I've been reminded in the last few weeks how important repetition is in exposure and response prevention. I've been out to restaurants a ton in the last few weeks. The first few times, eating food with my hands made me really uncomfortable. While I still don't love it, it's getting easier, and I certainly no longer think about it before I go out, as I have in the past.
Similarly, for years I've been avoiding public restrooms, but also wondering why when I did use them, it didn't seem to get any easier. Once every six months just wasn't cutting it. Now I'm up to a once a week schedule. And while I'm not exactly comfortable with them yet, it is already getting easier.
I still think it sucks that people with OCD have to do things that terrify us over and over again in order to get better, but mostly, I think it beats the alternative.
Brain-Circuit-Based Therapies for OCD
23 hours ago