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4 signs that you may be unintentionally enabling your partner’s OCD

I had always relied on my spouse’s support to manage my OCD, but lately, I had started to feel like her efforts were doing more harm than good. It wasn’t until one evening when we were getting ready for bed that my spouse suggested that she would stop helping me that I realized how much I had come to rely on her help.

As I got up to check the windows for the umpteenth time, my spouse calmly suggested that it was time for me to manage my OCD without her help. I was outraged and felt betrayed that my spouse would even suggest this. I told her that she didn’t understand how hard it was for me to manage my OCD, and that without her help, I would never feel safe or secure.

My spouse listened patiently as I ranted and raved, and then gently explained that she wanted to help me manage my OCD in a more effective way. She suggested that her reassurances and help in checking the windows were actually making things worse, as I was relying on her to feel safe and secure. It was a tough pill to swallow, but deep down, I knew that she was right.

– Ed

How do I know if I may be unintentionally enabling my partner’s OCD?

It can be challenging to know if you are enabling your partner’s OCD rather than helping them. Here are a few signs that you may be unintentionally enabling your partner’s OCD:

  1. Accommodating their compulsions: If you find yourself frequently accommodating your partner’s compulsions, such as helping them avoid triggers or engaging in their rituals, you may be unintentionally enabling their OCD.
  2. Avoiding triggers: If you find yourself avoiding situations or activities that may trigger your partner’s OCD, you may be enabling their condition by reinforcing the idea that these triggers are something to be feared.
  3. Reassuring them excessively: If you find yourself frequently reassuring your partner or offering them excessive reassurance, you may be reinforcing their anxiety and compulsive behavior.
  4. Taking on too much responsibility: If you find yourself taking on too much responsibility for your partner’s wellbeing or compulsions, you may be unintentionally enabling their OCD and preventing them from developing the skills they need to manage their symptoms.

If you suspect that you may be enabling your partner’s OCD, it is essential to seek the help of a mental health professional who specializes in OCD. They can help you develop a plan to support your partner while also helping them to learn how to manage their symptoms more effectively.

But what if I am just trying to help?

It’s understandable that you want to help your partner, and your intentions are likely coming from a place of love and care. However, it’s essential to recognize that some ways of helping can unintentionally enable your partner’s OCD and make it harder for them to manage their symptoms in the long run.

It’s important to remember that OCD is a complex and often chronic mental health condition, and managing symptoms can be challenging. Your partner needs the support of a mental health professional who specializes in OCD to develop a personalized treatment plan that works for them.

Your role as a partner is to support your loved one in seeking the help they need and providing encouragement and empathy along the way. You can educate yourself about OCD, learn more about evidence-based treatments, and help your partner access resources and support when they need it.

In short, the best way to help your partner is to be an ally in their journey towards recovery, and to support them in developing the skills they need to manage their OCD symptoms effectively.

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Anxiety Management: Quick Relief or Long Term Change?

From the perspective of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), seeking quick relief from anxiety may provide temporary relief, but it is not the most effective long-term solution. CBT focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to anxiety, and building coping skills to manage anxiety in the long-term.

CBT approaches anxiety through a combination of techniques such as identifying and challenging negative thought patterns, gradually facing feared situations through exposure therapy, and building coping skills such as relaxation techniques and mindfulness. These techniques can help individuals develop a more balanced and realistic perspective on their fears and anxiety, and build resilience to manage anxiety in the long-term.

While seeking quick relief from anxiety can be tempting, CBT suggests that the most effective approach to anxiety management is a combination of both short-term relief strategies and long-term approaches that address the root causes of anxiety.

