The Neurodiversity of OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can feel as if it is stealing time from our lives. Our brains become burdened with distress and anxiety as it limits our potential and can cause rifts in relationships. It can be a very isolating condition; many of us have a habit of keeping this strange anxiety to ourselves due to shame, stigma, and media misinformation.

It makes a lot of sense to soothe a fear – like by ensuring that the front door is locked before bedtime to safeguard against a potential intruder. A sense of relief is achieved when checking if the door is locked. However, if the mental image of a home invader resurfaces while drifting off to sleep, one might feel the urge to check the door again. It subdued the fear the first time, so isn’t it logical to do that again? Experience relief again? But what if this occurs 15 times in one night, interfering with sleep, trapping oneself in an anxious cycle instead of getting enough rest for work the next day. OCD becomes problematic when the knowledge that one has already done what they can to soothe the distress is not enough to subdue the obsession.

Obsession:

recurring, persistent, and intrusive thoughts or feelings linked to distress

  • fear of harming yourself or someone else
  • a need for symmetry or order to feel comfortable
  • intrusive thoughts of violent and/or sexual acts
  • a need for cleanliness in order to feel well
  • fear of self or loved ones experiencing harm
  • the anxiety of losing control or feeling irrational

Compulsion:

the habits or rituals we engage in to protect, soothe, and provide ourselves with a sense of control or relief from our obsessions

  • counting
  • cleaning
  • checking things (ex: locked doors, oven switches, cellphone location)
  • hoarding
  • seeking reassurance from others
  • rearranging items

OCD is a heterogenous condition with many subtypes. These obsessions and compulsions could be common, such as in the examples above, or atypical.

How can OCD therapy help me?

OCD therapy is about slowing down our rapid thoughts, allowing us to pinpoint fears and sitting with discomfort just long enough to understand it. Our aim is to help identify the obsessive and compulsive patterns that bombard your brain, learn how to live with uncertainty, and find other avenues or redirection. We know how frustrating it can be, how crazy and irrational it feels to need something to be a certain way to feel well. We understand that obsessions can change over time. OCD can be managed, and relief can be achieved. You can discover other pathways to experience greater calm in your daily life.

It is not necessary to have an OCD diagnosis to access OCD therapy. Though as therapists we do not diagnose, we are fully equipped to support you through OCD-focused therapy and to validate your experience as a neurodivergent person in order to help you accomplish your personal goals.

What’s the next step?

We’re excited and honoured to talk with you and hear your story. Please see more information the rates and policies page.

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