The coronavirus brings an interesting challenge for those with obsessive compulsive disorder. People with the disorder practice many compulsions in order to “protect” themselves. Typically, they follow a protocol such as excessive hand washing, cleaning or even checking to make sure the door knob is locked. It’s not easy for them to experience their condition but there are ways to manage it. Being unable to control one’s compulsions can be harmful because with that obsession there may not be any other ways to function. Dr. Illisa Kaufman of Compulsion Control works with OCD clients. By her suggestions, here are some ways to control compulsive behaviors.
Observe Your Surroundings
Look around you and see if you’re able to sit with the present moment or situation and just look at how it’s affecting you. A lot of people are non-OCD and so they wouldn’t be able to understand from your perspective. However, if you can look at it from theirs then you’ll be able to see that the world is not so bad, and you might become even less obsessive because you’re accepting the situation.
Work it Out
One of the best ways to release anxiety, specifically for OCD is by exercising. More so walking. If walking is not your cup of tea then try weightlifting or take on Zumba online. Anything just to release the tension you have within yourself and your body. Even Beyonce advises you to “Work it Out.”
Be With the Anxiety
I know many of you will resist this. You feel that if you go through with it then your anxiety will become worse or heightened. Depending on how you respond, it might be. However, sometimes the only way out is through. Try to allow yourself to experience the anxiety without losing yourself. Don’t try to judge whether it’s right or wrong, good or bad. Just allow it to flow through. It may even help to do some deep breathing exercises where you breathe in from the belly and breathe out. If this becomes a challenge then I suggest you talk to a professional on techniques to handle your anxiety.
May the Force Be With You
Sometimes, it requires tough love in order to change your act. If you feel that your compulsions are strong then you may need to affirm to yourself to “stop” by using a mirror. When you’re able to say it out loud that makes the statement more intense. Seeing yourself while looking in the mirror may help you feel strong enough to resist it. You’re then able to remind yourself that if you overuse your compulsions then it will only make anxiety worse leading you to other impulsive behaviors. Louise Hay was a mastermind for the “mirror work” method. It may be uncomfortable and uneasy to do so but eventually you will get used to it and it will become second nature to you.
So, how do you know if you have OCD?
For the most part, OCD really only affects about 2% of the population. People with the condition feel as if their obsession is out of control. They feel as if they need to repeat the action in order to survive. Also, it’s very time consuming. Close to an hour of repetitive motions. A lot of people with OCD know that their thoughts are logical but they cannot seem to stop themselves. They don’t enjoy it either but it’s the only way they can reduce stress and anxiety.
In all, the coronavirus produces a massive challenge for those with OCD. It’s not easy dealing with this condition as anxiety heightens every time you think about it. Yet, there are small steps you can take in dealing with your condition. Use these helpful tips to your advantage. Most importantly, relax and take it one day at a time. Counseling On Demand is here to for all of your TeleHealth needs