But What if it’s Not OCD?

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OCD certainly generates a lot of questions, mainly in the form of a doubt and typically starting with the words, “what if?” Just when you think you’ve answered or solved the doubt that was plaguing you, the disorder comes up with yet another “what if?” 
Some examples might be, “what if this thought means I actually want to do this thing? What if this feeling is God’s way of warning me? What if I’m ignoring something serious?”
OCD is a compelling disorder. It’s compelling because OCD is more than just experiencing doubts, questions, or intrusive thoughts. It’s experiencing each one of those things coupled with intense anxiety. The anxiety is the igniting spark that makes the sufferer feel as though the “what if?” is something urgent that needs their attention. And, if you know anything about OCD, it’s the attention we give to the questions that will keep the cycle of OCD going strong.
When you have OCD, you will have worked your way through a seemingly endless variety of questions. Many of these questions will be variations of one another and none of the answers will suffice for very long. But of all the questions that OCD poses this is the one that everyone encounters at some point or another,
“But what if it’s not OCD?”  
This question can still crop up after a person has been diagnosed with OCD. 
“Yeah…I might have OCD, but this seems like a genuine concern. How can I choose to ignore it when it might not be OCD?”
The uncertainty about whether or not a feared obsession is actually OCD seems like a valid. But when you think about it, if we had confidence or surety that the thing, we’ve been wrestling with was OCD, then we wouldn’t be stuck. We’d just label it OCD, shrug it off and move on. We wouldn’t need therapy.
Managing OCD means learning to sit with uncertainty. In every case of OCD, one of the most important things we will need to do is move forward with therapy even when we aren’t feeling the slightest bit certain that the problem is OCD. This uncertainty is what makes OCD therapy so hard. We have to choose to employ Exposure and Response Prevention therapy when it feels risky to do so. There’s no easy way out. 
Don’t let the fear that it might not be OCD stop you from seeking therapy. Expect and accept that you will feel this way when you begin treatment. Pursuing treatment is the thing that will help you move past the obsessional theme.
OCD is a bully. Don’t let it use the question, “What if it’s not OCD?” keep you from seeking and pursuing treatment. Remember that everyone with OCD goes through this when they consider therapy. You are not a freakish anomaly, and your OCD is behaving just like everyone else’s OCD. 
Stand up to the bully of your OCD today!

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