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Testimonial

"After 6 months of suffering with panic attacks, I called Dr. April. After just three sessions, I was able to manage my feelings of panic."

- Polina S.

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 had suffered from intense, debilitating anxiety and severe panic attacks for 8 months before I contacted Dr. Craig April. I had seen several specialists, invested in books and recorded programs and even completed an outpatient program, yet I was still suffering. I thought I would never be "normal" again. It was not until I met Dr. April that I finally realized I could overcome my fears. He presented everything in a compassionate, straight forward and understandable new way that really made sense and put me in control. From the first contact I had with him I knew that there was something different. He took time to speak with me at length on our first phone conversation and gave me hope that I could be well again.

After only one session with him I felt better and learned powerful techniques to take care of myself. After the second session I was confident enough to take two trips back East and handle my anxiety with no problem. Before meeting with Dr. April I could barely leave the house. Today I consider myself recovered and not only am I "normal" again but I am better and stronger than I was before the anxiety disorder. I continue to recommend Dr. April to anyone that needs help with anxiety or panic and feels that there is no hope. There is.

- Marcy, married executive, Los Angeles

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

The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management gave me the tools to change my life! As long as I can remember I had suffered from anxiety and panic attacks. I was in and out of therapy for 20+ years. The world had become a scary place, and it kept shrinking. I didn’t understand what was happening internally until I saw the show Obsessed. It clicked, and I saw a new treatment that could maybe make a difference. I did research and learned that not only was there a term for my phobia, but it was way more common than I could imagine. I started individual therapy at The April Center. We took everything slowly, going at my own pace, but the more I did, the better I felt, and the more I wanted to do. Thanks to Dr. April and The April Center, I was completely present at my wedding, which is the best gift ever! Now I am outside of my head, and enjoying things as I should!

Laura, Design Assistant, North Hollywood

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