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GETTING FAMILY TO UNDERSTAND

Question:

I am 24 and my parents don’t get why I can’t just stop thinking my OCD thoughts. My obsessions are more day to day social things so I don’t to the classic Exposure Response, but I get psychotherapy where I learn whats real and whats OCD and its worked the best it can. My question is how can I get my parents to understand my view of things as an OCD person. For example, its June and I started thinking about Christmas today because a loved one died last year 3 weeks before Christmas so I want this year to be better, but I have no control over it.

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Answer:

First, I am not sure you are doing all you can do for your OCD. There are anti depressant medications that can help reduce the frequency and intensity of the symptoms. In addition, you can learn to use meditation and deep relaxation to reduce the anxiety and tension that give rise to OCD. Basically, OCD is an anxiety disorder and the symptoms are an unsuccessful attempt the mind uses to reduce anxiety. In addition to medication and meditation you could be learning Cognitive-Behavioral tools to move you away from the OCD.

As for your family, why does it matter to you what they think about your symptoms? At age 24 you need to free your self from their opinions, whether or not those opinions are supportive of you. All that really matters is that you know what OCD is and that you are doing something about it.

By the way, when you are experiencing a thought such as the one you mentioned, move your thinking to something different and to something pleasant. Learn how to do Visualizations in which you sit, close your eyes and take your self on a trip to the perfect vacation spot for your self. Work on seeing the place, smelling it, hearing it, touching it and tasting it. Use all five senses to experience the ideal place. Visualization is a form of meditation and is useful in reducing stress.

Lastly, learn to get control over your symptoms. You can do this but you must believe it.

Best of Luck

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