to complete the standard diagnostic assessment tool known as the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale, also known as the Y-BOCS (Goodman 1989).
1. “Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is experiencing unwanted intrusive thoughts or urges and repetitive physical or mental behaviors. OCD is associated with anxiety or disgust and has a negative impact on your daily life.” – Marisa T. Mazza
2. “OCD is on a spectrum: some people may experience severe symptoms, meaning that unwanted thoughts, urges, or compulsions are present most of the time and significantly impair their life. Others may experience mild symptoms of OCD, meaning that the unwanted thoughts, urges, and repetitive behaviors take up some time (at least an hour per day) and impair some areas of their life. Some people may experience unwanted thoughts, urges, compulsions, anxiety or disgust, without it taking up much time or having a major impact on their life. These people may have symptoms of OCD but cannot be diagnosed with OCD, because the unwanted thoughts, urges, and compulsions do not take up at least an hour a day” – Marisa T. Mazza
3. “… the irony of OCD—it tells you bad things will happen if you don’t do these compulsions, but ultimately, it’s these compulsions that pull you further and further away from your life. Before you know it, all this time and energy that was put into preventing bad things actually caused bad things to happen!” – Marisa T. Mazza
4. “…people with OCD often wear a mask. On the outside they appear so put together, but on the inside, they are falling apart. ” – Marisa T. Mazza
5. “A lot of people assume that having OCD means liking things organized or hating germs. It tends to be treated like a quirk or an endearing trait. But it’s so much more than that. It’s the one thing that prohibits me from being free of myself.” ― Whitney Amazeen
6. “As you move through life, the OCD will be on one shoulder and your values on the other. The OCD barks orders, driving you to live in fear, while your values remind you of the things that give you deeper meaning and help you feel alive. You always have the freedom to choose which to focus on: feeding your OCD or living your values.” – Marisa T. Mazza
7. “Compulsions are a form of control. They work in the short run, in that they usually reduce or at least neutralize anxiety. However, in the long run, the unwillingness to experience what shows up gets in the way of people accepting themselves and learning that they are truly capable.” – Marisa T. Mazza
8. “My OCD is a speed bumb, not a barrier, to happiness.” ― Amelia Diane Coombs
9. “Not having to control or fight OCD can lead to a sense of freedom or lightness. Your energy can then be spent on things that you find meaningful. I often hear people say, “My OCD is exhausting.” After working on letting go of control, suddenly people report having more energy.” – Marisa T. Mazza
10. “Obsessive-compulsive disorder is not a quirk or just a habit. You may hear people say, “I’m so OCD” to describe their desire to be neat and tidy. But OCD doesn’t feel like a choice and doesn’t bring a sense of fulfillment and joy.” – Marisa T. Mazza
11. “OCD can also impact your family and friends. Watching someone suffering from OCD isn’t easy.” – Marisa T. Mazza
12. “OCD is not a disease that bothers; it is a disease that tortures.” ― J.J. Keeler
13. “Oftentimes, giving in to the OCD means moving further away from your values and the life you want. Your OCD may have been guiding your life for far too long. You now have an alternate path. Are you willing to let your values be your guiding light?” – Marisa T. Mazza
14. “People who live with OCD drag a metal sea anchor around. Obsession is a break, a source of drag, not a badge of creativity, a mark of genius or an inconvenient side effect of some greater function.” ― David Adam
15. “People with OCD including myself, realize that their seemingly uncontrollable behavior is irrational, but they feel unable to stop it.” ― Abhijit Naskar
16. “Perhaps you’ve heard “You don’t look sick,” “Don’t worry, relax,” or “That’s not rational” when you’ve told people you have OCD. If it were only that easy! You may feel misunderstood, like people don’t get how much you are suffering. ” – Marisa T. Mazza
17. “Rationally, you may know that what the OCD is saying is unlikely, maybe even untrue; however, there is always the chance that something you’re afraid of might happen, so it’s scary.” – Marisa T. Mazza
18. “Someone asked me recently, what it is like to live with OCD. I paused for a while and said, imagine watching your sibling getting run over by a truck in front of your eyes, not once, not twice, but repeatedly like in a looped video, or your child getting beaten up at school, or your partner getting abused by strangers on the street – and the only way you can stop that event from happening is to keep on repeating the task that you were carrying out when the vision first appeared in your mind, until some other less emotionally agonizing thought breaks the loop of that particular vision and replaces it – and though you know, it’s just a thought and not the destiny of the people you love, you feel it excruciatingly necessary to keep repeating the task until the thought passes, so that nothing bad happens to your loved ones – and that’s what it is like inside the head of a person with OCD, every moment of their life.” ― Abhijit Naskar
19. “Telling someone with OCD to stop obsessing about something is like telling someone who’s having an asthma attack to just breathe normally.” ― Tamara Ireland Stone
