In this video, I talk about my journey to recovery from OCD and the OCD treatment process. The most noticeable problem with OCD is that you can get stuck in a loop of obsessive thoughts and compulsions. However, the bigger problem is that when you are in this loop it can dramatically impact all aspects of your life. The good news is that applying ERP, ACT, and Mindfulness will allow you to successfully overcome your fears and take back your life. In this video, I describe my journey to recovery from OCD.
00:00 All right. Hey there and welcome to this episode. My name is Matt Codde. I'm a licensed clinical social worker and I'm also the founder of restored minds. And on today's episode, I really want to talk about my story. And the reason I want to share this is because I think there are so many people out there who are in the realm of mental health or self-help or personal development, that one, a project, this idea that they have had it figured out their whole lives and that, you know, they're perfect and anything like that. And you know, that's, that's exactly the opposite of what I want to communicate in this channel. And so what I wanted to, to share is kind of my own struggle with mental health and in kind of my journey to really overcoming it in where I am today in the hopes that wherever you are on your journey, you're able to use some of the things that I learned on my journey to help you overcome those struggles are more importantly, avoid those obstacles altogether.
00:54 And so what I want to do is I want to just take today and tell you about my own story. And so with, with my own personal struggle, um, you know, I struggled with something called OCD, which is obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is a, an anxiety to sort of basically where you have these intrusive thoughts that just kind of pop up and then you end up engaging in these compulsive behaviors to try to neutralize all the anxiety and distress. And so OCD first really showed up in my life when I was really young and I didn't know it at the time, right? But when I really look back on it, you know, I used to worry about different things and kind of obsess about them and I would do these different compulsive behaviors. So like I used to worry that my parents would, would die one day, right when I was a little kid.
01:36 So I would do things to try to keep them safe or you know, something like that. Right. And then it really got bad when I was right out of college. Right. And I remember, um, you know, kind of onset, like out of nowhere, like I was sitting in class in this, these thoughts start popping up and then the thoughts like kept going and then I would do something to try to like, oh, I need to get rid of that thought I needed it, you know, do this or I need to pray this way or you know, I need to do all these things. And all of a sudden, just over a short period of time, like I was just starting in consumed by these thoughts, these thoughts would pop in and I would do this behavior and I thought that I was just keeping myself safe.
02:08 Right. And you know, so you have these just thoughts that just don't stop, don't stop. Right? And you're doing it and you're trying to engage them and engage them, engage them. And this winds up just kind of spiraling out of control where this just was my day to day life. Like I would wake up and all the way till I went to bed at night, I was just battling thoughts. Right. And the, the problem was, is that like not only was I battling all these thoughts, but I was looking around and this was like right when I was a first in college and I just knew that this wasn't the same way other people were living their life, right? Like I was watching people happily interacting with each other, going out on dating, you know, and having fun and like, and I was just unable to do that because I was just struggling so much in my head.
02:50 Right? And then so, so eventually I started trying to get help, right? And I ended up going to this therapist that was on school and it was free, right? And it is a great guy, but didn't know anything about OCD. And he just kept reassuring me that what I was worrying about wasn't something that I need to worry about and so on and so forth. And the problem was, is that just kept making me worse. So then I needed to see a more and more because he offered me that reassurance that I wanted. Right. And, and had this kind of a cycle of OCD, right? Is that the more and more you try to get rid of the thoughts, the more and more they, they, the more and more they show up and the more and more distressed they cause. Right? So the harder you try to get rid of him, the worse you get.
03:30 Right. And, and even if you're trying to get help from other people, you know, it ends up actually making you worse and worse and worse. And so then I knew, I eventually realized that that wasn't working with that therapist. So, um, you know, I ended up, and it wasn't that guy's fault, he just, he just, he thought he was trying to help me, but he just didn't understand OCD or OCD treatment. So then I ended up seeing another therapist and the same thing, you know, I just wasn't getting better. I just kept getting worse and I couldn't figure out why. Right. And I just remember feeling so like distraught after just like time. And again, no matter what I did, I just kept getting worse and I didn't know what to do right. Like I was just, I was just, I just felt lost. I felt lost and hopeless until finally, I ended up, um, I was, I was getting readjusted, reassurance one day at, at this church, right.
