Ep. 179: 8 Tips to Fast Track Your OCD Treatment
Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast. Today I want to focus a bit on OCD treatment. I want to share with you all 8 tips that I think will really help to fast-track your OCD treatment. The first tip is to get support. That may people from people in your life or it may be from social media, organizations in the OCD community, or online support groups. The second tip is to pace yourself. Find a pace that works well for you, not too fast, not too slow. The third tip is to give yourself time to feel all the feelings about your OCD treatment. You are likely going to ride a wave of emotions and that is OK. The fourth tip is to stop judging yourself for your obsessions and compulsions. Being critical of yourself on serves to get in the way of your recovery. So go easy on yourself. The fifth tip is to embrace uncertainty. Learning to live with uncertainty is key to recovery in OCD treatment. The sixth tip is to stare your fear in the face everyday. Remember when we turn away from our fear, OCD only becomes stronger. The key is to do those hard things. The seventh tip is to find your motivation. What is your motivation for wanting to get better? The eight and final tip is understanding and accepting that you cannot control your thoughts. The only thing you can control is your reaction to those thoughts. I hope these tips will help as you progress through your OCD treatment. If I can leave you with just one thought that would be "It's a beautiful day to do hard things." If you get a moment, please go over to wherever you listen to podcasts, whether that be Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, Podbean, and leave an honest review. Tell me how you feel about it, whether it's helping you, what you'd like to see. We are going to give away a pair of Beats headphones of your choice of color once we hit a thousand reviews! ERP School, BFRB School and Mindfulness School for OCD are open for purchase. Click here for more information. Coming in March 19th ERP School will be available with bonus material! Additional exciting news! ERP School is now CEU approved which means that it is an accredited course for therapists and mental health professionals to take towards their continuing education credit hours. Please click here for more information. Coming March 15th, we are offering our free training, The 10 Things You Absolutely Need to Know About OCD. Transcript of Ep. 179 This is Your Anxiety Toolkit - Episode 179. Welcome to Your Anxiety Toolkit. I’m your host, Kimberley Quinlan. This podcast is fueled by three main goals. The first goal is to provide you with some extra tools to help you manage your anxiety. Second goal, to inspire you. Anxiety doesn’t get to decide how you live your life. And number three, and I leave the best for last, is to provide you with one big, fat virtual hug, because experiencing anxiety ain’t easy. If that sounds good to you, let’s go. Welcome back, my friends. Hello, Happy Friday. This is when it’s released. If you’re not listening to this on a Friday, Happy whatever day you’re listening, Happy Day. How are you? Take a breath. Where are you? What are you doing? What do you see? What do you smell? It’s a beautiful day. Thank you for being here with me. It is a beautiful day to do hard things, as always. But today, we’re actually talking about exactly that, talking about how to do really hard things in the form of talking about the eight things you can do to fast-track your recovery. It could be OCD recovery, it could be health anxiety, panic disorder, eating disorder, whatever it may be. But we’re probably going to put a focus today on OCD, mainly because I am getting ready. This is very exciting. Let me go off on a tangent. I’m getting ready to relaunch the free training that we offer twice a year called The 10 Things You Absolutely Need to Know about OCD. It’s a free training. We’ve offered it now for almost three years, and I offer it twice a year over... not over a thousand, over tens of thousands of people have watched this training. It’s quite amazing. So many people have given me amazing feedback on it. A lot of people have said that this was their first introduction to OCD and the education to OCD. I’m just so happy to share this with you. We will be releasing this training again on March 15, so get ready. I will send you all the details when we get there, but for right now, you could just get really excited and you can listen to this episode, which is really again, talking about not the basics of OCD, even though a lot of people who’ve taken that free training said they go back every time I launch it and rewatch it because it’s a really great reboot on these major basic concepts. Today, we’re going to talk about bigger concepts, like really looking at treatment and how to fast-track it. So, let’s get started. Before we start, actually, again, I’m going to ask you for a favor, if you would have a moment and you feel so inclined, please go and leave a review. I am on a massive... What would you call it? Effort to get more reviews, not because I need the ego stroke at all, but because I have been told by multiple business people that if you want to help more people and get this free resource out to more people, you do have to have a ton of reviews. The more reviews you have, the more likely people are to click on the podcast and try it. My goal is to create really, really good content, but they have to actually click the content to get helped by the content. So if you could help me with that, that would be amazing. I have offered an incentive. We are having an exciting