Updated: Apr 30, 2020
…or surprising ways lockdown is impacting those with OCD:
Permanent High Readiness: people with OCD live with a sense of foreboding. Bad things happening, often on a large scale, is an ever-present threat. Disaster, catastrophe, disease and suffering are part and parcel of the mental existence of the OCD. Many clients of ours are experiencing acceptance rather than shock and surprise.
Bark is worse than the bite: for someone with OCD, living with a threat can seem worse than a bad event actually happening. The ‘what if’s?’ are such a painful and debilitating part of their lives that they respond well in an actual crisis. This may be because they have had time to think of many scenarios and have developed skills in lateral thinking. Or it could be that external events are easier to deal with than the internal ones. In any case, for someone with OCD, lockdown isn’t the worst thing they can imagine
Off the streets: sadly, responsibility OCD symptoms might be eased by isolation. For those who fear harming others, social distancing represents a reduced risk of their worst fears happening. For some with this sub-type, enforced isolation means less chance of harming others
Hitting the Ground Running: in common with depression, addiction and other disorders, the tendency to withdraw socially is a big factor. Spending time alone, withdrawing from family & friends, resigning from work or limiting public activities be 'business as normal' for OCD.
The Pressure’s Off: more than a few clients have expressed some relief as a result of lockdown. Feeling as if OCD has robbed them of valuable years and opportunities, they have said that it seems as if everyone is in he same boat. The sense of everyone busily living their lives, moving forwards and making progress is no longer dominating their day, impacting upon their self-worth
Walk a Day in my Shoes: our current situation, i.e., isolation, hyper-vigilance/responsibility, anxiety, neurosis, hypochondria, cleaning rituals, depression and uncertainty is a daily occurrence for some with OCD. Suddenly, we are all equal, vulnerable and apprehensive
“The key to overcome crisis is patience, courage, self-discipline, adaptation and alertness.” - Amit Ray