My therapy experience: CBT helped me battle my OCD
Amelia, 17, shares how cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) helped her tackle her obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Seeking support is extremely important when struggling with mental health problems. It can be very hard to speak up and ask for help because it can feel like there’s a lot of shame and stigma attached to it.
Although asking for support for my OCD was something that seemed very scary to me, doing it has brought so many benefits to my life. Here are some of my experiences with therapy.
Finding coping strategies that work for me
CBT is a therapy that focuses on helping you challenge and change unhelpful thoughts, and develop coping strategies. This process isn’t easy or instant; for me it required a lot of hard work and patience. But it can really help - I now live a more OCD-free life thanks to therapy!
With my therapist, I learnt ways to combat my thoughts and ways to cope. These coping strategies are personal and different for everyone because we are all unique. It’s about finding what works best for you.
Ups and downs
Recovery has not been easy for me. Not every strategy I tried has worked and it takes time for things to get better. I never gave up, even through very tough times where I thought things wouldn’t get better. This is a completely normal way to feel during therapy, as it isn’t an easy process. But my therapist was there to help pull me out of these dark places and I am now in a much better place mentally.
Therapists are there to help you
Therapists and counsellors are there to listen and support you. They have this job because they want to help. They see a lot of people who go through similar situations and no matter how hard your situation is, they will always be there for you.
I have been doing therapy for many years and I have always felt like they have listened and been really understanding of my problems.
Speaking about my problems helped a lot
Therapy has enabled me to let out my troubles. Keeping negative emotions and thoughts inside can be very stressful. Sometimes just letting them out and speaking about them can have a positive effect.
When I talk about my problems to my therapist, I feel as if a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders. It feels great to know that someone is there to listen to me.
Asking for help or accepting help is nothing to be ashamed of. Getting help doesn’t show that you are weak. In fact, it shows how brave you are for speaking up about challenging things.
At first, I was worried about being judged because mental health isn’t something that’s easily understood. But my experience has taught me that judging is never something that therapists or counsellors do. I have had many therapists and not one has ever made me feel judged or ashamed.
If you are worried or feeling embarrassed or ashamed, remember: seeking help is something to be proud about!
Author: Amelia, 17
Where to get help
Having the same distressing thoughts and urges again and again can be a symptom of obsessive compulsive disorder. Find out more about OCD and what to do if you're affected by it on our OCD page.