Helping Someone With OCD

By November 30, 2015 Blog

Encourage sufferers to seek help: the earlier they receive it, the better their chances of recovery. Watch out for warning signs: e.g. seeking reassurance, doing things over and over, irritability/indecisiveness, extreme reactions to minor things, spending a long time doing activities/being late, taking longer than usual over small tasks. If they’ve been prescribed medication, encourage them to keep taking it. Don’t support them in their rituals (e.g; washing towels or keeping things in a certain order). It’s natural to want to …Read More

Self-Help for Scruples

By June 5, 2014 Blog

Following on from Tuesday’s post, ‘When OCD Gets Religious‘, I’ve been asked to talk a bit more about my experience. It’s been a while since this has been a big issue for me. I’m not an expert and I’m afraid I don’t have any easy answers, but for what it’s worth, these are some things that have helped me in the past: 1. remember, everyone has intrusive thoughts. What’s different with us is not the thoughts – it’s that we …Read More

When OCD Gets Religious

By June 3, 2014 Blog

Both before and after I became a Christian I was a worried adolescent. I was terrified that I’d done something dreadful – much worse than other people. Forgiveness and acceptance might hold for the other folks: but in my case, well…I’m wasn’t so sure.  In my head, there were all sorts of reasons why I didn’t deserve the grace given to others.  For some people, this is an ongoing and painful reality.  They’re literally obsessed with their sin –  believing that …Read More

Little Answers to Big Questions

By June 20, 2012 Blog, OCD

Modern life is stressful.  But ‘the good old days’ were just as bad – if not worse.  Back in the day, you’d be too busy hunting down dinner, fighting off invaders/disease or trying to survive childbirth to worry about your Facebook status or whether Sainsburys had run out of olives. Which is not to say we don’t have genuine worries – just that they can get subsumed or mixed up in lesser things, which then take on enormous significance: Marriages …Read More

Food For Thought

By October 18, 2011 Blog, OCD

Maybe the way to handle some neuroses is to channel them. I was thinking that this morning as I passed a woman wearing a gorgeous patterned skirt. I smiled at her and then my OCD brain kicked into gear and mentally tidied it. Same thing happens when I see stripes. I want to scoop them up and tie them together. But perhaps that excess stress and energy  could be used for good. Instead of alphabeticising soups, I could save the whales. …Read More

Redeeming the Routine

By July 27, 2011 Blog

Just back from an exhibition entitled ‘Compulsive, Obsessive, Repetitive’. Mountains of sugar-cubes, shaped like a castle.  A city of towering till-rolls (pictured). Walls covered with the same salmon-skin tiles.  Hours and hours of painstaking, boring and repetitive work. Viewed up close, it looks haphazard, senseless.  Yet from a distance, it begins to make sense. One scrap of paper on its own is litter.  But hundreds of pieces, hung together just so – and you’re looking at something else – something …Read More

Clean and Serene?

By May 8, 2011 Blog

Imagine feeling so dirty that you spent up to 20 hours a day in the shower, obsessively scrubbing until the water ran red. This was a typical day for Samatha Hancox, a 40 year-old woman who suffered from Obsessive Compulsive  Disorder and died last May.  Her story is in the papers because her parents were on trial for manslaughter, but were cleared of charges after she was found to have died of dehydration and skin infection. Samantha’s condition was triggered …Read More

Out Damned Spot

By December 20, 2010 Blog

When thinking about mental health problems it helps to think of ourselves all on the same spectrum. So, for instance, you might think of self-harm as ‘really weird’.  Maybe it’s a way of thinking and acting that seems completely alien to you.  But as we’ve talked about before, isn’t ‘I’m an idiot!’ self-talk a kind of self-harm? And what about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?  Is that just for nut-bars, or might there be a teensy bit of OCD in you …Read More