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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.

Along with them they brought physical pain and discomfort. They brought a stomach so tight with anxiety that I couldn’t eat, sometimes even vomiting from the worry. My entire body would ache heavily, from the constant tension in my muscles. Of course alongside this came the sleepless nights, lethargy, and feelings of uncontrollable panic.

Looking back I would estimate OCD has been apart of my life for just under 10 years. Like many other sufferers, I self diagnosed myself with OCD many years ago via Google. However it took me until 11 months ago to eventually open up to my family and friends, including my fiance, and I am now finally undergoing treatment.

The reason I didn’t speak out was a mixture of embarrassment, shame, and fear. I was embarrassed for feeling the way I did. I was ashamed of my thoughts and fears. And I was afraid of people’s reactions, and what that meant for my future.

I have wanted to share my story of OCD for a long time, but I didn’t know where to start. So I decided to begin with something that I would have wanted to read 10 years ago, something that might have helped me when I most needed it.

The one thing that I really wish I had done when I first felt the symptoms of OCD or anxiety, was talk openly about what was happening in my mind. To my parents, a friend, or my GP.

Since telling family and friends, I have not had a negative reaction. Nobody has laughed at me, nobody has told me to just ‘get over it’, or ‘stop worrying’, and nobody has dismissed my OCD as unimportant. Of course not everyone completely understands one hundred percent of the time, but this can be expected for such a complicated subject as mental health.

Telling someone isn’t going to ‘fix’ the problem, but it is the first step. The first step to getting support, the first step to seeking treatment, the first step to overcoming your fears, and ultimately the first step to happiness.

And you deserve to be happy.



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