Learn how to write poetry to help yourself or someone you know cope with OCD.
OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, occurs when people have invasive thoughts that impede their everyday functioning. These obsessive thoughts result in anxieties and then repetitive behaviors, or compulsions, meant to reduce such thoughts. OCD does not discriminate- anyone at any age can develop symptoms. In fact, this disorder affects 1 in 40 adults in the United States. Keep reading for more info. about OCD and how you can better cope with OCD if it affects you personally.
Also a big shout out to Laura, who wrote this guide for us!
- Tell yourself “It’s just a thought.” OCD thoughts are overwhelming, all consuming and tiring. But they are “just” thoughts. People who have OCD have certain neurotransmitters in the brain which misfire, causing repetitive ideas and actions, such as constant hand washing or checking in order to neutralize their feelings. Some people suffer from repetitive thoughts without the actions. This is known as “Pure O” or “pure obsessional thoughts.” Very often these relate to individuals harming themselves or others and can result in the sufferer becoming extremely anxious and withdrawn.
- Don’t seek reassurance. One of the worst things you can do is continually ask for reassurance from the ones you love. The less you ask “Is this safe?” “Have I washed my hands enough?” “Have I checked this thoroughly?” “Please just one more time?” the better.
- Know you’re not alone. Though it’s often known as a secretive disorder, OCD affects as many as 3.3 million people in the United States alone. You might even know someone who has OCD and not realize it.
- Read, inform, change. Look to helpful online guides or literature such as Dr. Jeffery Schwarz’s Brain Lock or Lee Baer’s Imp of the Mind to help yourself learn about the condition and how you can take control of it. You can even write your own poems about OCD to raise awareness and share your thoughts and concerns with others who may be in similar situations like this awesome poet did. Don’t forget to post your poems to PowerPoetry.org!
- Choose three letters. OCD patients need TLC from their loved ones. But more importantly they also need one of the following: CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) or ERP (exposure response prevention) to help them change. Every one of these therapies can help patients with varying degrees of the condition.
- Change one thing at a time. OCD is not a condition that can be overcome overnight. It needs time, patience and care. To get better you need to understand that very often the road to recovery is two steps forward and one step back. A setback does not mean the end- you just need to refocus and try again.
- Be kind to yourself. When you do overcome one hurdle, reward yourself. Take time to do something that makes you happy and aware that you’ve battled hard to get where you are. Refocus and recognize you’re a champion!