The OCD Monster

Helping children with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Springtime Renewal

Comfort Zones are most often expanded through discomfort.

For many, Spring is a time for renewal and revitalization. Just as in nature, rebirth and renewal are a standard part of life; we all can benefit from this period of new growth. In fact, the Renewed Freedom Center was created specifically with this intention in mind… to help anxiety sufferers experience relief and renewed freedom.

I consider myself a freedom connoisseur. After having lived many years as a prisoner to OCD and panic attacks, freedom from anxiety is certainly not something I take for granted. And I’m constantly reminded of that when anxiety sufferers share their own personal stories with me. It may surprise you to learn that anxiety disorders are the number one mental health problem in nearly every country and affect over 28% of Americans alone. Sadly, this sobering fact reveals that many individuals all over the world struggle with the crippling effects of anxiety, and experience little, if any, relief. The good news is that you don’t have to suffer from debilitating anxiety, because evidence-based treatment exists. It’s called Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT), and more specifically: Exposure Therapy.

Fear and anxiety serve as our survival mechanism when applied appropriately, because they keep us away from predators in our environment. However, more often than not, we misperceive the hazards of today’s world, and end up avoiding situations that pose no real danger at all. Unfortunately, this pattern of avoidance gives us a false sense of safety, and instead, keeps us in a prison of fear. If you want freedom from anxiety, you’ve got to practice “exposing” yourself to the fear itself… literally.

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No other therapies that exist today will give you the lasting benefits of relief as prolonged and repeated exposures. Not only has exposure therapy been extensively researched for over 30 years demonstrating effective results, it’s actually a very logical approach. Just think about it. The more you avoid, the more power you bestow to the fear; the more you confront, the less substantial the fear becomes. As a recent fortune cookie read:

“Comfort Zones are most often expanded through discomfort.”

Although Exposure Therapy may seem daunting at first, especially when we’ve spent most of our lives avoiding that which we fear, it does get easier with concerted effort over time. Truthfully, nothing worth having is ever easy to come by. Freedom from fear can certainly be worth that extra effort. With guided exposures tailored to your specific needs, you too can be on your way to Renewed Freedom. 

Jenny C. Yip, Psy.D., is the Executive Director of the Renewed Freedom Center and has fought her own personal battle with OCD.


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