Beliefs, judgments, desires, compulsions…

When we’re struggling with mental illness, it’s often the compulsions that get all of the focus, both when we’re trying to figure out what’s going on and when we’re getting treatment. Many disorders are defined only by the superficial characteristics of the compulsions they’re engaging in when they show up to get a diagnosis. But the coping, checking, and controlling compulsions we engage in are a tiny part of a much bigger system. If you don’t learn address the beliefs

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Your fear of stigma is part of the illness.

When we’re talking about stigma, we’re really talking about the fear of stigma. People don’t open up about mental health because they’re afraid of what others might say or do. It’s a fear of a possibility. And avoidance of something based on anxieties about other people is no different than any other social anxiety or OCD behavior. In other words: the fear of stigma is part of the illness. We know that trying to avoid feeling anxious is one of

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Motivation to beat Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Doing behavioral therapies like Exposure & Response Prevention (ERP) or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are tough. And to be successful at those you need to do a lot of other tough things like eat well and exercise and communicate better. Taking care of your mental and physical health takes a lot of work and, unfortunately, there’s this very persistent myth that in order to do lots of hard work, you have to be “motivated”. But chasing motivation and waiting for

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Exposure & Response Prevention for OCD Door Checking

A quick video talking about my old, OCD door checking compulsion and the huge spike in anxiety I experienced the first time I practiced Exposure & Response Prevention (ERP) techniques with that compulsion. If you’re doing ERP, be prepared for that big spike in anxiety. It’s not a bad thing. Don’t avoid it. Just as exercising makes your heart pound, especially if you haven’t exercised in a long time, so too does ERP make your brain pound and sweat and

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