Yes -- if you have OCD, you can undoubtedly live a normal and productive life; however, like any chronic illness, managing your illness requires a focus on day-to-day coping rather than on an ultimate cure.
In practical terms, this means having an excellent understanding of your illness. For example, see if you can answer the following questions:
- What are my symptoms?
- When do my symptoms get worse?
- What coping strategies work for me when my symptoms flare up?
- What helps me to avoid my symptoms from worsening in the first place?
- Who is it helpful to consult with when I feel stuck or need additional assistance coping with my symptoms?
Being able to answer these kinds of questions is essential to managing your OCD and freeing up your time and energy to attend to the things you really want to spend your time on, such as family, friends, romantic relationships, work, school or recreational activities.
If you don’t know where to begin or feel that OCD has taken over your life, it’s time to seek assistance from a trained mental health professional. There is no need to suffer -– there are effective treatments that work for most people, including psychotherapy and medication. Most people are able to find relief from symptoms using some combination of the two.