Short term relief approach

Here are some self-care short-term routines that can help with anxiety:

  1. Deep breathing exercises: Taking slow, deep breaths can help regulate the body’s stress response and promote relaxation.
  2. Progressive muscle relaxation: This involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in the body to reduce physical tension and promote relaxation.
  3. Mindfulness meditation: Practicing mindfulness meditation can help individuals develop a more accepting and less reactive approach to anxiety.
  4. Exercise: Engaging in physical activity can help reduce physical tension, improve mood, and promote overall well-being.
  5. Spending time in nature: Spending time in nature can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
  6. Engaging in creative activities: Engaging in activities such as painting, writing, or playing music can help promote relaxation and provide a sense of accomplishment.
  7. Listening to music: Listening to calming music can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
  8. Taking a warm bath or shower: Taking a warm bath or shower can help promote relaxation and reduce physical tension.
  9. Engaging in aromatherapy: Using essential oils or other aromatherapy products can help promote relaxation and reduce stress.
  10. Engaging in self-compassion practices: Practicing self-compassion can help individuals develop a more accepting and less judgmental approach to themselves and their anxiety.

Why short-term anxiety relief can become ineffective over time?

While short-term approaches to anxiety management can provide immediate relief and help individuals feel better in the moment, there are some problematic aspects of relying solely on short-term strategies:

  1. Short-term strategies may not address the underlying causes of anxiety: Short-term strategies such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or mindfulness meditation can help individuals manage symptoms of anxiety in the moment, but they do not necessarily address the underlying causes of anxiety. Without addressing the underlying causes, anxiety may continue to be a problem in the long-term.
  2. Short-term strategies may not be sustainable: Short-term strategies such as exercise or spending time in nature can be effective for reducing anxiety in the short-term, but they may not be sustainable over the long-term. This can lead to a cycle of relying on short-term strategies that may not be effective in the long-term.
  3. Short-term strategies may not work for everyone: Not all short-term strategies work for everyone. Some individuals may find certain strategies more helpful than others, and some individuals may not find any short-term strategies helpful at all.
  4. Short-term strategies may not provide a lasting sense of relief: While short-term strategies can provide immediate relief, they may not provide a lasting sense of relief. Individuals may still experience anxiety even after using short-term strategies.

Overall, short-term strategies can be helpful in managing anxiety in the moment, but it is important to also address the underlying causes of anxiety and develop long-term coping strategies to effectively manage anxiety in the long-term.

Long term approach

There are several CBT strategies that can be used to change long-term cognitive approaches to anxiety:

  1. Cognitive restructuring: This involves identifying and challenging negative or irrational thoughts that contribute to anxiety. The goal is to replace these thoughts with more balanced and realistic ones.
  2. Exposure therapy: This involves gradually exposing oneself to feared situations or stimuli in a controlled and safe environment. Over time, this can help individuals build resilience and reduce anxiety.
  3. Mindfulness meditation: This involves practicing non-judgmental awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. It can help individuals develop a more accepting and less reactive approach to anxiety.
  4. Relaxation techniques: This involves practicing deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or other relaxation techniques to reduce physical symptoms of anxiety.
  5. Behavioral activation: This involves increasing engagement in positive activities and behaviors to counteract the negative impact of anxiety on mood and motivation.
  6. Graded task assignment: This involves breaking down larger goals or tasks into smaller, more manageable steps to reduce anxiety and increase feelings of mastery.
  7. Social support: This involves seeking out support from family, friends, or a therapist to help manage anxiety and provide a sense of connection and validation.

when should I expect results if I take the long term approach?

The timeline for seeing results from a long-term approach to managing anxiety can vary depending on the individual and the approach taken. It is important to keep in mind that managing anxiety is a process, and it can take time to see significant changes.

In general, it may take several weeks or months to see noticeable improvements in anxiety symptoms when using a long-term approach such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This is because CBT involves identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to anxiety, which takes time and practice.

It is also important to note that progress may not be linear, and there may be setbacks or periods of heightened anxiety throughout the process. This is normal and expected, and it is important to continue working on coping strategies and seeking support during these times.

Ultimately, the timeline for seeing results will depend on the individual, the severity of their anxiety, and the approach taken. It is important to be patient and persistent, and to continue working towards managing anxiety in the long-term.

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4 tips for people who just found out they have OCD

I was recently diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). For years, I had struggled with intrusive thoughts and the need to perform certain behaviors in order to feel “safe” or “in control.” I had no idea what was happening to me and it was a very confusing and distressing time.

