Episode 31: OCD and Social Media

Episode 31

OCD and Social Media

In this Episode of Purely OCD, your show hosts Kelley and Lauren discuss Social Media for those living with OCD. They cover the good, the bad and the ugly. While social media can be a great way to forge connection and to normalize experience, the space can also be used for compulsive reassurance and checking. Ultimately, it can also be used for exposure and response prevention work. 

So Instagram can be: 

  • A trigger
  • A place to perform compulsions (e.g. excessive reassurance seeking)
  • A resource for information to support people in living with mental illness, including OCD

Moral of the story – use social media wisely.

Using social media compulsively can look like:

  • Asking questions to get reassurance
  • Searching for your specific subtype to reassure yourself 
  • Saving posts to re-read and re-read to make sure you have OCD (again reassuring yourself)

What are some signs that you might be acting compulsively?

  • You are responding to a sense of urgency that isn’t backed up by the facts
  • You think that you have to take the action but there aren’t any fact to back that up

If you’re unsure, you could consider delaying the action.

One way that Social Media can help those with OCD is by providing a sense of community. It does so in a way that allows people to maintain anonymity when they’re not yet willing to be open about their experience.

That said, as was previously, mentioned, social media can be a trigger. This is largely because social media shows the shiny happy side of most people

The good news is that triggers are just exposure opportunities. So for those who find social media triggering, they can go to social media and resist and compulsions that they want to perform in order to do a little ERP.

Lauren and Kelley also recognize that listening to their podcast can be an exposure. So thanks for listening (and reading).


Like what you’ve heard? We’d love to hear your feedback. Head over to your podcast app of choice where you can comment and like the podcast in order to help build our audience and spread awareness about OCD. While you’re there, subscribe so you never miss an episode.

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Disclaimer: This information is meant to be general information not unique to any individual. Before following any guidance or advice found on this site or in the Purely OCD Podcast a visitor or listener should always consult with their own licensed healthcare practitioner. The Purely OCD Podcast and Website are not therapy or intended as a replacement for therapy. They are for educational purposes only. d

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