All posts by Gregory Sansone

Is Your Child Showing Signs of OCD?

child with ocdMany times when we think of someone who has OCD, we think of an adult or even a young teen, but rarely a child; however, one in 200 children suffers from OCD. Keep in mind that all children have fears, worries, or negative thoughts at times. If your child continues to have these negative thoughts, which lead to compulsive behavior, they could be showing signs of OCD.

Some obsessive thoughts that happen with children suffering from OCD include:

  • Excessive preoccupation of germs, dirt, or illness
  • Repeatedly expressing their fears and doubts (i.e. if the stove is turned off)
  • Intrusive thoughts about a parent getting hurt
  • Unreasonable attention to detail
  • Excessive worrying about something bad happening such as a car accident or home intruder

Some examples of compulsive behaviors in children can be:

  • Excessive hand washing
  • Checking to make sure items are turned off or doors are locked
  • Excessive counting and recounting
  • Rigidly following rules set by themselves such as arranging items or toys in a particular way and getting upset when that alignment or arrangement is disturbed
  • Repeating words, numbers, or sounds to him or herself

Treatment for children with OCD can be accomplished in many ways. I have suffered from OCD for 33 years and have learned to overcome the obstacles and fears that OCD has added to my life. I have not only helped numerous children with their symptoms but also the parents of these children. It’s important to know as a parent of a child with OCD that we empower them to overcome their symptoms and not enable them to succumb to their fears and anxiety brought on by OCD.

If your child is showing signs of OCD or has been diagnosed with OCD, contact me today at (636) 236-2267. Together we can conquer this debilitating disorder and restore your child’s confidence by helping break the cycle of OCD!

Dream into Reality

Untitled design

A goal is a dream with a deadline.  Figure out what your dream is…….this is the only life you have to live so what the hell.  Don’t think small or cut yourself short like we always tend to do. Link up inside yourself with what is important to YOU and only you.  This is 100% your life.  You have the right.  That’s not selfish.  It is self  growth.  Doesn’t it make sense to take your life and try to make it the very best, productive , fulfilled, and powerful you possibly can?  So figure out your ultimate dream, not whether you think you can attain it or not.  Just have some guts, figure it out, and write it down.  Doing just that is very hard to do……really hard.  I haven’t done it yet.  I always keep putting it off but I will do it today.  After you write it down, attach a deadline to it.  I know this may feel fake and  like make-believe but just try it anyway.  We don’t know everything we think we do.  Then work backwards.  If your deadline is 3 years to attain it then write down where you would expect to be in 2.5 years in your dream becoming real.  Then do the same thing with 2 years, 1.5, 1, 6 months, 3 months, 2, and 1 for example.  Then you know where to start and what to do if you want to reach that 1 month deadline and so forth.  Go for it.  Try it.  There’s nothing to lose only a great life by not doing it.  If a bunch of questions come up about how and reasons why it won’t work, then know that that is your friend who follows you around all the time……fear.  Analyzing why this won’t work or improve your life is just that.  We have no idea unless we try, no matter what our thoughts tell us ahead of time.  Don’t kid yourself, its fear.  I know this to be the case with myself.  Action trumps fear and thinking, but it does require movement as opposed to comfortable, relaxed, safe, cynical analysis.  That whole “play it safe easy way route” will continue to give us the mediocre, unfulfilled life it always gives.   If you aren’t up for doing it, at least don’t give those who are a hard time about it.  If you are up for doing it, nice job and let’s go.  Everything we want is always on the other side of fear.  Action gets us there.

6 Ways You Can Help Someone Who Is Suffering From Depression

depression helpIt can be tough to watch someone you care about suffer from depression. You will probably struggle with helplessness and frustration as you search for ways to help your loved one in any way you can. Many times, too, a person who has depression is looking for help of some sort but isn’t sure where or how to start.

Here are 6 ways you can give even just a little bit of help to that person in your life.

*Be a good listener. If your loved one wants to talk about what’s bothering them, be attentive and caring. Remember that he or she might not be speaking well right now and might even speak more slowly and less clearly. Just do what you can to be patient and don’t interrupt.

*Take care of the pesky little tasks that need to be done around the home. Do the laundry, wash the dishes, keep things tidy, and make sure that the dog or cat is fed as well. Most importantly, do these things with love – never complain in front of the depressed person. It will only make him or her feel worse.

