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Living With OCD And Self Help

Thursday, 17 September 2015

*Trigger Warning*
I thought I'd give a little outline of how I deal with my OCD on a daily basis and then some tips on self help, along with some from Grace.
My OCD:
I don't want to dwell on this too much because I think it can be quite triggering for me and others to read. So my OCD has been with me since I was a small child, I cant remember not having it. It's been in many different forms from cleanliness and fear of contamination, to intrusive thoughts and rituals. At the moment it is in the form of touching, so if I have an intrusive though I, usually, have to touch an objects a certain number of times. I also get bad intrusive thoughts at night and it makes me struggle to get to sleep. I have to preform the rituals of counting and touching because otherwise my OCD plays on fears, for example at the moment I'm applying to uni so if I didn't touch something it would tell me that I'll never get into uni or all my friends will leave ect. It's hard because it's always changing but I try to stay positive because it only gets worse in a negative mindset, and self help is a huge thing for me and keeping positive. 

Self Help:

Tip 1: Find your happy place. For me, my happy place is the sky, I love daydreaming and looking at clouds or looking at constellations at night. I also love sunsets, I wish I loved sunrises but they are harder to wake up for. I think finding your happy places gives you somewhere to imagine when your head gets too full and your thoughts are moving too fast. For me my happy place is simple and somewhere I can always see, if I look for it, so it's easier to imagine and calm me down. When I start to feel anxious or have a lot of intruding thoughts I like to imagine the sky and then it clears my mind and takes me to a happier mindset. 

Tip 2: Relaxing Stories: I had my worst thoughts on a night, so one thing my therapist told me to do was getting someone close to me, or even myself, to read and record a story to listen to. So. for me, I got Lukke to read out a setting for me, so I could take myself out of the negative mindset. For example, Lukke would talk about walking to the beach and the sights, sounds and feelings a long the way, like ''I'm walking and I can feel the sand in my toes and hear the waves crash against the shore.'' 

Tip 3: Practical Activity To Take Your Mind Off it. Grace told me that she likes to either read children stories or we both enjoy colouring. Obviously you could choose any activity, for example a hobby like music or art, anything that would stop you concentrating on one thing and take your mind away. Having something that you can get involved in, this helps to distract you and gives you time to think clearly. 

Tip 4: Setting a time for you.  By this we mean, setting aside some time to do something that is relaxing for you. For Grace, this is going on a drive or having an early night with relaxation and candles. For me, I like to take time to catch up on YouTube and pamper myself, with a face mask or painting my nails. There's so many things you could do; going for a run/walk, going for a drive, having a pamper evening, an early night, watching films, go to a club you enjoy, anything that takes your mind off anxieties and is something you enjoy. I think taking the time for yourself is so important because we are always caught up in what others want or expect, which in itself causes anxiety, so taking time for you is a great way to settle you mind. 

Tip 5: Limit Stresses.  I figure out my triggers and try my hardest to limit them. For example, at the moment I am applying for university, so I have made a start at my personal statement and UCAS so I have it done way before the deadline. This way I know I don't have to stress about it in the future and I can focus on other things; getting stresses out of the way earlier rather than later saves you a lot of anxiety in the future and lessens the burden. 

Tip 6: Challenge yourself and your comfort zones. This is something I do for my OCD and I try to do it everyday. For me my OCD is brought on by fears and then I get compulsions that I need to act out, so to combat this I try to not act out a compulsion or wait a bit longer until I do. You could do this in any way that helps you, like going to the till for yourself or answering a question in class, anything that pushes you anxiety but take it in small steps that keep you comfortable.

Hope this helped and if you have any advice, I'd love to hear, so leave it below xx

6 comments

  1. This is such a beautiful post to read Sophie! I had no idea that you do suffer from OCD, but I am so glad you have decided to make a post about it and share your tips and your story- you would have helped so many people, I am sure!


    http://thriftyvintagefashion.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Aw thank you so much, I hope it has! That's the goal, just so people know that they're not alone and it is OCD, which can be helped xxx

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  2. It's so nice to see a post on self care! And one that isn't full of triggers and depressing things that make you feel worse! I have BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder), and I struggle with self care a lot, as well as some impulse control habits.
    I like the post photo with pjs and soft toys (I have so many!) because it totally represents what self care is to me- being comfy and being gentle with yourself.
    I also liked the idea of getting someone to record a story/ visualisation- I might ask my boyfriend to do this. Thanks for the idea :)

    Lucy xx
    http://lucyfbarnes.weebly.com/
    https://twitter.com/LucyFBarnes

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    1. Aw thank you,Nathan's exactly what I didn't want, I didn't want to dwell on the past and bad times because it doesn't really help anyone.
      The stories really helped me, especially when I felt lonely. Also cuddling soft toys does help, even if it's childish, it's so comforting!!
      If you ever need to talk, just drop me a Dm xx

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  3. Thank you for sharing this personal post, Sophie, and all the amazing tips that go along with it. I think it's incredible that you could help someone who has a similar condition. I have my own set of rituals and things I do which might sound weird (or absolutely mental to others) but make perfect sense to me and help me keep calm and feel organised and positive :)
    Sending you love and hugs!
    xox Nadia
    http://mielandmint.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Aww thank you so so much!! I just want to make sure people know they aren't alone with it because I know that's how I felt!
      Lots of love xxx

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