challenge where we’re challenging ourselves to get a thousand reviews. Once we get a thousand reviews, I’ll be giving away a pair of Beats headphones to one of the lucky reviewers of your color choice as a thank you. So, that’s there. I would love to have you write a review. All right, let’s get into the show. We’re talking about the eight tips to fast-track your OCD treatment. Get support. This was actually the #8 point, but I actually brought it up to #1. If you are willing to do hard things, which you will because OCD treatment requires you to do many hard things, you will need support. Now I know what you’re probably thinking. “I don’t know anybody who has OCD,” or “I don’t have enough money for treatment,” or “I don’t know who to ask.” And that’s why this podcast is here. This is a free service to help you feel supported. And if listening to this podcast is your form of support, well, I am so, so grateful and blessed to have that opportunity. But even better than that is to get support by people who are in a similar situation and it does not have to cost you money. It does not have to cost you time. The use of getting support for OCD might look like social media accounts. There are so many advocates on social media, Instagram, Facebook. This is a really wonderful way to get support. You might go to OCD Gamechangers or the International OCD Foundation, where they have programs and free town hall and fireside chats where you can feel supported because you’re in an area of like-minded people. You might join a support group. There are many GOALS support groups. It’s G-O-A-L-S support group. If you Google it, there are many around the country of the United States where they’re free support groups for people. They are online forums. I have a free Facebook group called CBT School Campus, which is a group of the most kind of supportive people who are also on their journey. So, get support. You can’t do hard things on your own all the time. You can do them on your own some of the time, but it fast-tracks it if you really do have support and people cheering you on. The other thing to remember is you don’t have to know someone who has OCD. Find somebody who’s also doing something difficult and say, “Hey, I’m doing a hard thing. You’re doing a different hard thing, but I wonder if we could support each other.” Most of the time, people are so relieved not to do hard things on their own. So, get support. Pace yourself. When you want to fast-track your treatment and your recovery, your instinct is to go in great guns. In Australia, we call it great guns. Great guns is full-on going in, giving it your biggest effort. And that’s good. Great guns is awesome, but you have to pace yourself. You can’t sprint a marathon. You’ll get into the first mile and you’ll collapse. This is about pacing yourself and having a clear plan. One of the biggest areas I make as a clinician is when I create a treatment plan for my patient or my client, and it’s not a good pace. It’s not a good beat. You can hear me clicking. You can’t go really fast and then taper out. You lose momentum. So what you want to do is pace yourself at a cadence that feels really right and is doable and is realistic, that you can make a part of your daily life because it’s not realistic to do four hours today and then zero hours tomorrow, and then two hours the next day. Try and find something that you can do a little bit every day. Give yourself time to be mad, sad, sad, resentful, and have whatever feelings you have about this OCD treatment or this recovery process. You’re going to have lots of emotions and you have to prepare yourself for that. You have to be willing to ride the many emotional waves of recovery. It’s not just a matter of sitting down and doing exposures and going on about your life. You are going to have to feel all kinds of emotions, and that can be really overwhelming and painful. So give yourself time to have those emotions. Stop judging yourself for your obsessions and your compulsions. One of the things that is the most demotivating actions we can do is criticize ourselves for where we’re at. This is a podcast episode about fast tracking. This means what slows us down, looking at what are the things that slow us down so that we can go at the fastest pace possible that is healthy and realistic. And that involves not being critical. Being critical literally does nothing good. It slows you down. It de-motivates you. It disempowers you. It makes you feel more secondary emotions. It does no good. I know you know that, but sometimes we have to remind ourselves that in the moment, when we catch ourselves judging ourselves for the thoughts or feelings we’re having or judging ourselves for the compulsion we’re doing is to go, “Wait, that’s not helping. That’s not effective. That doesn’t get me closer to the goal.” Even if I feel that way and it feels true, I am going to catch this and step out because it’s not effective. Uncertainty is key. If you are not being uncertain, you are taking a detour. Think of it like you’re on a road and you’ve got a destination and you’re getting there. Every time you go off the road, let’s say, you’re going from A to B, going off the road, going towards C is the equivalent of going to certainty. You want to get off the road of certainty and get back on the road to being uncertain. And you will naturally, oops. Whoops, it’s easy. As we took a little detour back into certainty land, turn around, do a U-turn, come on back to the road of uncertainty. That is the fastest route to your recovery. Then you’ve got like a GPS. Over the GPS if you had one in your car, it would be