My client Tom had been working from home since the pandemic hit in March, but now his boss had set a date for returning to the office, in only three weeks. Tom felt anxious about prolonged exposure to his co-workers, as his partner had an underlying health condition.
The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly and abruptly changed human life in unexpected ways. In the last few months, since the COVID-19 stay at home restrictions came into place, millions of people have been working from home and practicing social distancing.
Today I said thank you to the staff at the senior living facility where my 97-year-old grandmother lives. At the outbreak of COVID-19, she found herself hospitalized with bacterial pneumonia – nothing related to COVID-19. Just poor timing.
As I was being discharged from the hospital after an 11-day stay, a friend texted me: “The hard part’s over!” In one sense she was correct – I’d completed the antibiotics for COVID, my sepsis was gone, and my pneumonia and kidney function were improving. But that was just the physical battle.
“What if” thinking is not unique to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It is a feature to a greater or lesser extent in several other conditions. Using what we know about Exposure and Response Prevention (E/RP) for OCD might improve treatment for these other conditions.1
The night of Sunday April 19, I stayed home with my dog Ritz watching TV and eating takeout from one of my favorite restaurants. Later that night I became very ill, surprising because I’d been eating at that place for a decade without issue.
Founded in 1979, ADAA is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and co-occurring disorders through education, practice, and research.