20. “The primary difference between people with OCD and those without it is not simply the content of the thoughts, but their perspective on the thoughts. If your perspective is that a particular thought is “bad” in and of itself, then that thought may become problematic.” – Jon Hershfield & Tom Corboy
21. “The problem with OCD isn’t that you think too much. It’s that you confuse the intensity, volume, or visibility of your thoughts with their importance.” – Jon Hershfield & Tom Corboy
22. “To react to OCD is to jump into compulsions. To respond to OCD is to observe what your mind is doing and choose your next step.” – Jon Hershfield & Tom Corboy
23. “When your OCD is loud and you are caught up in it, what happens to the rest of your life? Oftentimes when we are struggling, we lose sight of what else is out there.” – Marisa T. Mazza
24. “But here’s the catch for those of us with OCD: We don’t need a bear or a lion — or any other legitimate threat — to trigger our fight- or-flight responses. Our core fears —those “what if” questions our bullies pose — do the trick just fine.” – Jeff Bell
25. “At its crux, OCD treatment is about learning to live with the discomfort of uncertainty.” – Jeff Bell
26. “OCD ranges in severity from causing distress and negatively impacting your everyday routine to being totally debilitating to the point where you’re unable to function normally.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
27. “Fighting OCD is like boxing. Each time you go against a thought, it’s a punch to its strength. Each time you listen to your OCD, its biceps get bigger and it becomes a more powerful opponent. It’s a war of attrition—you just have to keep fighting.” – Allison Britz
28. “For OCD checkers such as myself, the act of checking is akin to treasure hunting in a dark cave and discovering a hatch marked “Gold.” We pry it up, look inside, and fall in, only to find ourselves even deeper in the cave. We get back on our feet, start looking around, and come across another hatch marked “Diamonds.” We pry it open, look inside, and again fall deeper into the cave. This is how trapdoors work, and this is how checking leaves us ever more stuck in Doubt.” – Jeff Bell
29. “Anyone can have a few obsessions or compulsions, and, in fact, most people do. But it isn’t obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) unless the obsessions and compulsions consume considerable amounts of time and interfere significantly with the quality of your life.” – Laura L. Smith
30. “Contrary to popular belief, OCD isn’t simply a disorder where people wash their hands too much, check things or keep things orderly. You may have heard people say, ‘I’m a bit OCD’, usually referring to a tendency for liking things clean or tidy; however, people can have a strong preference for things to be in order and not have OCD. In these cases, people find their preference for cleanliness or orderliness a helpful attribute from which they may often derive satisfaction.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
31. “People without OCD commonly have moments of doubt – ‘Did I turn my hair-straightener off?’ – that lead them to double-check. This tendency is part of being human and doesn’t mean you have OCD. If, on the other hand, you repeatedly check the item in an attempt to feel absolutely certain, then you may well have OCD.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
32. “OCD has many faces. Millions of people are held prisoner by the strange thoughts and feelings caused by this disorder. Between 1 and 2 percent of the worldwide population has OCD. Most people with OCD are bright and intelligent. But doubt, uneasiness, and fear hijack their normally good, logical minds.” – Laura L. Smith
33. “OCD is a complex and often debilitating disorder the sufferer doesn’t find useful or enjoyable. People suffering from OCD tend to feel high levels of discomfort, often in the form of anxiety, guilt or disgust.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
34. “People with OCD often have an overinflated sense of responsibility for preventing harm and tend to feel high levels of doubt and uncertainty. A person with OCD tends to know that his behaviours or responses to his obsessions are ridiculous but feels powerless to stop performing them.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
35. “OCD makes their brains believe that something horrible is about to happen. Some people fear that they left an appliance on and the house will burn down. Others are terrified that they may get infected with some unknown germ. OCD causes good, kind people to believe that they might do something horrible to a child, knock over an elderly person, or run over someone with their car.” – Laura L. Smith
36. “The question of how somebody ends up developing OCD has no simple, precise answer. OCD is a combination of several factors: biological, personality, environment and life events. Like so many other kinds of psychological problems, no single type of person develops OCD. We’ve met people from all walks of life who have OCD, and it certainly has nothing to do with being weak or crazy.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
37. “Because the thoughts and behaviors of those with OCD are so unusual or socially unacceptable, people with OCD often feel deeply embarrassed and ashamed.” – Laura L. Smith
38. “For most people, OCD is probably best understood as a misunderstanding of how their minds work, which can lead to some attempts to solve the problem that backfire.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
