As with most mental health disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is largely misunderstood. In fact, if you have OCD, you’ve probably been chastised (or maybe you chastised yourself) to “just get over it,” or “stop” the unwanted behavior or thoughts. It’s not that easy.
While OCD is an attempt to control your environment and racing thoughts, the routines you develop as a soothing tactic can ultimately leave you feeling less in control than ever.
If you’re among the 2.3% of women and men in the United States who have OCD, you can adopt lifestyle changes to calm your brain. But you don’t have to do it all alone.
At Precise Research Centers, our founder, Joseph Kwentus, MD, diagnoses and treats OCD and also offers clinical trials. At our offices in Flowood, Mississippi, you may be eligible for free therapy and new medications that can help you gain control over your OCD.
Would you like to feel more in control of your OCD? Take these steps, starting today.
Healthy food, and a healthy gut, are a hot topic in health care right now, and that includes mental health care. In fact, if you struggle with OCD you may actually be lacking key nutrients, including zinc, vitamin B, and vitamin D.
Change your habits so you adopt a mostly — ideally, totally — whole-foods diet with an emphasis on fresh vegetables and fruits, fish, and other quality protein, such as organ meats and eggs. Be sure you get enough essential nutrients, such as:
In addition to spending a short amount of time in sunlight every morning, which helps your body produce its own vitamin D, be sure to focus on food sources, too. Salmon, beef liver, eggs, cheese, and mushrooms are dietary choices that can help you maintain vitamin D levels.
You may also benefit from a supplement.
The B vitamins are important to overall vitality and health. In particular, vitamin B12 aids your brain and nervous system function. It also helps you produce new red blood cells and repair and create DNA.
Beef liver and salmon are also high in B12, making them an excellent choice for OCD. Other sources include beef, yogurt, milk, and clams.
Zinc helps brain development. It also strengthens your immune system and helps you digest food. In addition to beef, try oysters and other seafood, pork, and beans.
Although you may recognize that your intrusive thoughts and obsessions aren’t grounded in reality, try not to judge yourself for having them. Sometimes, the more you push against something, the more stubbornly it stays in place.
When you notice an uncomfortable feeling or thought, you don’t even have to justify it. And you don’t have to argue with it.
If, for instance, you worry that your loved ones will come to harm, you don’t have to waste energy trying to argue yourself out of that misperception. Just accept the feeling, without judgment or blame.
Similar to unwanted thoughts, you may recognize a compulsion to perform a certain task repetitively as not justified by reality. Try to distract yourself so the need becomes less urgent.
You might even try exposing yourself to the fear and then resisting or delaying the compulsion. For instance, if you have the impulse to wash your hands multiple times, leave the bathroom or kitchen after the first time you washed your hands.
Then, find something interesting to do. If the urge comes back, you may not have to give into it or may be able to put it off for longer and longer periods.
Both talk therapy and medications can help you manage obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. Do you want to overcome your obsessions and compulsions? Find out how you can take charge of OCD, starting today.
You can also send a message to our team on the website. There’s no cost associated with being in a clinical trial.