I want you to please know that you are never alone, there are so many people who really do understand what you are going through
I often find myself awake at night with my eyes full of tears, crying out to God asking him, “Why? Why do I have to lie here in panic, why do I have to spend every waking second of my days full of anxiety?” We can ask God that question all we want, but the whole time the answer is right there in front of our eyes. What’s the answer? The answer is that life is full of battles, hardships,and trials, life is not perfect and it was never meant to be. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can stop asking the question why and start accepting the battle that you were given to fight, even when you feel as if you can’t fight anymore. God only gives you what you can handle and with knowing that, you can know that you can conquer any hardship that comes your way.
This past year I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Anxiety, and Depression. I think I always knew from a young age that I dealt with these disorders, but it wasn’t until now that I decided to do something about it. If you let these disorders go unhelped they only get worse and you eventually find yourself crying out for help.
I will never quit and you should never quit either.
I have had OCD for as long as I can remember. My first memory is when I was 11. I watched a movie and became obsessed with being hurt sexually like the person in the movie. It was a unhealthy fear. I told my parents and they took me to a counselor, and they psychoanalyzed me. This did eventually go away. I became obsessed with my health in my teen years. I thought that I would die from some sickness even if I had no symptom of anything. It was ridiculous.
Then when I had my 1st baby at 19 years old was when I really met OCD like no other. I remember walking with my 4 month old baby and all of a sudden a thought came to me “What if you accidentally dropped the baby” and then it went to “what if you purposely dropped the baby”. These thoughts of harming my baby almost destroyed me. I knew that I would never hurt my child. I thought I must never tell anyone or I will loose my child. So I suffered in silence. This OCD fear did did loosen its grip eventually.
But OCD started to make me think that I was a lesbian. I knew that I wasnt but the thoughts were so strong. I recognized the feeling of fear was a similar feeling I had with the harm thoughts of my child. It still felt so real. This also did eventually lose its power and things were normal for a bit. Then I had a 3rd child and 5 days after he was born.. the harm thoughts came back with a vengeance. I became extremely depressed for I recognized the feeling and I was overcome with sadness. This was my first episode of a major depressive episode. It was awful. I lost a lot of weight. I finally was diagnosed by a psychiatrist with OCD. It made so much sense. I was relieved that I was not crazy. She put me on medication and it was helpful with the depression but not so much with the OCD.
I’m writing this with the hope that, if we openly speak about that which we so often mention in hushed tones, we can begin the process of helping those who suffer in silence.
I am a son, a brother, an uncle, a friend, a boyfriend, and a writer. I am also a murderer, I’ve contaminated people with infectious diseases, I’ve seen my cat die in a horrific house fire, I’ve run over countless people with my car, I’ve committed the most heinous moral, ethical, and sexual sacrilege, and at my worst… I believe these accusations my mind has concocted against me. I’m writing this for myself. I’m writing this for every person affected in some way, directly or indirectly, by the beasts that are OCD, body dysmorphia, and depression. I’m writing this with the hope that, if we openly speak about that which we so often mention in hushed tones, we can begin the process of helping those who suffer in silence.
I’ve had what can only be considered the most trying year of my life. No, I didn’t endure some sort of traumatic loss of a loved one, I wasn’t on the front-line of a war, I still have a decent paying job, and my limbs are all intact. But sometimes everything is awash in gray. Existence loses its color. Purpose is indefinable. I’m merely a vessel that’s physically here but emotionally and spiritually dead. That short story I wanted to write and submit to hopefully kick-start my writing career? Absolutely no interest—I’m the most uncreative, talentless person to ever live. Driving the thirty or so minutes to go visit my parents? Maybe next weekend—I’m a terrible, lousy son. Cleaning the apartment? I just can’t be bothered—Man, I’m such a slob. Breathing? Christ, who thought a basic physiological function could be so hard—I’m so lazy. My boyfriend hasn’t texted because he’s busy? It’s no wonder—You’re an inadequate partner and he doesn’t really love you. You don’t even love yourself… Most of the time, at least. When did your self-worth train derail? Did it ever leave the station?
In episode 29 of The OCD Stories podcast I talked with Catlin A. Palmer. Catlin graduated from Idaho State University with a Bachelors in Psychology and a Masters degree in Social Work. He is a life coach, focusing on transformation of the mind. Catlin also shared his story on our website earlier this year.
In this episode I chat with Catlin about his OCD journey, specifically Pure O. He also talks about depression and social anxiety. Drug addiction has been a part of Catlin’s journey, we discuss this and how he is overcoming addiction. We discuss how education helps, medication for OCD, the importance of exercise, and why accepting yourself helps. Enjoy!
I am so much better than I was in January of last year.
In August of my 8th grade year, my health teacher showed a video about OCD in class. Little did I know, in about 4 months, that would be me.
It was my reality. I never dreamed about having OCD. I never asked for OCD for Christmas. I never expected this sweet little nightmare.
In January of my 8th grade year, I started performing rituals at night to make sure I didn’t hear any unexpected Noise at night. It caused me great distress. On January 30, 2015 I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.
2 weeks later, on February 15, 2015, I was hospitalized for extreme insomnia and severe depression. What I really needed was compassionate care. What I got was abuse and neglect. I had no privacy, no way to sustain my ritual, and worst of all, no care at all from staff. My best friends in the hospital were fellow patients. I was discharged February 18. The next day, I saw my therapist for the first time. She was amazing and she would soon become my best friend.
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!!!”