*Always keep in mind that the depressed person is not being lazy. Remember a time when you felt so sick that you could barely get yourself to get up to go to the bathroom. That’s what depression feels like, and it’s constant. Keep this in mind when you’re trying to help that person in your life.

*Depression is a hard, sometimes impossible battle to fight alone. Encourage this person to receive professional help for their depression if he or she hasn’t received any yet. If treatment has already begun, do what you can to ensure that he or she is keeping doctor appointments and doing whatever the doctor says.

*If the depressed person begins to talk about self-harm, take it seriously. Call the doctor for advice on what to do.

*Finally, remember to take care of yourself in the process. Helping someone deal with depression can be taxing. Remember that your feelings of anger, frustration, and helplessness are valid. Talk to someone about it, and make sure that you do things that make you happy as well.

Like I said before, depression can be an incredibly difficult battle, especially if you attempt to go it alone. The great thing is that you don’t have to! Join us for one or both of our two support groups in St. Louis. Contact me at (636) 236-2267 for more information!

Strength In Weakness

When we feel our absolute worst is when our greatest opportunity is for growth. When you are in this state don’t fight it or feel bad about it but do some small productive action. When we do do this we send a powerful message to our brain that our moods and feelings are not in charge…the best part of who we are is. When this is done on a repeated basis what happens?  What would be different about your life if you actually lived like this?

Act As If


Act As If

If your ultimate goal or dream came true how would YOU be different?  Would anything be different about your energy level, your sense of happiness, your attitude, your outlook on life and others? The way you would think, the way you would carry yourself, the way you would interact with others, your confidence level?  Would you still have the same worries and concerns?  So, “act as if.”  Act as if you have already arrived.  Be that person now and you will arrive sooner because you are being that now and how we “be” determines what we get.  Typical thinking has it backwards.  Typical thinking thinks the order is:  Have, Do, Be.  How backward that is.  The most powerful and effective order is:  Be, Do, Have.  By being that which we want, life will change for us and others around us… which will then create more opportunities for us to do that which will cause us to have more of what we powerfully want.  As a bonus, by acting as if we have already arrived we live a life of purpose, power, and happiness the moment we choose to begin.  Why not begin now?  Is there anything to lose?  Is there anything to be gained?

What You Need to Know about Children with OCD

All children have different fears, worries, and doubts, but children with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are unable to stop these thoughts or worries. This then compels them to carry out certain behaviors over and over again. For children with OCD, it may be more difficult for them to explain why they feel worry or doubt and why they carry out ritualistic behaviors.

It is important to know and always keep in mind that OCD is never a child’s fault. One way to help the child is to make sure that they receive treatment. Treatment is not only important for the child suffering from OCD but also for the parents to understand how they need to interact with their child to help and empower their child and not enable his or her behaviors.

Each child is different and will improve at different rates, so please don’t compare your child’s progress with another’s child or even to how your child was doing the day before. There will always be days that seem better or worse than others. Just stay positive and recognize any improvement that they display with praise and positive reinforcement.

It is also important to help keep routines for your child and also for your family. Inform other family members and people close to the child so they can be aware of routines and different strategies or techniques that should be used to help your child progress with his or her treatment. Don’t let OCD control the family or household! Giving in to OCD worries or rituals will not help them go away; in fact, in most cases, it only makes the OCD worse.

Having a child who is suffering from OCD is never easy, but you CAN help your child recover! Stay strong and never give up!


MOVE……..unless you are dead.  Otherwise, no excuse.  You don’t have to wait until you are in a good mood before you move.  You don’t have to feel good about moving before you move.  You don’t even have to know what you are gonna do before you move to move.  All you have to do is move.  Yes, even when you are angry, vulnerable, weak, lost, confused, down, or 100% non motivated.  None of those things are required to move.  To move you only have to what?  And then see what goes from there.


When you are thinking ask yourself if it is serving you.  If it isn’t consider pure action instead in the absence of intentional thought.  Try not thinking and only doing the very next thing there is to do only.  Work at it.  There is nothing wrong with thinking but it sure would be nice to not have to.  Try more unabated action instead.


