close up of a girl with long hair and one hand on chin listening to a person in front of her

My therapy experience: CBT helped me battle my OCD

4 min read
03 September 2020

Amelia, 17, shares how cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) helped her tackle her obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Seeking support is extremely important when struggling with mental health problems. It can be very hard to speak up and ask for help because it can feel like there’s a lot of shame and stigma attached to it.

Although asking for support for my OCD was something that seemed very scary to me, doing it has brought so many benefits to my life. Here are some of my experiences with therapy.

Finding coping strategies that work for me

CBT is a therapy that focuses on helping you challenge and change unhelpful thoughts, and develop coping strategies. This process isn’t easy or instant; for me it required a lot of hard work and patience. But it can really help - I now live a more OCD-free life thanks to therapy!

With my therapist, I learnt ways to combat my thoughts and ways to cope. These coping strategies are personal and different for everyone because we are all unique. It’s about finding what works best for you.

With my therapist, I learnt ways to combat my thoughts and ways to cope.

Ups and downs

Recovery has not been easy for me. Not every strategy I tried has worked and it takes time for things to get better. I never gave up, even through very tough times where I thought things wouldn’t get better. This is a completely normal way to feel during therapy, as it isn’t an easy process. But my therapist was there to help pull me out of these dark places and I am now in a much better place mentally.

My therapist was there to help pull me out of these dark places.

Therapists are there to help you

Therapists and counsellors are there to listen and support you. They have this job because they want to help. They see a lot of people who go through similar situations and no matter how hard your situation is, they will always be there for you.

I have been doing therapy for many years and I have always felt like they have listened and been really understanding of my problems.

Therapists and counsellors are there to listen and support you. They have this job because they want to help.

Speaking about my problems helped a lot

Therapy has enabled me to let out my troubles. Keeping negative emotions and thoughts inside can be very stressful. Sometimes just letting them out and speaking about them can have a positive effect.

When I talk about my problems to my therapist, I feel as if a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders. It feels great to know that someone is there to listen to me.

When I talk about my problems to my therapist, I feel as if a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders.

Overcoming shame

Asking for help or accepting help is nothing to be ashamed of. Getting help doesn’t show that you are weak. In fact, it shows how brave you are for speaking up about challenging things.

At first, I was worried about being judged because mental health isn’t something that’s easily understood. But my experience has taught me that judging is never something that therapists or counsellors do. I have had many therapists and not one has ever made me feel judged or ashamed.

If you are worried or feeling embarrassed or ashamed, remember: seeking help is something to be proud about!

More information and advice

We have tips and advice to help you find the support you need. Take a look at our guides.

Where to get help

However you're feeling, there are people who can help you if you are struggling. Here are some services that can support you.

  • YoungMinds Textline

    Text YM to 85258.

    Provides free, 24/7 text support for young people across the UK experiencing a mental health crisis.

    All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors.

    Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.

    Texts can be anonymous, but if the volunteer believes you are at immediate risk of harm, they may share your details with people who can provide support.

    Opening times:
    24/7
  • OCD Action

    Offers support and information to anybody affected by obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

    Opening times:
    9:30am - 8pm, Monday - Friday
  • The Mix

    Offers support to anyone under 25 about anything that’s troubling them.

    Email support available via their online contact form.

    Free 1-2-1 webchat service available.

    Free short-term counselling service available.

    Opening times:
    3pm - 12am, seven days a week

Thanks for sharing your story Amelia, 17

Become a YoungMinds blogger Find out more

Spread the word