In order to recover, we must first believe that we can.
Mrs Seema is a 44-year-old government employee from Punjab who was brought by her husband to an outpatient clinic. Although she had been trying to get her to the hospital for many months due to the difficulties she was experiencing in managing her daily routine. Seema had stopped going to work, would spend a lot of time collecting newspapers, boxes, waste materials. She would repeatedly count the washed clothes and utensils because she felt if she would not count these, then something bad would happen. To ease her anxiety she would continue to be involved in the compulsive behaviour. If she was stopped from doing this ritualistic behaviour then should become irritable and aggressive.
She has two school-going children who demanded attention and time from their mother but because of illness she was unable to provide this; consequently, her relationship with them suffered.
Based on the clinical assessment and history provided by the family, Seema was advised that her diagnosis was that of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It took some time for her to accept that her symptoms and experiences were the outcomes of a mental health condition. Both the family and patient were educated about OCD is and how it is resulting in difficulties in her ability to manage her day to day responsibilities towards work and her family. Psychological Therapy – Exposure and response prevention was initiated with her in an outpatient clinic where she would come once in a week. Gradually, two sessions in the week started where Seema would come with her family for therapy. These therapy sessions were further carried out at her home where a therapist from the hospital would go on home visits. She is maintaining well for 2 years now. The family has observed changes in her behaviour, she has resumed going to work, is helping her children in studies, and spending quality time with them.