I grew up with no knowledge of OCD and no idea there was a name for my madness. I hid my rituals the best I could, coming up with excuses for what I was doing or performing rituals quietly like turning on the faucet only slightly. My OCD not only affected my life and caused stress on my family, but caused problems eating and feeling an overwhelming sense of guilt. I couldn’t (still don’t) read or watch the news. For some reason I felt totally responsible for world disasters. It’s impossible for me to keep things to myself; I need to admit what I’m thinking to get reassurance.
My OCD affected me primarily via the form of scrupulosity (obsession with sins). I was not heavily religious, but I believed my shameful thoughts were dooming me. My compulsions began to get out of control.
Hand washing, checking, counting, eating disorder… thinking about violent ways to die or ways others might die because of me. Violent thoughts dominated my head, and I was breaking down.
Funnily enough, it was not until I saw an episode of Scrubs featuring Michael J. Fox who plays a character with OCD, that I learned that I may have a known problem. “O my god…I do that stuff!”
A few weeks later, I was vacationing and the change of routine spiked my OCD. I could not stop filling and emptying my glass of water. I washed my hands till they bled. I got on the internet and onto a forum where I figured out I might have OCD.
I told my sister that night and she was very supportive. When I returned home, I went to dinner with my now-fiance and told him what was going on. I shook and fidgeted with high anxiety, and admitted the most horrible embarrassing thing about myself. He was wonderful and has been supportive and incredibly helpful in dealing with this since.
When I returned for my final semester of college, I began some counseling and learned quite a bit about how to accept the fact that I had OCD as well as some of my options.
OCD is terrible. I sometimes feel like my brain hates me. I wonder why my brain is trying to destroy me. Some days are harder than others, but at this point in my life, I am in therapy and I feel like things are getting better.
I have tried many forms of treatment and will list them all in this blog. I will also write about interesting new research in OCD as well as some other cool info I learn.