OCD

I worked hard every single day

My OCD started when I was a four year old child. For some reason,whenever I touched something, a door handle, a light switch, I had to lick my hands to ‘clean them’. Strange, as now I know it was doing the opposite than cleaning them, but for some reason I had to do it, or I’d be left feeling cripplingly anxiety for the rest of the day. From there, everything turned into a compulsion. By seven, I spent hours repeating phrases to everything I looked at in a room, I checked my bedroom door dozens of times a night to check it was closed until it felt ‘just right’.

As much as this was distressing, it wasn’t half as bad as what was to come. At nine years old, I developed a form of OCD called ‘pure O’ , a type that has no visible compulsions, which eventually sent me into a breakdown when I was thirteen. Pure OCD made me question everything I did. If I moved my hand a certian way, it had meant I’d sworn at someone, if I’d had a dream where I’d said something mean about someone else, if I said something mean about someone else, OCD would grasp onto this and morph it until the only way to get rid of the thought was to tell someone exactly what had happened.

I was misdiagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder at first, so by the time I was twelve, I was completley consumed by OCD. It made me believe I was a dangerous criminal. I was certain I was a dangerous criminal. I could go into details about these thoughts but you’d be reading this for hours. By thirteen, the intrusive thoughts got so bad, I attempted on my life. I spent the next year in a cycle of self destruction and self hatred. I was utterly consumed by my OCD. It controlled everything I did,or didn’t do. I was trapped. I spent a year in cognitive behavioural therapy, but I was so ill that I couldn’t properly engage. I started to get nightmares. I was put on medication which reduced my anxiety a little but didn’t make that much of a difference. I tried to hand myself into the police multiple times. By fourteen, I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for treatment.

And this was a turning point in my life for me. Hospital wasn’t a ‘magic cure’, I worked hard every single day to get to where I wanted to be. A worked hard. I attended groups. I worked with the OTs to regain my confidence leaving the house. I talked about things I never thought I could talk about. I made sure that OCD would not take my life away from me again. With the help of my therapist in the hospital, I discovered mindfulness, which changed my life for the better. I could acknowledge the thoughts were there and let them go. It was a real step forward for me to be able to do this. And after three months on the ward, on the 6th of June, I’ll be getting discharged. I won’t go completley into the ‘real world’ alone. I’ll be seeing my therapist that I had for CBT twice a week and I’m on several different medications to keep the level of my thoughts down, but ultimatley, I can say I have control over myself now-OCD does not have control over me.

All the best,

Abby

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