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  • Writer's pictureRoger Chen

Studying with OCD

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

It’s a well-known fact that school is can be difficult and tedious. Hours of class day in and day out, endless nights of studying to secure the best marks, and even forfeiting weekends and breaks for tutoring can be stressful for any person. Whether you’re an American in your junior year of high school or a Brit in your last semester of university, education can wreak havoc on anyone’s health. For those with OCD, this fact especially rings true. However, the condition doesn’t have to inhibit your chance at success! Here are a few tips on how to study with OCD:

Examine Yourself

Living with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can be an uphill battle; a key to managing this is to know your triggers. For some, it might be checking doors, washing of the hands, or even compulsively counting. Whatever yours may be, it’s important to learn how to identify and manage them. A good start is to record a list of the triggers you experience each day and the obsessions they provoke. Rate the intensity of the fear or anxiety you experienced in each situation and then the techniques you used to ease your anxiety. Keeping track of this will allow you to determine how to anticipate and ease urges. After doing so, you will be more able to focus and concentrate on your studies, without letting pesky habits always get in the way. 

Make a Schedule

Are you an early bird who likes to study right after school? Or are you a night owl that likes to read up for tomorrow’s class right before bed? In any event, a good rule-of-thumb for students is to plan out when you can study. Those with OCD can especially benefit from keeping a routine and in turn, keeping on track with all the commotions of daily life. In order to make a productive work schedule, you need to figure out what type of learner you are. Auditory, visual or kinesthetic are just a few different learning styles and figuring out which group you belong to can allow you to receive and retain information much better. For some, reading a textbook and taking notes is the best way to learn. For others, a nice educational podcast allows them to remember all the concepts of a difficult class. Whatever your preference may be, deciding what factors are the best fit for you can allow you to be the most successful in your endeavors. 

Keeping a Healthy Lifestyle

No matter what age or background, it is vital to keep a healthy lifestyle. Sleep is hard to come by the farther you are in your academic career but keeping a healthy diet is always an option. Fitting in a hearty breakfast can sometimes make-or-break a person’s entire day. Besides food, exercise can be a great way of managing compulsions and distracting urges while also improving body health. Half an hour a day can do just the trick. For older students, even though the social pressures of experimenting with drugs is alive and well, reframing from alcohol and drug use and alcohol is a must. This is essential if you are currently taking prescriptions for your OCD.  If these medications are impaired they will not function as efficiently and may make your school life and its stressors significantly more difficult to cope with. 

Whatever course you decide to take during each school year, know that there is nothing that can stop you from becoming the best student you can be! Even if you don’t receive the grades that you are looking for, remember that school isn’t everything; your happiness is more important. So remember to take a break if you need it, relax when you’ve been overstressed, and overallーenjoy life! You only have one. 

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