Obsessive compulsive disorder - OCD treatment and therapy from NOCD

Why You Won’t Be Judged About Your OCD in Therapy

Mar 31, 20214 minute read

If you have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), it’s common to feel anxious, embarrassed or even ashamed of your thoughts and compulsions. However, it’s important to learn that there’s nothing to be embarrassed about, and that OCD is common: millions of people are affected by the same condition everyday.

Furthermore, even people without OCD experience intrusive and unwanted thoughts from time to time, which means you’re definitely not alone in your experience. It’s especially important to know that a therapist who is specialty-trained in treating OCD will never judge you for your thoughts or symptoms.

What if a therapist thinks I’m crazy?

No matter the type of obsessions you experience, you may be able to recognize that your thoughts seem irrational, which can make you fear that others will find them just as irrational, or even view them negatively. But it’s important to remember that no matter how irrational your obsessions may appear, they feel very real to you, and they are impacting your life.

Having obsessive thoughts is not indicative of your character, and it has nothing to do with who you are as a person. All it means is that you have OCD, a common mental health disorder. Receiving this diagnosis may seem scary, but it can help you recognize that your experiences are shared by others and begin learning to manage your symptoms.

What if I think about harming myself or others?

A common subtype of OCD is called Harm OCD, and it’s marked by an obsessive-compulsive cycle of unwanted thoughts about harming yourself or others. If you have Harm OCD, you may experience great fear that you could act on your obsessions and hurt someone, even if you have no desire to do so.

There are other common subtypes that often cause shame and stigma, such as Pedophilia OCD (POCD). People with POCD have intrusive sexual thoughts about children that don’t reflect their actual beliefs or desires, and they often worry whether they would ever act on these thoughts.

With subtypes like Harm OCD or POCD, you may worry that intrusive thoughts say something about your character, and question who you are as a person. Understandably, this can be extremely distressing and isolating. If you have thoughts that are disturbing or taboo in nature, it can be scary to tell anyone what you’re going through. 

However, there is successful treatment for OCD, and the thoughts OCD gives you are not reflective of your character as a person. With effective treatment, you can regain control over your life. That’s why it’s important to discuss your experience with a therapist who specializes in treating OCD. It is highly unlikely that an OCD specialist will even be surprised by the content of your obsessions—they’ve likely heard it before!

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What if I’ve had a bad experience in therapy before? 

Unfortunately, we’re aware that not everyone has had a great first experience with therapy, especially those dealing with OCD. Studies suggest that as many as half of people struggling with OCD are misdiagnosed with other conditions, meaning it can be hard to get the help you need if your therapist doesn’t recognize the signs and symptoms of OCD.

Even if you’ve had a negative experience with therapy, it is worth giving OCD treatment another try. While another therapist may have missed the mark in the past, a licensed therapist with experience in treating OCD will never judge you for what you’re experiencing. If you want to start treatment with an OCD expert, NOCD can help.

How is OCD treated?

A therapist who is specialty-trained in treating OCD will never judge you for any of your thoughts or compulsions. They are here to teach you how to sit with discomfort and uncertainty, allowing your fear and anxiety to go away without relying on compulsions. This is accomplished through exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy, the gold-standard treatment for OCD.

ERP works by slowly exposing you to situations that provoke your obsessions, and resisting your compulsive responses to the resulting anxiety. Over time, you’ll learn how to let intrusive thoughts simply exist, letting your anxiety dissipate without engaging in compulsions. 

Thankfully, ERP is now more accessible than ever, through NOCD’s extensive network of therapists. Every NOCD therapist specializes in treating OCD with ERP. If you’re interested in working with a licensed therapist who specializes in treatment OCD, schedule a free call with the NOCD care team. 

If you’re worried or uncomfortable about discussing your symptoms and thoughts with anyone else, remember that OCD is highly treatable. You don’t have to suffer in silence, and many people find relief in sharing their experiences. Over time, you can learn how to manage OCD and regain your life.

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