Do thoughts have to stop our forward momentum?  Thoughts are thoughts.  Actions are actions. Why do intrusive, negative thoughts or worries have to directly affect what we do?  Do we all of the sudden become physically paralyzed when our brain is having a negative thought?  Experiment and see if you can move  and go forward regardless of what is going on in your head.  See if you can separate the 2.  How cool would it be to be able to move, do, and live regardless of what is going on upstairs even if the thought is or seems relevant.  You talk about being free!!


Fall in love with no resistance to what is and watch what happens.  This isn’t to imply that you never do anything about it.

Move Toward the Roar!

Take a moment to think about all of the good things in your life – your friends, your family, your favorite foods, drinks, and activities. Does thinking about these things fill you up with joy? Of course! You’re probably even thinking of calling up your friends to see if they want to do some of your favorite activities or if they want to go eat at your favorite restaurant together.

Now think about some of the things that scare you, some of your greatest fears. How do you feel thinking about these things? Anxious, right? It’s natural to feel fear when it comes to the things that scare us the most, whether it’s heights, snakes, public speaking, or any other thing under the sun. It’s also natural to want to stop thinking about these things as well, to retreat and seek shelter.

Oddly enough, however, when it comes to overcoming your fears, the safest place for you to be is closest to the things that scare you!

Equate facing your fear with paddling out to the middle of one of the Great Lakes or an ocean. When you start at the shoreline, the waves undulate and do their best to force you back. It takes quite a bit of force, patience, determination, and courage to keep pushing past the waves and currents and out to open water. Once you get there, though, you’ll find that the deep waters are calm.

Getting over our fears is very similar to the scenario above. It’s very hard work, and the waves (your fears) will work to push you back into submissiveness. Of course, you can let them, but it will only cause your victory over your fears to be delayed and harder to obtain each time you let the fear win. Moving toward the roar (your fear) won’t come naturally – after all, you’re essentially retraining the fight or flight response within yourself. Trust me when I say that it is absolutely worth the battle!

Look your fear directly in the eye and don’t back down, no matter what. No matter how afraid or tired you feel, choose to go forward and face it. I promise, your fears will shrink if you race toward them. Sure, the task of provoking your symptoms requires courage, but you’re much stronger than you think. Even if you’re afraid, it’s okay – be afraid and keep running toward your fear anyway. Choose to do the work now and the benefits of freedom are soon to follow.

Remember, the deepest part of the waters – the closest you are to your fears – is the scariest place, but it really is the calmest. Be brave and move into the deep waters. See what happens. You won’t be disappointed.

OCD Recovery Is Achieved By Pursuing and Doing the Opposite

If you suffer from OCD – that is, obsessive compulsive disorder – you know how your anxious thoughts and worries make you feel powerless and hold you captive. You’ve probably searched for a way to get permanent relief. You know (or think you know) that obeying your compulsions will help you make the anxiety “go away,” but you find that you will just suffer through the whole ordeal once that unwanted thought comes back into your head.

Put this way, OCD sounds like a terrifying disorder that absolutely binds its “victims” and coaxes them into believing that those intrusive, repetitive thoughts will only go away IF you obey your compulsions, that you will never rid yourself of the disorder itself. I am telling you here and now, that is a bold-faced lie, and the sooner you move onto facing your OCD head-on, the faster you will get your life back.

Can you recover from OCD? Absolutely, you can. The trick to doing so is counter-intuitive, though. Instead of searching for the relief you desperately seek, you must search out resilience. Believe me, by seeking out resilience, relief will find you.

How is this done, though? By Exposure Response Prevent (ERP or simply put, exposure), you will come face-to-face with your fears until what scares you the most no longer has a hold on you. Yes, it sounds like exhausting work, but it is so worth it because once you accomplish it, you’re free. Start by taking the fear that bothers you and purposely bringing it to your awareness. Your goal is to make yourself anxious so that you can prove to your brain that the obsession is irrelevant and that you’re done running away. You’ll feel so much empowerment and joy after it’s all over!

You might be thinking, “Really? I have to MAKE myself afraid in order to interrupt the OCD cycle?” The answer is yes, you really do need to. In fact, the safest place is moving toward the fear. When you try to chase it out of your head, you’re doing nothing but guaranteeing its return. On the other hand, when you move toward it, feel it, and embrace it on purpose, you have diminished the power that the obsession holds over you, and it will leave on its own. It’s all about scaring yourself fearless!

