Friday, August 26, 2011

OCD Treatment in a Nutshell

I went to the movie. It was really good, and I was so glad I went. I walked there and back. Last night was the monthly "Last Thursday" art/craft/debauchery fair in my neighborhood. On the walk home, I saw a young woman peeing in a neighbor's yard. I think I was just a normal amount grossed out, but ewwww!

But here's the main part of my post: Recently on the yahoo OCD board, therapist Jon Hershfield from the OCD Center of LA, who as far as I can see is totally awesome, and sometimes blogs here, posted a really excellent summary of the three approaches to dealing with OCD. So I'm reposting it here, hoping that's okay.

To me this information is just PERFECT (with a few teeny tiny edits for clarity or typos):

Option 1 (mindful acceptance): I'm having a thought about being contaminated and it's making me feel uncomfortable. So be it. I have lots of thoughts and feelings and they're not always important. I'll just go about my business accepting that I don't know if I'm dirty or not.

Option 2 (cognitive restructuring): In my experience touching garbage cans hasn't resulted in imminent death. Though I think of it as "dirty" I don't have any actual evidence that it is something to be concerned about. Instead of saying "I'm contaminated," I'll just go with, "If I am contaminated, I'll deal with it when it appears to be an actual problem instead of trying to do something about it now."

Option 3 (flooding): I touched the dustbin and it is covered in disease-causing microbes that I definitely got on myself which I will then transmit to unsuspecting babies whose immune systems are so tiny it will kill them on the spot and I will forever live with the guilt of knowing that if only I had washed my hands 1001 times instead of 1000, the world would have less dead babies in it.

Option 3 will make you jump back from the ocd for a bit and then you can go back to Option 1.


  1. ......... a women peeing in a yard.. I think ANYONE would be grossed out! LOL

  2. Great post. Thanks for sharing. So glad you enjoyed the show. And as for the young woman peeing on the lawn....who does that? I mean seriously? OCD or not, I think a lot of people would find that just a little disturbing.

  3. Boy, am I glad I live in a rural area. People don't normally stop and pee in my yard. Goodness knows that if I saw that I'd be worked up and ranting for days. LOL

    Love this post. Option 3 sooooooo does not work for me. Gotta love the OCD/PTSD combo. Good to know i still have two options left. ; )