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Testimonial

"I wouldn't have been able to make it through without the tools The April Center provided me in my treatment. I know I can deal with anything in my life now with dignity."

- Tami
Los Angeles, CA

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Is Exercise Good For OCD?

The question, "Is exercise good for OCD?" is one I hear often.


Let's start with the first piece:


"Is exercise good?".  We know the answer to that.  Of course it is!  Exercise is great for your physical and mental health, for many reasons.


As for anxiety, exercise can reduce "stress".  And stress can increase or trigger anxiety.  So, exercise can indirectly reduce some general anxiety.


However, exercise cannot and will not decrease obsessions or compulsions.  These symptoms of OCD require specific CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) strategies to overcome them.


The neurobiological causes of OCD notwithstanding, it makes logical sense that exercise cannot reduce these symptoms of OCD.  Simply put, exercise (this includes yoga too) cannot resolve obsessions or specific fears related to obsessive thought.  For that matter, exercise (again, this includes yoga too) cannot resolve panic attacks or phobias either.


The only successful method for decreasing fear and overcoming it is to face it.  Regarding CBT for obsessions and compulsions, the work is done gradually.  Small steps build confidence while helping the brain adapt to fear.


All of the above is not meant to say that exercise will be of no benefit to those with OCD.   Consistent exercise can be empowering for the fear-facing journey ahead.  And as stated, it can reduce stress, which when left unchecked, can increase OCD symptoms.


So, by all means, get some exercise!   But if you struggle with OCD, panic attacks or panic disorder and phobias, don't waste your time hoping exercise will resolve your symptoms.

More Testimonials

I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with The April Center for Anxiety! I had been suffering with Emetophobia since I was twelve years old and my life was so limited. When I called on Dr. April for help it had gotten to a point where I felt as though I was living in a box. I was unable to eat in public. Unable to be a passenger in a car or any other form of transportation. Too afraid to travel far from home, and deathly afraid of germs. I felt so alone in this struggle for so long. It’s a lonely phobia. Being an “Emet” was shameful and embarrassing for me. I tried to hide it the best I could. Most people hadn’t heard of the phobia, and I didn’t even know what I suffered from for well over two decades.

I knew I needed help so I called Dr. April. I wanted a life I could be proud of and I knew I was headed for a life of regrets.

The first big step would be to actually show up at the first session and talk about me and my phobia. The thought of this nearly paralyzed me but I made it in. You see, the only way to really squash this irrational fear (as well as all other irrational fears) is to face it head on. It’s to do the work. The hardest part is sticking with it and doing the homework given in order to really rid the fear.

I can honestly say without a doubt, I did the work and am reaping the benefits. It wasn’t easy but the life I have now is what was intended for me.

I wouldn’t have been able to make it through without the tools The April Center provided me in my treatment. I know I can deal with anything in my life now with dignity.

Today, I accept the fact that there are many things in life I have no control over and this is okay with me. Life happens and I can embrace all aspects of it.

Tami, Los Angeles, CA

Thanks Dr. April for guiding me to become a stronger person. I'm so much happier! I think any client is lucky to have you, as I was! Thanks again for all you do to change people's lives!

- Sally, sales executive

I came to Dr. April with a debilitating fear - the inability to drive on the freeway. My life wasn't always like this. I drove the freeway for over 10 years without any issues, until I experienced two intense panic attacks that scared me from getting back on the freeway. It didn't make sense and the longer I waiting to get back on, the more intense my fear became. This fear stopped me from going out of town and visiting friends that lived too far. It took me double the time to get to a destination and I was always scared someone would ask me for a ride and I would have to create some dumb story as to why I was taking the side streets. No one knew. I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. And I let this go on for 8 years. That's when I had enough! I tried therapy in the past and it didn't work, so while I was seeking help, I wasn't convinced I could be fixed. Even reading positive reviews like this, I would think, "I'm probably the one who can't be fixed." Then I found Dr. April. To my own amazement (not Dr. April's), I was able to conquer my fear! Throughout the process, Dr. April trusted me, believed in me and never once made me feel small, which was a fear in and of itself. We worked hard together to get to the root cause of my fear and after sessions both in-person and over the phone, I'm freeway driving everyday! There is no magic pill to conquer your fears, only dedication, hard work and Dr. April.

- Elaine

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