like, “Please do a U-turn. You have taken the wrong route. You are on the road of certainty. Turn around and proceed to the road of uncertainty.” That’s how I imagine the GPS lady or man speaking to you when you’ve gone down that wrong road. Again, when you catch yourself, don’t beat yourself up. The GPS doesn’t go, “Bad you. You’re a bad person for going on a detour.” She just goes, “Would you please do a U-turn and proceed to the route?” Stare your fear in the face every day, learn to play this game, and it is a gap. This is talking about a Reid Wilson approach who I adore. Reid Wilson’s approach is, this is a game. Your job is to accumulate points. Every time you stare fear in the face, you accumulate points. And we want more points. We want to take the points away from OCD. I’ll often say to my patients and clients, “I want you to accumulate a hundred points a day.” Let’s say if touching... my bike’s right in front of me. So I’ll say, let’s say touching the handlebar of my bike is a 5 out of 10. If I do that, I get five points. Good job. I’ve only got 95 more to get today. If letting myself have certain thoughts, if that’s a 9 out of 10. Okay, great. Now I’ve got 14 points. I’m getting there. I’m getting closer to my goal. You could say 50 points. If you wanted to start early or easier, you could go to 10 points to start with. That’s fine. But learn to stare your fear in the face every day and play the game. We don’t want OCD getting and accumulating and racking up all the points because they win. Because when we avoid, OCD gets points. We want to try and prevent OCD from hitting its 10, a 100 mark every day. We want to be like, “Nope, I’m going to win this game today.” Treatment requires motivation and fast-tracking requires motivation. Your job is to identify what will happen if you don’t play this game and stare fear in the face. Identify what OCD has taken away from you. PS, little teaser. Next week’s episode is all about motivation. If you struggle with this, we’re going to deep dive into motivation. It’s something that I have been asked about so much lately. So I, of course, scheduled to talk to you about it. Again, the motivation, it does require a ton. If you want to fast-track your treatment, it does require that you get your wheels moving and you don’t slow down. And that will require keeping in your mind’s eye right in the front. Like, I’m doing this hard work because if I don’t, OCD will take A, B and C from me. Now, little side note, and we’ll discuss this next week. If that feels a little like pressure or shaming or guilt-tripping on you, we can learn to shift the language around that. Your job again is to try not to judge yourself for what it has taken from you in the past. That’s a really important piece here. But again, I’ll pause there because we’ll go through that next week. Drum roll... The final major thing that you have to remember to fast-track your treatment, and I did originally have this as #1, but I’m going to finish with it because it’s probably the most important. Your recovery requires a deep understanding and acceptance of the fact that you cannot control your thoughts. Most people, by the time they come to me, have wasted so much time and so much of their life in a wrestle, trying to control their thoughts. No judgment there. That is the natural inclination of a human being. But you have to really drop down and recognize that trying to control, which thoughts come in and out of your mind, is a lose-lose for everybody. The only thing you can control is how you respond to your thoughts. Massive, massive point. That is one of the points we do cover in The 10 Things You Absolutely Need to Know about OCD training, but I really wanted to bring it up again because it’s so important. Everyone gets caught in this one. So it’s just a matter of catching it and going, “All right, I’m in a wrestle with my thoughts. I know I can’t control my thoughts. So I’m going to have to try something different.” The only thing you can do differently is to change how you respond. The answer to that, let me give it to you, is just to do something different. It’s basically to go, “Oh, this is too big. I can’t solve this. It’s unsolvable. I’m just going to walk away.” It’s sort of like, sometimes my son’s doing a Lego and he’s getting really frustrated because he just can’t seem to figure out this next step and he’s getting more upset and he’s getting more upset. Now he’s sort of ripping at it and pushing out it and things are suddenly breaking apart. I’ll say, “Whoa, this isn’t working step away. Let’s go do something else. We’ll come back later.” That’s really important. I love you guys. That is the eight tips I have for you to fast-track your OCD treatment. If some of that went too fast and too much, get ready, we’ll do the free training here very soon. I strongly encourage everybody to take it, even if you’ve taken it again, because I’ve added a bonus point this time. Really now it’s 11 things you have to know, but you’ll see that when we get there. All right. I love you so much. Have a wonderful day. It is a beautiful day to do one hard thing. Whether you choose the hard thing or it’s naturally happening, that’s okay. Just do the hard thing. Be in the hard thing. Give yourself permission for things not to be right and perfect. Okay, I love you. Have a wonderful day and thank you for listening. Please note that this podcast or any other resources from cbtschool.com should not replace professional mental health care. If you feel you would benefit, please reach out to a provider in your area. Have a wonderful day, and thank you for supporting cbtschool.com.