Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can be difficult enough to deal with even without an evolving worldwide pandemic. However, some people with OCD, particularly those whose symptoms or obsessions are regarding contamination, getting sick, or causing harm to others, are struggling more than usual as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although feelings of fear and uncertainty are normal and completely acceptable for anyone right now, people with OCD may experience exacerbated symptoms that make day-to-day living extremely difficult.
If you struggle with OCD or are simply finding yourself obsessing or thinking about the virus so much that impacts your well-being, it’s important to know how you can cope. Of course, good hygiene is important and mask-wearing is essential, but if your urges are causing you to go too far or become crippled with anxiety, it’s time for a change. If you want to do some online shopping, you can shop for the best-rated light blue premium non-medical mask online at affordable prices.
Some tips to cope with OCD during a pandemic include:
- Limit news and social media intake
The information in the news is heavy and contains a lot of disheartening information. Social media, on the other hand, is known for spreading misinformation and instigating fear. While you might be tempted to check the news excessively, this can increase your stress and anxiety levels. As a result, if you’re trying to keep your OCD symptoms at bay you should limit your news intake and make sure you’re getting it from sources you trust.
- Find online support or go to therapy
To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 many therapists have turned to online sessions so they can continue helping their clients. Since cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective OCD treatments, individuals can gain access to professional CBT by means of teletherapy. This way, you don’t have to struggle with leaving the home for your appointment, but you still get access to the professional guidance and support that you need.
- Try self-help learning programs
Sometimes, therapy can get expensive. And, with millions of Americans out of work, insurance may be unaffordable. Fortunately, research has shown that online self-help CBT learning programs are effective for some people with OCD. Many of these are low-cost or even free community programs. However, it is always best to consult with a professional, if possible.
- Extend compassion to yourself
Practicing self-compassion is more important right now than ever before. People with pre-existing mental health conditions are experiencing worsening symptoms as a direct result of the pandemic. However, if individuals fight these feelings or shame themselves for feeling the way they do, it will only make things worse. Instead, it is vital to extend compassion to yourself and remember that it is normal to worry, it is okay to feel stressed, and it is encouraged to ask for help.