As soon as the exposure is over, go on with your life – no matter how weird or lousy you feel. It will give you strength. Sometimes, too, things will happen to you in the middle of your day that make you anxious. When and if this happens, just remember that you’re okay and that it’s another opportunity to embrace the anxiety you feel. Hold onto those feelings. You’ll find that you strip them of their power the more you show your brave face and become a master of your destiny instead of a “victim” of a disorder.

Remember, when you feel like quitting, when you feel like the exposure is way too much for you to handle, don’t stop. You are SO CLOSE to freeing yourself from the anxiety and making a breakthrough. Stay strong. Hold on. Remember always, you are the closest to your freedom when you are the most afraid. Just hang on!

Through your journey with OCD, don’t go it all alone. Do your exposures, go to support groups, and keep trying! You can also find me on my website at Get on my mailing list, get in touch with me, and keep making those exposures your top priority in your life. Then will you discover the road to overcoming OCD and regaining the freedom that is yours and yours alone!


My outlook must be bigger and stronger than my fear.

Live free of mental fear and emotional fear that holds us back.

Go unready.

You must believe in the treatment.

Refuse to feed OCD anymore – starve it!

“If I imagine something inappropriate then that means I’m a bad person and I can’t handle that!”….versus “If I imagine something inappropriate then I’ll feel uncertain and anxious. And I CAN handle that.”

Anxious? Here is Help


Be brave, courageous. Let go of being in control and worrying about losing that edge. And go on anyway. That’s courage.

Try to sit with your anxiety. It’s the trying that’s important. The invasive thoughts will occur. Just keep trying to refocus on what you are reading, watching on TV, etc.

You will find out that you can go on in the face of the anxiety, that you will not “Lose your mind.”

Call fear and OCD’s bluff and discover if what you fear is true. Don’t believe anything. Don’t believe your thoughts. Find out if it is true through actions. No thoughts. Fear hates discovery and choice because it unveils the empty threat.

Anything you can do to interrupt the loop will start to create new neural pathways. This is when the hard-wiring that has been going on, because of the anxiety, will begin to stop.

3 Ways to Deal with Anxiety

1) Negative: being intolerant, looking to escape, avoiding, relief seeking

2) Neutral: Ignore, going on with things without responding to the anxiety, just shifting focus

3) Positive: Choose to make space for it to be there. Acknowledge its presence and allow it to remind you as often as need be that it is still there and then do a healthy behavior anyway.



If Laziness did not exist,

what would I do today?

This Week’s Insights


The content of your obsession is irrelevant.

Go hard towards uncertainty with courage and wanting it. Don’t protect. Attack OCD’s territory.

Refuse to be comfortable or certain.

Accept and be willing to be influenced by the moment, environment, discomfort/pain.

Be awkward, clumsy, and uncertain. Our brains have to deal with variability: in environment, in movement, in life.

What to Do When You Feel Panicky

(Objectify, quantify, assess, & duration)

1) Describe the sensation/experience. What do you feel? – Heart, lungs, muscles,… which muscles feel tense? Create an analogy, i.e. ‘my stomach feels like someone is twisting a towel’, ‘the pain in my head feels like someone is driving a spike through it.’

2) Measure the intensity on a 1-10 scale. Rate the level of anxiety.

3) Honestly ask yourself, can I stand this?…do I have room in my life to experience this right now. Recognize your choices. Willingly enduring the anxiety without bailing out or bailing out and seeking relief.

4) If you decide to endure it, pick a period of time like 10 minutes. If you choose not to endure the feeling, try breath exercises or muscle relaxation or focus attention on an object outside of your body. If it’s not worth the struggle to be tolerant, bail out anyway. That is still available to you.

5) Challenge the experience to get worse. Dare the anxiety to increase.


If any of you try this, I’d like to hear how it worked or didn’t work for you.Let me know.

Insights into Fighting OCD

“When you’re going through hell, keep moving.”

Before doing ERP – alter your mindset by ‘wanting anxiety’ and then act on that frame of reference as you engage in that feared situation.

Say to yourself “I can tolerate this happening. I want this to happen, I choose it – I really want it to keep happening – I win if it keeps happening!”

My job is to provoke more doubt, anxiety, and uncertainty than I think I can tolerate.

Medication As A Crutch?

