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All I can say to anyone who has OCD is you can overcome it no matter what it tells you
I was diagnosed with OCD threes ago when I was 19. I was receiving Cognitive Behavior Therapy for my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I wasn’t shocked that I had it because I had known to myself for years that I had it from my own research.
It all started when I was five years old. I started school and due to issues at home. I felt scared about being away from my mum. I was standing in the playground worrying about back at home and a thought came into my head saying, “If I fill my pockets up with lots of leaves mum will be okay” So I did. I felt a relief from the anxiety and carried on. I would also have to run into the class room every morning and draw my mum a picture of anything and give it to her. I thought if she walked home with this photo she would be okay. I was asked why there were leaves in my pockets and why I had to draw and I just told them I liked them. I didn’t understand to say that I was doing it to save someone’s life.
Growing older it got a lot worse. I would have to perform rituals to make the thoughts not happen. I would have to keep the back door locked at all times. I had to make sure my bed sheets didn’t get un-tucked and would wake up non-stop all night and some nights I wouldn’t sleep I would just lie there still so they wouldn’t move. I grew slightly out of these obsessions but new and stronger ones formed.
As I have got to my teens and to the present day I have got to the point where it is controlling my life. I have a fear of germs and being sick (Emetophobia). I have to clean religiously and if something goes wrong or gets in the way I will have to start all over again, even if it has taken me three hours already. I tap repeatedly, I have to check everything before going out or going to bed and will do this five or six times. I also have to do everything in 4’s. This is just a small part of what I do. My main issue with OCD is that something bad will happen to people. It could be anything that sets it off. If I don’t touch something someone will die, if I eat that someone will die. It got to the point where I would talk about random things to people so they wouldn’t die and I made myself look like an idiot on many occasions.
I started treatment for OCD and that was one of the best steps I have ever taken. Looking back on my life I gained my OCD due to childhood trauma and because the trauma was an everyday thing it grew with me. I looked at myself like an idiot for having OCD but on the other hand I didn’t want it to go, it was a part of me and it honestly saved me growing up. I have now finished my first part of treatment for OCD and I can see hope. I have learnt to be mindful and challenge the thoughts that are in my mind. I have overcome so many of the thoughts and when they come into my head I can laugh them off which is amazing after living with it for 16 years! I still give into the thoughts over other people coming to harm. I can’t risk it even though I know nothing will happen. Having PTSD with OCD isn’t easy as they both twine together but I can see the future and I know I can over come this with more help!
All I can say to anyone who has OCD is you can overcome it no matter what it tells you. You will have control over it like it did you and you will look back on it later in life and think “I can’t believe I did that!” Just remember it’s a strong thought but it’s just a thought. It doesn’t define you and doesn’t mean you are loosing the plot. It means you are a human capable of strong emotions and you can overcome it.
My blog: www.fixmeinfortyfive.com
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I have both PTSD and OCD. There are a couple of things I’m good at, there were dreams I had but I have lost both motivation and energy for anything. It seems like everytime I try to become better at my talent, I hit a wall. It’s like my energy ends and my batteries get empty before I can even reach a good point and that’s when my motivation goes down even further. Sometimes I worry that I’ll never be able to practise anything I truly like and enjoy, I worry that I’ll be condemned to search jobs and activities I don’t even like because I can’t do anything else. I worry that I might be a bit too broken to be fixed. I know what most people would say and I’ve heard it over and over again, nothing really helps. If the trauma has gone too deep and I’ve become entirely incapable of most things it means I’ll be useless for most things. I can’t even afford a therapist currently and I live in a small community which means that even if I could get one, I’d have to be secretive and very careful because I don’t wanna share this with anyone..I know their reactions and I don’t want them. Maybe some people can get over them and maybe others are meant to live with them. Who knows.
Hey thanks for sharing. Until you can get a therapist, self-learning can help. There are many great books on OCD recovery, read some, they will give you some skills to deal with it. Also connect with others on OCDA facebook groups. All the best :-).
What a beautifully written and well informed article.
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