Stuck in negative self-talk: how Rogers helped Lily rise above OCD and anxiety

Posted on 04/12/22 09:56:am
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Lily says she struggled with anxiety her entire life and started seeing a therapist when she was 10. She says her anxiety got increasingly worse late in middle school and into her high school years.

“By my sophomore year, I had a really hard time going to school or leaving the house in general,” Lily says. “I had a lot of panic attacks. I’m naturally outgoing, but I had social and health anxiety, like fear of vomiting. I would get nauseous when I would become anxious.”

Lily says anxiety runs in her family. Her mom suspected she had an anxiety disorder, so she did her research and found Rogers. Lily started OCD and Anxiety Center adolescent residential care in 2011 and turned 16 while she was in treatment for nearly three months.

How evidence-based care provides life-changing skills

“The key for me was figuring out the root of my anxiety,” she says. “Through cognitive behavioral therapy and talk therapy, I realized I had a negative self-image and was constantly comparing myself to other people. I had no idea that was happening.”

Keeping track of her anxiety helped Lily notice the negative thought patterns.

“We had to mark each time we had an anxious thought and each time we resisted it,” she explains. “I realized every thought in my brain was comparing myself to others. Becoming aware of that has stuck with me. Now when I compare myself to other people, which isn’t more than the average person, I have the perspective of my time at Rogers to understand how that can contribute to anxiety and negative self-image. I can take myself out of that moment more easily than I could before. “

Lily says exposure and response therapy also helped her make positive changes. 

“I used to be a people pleaser. I could never say no because it gave me so much anxiety if I wasn’t making someone happy,” she says. “I couldn’t say thank you, please, or I’m sorry the entire time I was at Rogers. I also had to look at pictures of myself. The exposures were really motivating for me.”

As Lily reflects on her time at Rogers, she shares encouraging words for anyone struggling with OCD and anxiety and considering treatment.

“I made some really great friends. We were there to support each other, and I knew they weren’t going to judge me,” she says. “It’s going to be hard work. It sounds cliché, but giving it your all is so important. I don’t know if you could be where I am 10 years out without putting in the work.” 

How Rogers can help

If you do not feel you need treatment right away, but may be concerned, we offer online quizzes to possibly provide some relief. While these quizzes do not provide a diagnosis, it could be the first step in finding the treatment you may need. Take our online Anxiety or OCD quizzes today.

If you or someone you love needs help, Rogers offers compassionate, specialized care for children, adolescents, and adults. For a free, confidential screening:


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