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!


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          Share Your Story 


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



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

Dr. Elizabeth McIngvale and Ginny Fuchs, # Flyweight Boxer of USA and Team Captain of the Women's Olympic Team share their inspirational stories about fighting for your dreams despite OCD.

Jeff Bell shares his powerful personal testimony with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Jeff Bell’s earliest memories are of what he now knows to be compulsive checking. But with OCD not yet part of the national dialogue in those days, neither Jeff nor his parents realized he was battling a treatable disorder. For whatever combination of reasons, Jeff’s OCD all but disappeared during his high school and college years; but in the early 1990’s (with Jeff in his late 20’s), it returned with a vengeance. Soon, Jeff was living an exhausting double-life as a very public news anchor secretly consumed by a long list of checking and washing rituals. Twice he reached out for help, only to be misdiagnosed. Eventually discovering his challenge in a book about OCD, Jeff began getting treatment in 1993 but struggled to stay motivated. By the summer of 1997, he was at his wits’ end. Out of desperation one night, he found himself making a bargain with the universe he thought he’d never have to keep. “Show me how to turn around this crazy life,” he muttered, “and I’ll share my story with anyone who will listen.”

Ethan Smith, OCD advocate, shares his story about living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Chris Trondsen, OCD advocate, shares his story about his struggles with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

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.

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.

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.

Elizabeth McIngvale, Ph.D., discusses how individuals can maintain their progress and involve ERP in everyday life.

Elizabeth McIngvale, Ph.D., discusses how to be successful in treatment.

Dr. Elizabeth McIngvale talks about living with OCD and how to be ready for anything OCD has to throw at you.

Dr. Elizabeth McIngvale gives encouragement for OCD treatment and achieving your goals.

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