I used to think if I took medicine for my obsessions, compulsions, and depression that I was weak or cheating. “I should be enough of a man to handle my problems and not need medicine,” I would think.

How long would it take me to realize that willpower pales in comparison to intelligence? If you’re trying to dig yourself out of a problem and have a lot of willpower, that is good. It is not good when your efforts to dig yourself out only make you worse. In this example it is obvious that you won’t succeed by willpower alone. Rather, it takes intelligence to step back and look at your situation. If you realize you aren’t getting any better by your present course of action, then you need a new course. It is even more admirable and noble to ask other’s opinions, that you respect, as to what their opinion is regarding the course of action you have chosen for your recovery. At least consider what those who truly love you have to say. You don’t have to do it, but at least seriously consider what they have to say. What do you value more, intelligence or willpower?

I value both, but not one without the other. Mules have willpower. Wise people have intelligence which they can use to figure out the best course of action (based on objective data not ego or shame or embarrassment) and they then use that awesome willpower to implement that plan to success.

The real crutch for those of us who have OCD and/or depression is the easy, comfortable, powerless choices we make in response to our condition. Some of those choices can be avoiding, sleeping,isolating, compulsing, controlling, drinking, and many more. Medicine, when used responsibly and intelligently, is no more of a crutch than willpower. We know willpower is not a crutch.

Be an intelligent person. If you are spinning your wheels (based on an honest, objective view point) try another course of action. That is hardly a crutch, rather, that is a refusal to live the one and only life you have based on stupidity.

If medicine seems to be the next reasonable course of action, take it and discover what happens. You can always choose a new course. One of the components of OCD and depression is that we aren’t seeing things clearly. Listen to people that, in your heart of hearts, you truly believe love you and want you happy.

Be the smartest, informed person you can be.

Never quit.




In my personal experience, dealing with depression has been more difficult than dealing with fear. This is not to take anything away from fear, for it can be quite daunting. It’s just that depression seems to have more to it for me.  When I was depressed, I would draw conclusions about how the world is, how God is, and how life is… big mistake. When we are depressed, we are actually altered. And what we see and conclude and feel is a result of the effect of the depression on us at the time. So it’s not to be trusted or lived by. One effective method for me, in dealing with depression, is to ACT. ‘Thinking’ is the wrong thing to do. When the therapist would tell me I needed to exercise to feel better, I thought he was nuts. In my mind, I would exercise when I felt better, not before. This is the exact opposite thing to do in overcoming depression. So again, I had to be at odds with myself and do exactly what I didn’t want to do….exercise. Medication was also helpful as was staying in motion. This consequently helped me think less about my depression. Being around family and people that cared about me also made a difference. It was helpful that these people expected me to try to get better. So I didn’t want to disappoint. It forced me to literally push myself further than i thought I was capable of in a given moment while jogging. I really didn’t notice the benefit as much then as I did so 2 or 3 weeks later. I did feel better just not on a very large scale, but I trusted that my efforts would pay off or at the very least I would die trying. This gave me some sense of control which was very important at the time. Enlisting the help of others to call me and check up on me to make sure I was being active and not giving into the depression by sleeping and isolating was very important in my recovery. Starting a support group was also a turning point for me. Connecting with others who were going through the same thing helped me to work harder on getting better.

Depression was the most difficult experience I have ever had to deal with in my life. For someone who is depressed now, my advice to you is to be your worst enemy by doing that which you hate even if the performance is poor. What matters is your asserting yourself beyond the experience you are presently having. This puts you in charge and ultimately breaks through the condition to the point where you start feeling better. Do not feel sorry for yourself. Try not to approach this by being fragile and desperate but rather look it as a war you must fight to the very end. This is what brought me out of it. And always remember the messages, opinions, and conclusions that you form while you are depressed are a lie. Just get up and move.

OCD & Certainty

OCD demands certainty in order for us to be safe and happy. In reality, listening to OCD guarantees us danger and misery.

In living a healthy life we don’t pursue perfect safety, rather, we commit our lives to growth and adapt to change.

More Tools for Extreme Anxiety

As promised, here are a few more statements and thoughts for you to use when dealing with intense anxiety.


1) I’m gonna let it roll. I’m gonna let the thoughts and the anxiety be there and see what happens.

2) Let it be in the space.

