Coping With OCD In COVID: Handling a Disorder in Pandemic

This new decade barged in like a wolf, silent, fierce, and unexpected. The world witnessed a deadly pandemic, which no one was prepared for. It is no secret that apart from the fear of this virus, these times have also been bombarded with tons of mental health issues. OCD is one of them. So what is OCD? And why is it an issue? Well, let’s try to understand it in simpler terms.

What is OCD?: A Basic Understanding

OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a type of disorder that causes a person to become persistent about any particular thought or action to the point of anxiety. India sees more than 1 million cases of OCD every year. It could be regarding anything such as

  • Washing hands constantly

  • Constant Checking

  • Anxious Thoughts

  • Panic Buying, Hoarding

In a general perspective, cleanliness and awareness are positive signs, however by going by that popular saying excess of anything is bad, and so is the case with cleanliness. When this fear of contamination becomes severe to the point of anxiety it becomes OCD.

Why is it important to cope with OCD during COVID-19?

OCD is not developed in a day or two, it takes a longer time, and it is a chronic disorder. It affects the person in such a way that they might even start to have a fear of death if that particular thing is not done. Most of the time things such as eating disorders and low self-esteem.

During this time of the pandemic, even a normal person is subjected to constant cleanliness and fear of contamination, so it is quite easy to imagine the horrific state a person suffering from OCD will be in. The precautions for COVID-19 such as constant washing of hands or the habit of staying spotless after every outdoor activity are turning out to be the driving factors for OCD.

Adding to that, lockdown and restriction on several physical activities have also resulted in a negative impact on mental health for everyone, and for most of the people suffering from OCD, their coping techniques are also restricted.

How to deal with OCD during COVID-19?

So now comes the question, what should one do to cope with this condition. OCD can be minimized or controlled with some precautions and therapy. Some of the helpful tips could be:

Developing a Proper Habit

OCD is a disorder, this means that any kind of stress can worsen the situation. So to avoid that one must avoid an unhealthy lifestyle. Hence, a proper habit of sleeping and eating can help in avoiding any extra and negative thoughts.

Proper Communication

Proper communication is not about speaking, its about a proper talk/conversation with other person. Just accepting this disorder and communicating with your close ones about the experiences can help you not to overthink about this disorder.

Not taking stress about hygiene, although you should keep hygiene but should not obsess over it

We get it hygiene is important especially during these times. However, do not obsses over think, do not think about hygiene as your key to survival. Try to maintain a limit to your actions.

Shifting your Attention

Try not to pay much attention to your habit of OCD. Shift your attention to something else such as indulging in physical activities such as sports. Do things that will keep your focus away from your OCD.

These are a few things that help a person cope with this disorder. Remember the end of the day this pandemic is also just a phase and we will get over it, all we have to do is keep yourselves motivated and fight this phase with mental strength.

This post is part of the #healthvoyage weekly blog series under Project Niramaya.

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