Thanks for joining me for another episode! Today’s episode is an listener audio question about how to deal with OCD attacking the ERP process. In it, I discuss where to find good resources for treatment when in-person or even online therapy can’t be accessed, and how to face “Obsessing about obsessing.” Additionally, I answer a quick question about what to say when people on social media (or in real life) say things like “I’m sooo OCD.” I offer a few ideas, but I want to know what YOU, the listener, would say to someone in this situation. If I get enough of them, I’ll post them all to another future episode!
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Hi Kevin, just finished listening to the new podcast and found this segment interesting, wanted to respond with my thoughts. My own OCD diagnosis is still fairly new (a little over a year) so I haven’t had very long to appreciate how people have been using “I’m so OCD” incorrectly. It also means I had plenty of time in my life to misuse it in that way myself. In their case, and in mine, it was just a lack of information about what OCD is and not any attempt to offend. For that reason I just try to educate more people about what OCD is when I have an opportunity, and give them the same grace and assumption of goodwill I would have hoped to get if I ever said that to anyone when genuine OCD. One way of explaining the difference to others that was helpful to me is the following (based on something I heard in a podcast once, but unfortunately I can’t remember to give credit to…): If someone keeps their books arranged carefully on the shelf by color because they like the way it looks, that person probably just likes to have things neat and tidy. If someone can’t stop arranging their books by color on their bookshelf because their brain has convinced them that something terrible will happen to a loved one if they don’t, that person probably has OCD. That gets at the “likes to do” vs. “terrified to stop doing” or “need to do to feel ok” distinction that I think is key to understanding what this condition really is. I’ve gotten positive feedback from non-OCD sufferers that this example helped them understand OCD better. I hope that’s helpful.