OCD is an illness, not a character flaw or sign of weakness. It can’t be overcome simply through willpower, just as one cannot overcome asthma or diabetes by merely willing it away. If people tell you to just “STOP IT!” they don’t understand that you can’t stop by yourself. If you could, you’d be the first one to stop it!! Remember that very few people with OCD can learn to manage the disorder on their own, no matter how strong their character. Actually, it takes a lot of character to admit you need help.
A cognitive behavior therapist who is trained to treat OCD can help you:
- Learn to recognize and reevaluate the brain’s “error messages” (the obsessions) and respond to them differently, and
- Gradually learn to stop compulsive behaviors.
Don’t get down on yourself for having OCD. And don’t let it make you more miserable than you already are. Contact your student counseling center or health service. Tell them you think you have OCD and need a cognitive behavior therapist.
If staff members at the counseling center or health service aren’t familiar with OCD – or if they suggest a different kind of treatment – you can refer them to this web site to learn about OCD and Cognitive Behavior Therapy. CBT is the only scientifically-supported behavioral treatment for OCD. In some cases, CBT may need to be accompanied by medication.