But everything changed when I was finally diagnosed with OCD. It was such a relief to finally know what I was dealing with and to have a name for the struggles I had been facing. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I was finally able to start seeking help.

It’s been a few months now and while I still have a long way to go, I feel like I am making progress.

Joel L

It’s OK to feel overwhelmed

It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed when you are first learning about OCD and how to manage it.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that can be helpful for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

4 tips for you to begin with

Here are a few CBT tips that you might find helpful:

  1. Challenge your thoughts: One of the key components of CBT for OCD is challenging the thoughts and beliefs that contribute to obsessive-compulsive behaviors. This involves questioning the validity of your thoughts and looking for evidence that contradicts them.
  2. Practice relaxation techniques: It can be helpful to practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation, to help manage anxiety and stress.
  3. Use supportive self-talk: Try to replace negative or self-critical thoughts with more positive and realistic ones. This can help to reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem.
  4. Set goals and track your progress: Setting small, achievable goals can help you make progress and feel more in control of your OCD. It can also be helpful to track your progress to see how far you’ve come.

It’s important to remember that treating OCD takes time and consistent effort. It’s also a good idea to work with a mental health professional who is trained in CBT for OCD. They can provide additional support and guidance as you work to manage your symptoms.

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3 CBT tips to deal with self criticism and depression

Self-criticism has been found to be related to depression in a number of studies. One study found that people who were high in self-criticism were more likely to be depressed, even after controlling for other variables. Another study found that self-criticism was a significant predictor of depression, even when other variables were taken into account.

Depression and self-criticism

Self-criticism is thought to be related to depression for a number of reasons. First, self-criticism can lead to negative thinking, which can in turn lead to depression. Second, self-criticism can lead to low self-esteem, which is a risk factor for depression. Finally, self-criticism can lead to social isolation, which can also contribute to depression.

I am a student who suffers from self-criticism and depression. I am constantly critical of myself and my performance. I feel like I am not good enough and that I am not reaching my potential. I am always comparing myself to others and feeling like I am not measuring up. This has led to me feeling depressed and down on myself.
I used to be a straight-A student, but ever since I developed self-criticism, my grades have suffered. I’m constantly second-guessing myself and my abilities, which has made it very difficult to focus on my studies. I’ve even considered giving up on my degree altogether because I’m afraid I’ll never be good enough.

Sivan, US

Early studies by Aaron T. Beck

Dr. Aaron T. Beck is a world-renowned psychiatrist who has been instrumental in developing groundbreaking treatments for mental illness. His research has shown that self-criticism is a major contributor to depression, and that by helping people to learn to be more accepting of themselves, we can help them to overcome this debilitating condition.

Dr. Beck’s work has helped to change the way that mental health professionals view and treat depression, and his theories have been proven to be highly effective in treating this widespread condition.

Tip 1: alter your mindset

If you’re like most people, you’re probably your own worst critic. You constantly beat yourself up for not being good enough, for making mistakes, and for not reaching your goals. This can be a major source of stress and can prevent you from achieving your full potential.

Fortunately, there is a way to reduce self-criticism and become your own biggest supporter. It starts with changing your mindset. Instead of thinking of yourself as inadequate or unworthy, start thinking of yourself as capable and deserving. Focus on your strengths and accomplishments, and remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes. Be patient with yourself and give yourself credit for the progress you’re making.

As you start to think more positively about yourself, you’ll find it easier to let go of self-criticism. You’ll be more motivated to achieve your goals, and you’ll be more likely to reach your full potential. So start changing your mindset today, and see the difference it makes in your life.

Tip 2: learn new things

One way to reduce self-criticism is by learning and trying new things. This can help build self-confidence and remind you that you’re capable of more than you give yourself credit for.

When you’re open to new experiences, it’s easier to see your mistakes as learning opportunities instead of failures. It can also be helpful to give yourself permission to make mistakes and not be perfect all the time. This doesn’t mean that you should accept mediocrity, but rather that you should cut yourself some slack and remember that everyone makes mistakes.

