Will It Ever Go Away?

As you've read, OCD doesn't really go away (at least, as of now, for the general population; some people with advanced or severely resistant OCD have benefited from brain surgery). But that's the bad news. Using the methods you've learned so far, you should be able to keep your OCD manageable indefinitely. So what if it isn't technically “cured”? A little of it will probably always be with you. But it will be more like a picture on the wall than the king of your house.

Hoping the Worst Is Behind You

It's unlikely that you'll go from fearful shut-in to devil-may-care gadabout (although you might: Lucinda Bassett apparently went from severe anxiety sufferer to world traveler, lecturer, and director of a respected anxiety treatment program, so you never know). The point is that, while your OCD probably won't vanish, your worst moments with it may just become unhappy memories.

If you're using, or have successfully used, CBT, medication, stress-reduction techniques, and other strategies you've read about in this book, you should enjoy enough of a reduction in your OCD symptoms that they no longer rule over you and make all the decisions in your life. Good for you!

Can Your OCD Actually Morph?

OCD, sadly, can change forms. You may find that, as you begin to vanquish the kind you have, a new obsession (or more than one obsession) pops up to take its place. That can be discouraging, but don't despair. The new obsessions and compulsions generally won't be as robust as their older counterparts because they haven't had time to dig in and grow strong. Think of them as tiny weeds with small root systems. Then kill 'em. Don't waste any time. Treat any new worries as you did your old ones: Seek help and don't give in to them. You don't play that anymore.

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