I’ll be sharing some of my older posts for the next few weeks. This one first appeared in November 2011….
Most experts agree it is time to seek treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder when it “interferes with your daily life.” While “interfering” can mean different things to different people, it is generally described as having obsessions and compulsions that take up more than an hour a day of your time.
While a lot has been written about recovery avoidance in OCD, what I’m talking about are cases of OCD that might not be that severe. Many people with OCD and their families might avoid even discussing treatment options because it appears that the situation is just not ”that bad.” Of course, because those with OCD are adept at hiding their symptoms, they are often the only ones who know the real extent of their disorder.
To me, before things get “that bad” is the perfect time to seek treatment and get started on exposure and response prevention therapy. The less entrenched OCD is, the easier therapy will be. OCD rarely goes away on its own, and the longer treatment is delayed, the more time OCD will have to latch on to its victim, making recovery even more difficult in the future. Remember that OCD is an insidious disorder that does whatever it can to undermine a person’s desire to get well.
The decision to seek treatment for OCD is sometimes shrouded by fear, shame, and embarrassment, and it might just seem easier all around to ignore what is going on. I think this is a huge mistake. If you suspect you have OCD, are concerned about a loved one, or aren’t really sure what’s going on, please make the effort to find a therapist who specializes in treating this disorder. The sooner the better, because it might not take long for “I can handle this” to turn into a life totally controlled by OCD.