I put on deodorant ten times under each armpit every day.
I frequently check to make sure the door is locked and have to say “locked” at least 12 times before I move on. The same goes for checking on appliances being unplugged.
If a shirt or hat has writing on it, I have to read all of it or I can’t move on with a conversation.
At night, I check my alarm multiply times—a process that can sometimes take up to an hour, to be sure it’s set right.
These are just a few of my symptoms of OCD. OCD is an obsession compulsive disorder that is uncontrollable, repetitive, and makes you unable to resist what you obsess on. I have it, and it’s something that I struggle with. My OCD used to be really bad, but it’s gotten a little better thanks to a few helpful tips.
1) Remain calm
Stress makes my OCD worse. Of course, everyone should try to minimize the stress in their lives, but stress in particular makes my OCD worse. Sometimes, I might not even realize I’m stressed until I notice my OCD get worse. Therefore, it’s important for me to practice stress relieving exercises. I do this by watching movies, writing, or distracting myself from the situation with activities like doing my hair makeup or working out.
2) Write it down, repeat it, and walk away
One thing I do is I write my obsessions down and repeat them one time, then cross it out and throw it away. This can be very, very difficult for me. For example, I may lock the door, and then re-lock it. I’ll be tempted to lock it again, but instead I need to repeat in my head, “no, you have locked it.” I have to tell myself things like that so that it gets a little better, and if I don’t follow these routines, I know it will get a lot worse.
3) Accept that everything in life—including OCD—has it’s pros and cons
I used to be so upset about having OCD. I hated myself even more because the things I’ve been diagnosed with are uncontrollable and I can only do so much to fix them. But I have learned to see some positives in them too. For example, one thing I do like is I’m very organized and overly clean. I also always did well in school because I obsess so much. Recognizing these facts has helped me feel less like a weirdo and focus more on the positives in my life.
One final piece of advice that has helped me is this quote: “you don’t have to learn how to control your thoughts, you just have to stop letting your thoughts control you.” Obsessing helps give relief from anxiety, temporarily, but I’m working to get stronger so I can control my OCD and not let it control me.