3) You’re stronger if you can allow yourself to feel remarkably weak.

4) Just soak it in.

5) I’m just going to be how I am and I’m not gonna do that stuff I was doing.

6) Be and feel weak and just go on with your day. Accept and get used to it.

7) I’m prepared to shake it all up.

8) It’s exciting to see you go through this growth. Let’s see how far we can do this.

9) I’m still here.

10) Don’t know if I can handle it, but I’m just going in anyway.


Never give up unless you want certain unhappiness and certain death within yourself. Life is meant to be lived fully alive, within and without, whenever possible.

You don’t need a guide or manual on how to live the specifics of your life. Things will naturally flow for you once you powerfully determine that you are going to give it 100%. It truly is what you make it. If you are feeling sorry for yourself and bitter and resentful at life and people for the bad events and breaks that have come your way GET OFF IT. The feeling sorry road for yourself is the wrong road. It leads to further sadness, misery, and despair. Dig down deep within yourself, step-up within and without and take your life over moment by moment. Keep your life adventurous, exciting, and/or stimulating for yourself no matter what it takes. You won’t be any good for yourself or anyone else unless you are alive and happy within and outside of yourself.

Keep negative folks away from you that aren’t interested in helping themselves. Move on and find positive and uplifting forces in your life that will propel you through your life in an exciting, fulfilling way. Whatever fears you have that hold you back, face them and work through them. Otherwise, you will regret it when your life is over. You will know that you sold out to the negative and you will realize that you didn’t step-up. When life hits you the hardest, in the pit of your stomach, when you feel like a vulnerable, helpless child with no strength, confidence or certainty…HANG ON. Hang on because this is the final moment you must go through before you can graduate to the next level of greatness. And if you hold on you definitely will automatically move past it to fresh, greener pastures even though they are  invisible at that time. The only one that can kill your spirit or ruin you is you. You have yourself to blame only, period.

Find your Passion, your Dream, your Bliss. No matter what it takes, find it. This why God has you here. What you naturally love to do is who you are at your core to a great degree. Find this, claim, honor it, and engage your life with it as much as possible. Surpass the fear and allow it to take you where it may. This will be your contribution to the world. Don’t ask too many questions about it, just try it first and then talk about it.

Life is moving through you and at some point it will leave you. Seize it, claim it, own it, and engage yourself fully in it. This is your gift to God that you leave after life has moved through you.

Don’t let the fear of being laughed at and not fitting in, and failure, and death hold you back. NONSENSE. None of them mean anything. What means something is the caliber and quality of the person you are…your integrity and character. These are the things that are immortal and go on forever affecting generation after generation. You have a huge responsibility to seize your life and your bliss. Because, whether you like it or not, you are shaping future generations by who you are now, moment by moment, day by day.

If you do nothing, you have just done something. There is no middle road. We just fool ourselves into thinking there is. Help the world. Make it a better place. Start with one act, one persona at a time. And feel good about yourself for this because you are living a God-like life in helping and inspiring what he has created. How beautiful and inspiring that is.

Start with the ones physically around you right now. Show acts of love and kindness and empowerment to them. Be inspired and you will inspire those around you. That chain will continue unless you are the weak link that doesn’t do your part.

Look at the miracles that are right in front of you. Really look at them with your heart and experience them. Start with your life. Why in the world do you have one? What did you do to deserve it? I call that a beautiful mysterious miracle. If that is not enough, look at newborn babies and nature and experience them as much as possible. Look for the small miracles all around you.

When you feel your most down, go help someone else. Get out of yourself and move for someone else, even though it may hurt physically and emotionally to do so. This will bring you out of it. You are breaking the pattern.

If you accept life fully, the good and the ugly, then you can’t help but be moved in a deeply spiritual way. Joy and sadness come together as an emotion and you will experience a spiritual groundedness. Accepting and embracing all of life gives us peace and helps to ground us.

We are nothing less than spoiled rotten children if we don’t help to make the world a better place. Help the person next to you and your needs will be met.

Tools for Extreme Anxiety

This will be the first of several blogs where I will share tools that have worked for me when dealing with extreme anxiety. Sometimes a simple statement can make the difference in a day rife with anxiety. Tell yourself any one of these tools and sit with the thoughts it creates….then see what happens. Allow yourself to feel the discomfort. It will eventually dissipate in time and make you stronger for the next go-around with anxiety.