Finally, try to focus on your positive qualities and accomplishments instead of dwelling on your flaws. This will help you feel good about yourself and remind you that you’re not as bad as you sometimes think you are.

Tip 3: being active

Another way to reduce self-criticism is to be active. When we’re active, we’re focused on what we’re doing and not on our thoughts.

Our thoughts can’t control us when we’re focused on something else. This doesn’t mean that we should be active all the time. We still need time to relax and reflect on our lives. However, being active can help us to reduce the amount of self-criticism we experience.

It can also help us to feel better about ourselves.

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Postpartum OCD: 3 common themes

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, images, or sensations (obsessions) that make them feel driven to do something (compulsions).

Postpartum OCD is a type of anxiety disorder that can develop after the birth of a baby. It is marked by obsessive and intrusive thoughts about the health and safety of the baby, as well as excessive worrying about the mother’s own health and well-being. Postpartum OCD can interfere with the bond between mother and child, and can make it difficult to care for the baby. Treatment for postpartum OCD usually involves cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication.

How does it feel to suffer from Postpartum OCD?

It took me a long time to accept that I have postpartum OCD. I didn’t want to believe that something was wrong with me, but I couldn’t deny that my thoughts and behaviors were increasingly becoming obsessional and intrusive.

I was constantly worried about my daughter’s safety and health, to the point where I was checking her breathing and heartbeat constantly. I was also afraid of harming her in some way, even though I would never dream of actually doing anything to hurt her. I was exhausted from lack of sleep and my anxiety was through the roof. I finally reached out for help and was diagnosed with postpartum OCD. I started medication and therapy and slowly but surely I started to feel better. It’s been a long road but I am grateful to be on the other side of it.

Paula F

After the baby is born, the new mother is going through a lot of changes. She is sleep deprived, hormonal, and may be experiencing some postpartum depression. On top of all of that, she now has a tiny human being that is completely dependent on her. It is a lot of responsibility and can be very overwhelming. For some women, this can trigger OCD symptoms.

This can obviously put a lot of stress on the relationship between the parent and the child. It can also affect other relationships within the family, as the OCD can become all-consuming.

When our son Ryan was born, my wife developed postpartum OCD. She was constantly worried about him becoming sick or being hurt. She would check on him dozens of times a night, to make sure he was breathing.

This type of OCD can be very debilitating for a young family. It can make it difficult to get out and do things as a family, and can cause a lot of stress and anxiety.


Postpartum OCD: common themes

Postpartum OCD can occur after the birth of a child. It is characterized by obsessions and/or compulsions related to the fear of harming oneself or one’s child. Common themes include fears of:

  • harming the baby through shaking, dropping, or accidentally stabbing them with a kitchen knife
  • contamination from germs or illness
  • losing control and hurting oneself or someone else

OCD can be a very disabling condition, causing significant impairment in work, school, and other areas of functioning. For women with postpartum OCD, the fear of harming their baby can be all-consuming, making it difficult to care for their child.

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5 tips for mental preparation to the holiday season

The holidays can be a tough time for people for a number of reasons. Studies have shown that the holidays can take a toll on people’s mental health, especially if they are struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions.

First, there is the pressure to spend time with family and friends, which can be difficult if relationships are strained.

There is also the pressure to buy gifts and make plans, which can be difficult for people who are struggling financially.

And finally, there is the pressure to be happy and festive, which can be difficult for people who are dealing with personal problems or who are simply feeling down. All of these pressures can lead to stress, anxiety, and even depression.

OCD and the holidays

OCD can be a mental challenge during the holiday season for several reasons. For one, the holiday season is generally a busy time of year, and people with OCD may have a hard time keeping up with their usual routines and rituals. This can lead to feeling anxious or stressed, which can exacerbate OCD symptoms.

Additionally, the holidays can be a triggering time for people with OCD due to all the holiday-related activities and events (e.g., gift shopping, decorating, attending parties).