04:14 And this lady, she, she looks at me and she's like, you know, I think you have OCD. And I'm like, no, no. You know, I, I don't wash my hands, you know, I'm not perfectionism. You know, I, I don't care about germs. I don't have OCD. And she persisted, uh, have me research it. And I was like, okay. So I ended up checking it out a little bit. And Lo and behold, like I learned that there's all these different forms of OCD, right? And the aligned exactly with what I was experiencing. So now I had a direction, right? And, and, and that was like, okay, I need to get help with those CD. And so I go and meet with a, an OCD, a specialist. And the first thing they tell me is like, okay, well, we need to do something called Erp. And that means that you need to do the exact things that you're afraid of doing.
04:58 And I'm like, well, like, no thanks not doing this right. And, and I was super resistant to this treatment. Right. But once I actually got some education and then of course, you know, is it was a good, uh, a good specialist. So he ended up at son of explaining how it works and what he explained to me was like, look, every time that that thought popped up right. And it causes that anxiety spike that I didn't really have any control over the thoughts that were just popping up in my head or I didn't really have control over the anxiety that I was experiencing. But what I had control over was how I responded to it. Right. And so anyway that I responded to whether it's a mental compulsion, whether it like trying to push the thought away or analyzing the thought or ruminating about the thought, right.
05:46 Or, you know, trying to, you know, replace the thought with a good thought. Right. Those are his mental compulsions or physical compulsions, whether I was having to physically read the Bible or if was having to, he knows physically go check a lock or the stove, anything that I did physically or mentally that either when it came to avoiding something or checking something or getting reassurance or trying to control anything, all those things. When I chose to do that in a response to the thought, I was actually making OCT worse. And then what happened was, and so what that, what that really allowed me to see was that I actually had the choice to stay in OCD or to challenge my behaviors and get better. Right? And it was hard work. I, I don't, I don't own a minimize that. But with a more and more, I started removing those compulsive behaviors from my life.
06:39 What I started to notice was that yeah, my anxiety would spike up and it would go down. Eventually, my brain started learning that this stuff I was worried about wasn't actually a threat. Right. And, and what happens is, is your brain actually starts to heal and work in a new, healthy way. Because it's learning that these things you're worrying about aren't actually real threats. They're just thoughts. They're worries, right? Their doubts and uncertainty and the more and why fed that by doing compulsions, the worst and worst they got. And that was really kind of that turning point for me. And what happened was, is as I went and completed my own treatment process of really facing my fears, what happened was, is it's not that I never had thoughts that bothered me again or I never felt anxious again because I'm human. And that stuff is stuff that all humans experience.
07:26 But what happened was, is I started to learn the strength of that, hey, you know, facing your fears work. And then I got more confident to face bigger fears and more confidence to face bigger fears. And then I was able to use these tools and all these different aspects of my life to build a whole new life for myself as opposed to one that was super limited from OCD. Because when I was trapped in OCD again, it's like, you know, no matter what you did, it was like I wasn't dating. I was living at when my parents still and I didn't know how to help myself, right? And I was just getting worse and worse and worse. And now you flash forward, you know, several years, a year down the road, you know, I'm able to help other people now, right? And, and I married, um, you know, the woman of my dreams, you know, we're going to have a baby and it's like I have this life that, um, you know, I, I never, never thought I could even, it never even was possible to me that I could achieve this kind of life.
08:17 Right? And, and I feel so grateful and so blessed every day I wake up. But again, you know, when I was really struggling and getting that, that feeling of hopelessness was so real. And so if you are struggling, you know, one thing that I just want to tell you is this, like, realize that that's, that's temporary, right? And if you struggle with anxiety, no city, there are literally, there are tools that will help you get better in there, that you can get your life back and you can recover. And you can build whatever kind of life that you really want. And that is like the one thing I want you to take away from this episode here is that you can build whatever kind of life you can imagine for yourself, but it is going to take hard work. It's going to take dedication and um, you know, it's not going to be easy, but it's going to be totally worth it in the end.
09:01 And that, that is something that, um, that I assure you in that, you know, the more and more I work with my clients, I mean know the more and more they're able to achieve that stuff and you just see it happening again and again. And so, um, again, thank you so much for taking the time to be here today and, uh, to be with me on this episode. Um, if you, if you liked this, please support the channel by subscribing and liking and then also have some free resources in the notes below. So be sure to check those out. And until next time, um, you know, my name is Matt and I'll see you soon and hope you have a wonderful day.
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