Creativity Life & Philosophy

Ways to cope with OCD

ways to cope with ocd, ways cope ocd, overcoming ocd

I wrote a book when I was 25 about ways to cope with OCD. I put the details of my experience with OCD up on Amazon and promoted it quietly, unsure what future employer and online people would think about me if they saw it.

PS: If you want a free copy, you can download it on my website here. A donation in return is welcome.

I published it to help other people suffering from OCD. Surprisingly, I saw good feedback and sold some which inspired me to write other books of interest about creativity and technology–also core topics of this blog.

I’m 32 now and have thought about writing an updated version of my OCD book. A lot of the core tenets remain, the most fundamental being that ‘thoughts are just thoughts,’ but more importantly to accept the condition for what it is.

The brains of OCD people are wired differently. Our anxiety writes its own Hollywood script. The disorder skews perspective, which can help when it comes to looking at things differently and making stuff.

Having OCD is a blessing and a curse. There are days when I wish I could just think like a normal person, especially when I get trapped in ridiculous thoughts. There are times when I get stuck in the perfectionist treadmill and just want to quit entirely. But mindfulness teaches you how to embrace these complexities.

OCD can help you tolerate ambiguity because it senses the dialectic, helping sufferers rise above the concept of sidedness altogether. OCD makes people more emphatic. The author Bernard Malamud once said, “if you haven’t suffered, you haven’t yet lived.”

Suffering gives you skills to cope–it puts the bones in the goose–by overcompensating for your handicap, you excel.

“A lot of what is beautiful and powerful in the world arises out of adversity. We benefit from those kind of things,” but “we wouldn’t wish them on each other.” – Malcolm Gladwell

OCD is all about being conscious of your condition, accepting its doubts, while still having the ability to move forward. Winston Churchill suffered from OCD. His self-talk, “Keep Calm and Carry On” may have saved himself and Britain. But for every Churchill, there’s a Howard Hughes, who’s OCD got the best of him.

Coping with OCD is a daily challenge. And while it’s annoying and pervasive, it makes life more interesting.



There are two types of progress:

  • Progress you can make toward an end-goal such as a project with a final completion date
  • Progress you can make against an ailment like OCD which you can never fully defeat

Progress is just as good as perfection. In fact, no one ever achieves perfection. They just achieve more and more exactitude.

“I listened, I was aware of my success, but I never stopped trying to get better.” – Michael Jordan

Imperfection is the game of acceptance. If people are flawless, they won’t feel the need to overcompensate for their flaws which is really the catalyst that makes them great in the first place.

Perfection is boring. Imperfections make life more interesting and ambitious. Life should be a beautiful struggle.


Your Perspective

Everything depends on it. You only make decisions based on what you know and what you want to know.

That’s why education is so vital, it feeds you with information that helps you make decisions now while also sparking your imagination so you can build the future.

But what you make not only depends on how well you see future. Creativity requires persistence, focus, and manipulating disadvantages.

Bram Cohen’s autism helped him create BitTorrent. Richard Branson’s dyslexia enabled him to offload some work to others so he could focus on his strengths.

Imperfections beget creativity. Your biggest weakness becomes your biggest strength, which deepens your perspective further and makes you more unique.

Being normal is hard. Struggles force you to think outside the box.