A guided self-directed program might be useful if you cannot find a qualified behavioral therapist in your area or if you or your insurance cannot pay for one. (Or, indeed, if you do not have health insurance.) However, be aware that self-directed therapy comes with potential pitfalls, especially where a condition like OCD is concerned.

Why? Unlike in the case of, say, smoking, you probably hold onto a small belief that your OC behaviors are serving you in some way by keeping you safe from harm and anxiety. While a habit like smoking presents the obstacle of physical dependence, you may find that you are emotionally attached to your obsessive ideas.

If you choose the self-help route, you can find books and other programs, such as DVD or video courses. A DVD or video program may prove easier to follow than a written course. However, workbooks may provide a better way to record your progress.

Regardless of the treatment method you choose, make sure to enlist the help of your “community” — friends, significant others, and so on.


Researchers at the University of Pisa in Italy believe that they have discovered a biological similarity between OCD and infatuation! Preliminary research found repetitive thoughts and lower-than-normal serotonin levels in both people with OCD and those in the early stages of romantic love.

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