Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, more routinely referred to as OCD, is a serious anxiety related problem characterised by intrusive thoughts and compulsive or repetitive behaviours.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, a time of global crisis, anxiety has been high among the general population and so those with this complex condition are likely seeing an increase in their symptoms or distress levels.
This may be particularly true of those with the sort of OCD that is preoccupied with worry, or those with overwhelming concerns about their loved ones, however our counsellors in Newcastle have some tips on coping.
Remember That Some Concerns are Normal
If you are worrying about washing your hands, limiting germs and keeping your loved ones safe, then it is important to remember that these are very normal concerns to have during a pandemic and are shared by many others in the population without Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Anxiety is a response to a genuine threat and some degree of anxiety is actually helpful in regulating our preventative behaviours.
However, it’s important to regulate these OCD related worries and safety behaviours so that they don’t impact negatively on our day to day life at home, at work or in our relationships. Remember that 20 seconds of hand washing is enough and cleaning surfaces once with antibacterial gel or soap is sufficient.
Limit Your Time Watching/Reading News
Watching the news, there is never ending coverage about the pandemic and the number of people affected, which can be overwhelming and encourage negative or intrusive thoughts.
Limit how much time you spend on social media or watching the news, or stop watching it at all and uninstall any social media apps (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) if you are experiencing a particularly anxious time.
Over the last year, a new phrase, “Doom-scrolling”, has been introduced to highlight the negativity that social media can have on worry and problems like OCD.
Take Care of Yourself
Even if we are unable to physically see our loved ones at the moment, staying connected online or through the telephone is important for your wellbeing.
Make time to check in with loved ones and talk to them about what you are experiencing. Watching films, playing games, or even just talking and enjoying each other’s company are all ways you can stay connected to people.
Also remember, you can still access therapy over the internet or via a phone if you need some additional help and our counsellors in Newcastle are here to help.
Contact us using the box below, or call us on 07966 645198 for further information.
Dr Stuart Sadler
Lead Clinical Psychologist