39. “However, the frightening, disturbing thoughts of OCD are not based on reality. People with OCD have these thoughts because their OCD minds produce them, not because they are evil or malicious. It is extremely rare for someone with OCD to actually carry out a shameful act.” – Laura L. Smith
40. “The OCD mind attempts to avoid risks of all kinds almost all the time. That’s why those with contamination OCD spend many hours every single day cleaning, scrubbing, and sanitizing everything around them. People with superstitious OCD perform rituals to keep them safe over and over again. Interestingly, most OCD sufferers focus on reducing risks around specific themes such as contamination, household safety, the safety of loved ones, or offending God. But those with contamination fears don’t necessarily worry about damnation. And those who worry about turning the stove off usually don’t obsess about germs.” – Laura L. Smith
41. “The most likely thing your certainty-demanding OCD demon will say to any list of obsessions is ‘It’s not quite the same as mine; what if something more dangerous than OCD is going on with me?’” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
42. “All people eventually suffer from a variety of risky situations and outcomes such as illness, accidents, tragedy, war, grief, and ultimately death. But the OCD mind tries to create the illusion that almost all risks can be anticipated and avoided. In truth, OCD doesn’t provide significant protection in spite of extraordinary efforts to reduce risks.” – Laura L. Smith
43. “Imagine you have an OCD-free twin, who is the same as you in every way but free from excessive fears, compulsions and avoidance. This can be a great reference point when thinking how you could change your behaviour and resist participating with your OCD – ask yourself the question, ‘what would my OCD-free twin do in this situation?’” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
44. “Doubt permeates the OCD mind. It’s difficult to be 100 percent certain of almost any situation in life.” – Laura L. Smith
45. “Another way to think about it is that OCD likes to get you where it hurts. When people have particularly strong beliefs (for example, about things like cleanliness, order, religion, etc.), their OCD tends to have content related to these beliefs. This connection is likely because the out-ofcharacter thought sticks out immediately (because it goes directly against everything the person holds true) and the person therefore attaches a meaning to it.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
46. “A common misconception held by individuals with OCD is that they can and should control what pops into their heads. Given that nobody can dictate the kinds of thoughts and images that enter the mind, this idea can lead to an unwinnable war with your own brain. At the core of OCD is a tendency to greatly misinterpret thoughts and images that you experience.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
47. “People with OCD suffer. They are more likely than others to have other emotional disorders such as depression or anxiety. Due to embarrassment, they often keep their symptoms secret for years, which prevents them from seeking treatment. Worldwide, it is estimated that almost 60 percent of people with OCD never get help.” – Laura L. Smith
48. “You can’t control what pops into your head. This is true for everyone, OCD sufferer or not. That is why we refer to these thoughts, whether intrusive or not, as automatic thoughts.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
49. “The pain of OCD is accompanied by loneliness. OCD disrupts relationships. People with OCD are less likely to marry, and, if they do, they are more likely to divorce than others. Those who do hang on to their families often have more conflict.” – Laura L. Smith
50. “Your OCD is likely to try very hard to reject the normalising of intrusive thoughts: ‘Yeah, but if I was a truly good person I’d never have these thoughts; they must mean something’. The fact is they don’t mean a thing. You may notice them more because they are against what you want to think, and you may get more because you try to resist them. But they are normal.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
51. “OCD also costs money. These costs include money spent on treatment, lost productivity on the job, and lost days at work. Costs of treatment are often high in part because many with OCD don’t get effective treatment for years. They may enter treatment and be too ashamed to tell the therapist their symptoms. Or well-meaning therapists may not be trained to provide effective OCD treatment.” – Laura L. Smith
52. “It’s not the thoughts but rather what you do with them that maintains the OCD cycle.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
53. “Media, especially social media, depends on sensationalism to gain viewers. News is mostly negative and dramatic. Human beings are prewired to pay attention to potential threats. And the media takes advantage of that tendency. No wonder people with OCD tend to get worse when the news constantly spews out possible catastrophes.” – Laura L. Smith
54. “When you try to rationalise your OCD worries, you’re engaging with the obsessions and therefore unwittingly feeding them. OCD is like a hungry stray dog; when you feed it, it comes back for more.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
