Having recently worked with several creative and dynamic people living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), I was lucky enough to glean some ideas from them about how utilizing online resources has helped them to ease the mental and emotional burdens of OCD. Here are some of the key ideas and recommendations that they offered.
People with anxiety can find help in “the cloud” in a variety of ways. One of these is finding a sense of connection and community through sharing experiences with other OCDers on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Sometimes, these online connections can turn into in person connections as people share updates about regional OCD treatment resources and other ideas such as local support groups and events. I should hasten to add that it is always important to be careful and confirm that the social media sites and other websites are legitimate, credible sources of information rather than platforms for un-empirically supported fringe treatment ideas or questionable, unaffiliated meet-ups. Of course, without ever having to have contact with anyone, reading OCD-related blogs can often provide someone a sense of community.
And speaking of blogs, self-expression in blogs can be a way that OCDers share their experiences and find meaning in their anxiety.
Other “cloud computing” resources include organizational help with online calenders like Google calendar, help with personal finances with personal finance website tools and using online bill pay and direct withdrawal. The idea with using cloud computing for daily organizing tasks is to “set it and forget it,” or put an organized system in place, then let it run without excessive anxiety or checking on it.
In other words, using online resources is a way of helping take back control from the OCD, turning away from fruitless striving for perfection and being willing to embrace the messy but effective way that these 21st Century tools can streamline life, leaving a lot more room for what matters.