OCD and Important Decisions

question marks

Is it just me, or does life sometimes seem like a series of decisions? Should I do this, go there, buy that? Many of our daily decisions are made with little to no thought given to them, and are unlikely to have a major impact on our lives. Then there are the major decisions, which deserve more attention and involve more deliberation. We have to weigh the pros and cons, the benefits and the risks, and then make a choice. Or maybe it all just becomes so overwhelming that we put the decision off until later or, in some cases, forever.

One of the most important decisions I’ve made over the past few years is starting this blog. I truly agonized over it. Who am I to write about OCD? I don’t even have the disorder! What could I contribute that would possibly be of any value? I’m no expert. All I have are my own thoughts and experiences to share. People will laugh, or even worse, criticize me. They’ll get angry. Of course, I could go on and on. I had no shortage of reasons why I shouldn’t blog about obsessive-compulsive disorder.

But even with all my  misgivings, I took the plunge. I had to give it a try. I owed it to myself and my son to try to find some meaning in his suffering from severe OCD. The results have gone way beyond my wildest dreams and in retrospect, my concerns about my “credentials” almost seem ludicrous. Being an expert is not what it’s about. My main goal, from the very beginning, has been to share our story so that others will find hope, and to spread the word that OCD, no matter how severe, is treatable.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post. I’ve written before about OCD and decision making, about how doubt is the cornerstone of OCD and how those with the disorder often struggle with making choices. But there is one decision, in my opinion, that all those with OCD need to make, and that is to get proper treatment. Maybe you’ve been mulling it over, considering it from all angles, and procrastinating. Maybe you feel you aren’t motivated enough, or it’s too scary. There’s so much to consider.

But really, there’s not. I have never heard anyone regret undergoing proper therapy for OCD, which includes Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) Therapy. Indeed, most people say they wish they had done it sooner. Yes, decisions can be hard, but sometimes the most difficult ones bring us the greatest rewards. So if you haven’t already, please take the plunge. It might just be the most important decision of your life.

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27 Responses to OCD and Important Decisions

  1. Tom says:

    I’m sure I speak for all us ocd’ers when I say we really appreciate your efforts to understand the illness and to share your findings with others. Thank you. Tom

  2. Tina Barbour says:

    Oh, my, I am so glad that you decided to blog about your experiences with OCD! You add so very much to the conversation. Your voice is an important one–a VERY important one in getting out the message that OCD is treatable. I’ve learned so much from you and been inspired by you. You son is lucky to have you in his corner, and all of us OCDers are lucky to have you fighting for us and our families. Thank you, Janet.

  3. Letizia Bonillo says:

    Please don’t ever stop blogging!!! You give me the strength I need to begin the week. You always seem to hit the right spot. Only a mother does that. Thanks.

    • Thanks for your kind words, Letizia. It means a lot to me to know you find my posts helpful.

    • Another Mum says:

      Me too! I’ve turned to your blog many times since my daughter’s diagnosis in January, and found really helpful insights; such as the blogs about ‘laziness’, the decision to bring your son home from the residential program, perfectionism, and how extremely difficult, convoluted, and agonizing OCD is for the sufferer, to name a few. It all rings true, and it’s so helpful to see your and your son’s success. Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom.

      • Thanks so much for commenting, Another Mum, and I’m glad you find my posts helpful. That’s the whole idea; to support each other through the tough times. I wish you all the best as you help your daughter in her fight against OCD, and I hope to hear from you again.

  4. Marie says:

    Thank you So much for your blog site. My son has OCD and it can get so frustrating. We are a very low income family and due to lack of insurance (Michael was dropped when he turned 18) and no transportation, we haven’t been able to get much help for his OCD. Your blog helps me knowing there are others out there with this condition. Not many people understand how OCD works, most think it’s just washing your hands a lot. One thing OCD will teach you is Patience! Thank you! -Marie

  5. You’re welcome, Marie. It breaks my heart to think your son isn’t getting help because of lack of funds. Maybe he could work through some of the self-help books or sites on OCD to get started on therapy……. I wish I had more to offer.

  6. C says:

    Personally, it has been really helpful for me to see what you have written…I feel like most of it is spot on, actually. It’s interesting to see the perspective from a mom of an OCDer as someone who doesn’t have OCD, yet understands the disorder as well as much as someone can, who doesn’t have OCD or is a specialist.

  7. Jik says:

    i just want to say thank you for this great blog coz its really therapeutic for all ,it makes me smile and cry because it really touches lives specially with the people who have the disorder, happy or sad we do look forward on reading this blog coz its just a good feeling to share experiences and to be able to touch lives and help friends and families.from the bottom of my heart thank you.

  8. Jacqui says:

    You have contributed so much. Thank you for your insight, practical advice, and passion for this topic. I can’t express what I’ve learned from your blog.

  9. The Hook says:

    Our choices define us. I’m glad you made the choice to join the WordPress community. We are stronger for your presence.

  10. Lynn says:

    I am new to this blog. I to am a mom of a daughter with OCD. It is debilitating her life. Am desperately trying to find someone in our area for proper help. It is heartbreaking. Thanks for sharing. Will look forward to reading more on this blog.

  11. Deb says:

    Janet, your blog has been a true help to me. You have obviously helped so many people who otherwise would feel so alone. I felt depressed and hopeless that my son would be like this forever, but I now have hope since I am reading again and again that this is treatable. Your son’s story gives so much hope, especially since your circumstances were so similar. You are also pointing out perspectives that a doctor would not be able to provide. As a mom of a 19 year old boy ready to start college I take great strength from your son’s story.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Deb. You really made my day. I’m so glad you’ve found my posts helpful. Your son is a very lucky young man to have you on his side. I wish you all the best as he continues his journey.

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