Once you’ve been through treatment how do you maintain your success? I followed up with several of my previous patients to understand their perspectives on successful OCD recovery. After all, THEY are the true experts in this area. All of these individuals have been thriving and managing their symptoms independently for a minimum of 2 years.
6. GET A SUPPORT NETWORK- “My ability to navigate through this shit after treatment has been much in part to a good support network. I go to the IOCDF conference, I participate in online chat groups, listen to podcasts etc. Even when symptoms are non-existent I still keep my recovery a part of daily life.” John, Alaska
5. SELF CARE- “I could give you a laundry list of things, but I would say that good self care makes or breaks me. As a working mom, it’s so easy to put my needs last. When I find time to meditate, exercise, eat well, I ALSO tend to make more time for what needs to happen in my recovery.” Julie, Tennessee
4. TIME MANAGEMENT- “I was initially concerned that, in order to stay healthy after treatment, I was going to have to do a million hours of exposure per week. I realized that I could simply take an “exposure lifestyle” approach and find opportunities for exposures in my daily life rather than stressing out to find an extra hour of planned exposure time. I don’t know if this would work for everyone, but it’s been a way for me to stay on track while not allowing recovery to take over my life.” Javier, Colorado
3. CONTINUED MEDICATION MANAGEMENT- “ Yep, I’m still on medication. If I said this a couple of years ago I would be really disappointed in myself. Now I realize that my need for medication is just part of the neurological/genetic hand I was dealt. Prior to speaking to you (Ashley) or my psychiatrist, I had the misconception that “good treatment” would mean no more meds for me. While I obviously saw AMAZING improvement through ERP and ACT, I know that meds are just going to be an additional help that I need for quite some time…..this use to hit at my ego and made me feel weak….but now the shame about this is gone and I’m proud of where I am at. By the way, we just celebrated our 4th anniversary”. Grant, rOCD, Idaho
2. VALUES AS A COMPASS FOR LIFE- “I continue to look at my life through the lense of my values. They are a constant anchor for the decisions that I make and help me determine if a choice or action is based in OCD or coming from my true self. There have been bumps in the road, but I’m be able to get back on track rather quickly. I still have all of the ACT metaphors playing in my mind and actually use some of them when my kids are having a rough time. They really like “Monsters on a Bus”. Alexis, Arkansas
1. GRIT- “Have you read this book? It’s not about OCD, but I think it’s super helpful. It’s about perseverance, not how good you are or talented. I like it. It helps me to realize that I don’t have to be perfect when I fight back against OCD, I just have to keep trying. I think that is the most important thing to me. Parker, 13 years old, Alabama
WHAT WOULD YOU ADD TO THIS LIST?……………