Telling someone isn’t going to ‘fix’ the problem, but it is the first step.
For me, the scariest moment as a person with OCD is when I didn’t know what it was. It was a time I wasn’t even very aware of mental health itself.
Like many others at a young age, I had heard the word depression in various conversations, and on the television. I had even heard of OCD, but my symptoms were nothing like those I was aware of.
My room was untidy, my clothes did not have to be in a specific order, and my desk did not have to be arranged a certain way. My obsession was all in my mind, it was all thoughts, and worries. Constant buts, and what ifs?
Eventually these thoughts subsided, they no longer sat at the forefront of my mind. They were not the first thing I thought of when I woke up, and I no longer dreamt they were true. But that didn’t mean they were gone. They reappeared in new forms, in new obsessions, coming and going as they pleased. During both the most stressful times, as well as the happiest.
In episode 21 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed, myself. I wanted to talk about mental health stigma and how to stop people from saying “I’m so OCD” because they’ve lined up their shoes, or straightened a pencil.
In this episode I explain why “I’m so CD” isn’t stigma, and how it shields OCD sufferers from stigma. I talk about the benefits of combatting stigma around OCD. I offer some approaches you can take to overcome stigma in your own life and answer some listener questions. Enjoy…
I will never stop fighting to show those around me, just how important it is.
It’s winter over in the states, and while I do live in Atlanta, it still gets cold. It still snows here. Laugh all you want, but it is currently 24 degrees Fahrenheit, and I have come close to Googling “When will it be warm again?” In America, we celebrate and nearly worship a very odd holiday that we call Groundhog’s Day. And this year, the Groundhog predicted an early spring. (So where in the Sam Hill is this early spring??)
So, along with winter comes a glamourous assortment of flus, colds, upper respiratory infections, and sinus infections. All around just a really fun time. But oh, don’t worry. American citizens make it a serious point to get their annual flu shots, flu mist, physicals, designer brands of this season’s new drugstore cold meds, and vaporizers. We beg and plead the doctor for antibiotics, even after being told that “Ma’am, what you have is a virus. For the 5th time, antibiotics do nothing for a virus. Now please put your Taser down and I am going to have to have you escorted out of the pharmacy.” As you can see, we make a pretty big deal of steering clear of the cold and flu. (And rightfully so.)
People do not choose mental health problems! They battle them!!!
Nobody could understand it.
They were all flabbergasted. Some bemused, some angry, some just shocked.
“Why on earth would he have a broken leg?” Someone exclaimed. “Especially when he had a really well paid job.”
“Why should he have diabetes?” Said another. “When he had such a pretty wife!”
“There’s just no need for him to have cancer.” When he has so many good friends!
“Self, self, self, such a loving family and he goes and gets MS.” “It’s just attention seeking!”
“It’s preposterous!” “Such a handsome fella, girls around him like bees around a honey pot.” “And he decides to get meningitis.”
“Why on earth would he choose that?”
“When he had everything to live for!!!”