56. “Because OCD is characterised by doubt, a need for certainty and often perfectionism, people tend to get tied up in knots about which kind of thought or thinking they’re having. Instead of trying to get it right, think of this obstacle as another exercise in figuring out how to deal with doubt differently and challenge yourself to assume you’ve understood correctly even if you’re not absolutely sure.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
57. “The OCD mind focuses on possible future calamities. The predictions almost never come true. Yet, the obsessive thoughts keep coming and demanding attention.” – Laura L. Smith
58. “However much rational argument you provide, you still won’t feel 100 percent convinced. The OCD likes to have the last word, so you could keep arguing with it forever.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
59. “When it isn’t thinking about the future, the OCD mind dwells on possibilities from the past. The mind fills with thoughts about what might have occurred.” – Laura L. Smith
60. “Unfortunately, this process doesn’t work in the same way for OCD. When you spend time trying to understand why you have these thoughts or feelings and where they come from, you’re simply getting caught in the OCD’s trap. Searching for reasons adds more weight to the obsessions, which again maintains the cycle.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
61. “Because all mental compulsions or responses maintain the problem, it stands to reason that in order to kick your OCD into touch, you need to respond differently.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
62. “OCD can manifest itself as quirky behavior, exaggerated fears, or seriously disturbed thinking. Thus, in one instance, the diagnosis of OCD may be assigned to someone with the odd habit of hanging clothes exactly 1.2 inches apart in the closet, whereas in someone else, OCD may show up as excessive worries about germs and constant hand-washing. Alternatively, OCD could cause someone to check and recheck to see whether the windows and doors are locked, not once or twice but dozens and dozens of times.” – Laura L. Smith
63. “When learning any new technique to deal with your OCD, the aim is to help you notice the thoughts in a detached way without engaging in the thoughts in any way. This goal means giving up attaching meaning, ruminating, worrying, trying to suppress or change the thought and so on. Don’t use mindfulness meditation as a way of trying to get rid of thoughts or as a coping mechanism to reduce anxiety.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
64. “People without OCD also experience doubt. They demand certainty in what is almost always an uncertain world. For example, how certain can you be that the sun will come up tomorrow? Almost 100 percent certain, but there is an extremely remote possibility that the sun will implode. For people with OCD, that doubt may keep them up at night. Thus, the remote chance that a door is unlocked, even though a person recalls locking it, would nag at a person with OCD and literally cause a desperate need to recheck repeatedly.” – Laura L. Smith
65. “Some people have described their OCD like a “brain itch” or a “brain hiccup.” In other words, OCD can feel impossible to suppress.” – Laura L. Smith
66. “When you have OCD, you’ve unwittingly trained yourself to be very attentive to the thoughts that you don’t like. Luckily, you can retrain yourself to pay a whole lot less attention to these thoughts. Think of it like going to the attention gym.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
67. “For some people, this driven impulsivity seems to underlie their OCD more than anxiety or worry. That’s why some experts suggest that problems such as trichotillomania (uncontrollable hair-pulling) and tics (uncontrollable jerking, body movements, or sounds) are related to OCD.” – Laura L. Smith
68. “Unlike depression and some other disorders, OCD is variegated. People who suffer from depression look a lot alike. Although their symptoms differ somewhat, most depressed folks feel sad and gloomy, have low energy, and lack enthusiasm. By contrast, OCD looks more like breeds of dogs that differ in appearance the way that Dachshunds, Great Danes, Cocker Spaniels, Goldendoodles, and Yorkshire Terriers do. In other words, OCD shows up in very different forms from person to person.” – Laura L. Smith
69. “Many people confuse distracting yourself from your OCD thoughts and feelings (which is unhelpful and compounds the problem) with redirecting your attention to external activities. The line between the two is quite fine. However, here’s a simple way to understand the difference: It’s all about your intention. When you try to distract yourself from your OCD thoughts and feelings, you’re trying to get away from them or escape from them in some way. You’re trying not to think or feel these things. This approach is a kind of avoidance and only makes the problem worse in the long run. When you try to redirect your attention elsewhere, you’re letting the thoughts and feelings be there but choosing not to engage in them.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
70. “Doubt and uncertainty plague the minds of those with the “checking” form of OCD. Some experts even call OCD a “disease of doubt.” When doubts show up, the person goes back to check over and over again. A slight amount of uncertainty always remains even after checking, so the person does it yet again. Sometimes it takes an awful lot of rechecking before the person is able to stop.” – Laura L. Smith