This can make it difficult to stick to one’s treatment plan and can cause an increase in OCD symptoms. Finally, the holiday season is often a time when family and friends get together.

For people with OCD, this can be a triggering and stressful event. This is because they may feel like they have to “perform” for their loved ones and bePerfect. This can lead to a lot of anxiety and stress.

I have OCD and during the holiday season, I find it difficult to be around all the people and the hustle and bustle. I tend to want to stay in my own space and not be around others. I also have a hard time with all the food around and the temptation to eat everything. I try to stay on my diet and exercise routine, but it is hard with all the holiday parties and gatherings. I am also aware that I need to be careful of my spending during the holidays, as I can get carried away. Overall, I find the holiday season to be a difficult time for me, but I try to make the best of it and enjoy the time with my family and friends.

Paul M.

OCD and the holiday season: some tips

For people with OCD, the holiday season can be a difficult and stressful time. The holiday season can be a trigger for OCD thoughts and behaviors. OCD can make it hard to enjoy the holidays and can make it difficult to participate in holiday activities. Here are some tips for dealing with OCD during the holiday season:

  1. Be prepared for triggers. If you know that certain holiday activities or situations are triggers for your OCD, be prepared for them. Have a plan for how you will deal with the trigger.
  2. Stick to your treatment plan. Don’t let the holiday season throw off your OCD treatment plan. It’s important to stick to your treatment in order to keep your OCD under control.
  3. Reach out for support. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by OCD during the holiday season, reach out to a friend, family member, or therapist for support. Talking about your OCD can help you feel better and can help you find ways to cope with your symptoms.
  4. Take a break from holiday activities if needed. If you’re feeling really overwhelmed by OCD, it’s OK to take a break from holiday activities. Don’t feel like you have to force yourself to participate in holiday activities if it’s too difficult.
  5. Focus on the positive. The holiday season can be a difficult time for people with OCD, but it’s important to focus on the positive. Spend time with loved ones, enjoy your favorite holiday foods, and take some time to relax.

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    5 tips to reduce OCD checking

    It can be difficult for people with OCD to resist the urge to check for things. They may feel like they need to check things over and over again to make sure they are safe or to prevent something bad from happening. This can interfere with daily activities and make it hard for people to focus on other things.

    Opinions on the matter of checking are naturally varied. It is normal to check, and everyone does that. But at the same time, people dealing with OCD have a tendency to check excessively to deal with their anxiety. Various Reddit posts discuss this matter, and while the community has a plethora of ideas, not all of them are actually helpful as a long term solution.

    I’ve suffered from OCD for as long as I can remember. Checking has always been one of my main compulsions. I’ve spent hours every day checking locks, appliances, and making sure everything is in its place. It’s been a constant battle to try to stay ahead of the OCD and keep my anxiety at bay. Over the years, I’ve learned some techniques to help me cope with my OCD, but there are still times when it gets the best of me.

    A year ago, I started using a checking app on my phone to help me keep track of everything I need to check. While this has been helpful in some ways, it has also increased my OCD distress. I found myself constantly needing to check the app to make sure I haven’t missed anything. This has led to more anxiety and more checking. I was in a cycle of checking that is even harder to break than before.

    When I realized this was becoming a problem, I started working on finding a balance with the app and trying to use it as a tool to help me rather than something that exacerbates my OCD.

    Malina, Greece

    Checking and distress

    For people with OCD, checking can actually increase distress. This is because the act of checking can reinforce the person’s beliefs that something bad will happen if they don’t check. Checking can also lead to more anxiety and intrusive thoughts. It’s important for people with OCD to understand that checking won’t make things better and can actually make things worse. If you or someone you know has OCD, it’s important to seek out professional help.

