Rogers Behavioral Health

Carol shares how exposure response therapy for OCD helped her experience joy

Posted on 10/28/22 08:26:am Carol_OCD

 

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Carol says she’s had obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) since she was a young child. She didn’t know OCD-specific treatment existed, or she says she would have pursued it before she was in her late 20s.

“OCD changed everything,” says Carol. “It kept me from pursuing careers like social work and elementary education because of contamination fears.  I thought OCD was my life and I didn’t know I could get better.”

According to the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF), OCD can start at any time from preschool to adulthood, affecting men, women, and children of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Obsession with contamination is common for people with OCD.

“When my OCD was at its worst, I remember lying in bed and planning how I was going to get to my dresser,” she says. “I was worried my floor was contaminated. It was a huge deal in the morning just to get from point A to point B.”

Carol was getting help from an OCD therapist and he recommended residential treatment at Rogers.

“Work was beginning to be impossible,” she says. “You can hide it for so long, but after a while, you can’t hide it anymore. I was late all the time and while I was at work, there were things I wouldn’t touch.”

Carol didn’t want to go to residential treatment at first, but says it really helped her. She says getting the right treatment for OCD, specifically exposure response prevention (ERP), was life changing.

“At Rogers, I continued the ERP work I was doing with my outpatient therapist, “she says. “Because you do it in a systematic way, it’s attainable and it doesn’t seem as scary when you’re working your way up to things that are higher on your hierarchy list.”

Fifteen years after completing residential treatment in Oconomowoc, Carol felt like she needed a “refresh” after the OCD was starting to affect her work and life, so she attended the OCD and Anxiety partial hospitalization program at Rogers in St. Paul.

Today, Carol is grateful for the treatment she’s received at Rogers.

“I was really worn out,” she says. “It was exhausting trying to explain things to people who didn’t know anything about OCD. Being in an environment where everyone ‘gets it’ made the process easier.”

She encourages anyone who is struggling to reach out for help.

“I’ve been able to have periods of joy in my life,” she says. “I think that having even brief periods of joy is what gave me the strength to continue with therapy. I wanted to experience more of life and was willing to do the work so that could happen.”

How Rogers can help

Rogers offers compassionate treatment in multiple levels of care for children, teens, and adults. Call 800-767-4411 for all three levels of care in Wisconsin or 888-927-2203 for intensive outpatient care at all other Rogers locations.

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Call 800-767-4411 or go to rogersbh.org to request a free screening.