My name is Skyler. And I have had OCD as long as I can remember.
My dad was the first person to start calling me “OCD”. Before I even knew what it meant. With some of my compulsions being obvious to him since I was little. Such as: making sure closet doors are closed all the way, excessive and often aggressive eye blinking, excessive stretching and contorting of my limbs. Particularly my arms and wrists. Picking up pieces of paper or trash off of the carpet, repeatedly touching things or checking things, making sure adjacent objects are flush with each other, (books, dvds, cd’s, toys, cards) flipping light switches on and off and looking at the clock every 30 seconds.
Most of my compulsions I had as a child, come and go. Or have faded in intensity over time.
The only compulsions that have become more severe with age have been the stretching and especially the blinking… which causes me daily headaches and eye pain.
Now onto the real problem…. the obsessions.
As a child, my obsessions were the smaller half of my OCD. With my compulsions being in the spotlight..
But as I entered adulthood, my obsessions began to increase in severity, complexity and frequency. Until arriving at a point where they rule my life from the moment I open my eyes.
My therapeutic journey has barely begun but I feel more positive than I have in years.
I have wondered many times when my OCD story started and I have to conclude I always had a propensity to over-analyse and fixate on things from a young age, but instead of growing out of it and becoming more confident and learning the crucial art of letting issues go, I let my feelings hang around and fester. I learned to live in fear with the expectation of the worst outcomes.
I don’t ever remember not being afraid. I was always terrified, I felt I never fitted in and I was socially isolated. I stuck to routines in order to preserve a feeling of security; when I was at school it involved arriving at the same time every day, using the same routes to get to lessons etc. As an adolescent my symptoms were the worst, I felt extreme anxiety in doing things my peers did, like going to the cinema. I had a brief period between the ages of sixteen to eighteen, when I felt more optimistic and I felt accepted by new friends at a new school where I took my A-levels.
Don’t worry about being different or what people think. Embrace it and you will find you have more good days than bad.
I’m Steph, 27. I never really knew or understood OCD. I admit I was ignorant like many others to it, and saw it only for people needing to order things and be tidy. This however is NOT the case.
I have never officially been diagnosed with OCD although a therapist I was referred to for anxiety issues told me it “sure does sound like it”.
My OCD symptoms?… well they vary really. From needing to check at least 3 times that I have locked windows, doors or my car. I even get a family member or friend to check also ( this is good for when I later start worrying about it again). I wouldn’t say I’m massively hyped on cleaning but I do need to keep my hands clean and again wash them at least 3 times every time. A newer addition to me is when I get nervous or anxious I use a finger to write on my thumb the letters of the alphabet. Always in capitals I might add. If for some reason I forget where I am up to or don’t like the way the letter came out (you can’t see what I write,my finger contains no ink) I rub it clean and start again and I cannot carry on until I get to ‘Z’. I love having things is order too I cannot lie. DVDs, CDs, books have to be alphabetical order. I work in a pre school and this is particularly challenging.