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When you struggle with OCD it can be hard to know if you are ever going to get better. Perhaps you start to make progress, only to feel like you keep going back to square one. In this article we take a look at the evidence and come to some surprising (and hopeful) conclusions.
Am I Always Going To Be Stuck With This?
OCD is very good at getting us to see everything through catastrophic eyes. This all or nothing style of thinking a big part of the problem. The very question itself ´will I ever get over OCD? ´ is a part of this type of thinking. If we are able to see that even the question itself is part of the problem, then we can begin to ask ourselves a better and more helpful question.
Instead of asking ´will I ever get over OCD?´, asking yourself the question ‘How will I manage the OCD today if it shows up?’ puts you in a position of power, rather than avoidance. This question acknowledges the fact that OCD and anxiety might show up, but it also demonstrates confidence in your ability to handle it if it does.
Taking this approach towards OCD is intrinsically focused on acceptance. When we bring this kind of attitude towards the discomfort that anxiety and OCD produces, we stop pouring fire on the flames and learn how to approach our fears in a positive way. Will I ever get over OCD is a very common question, but is it really a helpful one?
Whatever Happens I´ll Deal With It
But am I always going to be stuck with this? 😉 haha
Having discussed the above, let’s answer this question more directly. If you can start relating to the OCD in a different way and start focusing on acceptance and values, then no you won´t be stuck with this. That doesn´t mean that the OCD and anxiety will disappear altogether, but it does mean that your relationship to it will be completely transformed.
Paradoxically, the more you can get away from the notion of being completely free from OCD, the less OCD you are going to experience. So often our expectations and mindset are the things that are keeping us trapped.
Mindset is Key
When we are truly able to see that anxiety is a part of us, we are able to let go of trying to ´get rid of it´ and instead, start working on ´accepting it´. This doesn´t mean though that you have to just ´put up with´ OCD.
At base OCD is a thinking and behaviour habit. Like all habits, we can learn to change it for more healthy ones and this is where approaches such as Acceptance Commitment Therapy are proven to be so helpful.
In short then, the answer to the question ‘will I ever get over OCD?’, is yes, but it requires moving in some directions that may seem counterintuitive at first and a willingness to change your mindset.