According to statistics, almost 0.8% of India’s population and 2% of the population in the US suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). OCD is characterized by recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas, or sensations (obsessions). To avoid these unwanted thoughts, people indulge in repetitive patterns of behaviour called compulsions. These repetitive behaviours might include acts like washing hands, excessive cleaning, showering or arranging, etc. 

OCD is a complex mental health condition, making it one of the most challenging disorders. Over time, it can seriously disrupt the daily lives and social interactions of those experiencing it. That’s why managing OCD often requires professional support like therapy and medications, especially if it’s affecting day-to-day activities. Without help, symptoms of OCD can get worse as time goes on.

How To Deal With OCD?

OCD can be very difficult to cope with. However, it can be treated and managed to reduce its impact on daily activities. A few self-help strategies for OCD are:

  • Don’t Avoid Your Thoughts

OCD often causes repetitive, unwanted thoughts, which can be uncomfortable to deal with. However, trying hard ‘not to think’ these thoughts has the opposite effect leading them to stay in the mind even longer. Instead, practice sitting with the unwanted thoughts without indulging in compulsive behaviours.

  • Self- Compassion

Slip-ups can be frustrating when they happen again and again. In such situations, being hard on yourself or blaming yourself for indulging in compulsive behaviours can make matters worse by harming your confidence. Instead, practice being kind to yourself and look at lapses as a part of the recovery process. Also, make a habit of celebrating your wins or good days, no matter how small or big they are. Self-appreciation improves confidence and motivation.

  • Self_Care

Physical health has a direct impact on mental health. Thus, it is important to focus on cultivating healthy habits, like regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting a good amount of sleep at night. Lack of sleep can only worsen the symptoms. Other measures, such as reducing caffeine and alcohol, can also reduce anxiety in OCD.

  • Build Awareness

Awareness is often the first step to treating any mental health condition. Start by educating yourself about OCD and its symptoms. Reading more about OCD can also help you realize that it’s a common condition that people can recover from. It can also help develop an action plan for coping.

  • Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness involves being completely focused on the present moment while being aware of your surroundings. Mindfulness techniques such as guided meditation, deep breathing exercises, body scans, and meditation can help address overthinking, which is one of the core issues of OCD

  • Journaling
    By documenting thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, you can gain valuable insights into patterns and triggers associated with OCD. These insights can be used to develop targeted treatment interventions.

Treatment of OCD

The treatment for OCD generally depends on the intensity of symptoms and their impact on your functioning. Some commonly used treatments for OCD are:

  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

CBT involves challenging unwanted thoughts that might be leading to compulsions and replacing them with healthier thoughts

  • Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)

ERP is a therapeutic approach that involves controlled exposure to feared situations, resisting compulsive behaviours, and promoting healthier responses to reduce anxiety and distress.

  • Medications

Some psychiatric medications can help manage the obsessions and compulsions associated with OCD. Although they may be prescribed only in severe cases,


OCD is a complex condition that can severely impair the daily functioning of an individual. While one can try self-help techniques to cope, OCD symptoms can get worse over time without proper treatment. OCD can be treated with a combination of self-help and therapy, with medications being prescribed only in severe cases.


  1. 25 Tips for Succeeding in Your OCD Treatment. (n.d.). International OCD Foundation. Retrieved December 28, 2023, from
  2. International OCD Foundation | Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). (n.d.). International OCD Foundation. Retrieved December 28, 2023, from
  3. OCD: How can you overcome it? (n.d.). Retrieved December 28, 2023, from,-exercise,-and-diet
  4. Paglia, D. M. (2020, March 3). Overcome OCD: 10 Top Self-Care Tips that Really Work. IPC.
  5. Ten Things You Need To Know To Overcome OCD. (n.d.). Beyond OCD. Retrieved December 28, 2023, from
  6. Treatment—Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). (2021, February 16). Nhs.Uk.

Dhruva Koranne

Dhruva Koranne has completed his Masters in Applied Psychology from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, BALM. He has been practicing as a counsellor since 2020 and works to create a safe space for clients where they can open up. In addition to this, Dhruva loves researching and studying about upcoming theories in the field of Psychology. Connect with him on Linkedin