    Tips for reducing checking

    1. Use a timer: Set a timer for a specific amount of time and only allow yourself to check once that time has passed.
    2. Distract yourself: Find something else to focus on that takes up your attention and time.
    3. Create a barrier: Put something physical in between you and what you’re trying not to check.
    4. Let go of perfection: Remind yourself that it’s okay if things aren’t perfect and that you can still function even if things aren’t exactly as you want them to be.
    5. Seek professional help: If you’re struggling to resist the urge to check, it may be helpful to talk to a therapist who can provide you with additional tools and support.

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    Treating your body as an object: What it means and 4 tips on how to fix it

    We all have bodies, and we all have to take care of them – but sometimes it can be easy to forget that our bodies are actually living, breathing things that deserve our attention and care. It can be easy to treat our bodies like they are objects, and when we do this, we can start to forget that they are actually part of us. This can lead to all sorts of problems, both mental and physical.

    I was always treating my body like it was an object. I would neglect it and not take care of it the way I should have.

    I would use it to get what I wanted from other people and then I would just discard it. I didn’t realize how much I was harming myself in the process.

    It wasn’t until I started working on myself and healing my relationship with my body that I realized how much I had been mistreating it.

    I started to think about my my body as a sacred vessel that deserved my love and care. I began to treat it with the respect it deserved and I started to see the benefits almost immediately.

    Diyane Blissong, UK

    If you find yourself treating your body like an object, it’s important to try and change your perception. Your body is not an object – it’s a part of you, and it deserves your care and attention. Here are some ways to start changing your perception of your body:

    1. Talk to your body. This may sound silly, but it can actually be really helpful. When you start to see your body as a living, breathing thing, it can be easier to start taking care of it. Talk to your body like you would talk to a friend. Thank it for all the things it does for you, and tell it that you’re sorry for the times when you haven’t treated it well.
    2. Listen to your body. Your body knows what it needs, so try to listen to it. If you’re feeling tired, maybe you need more sleep. If you’re feeling thirsty, maybe you need to drink more water. Pay attention to the signals your body is sending you, and act on them.
    3. Treat your body with care. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy all new clothes or anything like that. But it does mean that you should start treating your body with the respect it deserves. That means taking care of it – both physically and mentally. Exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, and get enough sleep. And, when you do something that you know is bad for your body, like smoking or drinking too much, try to cut back or stop altogether.
    4. Be proud of your body. This one can be tough, especially if you’re not used to it. But it’s important to remember that your body is amazing, and it deserves your pride. Be proud of what your body can do, and of the way it looks. Accept your flaws, and love yourself – body and soul.

    Changing your perception of your body can be tough, but it’s worth it. When you start to see your body as a living, breathing thing that deserves your care and attention, you’ll be on your way to a healthier, happier life.

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    I have doubts about my relationship. Is it normal?

    Doubt is a defensive mechanism. Its purpose is to warn and protect us from mistakes and danger. A good balance between confidence and doubt ensures we can operate in this world freely and happily, and maintain a healthy relationship.

    However, some people find it much more common to be unsure about things that for others can be more straightforward. For example, we can get preoccupied or obsessed about our partner, spouse or loved ones. This obsessive behaviour and thinking can prevent us from seeing clearly and making the right choices. Instead of protecting us, it can damage our relationships and our well being.

    How do I know if I have ROCD?

    Worrying, having doubts or even being preoccupied with a particular relationship does not automatically suggest a diagnosis of a relationship obsession.

    Like other OCD symptoms, relationship-related OCD symptoms require psychological intervention only when causing significant distress and are incapacitating. Assessing ROCD symptoms, however, is further complicated by the fact that such experiences, even if distressing, may still be a part of the normal course of a still developing relationship, mainly during the flirting and dating stages of a relationship, or reflect real life problems.

    ROCD and the OCD app

    When we developed the app, we decided to focus on beliefs as a catalyst for changing maladaptive behaviours. Beliefs are interesting: We often forget about them, but they sit there in the back of our minds and control us, making us respond in specific ways to various stimuli.

    Our app is focused on helping people improve their condition whether they have normal doubts or if they suffer from Relationship OCD.

    Research shows training for 3-5 minutes a day can benefit users by reducing symptoms and challenging beliefs that hinder judgement.