Looking at OCD with humour

Isabella Fels
I suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder. It means that I worry a lot. I worry I will lose my home and precious possessions in a huge fire or robbery. I also worry that if I don't vacuum enough I will find a mouse in my home. But recently I have been learning to try and use humour to combat my worries and fears. In a group therapy session I learn to take the excessive worry and disaster stories to such an extreme that they become funny. In a strange sort of way I can have a laugh and hope to beat the obsessive compulsive disorder.
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Isabella Fels on 03/11/2014
A burned roof and chimney.
burnt roof

I now imagine returning home to find a mere cinder of a place.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is with me all the time. From the moment I wake up through to the end of the day, it manifests its ugly head and nags at me constantly. All sorts of worrying thoughts go through my mind, particularly when getting ready to leave the house. Did I leave the heater on? Did I forget to close all the windows? Worst of all did I forget to lock the front door?

Recently I have been using humour to help me get past these worries. Funnily enough by taking the worst possible outcome to its highest level of humorous chaos I can see how ridiculous and even irrational I am getting.

I have always worried about burning my house down, being burgled, attracting ants and even a rodent because I haven't vacuumed.

I now imagine returning home to find a mere cinder of a place or that all my sexy clothes have been taken by some male robber for his special girlfriend. I laugh that I will attract an ant colony or an entire plague of rats because I haven't vacuumed the crumbs from the floor.

The OCD group

I didn't always laugh at my OCD. Often I would end up in tears because I was a total perfectionist and worry wart. However, by attending a wonderful OCD group with many fellow sufferers we were trained to add humour and make light of our OCD.

The horror stories were such that in a non-malicious way we would often burst out laughing as a group. Sharing and fully blowing up our horror stories was better than going to the comedy festival. Some of my own particular wild imaginings were wearing only a fig leaf in public or being up for hundreds of dollars because I caused some damage at an expensive shop.

Other members also had similar funny stories such as being left only wearing the clothes on their back and losing their whole identity. The facilitator also joined in the making up and taking of the horror stories to their wildest extreme.

This method of exaggerating and exacerbating the OCD is found to often be a useful tool in treating OCD. In many ways we go as far as we can go to the point of no return. Through this funnily enough we can start all over again and have a clean slate with our OCD.

Helping myself

Even though OCD is no picnic I can really try and leave all my worries behind through this powerful method of overkill. The stories can be so extreme that I come crashing back down to earth again and I see how incredibly bizarre and nonsensical I am getting.

I can also share and in many ways have a good time with others, with laughter as the best medicine. This innovative method has greatly helped me and some other fellow sufferers manage and even beat the OCD.

I now take more risks and stop the checking and the scanning. And I can now get out of the house much quicker.

Readers comments (2)

Great account of your O.C.D Isabella and wonderful stories.This condition is serious when fears take over.Good to see you have made a light heartened assumption of your condition.Good for you!

Oh dear! This made me laugh as last year, when I had been
really crook, I hadn't vacumned for a while. When I came out
of hospital, I had home help for a month. After the lass had
vacumned my unit on day, she offered to empty out the dust bag;
but I did it and found a mouse had nested in the bag to have
her babies.

They had all survived the experience and seemed
no more perturbed than folks who have just stepped off a


I vacumn every week now after checking the dust bag

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