Monday, October 10, 2011

OCD Awareness: {Introduction}

Happy Monday! I will be forgoing my usual "Thankfulness Project Monday" post for a post dedicated to an awareness week. Today begins OCD Awareness Week! As many people only know what is presented in the media, I thought I would spend a few posts this week addressing the issue and helping each of us to increase our education on this disorder.
With that, please join me on a journey to understand a little better the "disease of doubt"- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

When an individual has OCD, there is a struggle with both obsessions & compulsions. The National Alliance of Mental Illness states it the following way:
"Obsessions are intrusive, irrational thoughts -- unwanted ideas or impulses that repeatedly well up in a person's mind. Again and again, the person experiences disturbing thoughts, such as "My hands must be contaminated; I must wash them"; "I may have left the gas stove on"; "I am going to injure my child." On one level, the sufferer knows these obsessive thoughts are irrational. But on another level, he or she fears these thoughts might be true. Trying to avoid such thoughts creates great anxiety.
Compulsions are repetitive rituals such as handwashing, counting, checking, hoarding, or arranging. An individual repeats these actions, perhaps feeling momentary relief, but without feeling satisfaction or a sense of completion. People with OCD feel they must perform these compulsive rituals or something bad will happen." (source)

If you're anything like me, you might see a few characteristics of yourself in the above description. We each have worries and quirks in life. If you see yourself a bit in the description above- DON'T PANIC! It's normal for each of us to obsess about some things in life, or to have rituals, such as a bedtime ritual. People with OCD struggle with these thoughts for many hours throughout the day, and life is changed because of it. 

A few things to look forward to in this series:
  • Statistics in population
  • Common obsessions and compulsions
  • Exposure and Response Prevention
  • "how to help a friend" (supporting someone in your life who is struggling with OCD)
What you can do:
  • Educate yourself on the disorder, and learn how to support those struggling
  • If you are struggling with the disorder, choose to take a step forward to educate yourself and/or seek help and support!
What I'd like to know:
What questions do you have about OCD? What would you like to know or see in a series devoted to OCD? 


  1. Hello! I have OCD and deal more with the obsessions side of things. My daughter was recently diagnosed at 6 years old and has more of the compulsion side and deals with tics and repetitive behaviors. My mother and brother struggle as well.

    I have found that there is a fine line of medication for myself. I can over do it and tend to not care about things far too much.

  2. I read this with much interest. You see I have a 9 year old son who is also autistic and ADHD and has OCD. He talks about the weather and only the weather. It must be exhausting for him as it certainly is for us. We have an appointment in November for him to see a children's psychiatrist but I would just love some tools to help him if you know any