“Stick and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Or will they?

Language allows us to communicate complex ideas. It allows us to explain abstract ideas and thoughts.  With language, we can make thoughts, ideas and emotions come to life.

The words we use to speak with – to convey ideas and emotions – can be very powerful.  Language allows us to tell others how we feel.  And language can inform us how we feel about ourselves.

It can beneficial and uplifting. Or it can be detrimental and discouraging.

The ABC’s of OCD

There is no “U” in “OCD.”

You are not the OCD. OCD is the OCD!

The quicker we can separate you from OCD – the better. The thoughts causing you distress create distress for you because they are incongruent with who you are. They do not match your values and likes.

Now, be sure to not go back and read that information as it will become reassurance! We stay clear of reassurance here at OCD Wellness.

The compulsions you have help you mitigate the fear you feel regarding your obsession(s). And if it were up to you – you would choose not to have the thoughts and complete the compulsions.

How do we “fight” our compulsions?

Language. We start with language. There is no more “I,” and there is a lot more “OCD” when talking about fears and behaviours.

Example 1

Old Phrasing: “I must be a bad person for having these horrible thoughts.”

New Phrasing: “Wow, OCD is really throwing in some scary thoughts, but I can tolerate them.”

Lets’ look at what separates the two phrases from one another. The “Old Phrase” is putting U in OCD. Looking at the “New Phrase” more closely, we used language to include an empowering phrase such as “I can tolerate” we also externalize the though by naming OCD (we will get to this real soon). By affirming you can tolerate those thoughts, this empowering phrase can put strength back into our hands.  

Name Calling

Lastly, let’s help externalize OCD by giving OCD a name. Make the name a funny one, make it silly, make it something you can laugh at. Or even better – name it something you view as powerless.  If we can weaken OCD by giving it a name, then we are empowering ourselves and externalizing OCD away from ourselves.

OCD is hard enough to beat, so let’s not be our own enemy as well. Celebrate those wins (no matter the size) and use your positive language to show you are bigger, better, and stronger than OCD. Be your own champion against OCD!

That’s the power of language.

There is no “I” or U in “OCD”.

Stay tuned for our next blog to the series!

And don’t forget to refresh yourself on the first blog to the series Building Awareness!

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