OCD and Career Choices – Finding the Right Fit for You

Posted by tlashkari on Jul 31, 2014

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can complicate your work life, but with some insight and planning, it’s possible to find a career that fits perfectly with how your OCD manifests itself. In fact, the right work conditions and career choice can even offer therapeutic benefits for some OCD sufferers.

Because OCD symptoms range from mild to debilitating and manifest themselves in so many ways, it’s impossible to come up with a one-size-fits-all career path. But looking at how your OCD affects you individually will often give valuable insights into the right job for you.

Any career counselor will say you’ll be the happiest and most productive in a job you like, but that becomes even more important to OCD sufferers. Since stress is a major trigger for symptoms, it’s essential to avoid it whenever possible. Some people thrive under pressure, but most OCD sufferers don’t.

If you like helping people, jobs like a dietician, audiologist, or librarian offer ways to interact positively, yet are some of the lowest-stress jobs available. Are you bursting with creativity? There are plenty of low-stress jobs that let you give free rein to your talents.

Graphic artists, animators, jewelers, and designer/decorators have low-stress jobs with plenty of outlets for their creativity. Just be aware that some of those jobs, especially at ad agencies, news media, and publishers come with deadlines that may impose stress you don’t need. Some photographers work under deadlines or with demanding customers, but others get to spend their days chilling out with nature. You might want to avoid doing close-ups of lions and tigers and bears, though.

Detail-oriented persons will find low-stress careers in software engineering, accounting, analytics, and machine operations. These jobs are usually straightforward, so the pressure is fairly low. Unless you’re a tax accountant in April. Again, the company type and culture can be as important as the job content.

Most therapists can work with you to identify the types of jobs that are best suited to your symptoms as well as ones that can actually offer therapeutic benefits to you. Feeling useful and productive is a great way to lower stress and increase self-esteem, so don’t let your OCD keep you from it. You might even find that your coworkers are your best support group.

For more information about OCD, its diagnosis, treatment, and understanding, visit BeyondOCD.org. Beyond OCD is a non-profit organization devoted to a better understanding of OCD, its diagnosis, and its treatment. Our web site has information about the disorder, how to recognize it, and resources for additional information and treatment. We’re there to help you get the tools you need to go beyond OCD.


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