Episode 360: Rebekah Clark, 20+ Year Journey with OCD

Listen, Learn & Love Hosted by Richard Ostler show

Summary: My friend Rebekah Clark (married mother of 3) shares her journey with OCD. Rebekah, in her 30’s, has been walking this road since age 6. Rebekah talks about the many OCDs that are or have been part of her life including checking, scrupulosity, relationship and "just right" OCD. She shares learning about these OCDs, the impact in her life, and working with a therapist to solve them. Rebekah also talks her husband’s wonderful support and how she now looks at her emotional health challenges as a “super power” to connect with and help others. If you’d like to reach Rebekah, please e-mail her at rebekahdsc@yahoo.com or on FB at https://www.facebook.com/rebekah.d.clark Thank you Rebekah for being on the podcast. You are brave, strong and courageous. Thank you for sharing your story. It will help so many! Addendum to the episode from Rebekah: I realized that I should have explained that the "no reassurance thing" only applies in a situation where a trained therapist is helping the patient through ERP on that particular topic. In my case when I was eleven and struggling with scrupulosity I think my Mom probably did the right thing to reassure me because we were not yet working with a therapist. Not reassuring causes a HUGE increase in anxiety so understanding when and how to go about that would really need to be led by a therapist. And ERP tackles one compulsion at a time, starting with the easier ones and moving up so the therapist might have a family member stop reassuring on one subject but continue as normal on another subject. Also, it would really be best if the person with OCD knew in advance that the family member wouldn't be reassuring them on that topic. And I wish I had said it a little differently on the podcast - instead of saying, "You'll just have to learn to live with the uncertainty," you can say, "I love you so much and you know I can't answer that question but I'm right here with you." So even when the person with OCD is working on ERP and you can't reassure them of a specific thing, you can still reassure them of your love and you can still reassure them that you understand what they are doing is extremely difficult and brave. And that is helpful reassurance as they tackle this very difficult task of fighting the OCD.