I’m taking a break from my series on Safety to talk about OCD Awareness Week (October 14-20). OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is something that a few of my friends have struggled with, and between watching them and my clients try to live well with the obsessions and compulsions ruling their life is heart breaking.
The best guess is that 1 in 100 adults and 1 in 200 children struggle with OCD, so it’s not rare by any means. You may know someone who has OCD, but you also might not know that they do. Some compulsions (hand washing, counting, etc…) are easily identifiable, but some compulsions might not be evident (having to repeat statements or prayers, for example). No matter what the obsessions and compulsions are, people can easily feel like OCD controls their life and saps it of joy.
OCD is best treated with a type of cognitive behavioral therapy called Exposure Response Prevention therapy (ERP), as well as medication. ERP is hard work, but the results tend to be great, and people tend to feel that they experience freedom and joy once again.
Please spend some time this week educating yourself on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The International OCD Foundation website has a list of activities you can participate in this coming week.
Here are a few resources that may be helpful:
- OCD Foundation
- Lights All Around: a writer’s thoughts on OCD (a great inside look at what it means to suffer with OCD and what it looks like to experience freedom)
- National Institute of Mental Health on OCD
- OCD Information from the Mayo Clinic