Why Having OCD Feels Like Trying to Outsmart Yourself: 2 Ideas to Help When Your OCD Makes You Tired

My recent upswing in OCD is causing me to feel winter-bear-tired.

I am starting a new therapy and medication regimen which takes some time to start to take hold. This has meant a lot of reminders of what I used to feel like in some of the worst throes of OCD. My stomach is permanently semi-clenched, I am about to have the hardened abs of Wonder Woman. I am holding my neck in a strange way and giving myself migrianes daily. It’s been an interesting, and also sucky, reminder of what my past-self was dealing with daily.

Starting ERP, especially remotely because of quarantine, is wild. ERP takes a lot of time from your day in the beginning if you are starting it correctly, and the concentration can be taxing. (“A lot of time” meaning about 2-3 hours, but not squished together.)

And then there are the weird changes in thought patterns.

I would say it’s not so much that I am disinterested in things I usually love, as it is that I’m extremely interested in my intrusive thought pattern, and can follow it further down the rabbit hole than Alice.

To combat that, I have been trying to reframe, but this does take work. This is also tiring.

It needs to be said.

I am sure it will be worth it, once I come out to the other side, hopefully in a couple of months…but yes, the circular thoughts, even the re-framing has me exhausted.

So, I have 2 big ideas I am trying to hold myself to, starting this new regimen:

Split up the ERP session

Research says that the session does not need to be done all at the same time, like a 2 hour college lab session. I suggest splitting it up over the day. Right now I’m doing halves of hours, and that seems to be working fine. I will probably be able to go longer as I get more habituated. We’ll see.

Work Through a Guide

A lot of Cognitive Behavior Therapy, as people think about it, isn’t strong enough to touch OCD. (I’m talking snapping a rubber band on your wrist, etc.) There are specific things that work with OCD, so a book or a guide will be the best thing to get you through it–even if you have a therapist, because they might not specialize in OCD. 🙂


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