For many OCD sufferers, when an onset of OCD strikes we become highly anxious and stressed. As a result, we often try to flee from the thoughts and compulsions and go into panic mode. Rather than trying to suppress OCD thoughts and tendencies, it’s better to look them in the face and give them a name.
I’ve created an OCD Trigger Identification Worksheet to help you track and monitor your obsessions and compulsions (ready to print). Keep this handy and jot down your OCD thoughts as they manifest. Try to identify what triggered each episode.
Spend a few weeks or so tracking your compulsions. At the end of two weeks, spend some time analyzing your results. Are there any similarities or patterns? Did certain compulsions happen at the same time each day? The more thorough you are in writing down what’s happening and how you’re feeling, the better you can address each compulsion on an individual basis.
Now take a look at the column marked Intensity. On the back of your worksheet, list your compulsions from least intense to most troublesome. The goal is to take small steps by tackling the least significant compulsions first. If you’re able to isolate a minor compulsion and institute a coping strategy that works or one that eliminates the OCD tendency altogether, imagine how good you’ll feel! It will be a major victory and give you the motivation you need to tackle a more intense compulsion.
OCD Moms, here’s our mantra for the week: “I will not run from fear. I will look it in the face and give it a name.”