1)  Acceptance that “I am where I am and I’m just gonna be where I’m at and I’m gonna proceed anyway and see what happens.”

2) UNRESOLVED…..leave it.

3) Profoundly allow yourself to feel anxious and  just see what happens.

4) Be and feel weak and just go on with the day….accept and get used to it.

5) The only way is not to play.

Stay strong. I’ll be back to share more another day.

OCD and Anxiety


You are not your OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder consists of intrusive and unwanted thoughts, images, and urges which cause anxiety. In one’s attempt to reduce anxiety, repetitive rituals are performed which continues to feed the OCD cycle and make it worse.

OCD may manifest itself in various ways.

ERP is the gold standard treatment for OCD. It’s the act of doing the opposite of what you want to do during an anxious moment. This may seem counterintuitive at the time but it is exactly what is needed to recondition our amygdala, which is responsible for alerting us to danger. The beauty of ERP is that for the first time we are put in a position of control and choice as it relates to our OCD. At the risk of oversimplifying ERP it can be equated to jumping into a cold swimming pool and staying in it long enough to the point of being no longer cold to you. This process is called habituation where we expose ourselves to exactly what we are wanting to avoid. This is done on a repeated basis until it no longer causes any discomfort. This has been the most effective treatment for overcoming OCD. It definitely was for mine. The more aggressive you are willing to be with ERP the sooner it will get better.

When we are afflicted by OCD and anxiety one fact which is overlooked is that if we allow our anxiety to become at the highest level possible without interruption, it will NATURALLY begin to decrease on its own. This is where the real healing takes place.

Sometimes it may appear confusing as to what is OCD and what is real. One effective technique is to realize that when you feel that you must do something right now before you can go on, you are in OCD land. Another red flag is when you have no sense of free choice in the moment. You MUST do this NOW in order to get rid of this NOW.

OCD causes us to doubt and demands certainty. The problem with a 100% demand for certainty is that no one has that available to them. In OCD our alarm system tells us without this guaranteed certainty we are in grave danger. In reality we are not but to the OCD sufferer they feel in complete and total danger. Quite a quandary. A very effective method in dealing with this quagmire is to work towards increasing one’s tolerance for uncertainty. I know that sounds like a completely foreign notion but from someone who has been there, in time it will not be foreign to you. So the question is how do we increase our tolerance for uncertainty? First of all it’s important to note that we comfortably go about our lives doing things that are uncertain a vast majority of the time. The difference is it is just not the focus of our worry at the time. So the question becomes how do we become unconcerned about things that are unreasonable to be concerned about. The most effective path in accomplishing this is undoubtedly ERP.


Hi everyone.  I did a radio show this morning on 1380 am on OCD.  I am so grateful I had the opportunity to reach out to fellow sufferrers who are living in silence and shame with their secret. 

The message I want to send out to you is that I have been where you are with no help or relief in site.  The reality is that you are not alone, you are not crazy, your secret thoughts and things you do to feel safe that you are ashamed of are so remarkably common.  I also want to tell you that what you are struggling with is not you.  It is your OCD and there is a big difference between the two.  You can definitely get better and have a happy life.  The first step for you could be to go to our support group.  You don’t have to say a word if you don’t want to.  Just observe and listen.  You will be amazed at how common your “higly unusual” thoughts and rituals are.  Come to group.  It very well may change your life.  I think it will.  It did mine.

The group is called ShowMeOCD.  I started this 3 years ago and CenterPointe Hospital sponsors it along with more on the way.  Stay tuned.  We meet every Wednesday evening from 7 to 9 pm at the CenterPointe building located at 763 South New Ballas road in creve coeur, suite 130.  There is no charge and the only requirement to attending is that you are struggling with OCD and/or Anxiety.

Would love to hear from you.  I have been through the mill with this condition and I have come through it.  I have come to believe that it is my calling to share my story and what I have learned that gave me back my life of happiness, to those of you who are sufferring, confused, anxious, feel alone and isolated and don’t know what to do.  Reach out if you would like and I will be glad to share everything I learned in successfully overcoming OCD and Anxiety.  Your life can be great.  It is far from hopeless.  I have been there. 

