There’s something that I need to tell you all. I started going to online therapy. With all the posts on here about therapy and the way the pills were working and how I felt, I just knew it was time so I referred myself and that, as they say, was that.
And in my second session it came to light. My therapist officially diagnosed me with OCD. There’s a lot of talk about this mental health illness and with it, I always shrugged it away. I don’t have that, I’d tell myself because I don’t count and my room is a bombsite and I’m just not that obssessive…
Turns out, like with many other things, the media hasn’t been portraying OCD in all its forms. And once I read more about it and spoke to some friends about it and had more therapy sessions, I realised that yes, I did have OCD and I had probably been undiagnosed with it since I was a young teenager.
Because OCD isn’t just counting. The biggest part of OCD is the O which stands for Obsessional Thoughts. Now, everyone has thoughts and many people are likely to have the same thoughts as someone with OCD. It is just that someone who does not have the illness can shake the thought away. No, they’re not going to grab that pair of scissors and stab their friend. But someone with OCD latches onto the thought. They imagine doing it. Then they wonder what will happen next and then they ask themselves why they want to do it. And on and on. In a spiral of awful thoughts.
What happens next is the C part. Compulsions. To feel that they have some control and to stop themselves from actually stabbing their friend, they come up with a routine to make themselves feel better. In media this is represented as the counting or obsession with pavement cracks, etc. But it comes in many forms all unique to the individual and the situation. For example I mumble to myself, close my eyes, breathe deeply, wash my hands, clench my fists, rub my hands, tap… etc. Things that are barely noticeable to the naked eye and things I have been doing for so long, I didn’t even realise I was doing them until I was diagnosed.
So yes, I have OCD. And it’s been an odd revelation. Telling my mum has been the highlight because she just nodded and was like, yeah…. It was definitely an interesting moment. I had to ask her why she never told me!
But mostly now I am working on dealing with it. On getting better for the most part but also in embracing this illness. It’s going to be with me forever and I’m not actually worried about that anymore as I am now equipped with the skills to deal with it when it gets difficult.
Lastly these two books really helped me understand my OCD more so do read them if you want to!
Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon
Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
And as always, please don’t be afraid to go to the doctor or speak out if you think you have a mental illness of any kind. They’re here to help you. We’re all here to help you.