Recovery from OCD and anxiety can feel like an uphill battle to say the least. For those living with these conditions, it can seem like symptoms will never go away, and that they will always be defined by their struggles.
For me, it felt like a dark, gloomy cloud looming over every aspect of my life. However, the reality is that recovery is possible. I’ve come so far, I’ve helped so many other people get to recovery, and you can get there, too.
What is recovery?
Recovery from OCD and anxiety is a process, not a destination. It involves learning to manage symptoms in a way that allows for a full and meaningful life. Recovery doesn’t necessarily mean the absence of symptoms, but rather the ability to manage them in a way that does not interfere with daily functioning. The truth is that we all have intrusive thoughts, even those of us who do not have OCD. We all also engage in dysfunctional behaviors from time to time, like avoidance.
While it’s not necessarily possible to get rid of the obsessions or the compulsions entirely, we can get rid of the disordered piece. This may involve implementing evidence based skills and strategies, such as Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
The Role of Evidence-Based Strategies
Evidence-based strategies like ERP and act are key components of OCD and anxiety treatment. ERP involves gradually exposing oneself to feared situations or stimuli while resisting the urge to engage in compulsive behaviors. This can help individuals develop a greater sense of control over their anxiety and can help them recognize that their compulsions are not necessary for safety.
ACT is a form of therapy that helps individuals learn to accept uncomfortable feelings and thoughts without trying to control them. This can help individuals develop a greater sense of self-awareness and resilience in the face of stressors. Strategies within the ACT framework can also help you take a step away from the scary thoughts to look at them from the perspective of an observer, rather than fusing to the thoughts so closely that you identify strongly with them and react as though they are real.
The Benefits of Recovery
Recovery from OCD and anxiety can be life-changing. It can involve developing a greater sense of self-compassion, self-esteem, and resilience. Individuals in recovery may find that they are better able to form meaningful relationships, pursue hobbies and achieve their goals. Recovery can involve a sense of freedom from the constraints of anxiety, and an ability to be present.
Recovery from OCD and anxiety is possible, and it is important to hold onto hope throughout the recovery process. By implementing evidence-based strategies, it is possible to manage symptoms in a way that does not interfere with daily functioning. Remember that recovery is a process, not a destination, as cliche as it sounds, and that there is hope for a fulfilling and meaningful life beyond OCD and anxiety.
To learn more about these strategies and to explore other resources related to OCD and anxiety, check out my website, www.jennaoverbaughlpc.com.
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This blog is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as mental health or medical advice. The information provided is not intended to supplement or replace professional advice of your own professional mental health or medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Always check with your own physician or medical or mental health professional before trying or implementing any information read here.
© 2023 Jenna Overbaugh, LLC