Struggling with OCD can feel isolating and lonely. When you deal with debilitating obsessions and time-consuming compulsions that significantly impact your quality of life, it’s natural to avoid sharing it with others out of fear of judgment or misunderstanding. It can leave you feeling like you’re the only person in the world who deals with such scary and disturbing thoughts and feelings.
So for people with OCD, having a supportive community—one that truly understands what it’s like to live with the condition—can make a huge difference, and even save lives.
In this day and age, social media and the internet have made it easier than ever to find people who you can turn to for support. Online communities like Reddit and other forums can give you a chance to connect with others; however, they can also be more triggering than helpful sometimes. That’s one reason why when you’re struggling with OCD, finding just the right place that suits your experience can be hard.
To help, we’ve gathered a list of 10 superb Instagram accounts to follow (in no particular order) that can help you better understand OCD and connect with others on journeys similar to yours. We’ve included a mix of mental health professionals who treat OCD, organizations that are on a mission to educate others about this condition, and people with OCD who are opening up about their own experiences.
If you’re looking for a bit of encouragement and connection with someone who deals with OCD themselves, consider giving Jonathan Schultz of @ocd_strong a follow. He uses his account to offer followers a real, honest look at what it looks like to deal with the highly misunderstood condition, from the perspective of someone who deals with it himself. On his Instagram and TikTok accounts, you’ll find his shared insights and anecdotes from his own struggles, as well as tips for managing obsessions and the real struggles that OCD can present in your life.
Made of Millions Foundation is a global advocacy nonprofit foundation that seeks to break through the stigmas and change the way that the world perceives mental health. Their Instagram and TikTok content is dedicated to debunking the myths and misconceptions surrounding OCD, intrusive thoughts, and therapy with an educational, intersectional—and often funny—approach.
Alegra Kastens is a writer, licensed therapist, mental health advocate, podcaster, and founder of the Center for OCD, Anxiety, and Eating Disorders. Alegra’s work specializes in OCD, eating disorders, BFRBs, and body dysmorphic disorder. She also offers valuable insights into OCD because she deals with it herself! She uses her platform to educate her followers about what OCD looks like, dispel common myths, and learn how to manage OCD and seek treatment for it, all with an engaging mixture of infographics, personal anecdotes, and videos that keep you coming back for more.
Run by Katie, who has OCD themselves, The OCD Project is a great source for information and education on OCD and what it’s like to struggle with your mental health in general. This page highlights the differences between OCD stigmas and what struggling with OCD actually looks like. It also highlights these differences and misconceptions through helpful infographics and personal accounts (as well as the occasional meme). It’s a great resource for learning what mental health struggles can look like and how they can impact your life, all from the perspective of someone who knows the struggles first-hand.
If you are dealing with OCD and are seeking a faith-based approach, check out Reverend Katie O’Dunne’s Instagram. Reverend Katie is both an OCD advocate and ordained minister who uses her platform to provide a safe and welcoming space for people who deal with OCD. She also hosts a podcast called “What’s The Scoop on Scrup?” which specifically addresses Scrupulosity OCD (sometimes known as Religious OCD). Her platform is welcoming, honest, and hopeful, making it a great resource for people struggling with intrusive thoughts around morality and religion.
If you’re interested in learning about a holistic approach to mental health, check out Mindful Brains. This page is run by Jade, a mental health advocate and educator, who focuses on a holistic, all-encompassing approach to mental health, including OCD treatment. It’s chock-full of information about OCD and brain health, providing information from various approaches, which can help give you broader insights into your experiences with OCD and, perhaps, any co-occurring conditions you may struggle with.
Sometimes, you just need a laugh. Enter: OCD Friends! Run by Caty, a graphic designer and illustrator, OCD Friends is filled with a host of characters that walk you through the reality of suffering from OCD. The content is fun but still educational, and it gives people with OCD an inclusive safe space to laugh and see their own struggles highlighted in colorful comic form.
For people who find themselves struggling with OCD and a constant need to be perfect, Tia Wilson’s Instagram account offers a refreshing insight into what your life can look like after achieving recovery through exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy. In Tia’s Instagram account, you’ll find a relatable and unfiltered look at OCD recovery with humor, wit, and a touch of poeticism. Her account reads like a personal Instagram that documents the various ins and outs of recovering from OCD, making it a refreshing and insightful space for anyone who wants to feel less alone.
For people who struggle with OCD and find themselves feeling isolated because of it, hearing stories from other people who are dealing with the same issues can help. This account is the official Instagram account of the podcast The OCD Stories hosted by psychotherapist Stuart Ralph, MBACP. Each podcast episode highlights the real stories, hardships, and triumphs of people just like you who are going through OCD.
Lauren Rosen, LMFT is a therapist who specializes in both OCD and anxiety. She’s also the director of The Center for the Obsessive Mind, a platform that connects people with specialized treatments for OCD, anxiety, and eating disorders. Unsurprisingly, Lauren’s own Instagram account is filled with helpful information for people who struggle with OCD, as well as a recurring message of hope. It’s a great space to learn more about OCD and other anxiety disorders, as well as a good platform to seek some motivation on the days that feel especially hard.
Where to get help for OCD
Knowing that you are not alone in your struggle with OCD can make a huge difference. Finding therapists, organizations, and fellow people with OCD can help you understand more about your own mental health struggles. It can also let you realize that your experiences are shared, and that your OCD does not make you a bad person.
Even more importantly, it can also help open up the door for hope and treatment.
If you or someone you know is struggling with OCD and looking for a way to move forward, exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy can help. ERP is a highly effective treatment for OCD that helps people break the vicious cycle of obsessions and compulsions.
Here’s how it works: a licensed therapist who is trained in ERP will guide you through planned, gradual exercises in which you’re exposed to your triggers in a safe and controlled environment. Then, they’ll work with you as you learn to sit with the anxiety and distress that those triggers usually bring. Instead of engaging in compulsions, which you might normally do to temporarily alleviate that distress, the goal of ERP therapy is to help you resist those urges. Through this process, you’ll learn that you’re able to tolerate unexpected triggers and distressing feelings, without resorting to compulsions that ultimately make your symptoms worse.
When done under the guidance of a trained professional, ERP is considered the gold standard for OCD treatment, and is highly effective for most people. The best news is that ERP is also incredibly effective when done virtually, which makes it an accessible form of treatment for many! In fact, a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that virtual ERP therapy is just as effective as in-person ERP therapy—and what’s more, it led to real results in about half the time needed for traditional treatment.
Remember, no matter how scary and overwhelming your OCD might seem, you are not alone. If you are struggling with OCD and want to learn more about ERP therapy, NOCD can help. NOCD provides effective, convenient, and affordable virtual treatment. Our licensed therapists specialize in OCD and are trained in ERP. To learn more, schedule a free 15-minute call and get matched with your NOCD therapist. Additionally, the community feed in the NOCD App is free to use for anyone, and over 30,000 members are active who understand what you are going through, even when it seems like no one else in your life can.