One of the most interesting things for me when I finally got myself into some counselling was the realisation that what I was suffering from wasn’t just OCD but actually also anxiety and worry. I had always just blanketed all of my thoughts and feelings under the OCD umbrella and it was enlightening to break it down and understand it all on another level.
I sometimes find it really difficult to differentiate between worry and OCD. I will try now with a couple of examples:
‘I have to drive to the supermarket to do my shopping, what if I crash the car on the way or hit someone in the car park? ‘
An OCD thought after visiting the supermarket:
‘There was a pothole in the car park that I went over when leaving the supermarket, what if that was actually a child and I didn’t see them? ‘
Once you start to break the thoughts down, you can start to look at how to overcome them. To be honest a lot of the methods work for both worry and OCD but there are some separate tools which could be useful.
For worry there is a tool called ‘The Worry Tree’, best shown by an illustration here. I have personally found the worry tree very useful in helping to dismiss worrying thoughts when they come along.
Worry and OCD are also incredibly closely linked to GAD (General anxiety disorder) and the intolerance of uncertainty.
I’ve recently found the APPLE acronym (Acknowledge, Pause, Pull Back, Let Go and Explore) which can be used to help combat GAD. I’m going to be giving it a go (More information in link above page 2).
As always I hope this helps, Stay strong xx