71. “The OCD mind greatly exaggerates real risks. Although dirt is well, dirty, it is not dangerous unless you eat large quantities, or it’s actually contaminated with toxins. Getting sick from the vast majority of dirty areas is unlikely. People with fears about becoming contaminated by dirt will repeatedly clean and sanitize to reduce risk. Cleaning rituals sometimes consume much of the day.” – Laura L. Smith
72. “When you deliberately do the opposite of what the OCD wants by exposing yourself to your fears and engaging in anti-OCD behaviour, you start to take the power away from the OCD. Imagine that you’re standing beside a cold swimming pool and someone (your OCD) is threatening to push you in. You’re likely to feel trepidation or fear about the prospect of getting pushed in. However, deciding to take the plunge and jump in yourself gets rid of your anxiety about the prospect of being pushed in; you’re probably too busy dealing with the actual situation rather than the threat of the situation. Now that you’re in the pool, how powerful is the threat of being pushed in? There’s no power in it anymore because the deed is already done.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
73. “Religious obsessions can come in the form of blasphemous thoughts. Some people with OCD worry that they might shout out swear words during a religious ceremony. Others have repeated sexual images of contemporary spiritual leaders or even historical religious figures. Some have repeated phrases, such as “god damn,” popping into their thoughts throughout the day. These obsessions are accompanied by feelings of profound dread and shame. The person tries to neutralize or undo the feelings of intense guilt by resorting to compulsive prayers or rituals.” – Laura L. Smith
74. “Think of deliberate exposures as sticking two fingers up to the OCD, as in, ‘Really, OCD, you don’t want me to do that? Well, tough; I’m going to anyway!’” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
75. “The person suffering from OCD does not feel that they have any choice about what is happening to them. However, we will show that the processes which drive OCD are all understandable as exaggerated versions of normal psychological experiences and worries which take hold and develop into OCD in certain people.” – Fiona Challacombe
76. “It takes dedication, perseverance and patience to overcome OCD, and each of these is far more valuable to you than thinking about your speed!” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
77. “Sometimes, when seen from the outside, the problem of OCD can seem extreme, bizarre and so far from ‘normality’ as to appear ‘mad’; this is, of course, one of the factors which stops people seeing the disorder for what it is and getting the right knowledge to fight the problem effectively.” – Fiona Challacombe
78. “Your OCD likes to fight to stay in control, so it may well continue to try to persuade you that this new way is too dangerous or won’t work. There’s only one way to find out who’s right, so try it and see what happens. You may well feel uncomfortable with this kind of uncertainty or risk, which isn’t surprising as these are key features in OCD, but tolerating this discomfort and testing out new behaviours is key to overcoming OCD.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
79. “If you have OCD you may think of the problem as one of ‘mad, bad or dangerous to know’, all ideas that can fill you with some combination of shame, terror and misery. OCD is none of these things, and understanding how OCD works is an intrinsic part of moving through treatment and beating the problem so you can reclaim your life.” – Fiona Challacombe
80. “The content of the thoughts that others just had very fleetingly was remarkably similar to the thoughts that troubled people with OCD. The fact that ‘normal’ people experience all sorts of negative ‘intrusive thoughts’ is a very important fact to remember.” – Fiona Challacombe
81. “Rest assured that people with OCD are just as normal as those without! We use the word normal to refer to someone without OCD only because it’s what we often hear OCD sufferers say.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
82. “When it takes hold, OCD can affect many areas in a person’s life. However, it doesn’t always start like that. For some, the OCD takes the disguise of a friend, promising to keep you safe … but at a very high cost! And as time goes on, that cost escalates and keeps on rising. It can affect your well-being in a general way if you are constantly feeling anxious and can also have a direct impact on what you feel you can do and where you feel you can go.” – Fiona Challacombe
83. “Another, very important, issue is that due to the shame and secrecy that often surrounds OCD, people can become very good at hiding their symptoms, or delaying their rituals until they are alone. People with OCD can become very skilled at generating subtle excuses so they can avoid situations where their problem will be worse.” – Fiona Challacombe
84. “eople with OCD go to great lengths to avoid bad things happening. They tend to focus on the worst possible thing, focusing on how awful it would be if it did happen. People with OCD feel that what they fear is likely to happen and are very motivated to avoid the possibility that they could be responsible if they did not try to prevent it happening.” – Fiona Challacombe
85. “The key to beating OCD is in learning to habituate to the distressing feelings that come with it so that in time the stimuli no longer produce these feelings.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
