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Harm OCD Exposures from Home

If you’re reading this, chances are you have OCD. Im sorry. I know how difficult it is to manage this disorder, and let’s be honest, shit has only gotten harder since late February. It’s been especially difficult for me because my therapy appointments went from twice a month to once a month, and I miss freaking socializing, the regular way, not to mention doing meaningful exposures become more difficult because I’m in the comfort of my own home. Practicing non-avoidant behavior, like exposures, help me keep my OCD afloat. But recently, I found myself googling: “exposure scripts for Harm OCD while at home”. No resources popped up. So I thought I’d give you creative ways to do harm exposures from home.

Here is a quick reminder of what exposures are and why they are Important, brought to you by our friend Nathan Peterson.

Ask yourself these questions before you start an exposure:

  1. Does this exposure scare me? (it should a little)

  2. Can I handle this exposure?

  3. Am I doing this exposure as means to feel reassurance?

Exposures should be scary, but tolerable, and they should NEVER be used to seek reassurance. Check in with yourself while doing exposures, see how high your anxiety levels are, allow yourself to step back if you need to.

Harm Exposures from Home

1. Movies and TV Shows

  • Black Mirror (TV Show): Season 4, Episode 3 - Crocodile

  • Sinister (Movie) - 2012

  • Black Swan (Movie) - 2010

  • Mother (Movie) - 2017

  • The Girl on The Train - 2016

  • Gone Girl - 2014

  • The Number 23 - 2007

2. Books

  • Murder in the Family by Burl Barer

  • If You Tell by Gregg Olson

  • My Dark Places by James Ellroy

  • Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime by Val McDermid

3. Scripts

  • Create a harm script. Grab a notebook and write your biggest fear down. Break the fear up by identifying the initial fear and what the fear will mean for you if it comes true.

  • For example: “I am washing dishes and my boyfriend is behind me cooking his chicken. As I finish washing the last bowl, an urge comes over me. I grab the knife closest to me and attack my boyfriend with it (initial fear). In a moment of clarity about what I just did, I take a step back and see my boyfriend bleeding and holding his leg. I imminently call 911, but my worst nightmare is coming true before my eyes. My boyfriend looks at me in shock. The ambulance gets there; my boyfriend is patched up and taken to the hospital. The police arrest me, my boyfriend leaves me, my family and friends cut all ties with me, and I'm forced to spend months in jail and/or in a mental hospital (what the fear means if it comes true).

You can Learn more from OCDLA about scripts and imaginal exposures here.

What exposures are you doing while at home?

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