OCD Illustration - Campfire Metaphor

I always see posts on how to reduce OCD, or get rid of it. Not many on how to get more of it. “But why would I want more of it?” You ask. Well, you don’t. But sometimes to understand how to get better from something it can help to understand what makes it worse. As Marie Curie said, “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”.

So what would give someone more OCD? Doing more compulsions.

Without boiling down treatment too much, as each person is unique and comes with their own story and co-existing conditions, trauma, family history, personality styles etc, OCD is maintained and made worse in large by doing compulsions. I often tell my clients affected by OCD, that if they forget everything else I tell them, never forget that OCD symptoms only remain in the long term if compulsions exist.

The complexities of treatment are not so simple, however the overarching idea is. If you want less OCD, do less (no) compulsions.

As Dr Sam Greenblatt said on the podcast (Episode 311). OCD is like a fire, and the wood logs are like compulsions. The more logs we put on a fire, it not only burns brighter, but it also burns longer. So if we want that fire to reduce we must stop fuelling it with wood (compulsions). Same goes for OCD.

Hope that helps.

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Illustration by namiralph.com

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