Thanks and talk soon,



Okay here’s the deal,  I’m 50 and have had OCD since I was 18.  It pretty much came out of nowhere, although looking back it’s obvious I had the predisposition for it.  I know I should go in order and introduce myself and tell my story and all that, but today I’m just diving into something that will help me because I am feeling obsessive and anxious today about uncertainty as it relates to life and my well being.  Here’s the content of this particular obsession for me:  I had a very difficult stomach issue about 3 years ago where I had inflammation of the stomach lining. I was nauseous and had no appetite and felt tired and weak due to it.  I also was very depressed because It had just been 4 months since I came off the medicine I was on for OCD that I had been taking for 14 years.  I came off way too fast and the PSYCHOLOGIST that was advising me to come off it had no idea what he was doing in this area. He acted like it and because he had helped me so much in our therapy sessions with exposure and cognitive therapy, I believed him and went for it…big mistake.

Once the medicine was 100 percent out of my system, it caused me to feel depressed and I hadn’t done well with depression in the past.  Then I started feeling obsessive soon after  and now I didn’t have the help of the medicine to help me fight it.  In addition to this was my stomach issue, no desire for food or the opposite sex, the inability to enjoy a glass of wine, and the fact that a 4 year relationship I had with a woman had just come to an end. I was really worked over and did not feel good.  So I got back on medicine and back in therapy and aggressively started doing exposures. I met the woman of my total dreams, whom I am now married to, and I gradually got better.  Furthermore, I started a support group which helped me immensely. I also started a new business.  All of this helped in time and I am now doing well. Today, however, I had a visit from the common obsession that goes something like this:  “How do you know you won’t go back to feeling bad like you did before?What would you do if the worst happened and you got depressed and nauseous again and had terrible pains in your stomach, and NOTHING could help me, what would you do then? ”  I respond in my mind and say , well I could work out and do exposures………and what if that didn’t work?  Well I could check myself into the hospital and certainly they could take the pain and anguish away……..but what if they couldn’t and I just remained in pain and anguish and suffering with deep depression and OCD and NOTHING helped, what then?  So I tell myself, well there is an end in sight because ultimately I would die and I wouldn’t be in anguish anymore.  But what if after I died it carried on forever and ever and anguish and suffering never ended……..what then?  Maybe that’s what hell is and maybe I will go there and maybe….and maybe…..and maybe, maybe, maybe….. .   Beautiful thought process and concept indeed isn’t it?  Just lovely and uplifting and positive!!  Right?  Wrong.

So here is how I deal with the above.  First of all, It sucks.  Secondly, I stopped searching for certainty because that is what is feeding this evil villain.  “But how can I live with uncertainty?”  Honestly, I never knew before and sometimes I get back in that place like I feel the pull is today.  So here’s the deal, I don’t have certainty and we don’t on anything.  First reaction is that  sucks and that I can’t live like that because I’ll go crazy with that kind of fear OR get deeply depressed to where I can’t move and I just sit there and suffer in anguish.   So there’s no certainty…ultimately, and anything could happen……ultimately.   Okay, that’s reality, that’s it.  No that’s not it!   You forgot about one thing here….ME.   You see last time I checked, I have a choice here, as long as there is breath in my body.  So you see, life and reality and afterlife and hell can do whatever it wants to me but I still get to decide what I’m going to do right now…… BIG piece of this, not to be overlooked.  So now this is where I take over and I say “AS LONG AS THERE IS BREATH IN MY BODY, I WILL FIGHT THIS AND I WILL SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE HELPING THOSE WHO ARE SUFFERING WITH THIS.”  That’s what I go with.  So it’s like, if you’re (OCD) threatening me all of my life that you’re going to destroy me, I don’t know if you will or won’t. What I do know is that I have a CHOICE as to wether I am going to live my life to the best of my ability or whether I am going to spend my precious days on earth worried about whether or not you are going to destroy me. I could spend my days ruminating about what I would do or how I would handle it if that happened.  That’s a loser’s game and I get to decide whether I am going to play it or not and SO DO YOU.  That whole notion can kiss my ass!  As long as I am alive I have a CHOICE and I will CHOOSE the courageous, powerful, sensible, life fulfilling one every time.  As long as I have a CHOICE as to whether you take me or not, I WILL exercise it……..EVERY time!  CHOOSE TO FIGHT.