OCD Triggers

Please note:  The information on this page should not be construed as medical advice, nor should it be used to diagnose or treat any condition. The content on this page is written by recovered OCD sufferers, not by clinicians. Read More

OCD Triggers: How to Identify and Deal with Them

Do you know what your OCD triggers are? If not, you need to figure them out. Triggers are the things that set off your OCD symptoms and can cause a lot of distress. Identifying your triggers is the first step in learning how to deal with them. In this blog post, we will discuss identifying your triggers and how to deal with them.

Types of OCD triggers

There are different OCD triggers, but they can generally be divided into external and internal. External triggers are things that happen in the outside world, such as people, places, things, or events. Internal triggers happen inside your mind, such as thoughts, feelings, and memories. Internal triggers can be more challenging to deal with because you can’t avoid them. However, there are still ways to cope with them.

How to identify OCD triggers

The first step in dealing with your OCD triggers is to identify them. This can be tricky because your OCD can be very sneaky. You may need to keep a journal for a while to track what sets off your OCD. There are a few things to look for when you’re trying to identify your triggers:

• Timing: When do your OCD symptoms start? Do they happen after you see something on the news, talk to someone about a stressful event, or have an intrusive thought?

• Location: Are there certain places that trigger your OCD symptoms?

• Emotions: What emotions do you experience when your OCD symptoms start?

• Physical sensations: Do you feel any physical sensations, such as a racing heart or feeling of anxiety?

How to overcome OCD triggers

Once you’ve identified your triggers, the next step is to learn how to deal with them. The most effective treatment for OCD is exposure and response prevention (ERP), a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). ERP involves facing your fears head-on.

For example, if you fear contamination, you would expose yourself to germs in a controlled setting. It may sound scary, but it is very effective in treating OCD.

Other CBT technics like ACT acceptance and commitment therapy can help you change the behaviors that contribute to your OCD symptoms. By accepting obsessions for what they are just intrusive thoughts that don’t need any attention.

Both ERP and ACT can be effective in helping you overcome your OCD triggers. However, it is essential to seek professional help to ensure you’re doing them correctly.

How to deal with OCD triggers

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with OCD triggers. Some people find it helpful to avoid certain situations or activities that trigger their OCD symptoms. Others may use coping strategies such as relaxation techniques or positive self-talk.

It’s important to remember that when you don’t face your OCD triggers and keep fighting and avoiding them, you only fuel your OCD even more. This is a very slippery slope and can quickly lead to a full-blown episode. The key is to find a balance that works for you. 

Talking to other people who experience the same thing can be very helpful. You are welcome to join our OCD community. The community can give you the tools and resources you need to start dealing with your triggers.

If your triggers are particularly hard to manage, you may need professional help. An OCD therapist can help you identify triggers and teach you to deal with them. My recommendation is to face your fears head-on. It´s not easy, but you will see that your OCD will slowly start to disappear when doing it correctly.

My final words on OCD triggers

Saying goodbye to OCD triggers is not an easy task, and for some, it might never be completed, but it can be done with hard work, determination, and the right tools.

When looking for a therapist, it´s essential to find someone specialized in treating OCD who understands the condition; not all therapists specialize in OCD, so be sure to ask. Therapy is not a quick fix. It takes time and patience, It´s tough work, but it’s worth it in the end. I know because I’ve been through it myself. 

If you have any questions or want to share your own experiences with OCD triggers, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!There are also many helpful self-help books on OCD that can be useful in learning about the condition and how to manage it. If your OCD symptoms are extreme, you may need professional help. Remember, you are not alone. There is help available, and you can get better.

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