OCD & Hope:

 

There is hope when you are living with obsessive-compulsive disorder. OCD can be exhausting both mentally and physically. I know first hand how difficult it can be to live with OCD. However with proper care I have learned to manage my illness and now I make it my life mission to help others with OCD/mental illness. That doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle or have hard days, in fact, I still go to therapy on a regular basis. What it means is that I am working to continue to manage my illness so that I have control over my OCD versus my OCD having control over me. Remember that you are not alone in your struggles and with the right resources and treatment you can get control of your OCD. -Elizabeth McIngvale

 

Dear fellow travelers on the Road to OCD Recovery

I am grateful to Liz McIngvale and Peace of Mind for this opportunity to share with you a few words of encouragement, as we journey together through and beyond what I’ve come to call “the shadow of doubt.”

The first thing I want you to know is this: you are NOT alone.  We are walking side by side, supporting one another, lending each other belief in what’s possible, as I think you will see in this “We Believe” video, created some years ago as a starting point for anyone beginning down the road to recovery.  

Our journey is not an easy one. I know that firsthand.  But we are extremely fortunate to have phenomenal resources available to us: proven treatments, skilled therapists, brilliant researchers, and incredible nonprofit organizations such as the International OCD Foundation and Peace of Mind.  

With these resources and the support of our loved ones and the OCD community, we CAN learn to live—even thrive—with OCD.  Again, I know this firsthand. But there is one caveat I’m also compelled to share. Only YOU can move your feet forward on this path, and doing so takes commitment, determination, and most of all, motivation.

So then… allow me to share a secret with you about staying motivated: You will help yourself by helping others!  I call this notion “Greater Good motivation,” and you can learn more about it in this Peace of Mind video and this Psychology Today blog.  I’ve also built a nonprofit organization on this premise.  It’s called the Adversity 2 Advocacy Alliance, and you’ll find lots of inspiring stories in the A2A OCD Advocacy Resource Center

As for opportunities to help others, I think you’ll find that they are everywhere.  (If you want a starting point, check out Project Hope Exchange!)

Thanks for taking the time to read this letter.  I look forward to seeing you on the Road to OCD Recovery.  Know that I am walking beside you, cheering you on!

Gratefully, 

Jeff Bell

Founder, The A2A Alliance

Author, Rewind, Replay, Repeat & When in Doubt, Make Belief

 

 

Additional Resources:

Live with Liz           Project Hope Exchange               Not Alone Notes 

 

Great Good Motivation: 

 

Learn more about how to focus on a greater purpose motivator (purpose and service) with Jeff Bell’s “Greater Good Perspective Shift” by downloading the overview and worksheet. This tool will help you start shifting your framework from the Default to the Greater Good Framework. Watch the “Greater Purpose Motivation” by Jeff Bell below.

GGPS Worksheet

GGPS-Overview

 

If this is an emergency or you are ever feeling suicidal or unsafe please go to your local emergency room, call 911 or call the suicide prevention hotline at 800-273-8255.

Videos: Living with OCD

Choose a title below to view related OCD videos

What is fueling your recovery? What helps you stay well and productive? Jeff Bell, a mental health advocate, will be sharing his inspirational story about empowerment, motivation, and serving a greater purpose. You will learn that the more you engage in advocacy and service, the stronger you and those around you will become.

The diagram is available for download above.

Throstur Bjorgvinsson, PhD, ABPP, discusses how as a therapist, he often sees someone with OCD successfully learn how to control it. When a person puts in the work during therapy, there is hope for someone to learn to control their OCD.

Ben Eckstein, LCSW discusses how there are a lot of professionals out there who are really good at treating obsessive compulsive disorder. Exposure Response Prevention Therapy (ERP) is extremely helpful in treating OCD. Therapy is difficult, but with the right resources, there is hope.

Elizabeth McIngvale, PhD, LMSW, shares her own struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder. She didn't feel like there was any hope or chance of her living a typical life. However, she attended an inpatient treatment center that taught here that there is hope for OCD and you can learn to manage it. It takes hard work and perseverance, but it is very possible. She also got the chance to meet other people with OCD and for the first time did not feel alone. Today, Liz is living her career goals and has a PhD, even with a diagnosis of a severe mental illness.

Dr. McIngvale talks about the International OCD Foundation's campaign called "What does OCD look like? Me. My Name is Elizabeth and I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder"

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a treatable neurobiological disorder characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors (compulsions/rituals) such as counting, checking, praying, and cleaning. These compulsions are performed in an effort to relieve the anxiety caused by the obsessions. OCD obsessions and compulsions can be extremely time-consuming causing significant emotional distress, and may greatly interfere with day-to-day functioning and interpersonal relationships.

The Peace of Mind Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to help improve the quality of life of OCD sufferers and caregivers through education, research, support, and advocacy. Founded by the Linda and Jim McIngvale family at the request of their daughter Elizabeth. The Foundation created and fully subsidizes the OCD Challenge, a free online self-help website for individuals suffering from OCD.

You are not alone. There is always hope and help. Challenging your OCD is not easy but well worth it. Hear encouragement and hope from individuals going through the same thing as you. If you are looking for OCD resources (support groups, specialist, self-help tools, etc), please contact the Peace of Mind Foundation at info@peaceofmind.com. Featuring Ryan Bernstein, Morgan Rondinelli, Molly Fishback, Vanessa Baier, Hannah Lovitt, Sheree Cruz, Lindsey Tierney, and Megan Abramyk.

"OCD comes from within but the strength to overcome it also comes from within." - Ryan Bernstein