86. “If OCD is causing significant interference in your life it is important to acknowledge this reality. Even if this is difficult, it is the springboard for thinking about why it’s so important to change, and for imagining how you would like your life to be without this problem.” – Fiona Challacombe
87. “OCD can make people become housebound, like being an agoraphobic, and avoidance can mean that the sufferer is completely paralysed, stuck in one position for literally hours on end. Equally, the avoidance can become both subtle and complicated, so that although it consumes the person’s entire time and effort, the outside observer would notice little wrong.” – Fiona Challacombe
88. “It may sound strange, but the more thorough you are in doing the opposite of what the OCD wants (for example, spreading the contamination or saying the things you usually avoid thinking), the easier it will be for you not to perform any compulsions. It’s as if the OCD thinks ‘Whoa, that’s way too much for me to put right, so I may as well just lump it and get used to it.’” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
89. “There is no doubt that OCD is a problem of thinking and how the sufferer reacts to their thoughts. We all have ‘silent’ beliefs about ourselves, how the world works, and our future; these are general attitudes which are based on our understanding of our place in the world, and are linked to the values by which we live our lives.” – Fiona Challacombe
90. “The better you get at acting against your OCD, the easier ignoring it is. The easier ignoring it is, the less it bothers you. The less it bothers you, the easier it is to act against it and get on with more important things in your life!” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
91. “As you’ve unwittingly trained yourself to deal with your OCD in unhelpful ways, it’s going to take time and perseverance to retrain yourself. OCD is a cunning beast and will try as many ways as possible to deter you from doing anything it doesn’t like – the trick is to make a plan and stick to it no matter what the OCD says or does to try to dissuade you.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
92. “As the saying goes, ‘the wheel that squeaks the loudest gets the grease’. And with emotions like fear and guilt, plus strong urges to carry out compulsions, OCD can squeak so very loudly!” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
93. “In OCD, not getting things we believe we have a responsibility for ‘just right’ turns out to be at the centre of things.” – Fiona Challacombe
94. “At times, seeing your way out of OCD through the forest of intolerance of uncertainty, fear, excessive responsibility and so on can be hard.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
95. “Because OCD tends to inflate the importance of certain inner experiences (such as thoughts, images and so on) or narrow your focus to particular feared threats, you can easily end up neglecting your health. What’s important to you as far as your mental health is concerned alongside your physical health? Do you regularly exercise, eat well and get an appropriate amount of sleep? If not, what can you do to improve in these areas?” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
96. “Given the idiosyncratic nature of OCD, the particular triggering event, or events, can also be very individual. Common triggering events are changing school, other major life transitions like leaving home, losing a loved one, illness in yourself or someone important to you, having a baby, parental conflict, bullying, and relationship break-up. These events would, of course, be stressful for anyone, but for people who go on to develop OCD, there are often particular conclusions drawn at the time in relation to responsibility and the need to control what is happening.” – Fiona Challacombe
97. “When people tell the OCD sufferer to ‘stop it’, this does not take into account the reason why the drive to carry out obsessional behaviours is so strong – the deep and crucially important underlying meaning that your intrusive thoughts have for you. If it were easy to stop acting on your fears, then clearly you would have done so already.” – Fiona Challacombe
98. “An important idea that keeps OCD going is that even if something bad happening is unlikely, you should still do everything possible to try to prevent it (i.e. inflated responsibility belief).” – Fiona Challacombe
99. “A full recovery doesn’t in any way depend on having the mental events no longer enter your mind. A full recovery depends on reclaiming your mind, body, heart and soul from the clutches of your OCD.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
100. “What would you want them to say; that is, what sort of person do you want to be remembered as? It’s unlikely that you want to be remembered for the things your OCD makes you do or worry about. People aren’t likely to celebrate the way you washed your hands, checked, monitored your bodily reactions or tried to ward off disaster by changing your thoughts.” – Katie d’Ath & Rob Willson
- Portions of this article were adapted from the book The ACT Workbook For OCD, © 2009 by Marisa T. Mazza. All rights reserved.
Hadiah is a counselor who is passionate about supporting individuals on their journey towards mental well-being. Hadiah not only writes insightful articles on various mental health topics but also creates engaging and practical mental health worksheets.
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