Life with OCD: Try this Activity

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Living with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is like waiting for your worst fear to come true while doing anything to try and prevent it from happening.  Imagine:  Your worst fear.  Now imagine what you’d do to prevent that from happening.  

I did the following activity at the International OCD Foundation Conference in 2018 to illustrate how OCD takes over the mind.  Give it a try:  

Set a timer for 1 minute and list as many offensive words as possible.  Say out loud what words you wrote down.  

What did you notice about your experience?  When I did this activity, I looked around to see if anyone else was looking at me, thinking they somehow knew what I had written down.  I did not volunteer to share what words were in front of me and I couldn’t wait to get rid of the paper!  

What happened for you? 

I was in control of what I wrote down and in control of my own participation in the activity.  I did not like writing offensive words and I certainly did not say them out loud!  As soon as  I could, I tore up the paper and threw it out.  

People with OCD cannot control their intrusive thoughts, often do no share them with the people they love. 

Try this activity.  It’s a compassion builder.  How long can you go without ripping up your paper?