Managing OCD during COVID-19 Pandemic
Whether you have a relapse of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder symptoms, or think you are experiencing symptoms for the first time during this pandemic, here are some tips for managing OCD during COVID-19:
Possible Symptoms of OCD
• Obsessive intrusive thoughts related to COVID-19 danger, threat or worries
• Compulsions related to the obsessive thoughts include a behaviour or action paired with the obsessive thought. In the moment, the thought makes you feel better but becomes necessary for you to manage your anxiety and worries
• Compulsions also come in the form of checking and reassurance seeking. This could be checking temperatures and symptoms, or repeatedly checking in with doctors or news updates
Tips to Overcome OCD during COVID-19
• If you are already experiencing moderate to severe levels of anxiety (at or above a level of 6/10), contact a health or mental health professional for support.
• Know what your compulsive behaviours are
You will need to know what behaviours most follow your intrusive thoughts. After worrying do you engage in more hand washing? Checking? Panic buying? Some other behaviour? List your behaviours and tackle them one at a time.
• Limit the compulsive behaviour
If you check the news or medical updates ten times a day, decide to begin limiting yourself towards eliminating the behaviour altogether or to what would be a typical number. Example: only check news three times a day for a few days, then once a day, then once a week. Begin containment of the behaviour and notice that as you do so your anxiety overall will decrease.
• Sit with the fear to face it and then let it go.
This technique may require more help from a mental health specialist for you to master. You will gradually face the fears you have the most and face them until your anxiety decreases.
• If you worry about contracting the virus from un-sanitized items coming in your home, you may could sit outside a socially distanced amount away from an un-sanitized item and simply face it until your anxiety decreases to at least half of what it was.
• Only wash your hands one time and sit with your anxiety until it decreases to half, and not go wash your hands more.
If you would like to tackle this more, contact a CBT specialist today or email us at Qualia Counselling Services for tips on how to do this in the most beneficial way.
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