If you want to get over OCD, you need to be as strong as the disorder!
“Your OCD is showing”. That’s what we tell to person as a joke when he acts too consciously or takes the best care of everything in the best possible way. Generally, people watch it in movies or TV and consider it quirky.
Do you think OCD stories are adorable? Ask Yourself Again!
It’s not a joke for a person to spend his life with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). According to Mental Health America (MHA), 1 out of 40 adults (primarily women) experiences this disorder in the U.S., negatively affecting their way of living.
But, are you aware of the concept of OCD?
Let’s discuss it first.
What is OCD?
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines OCD as the presence of obsession, compulsion or both. The disorder appears as a recurring obsession and repeated intrusive thoughts ranging from fear of infection and germs to unusual concern about personal safety or comfort of dearest ones. Remember, OCD thoughts are not a problem. However, your choice to take them seriously is undoubtedly a matter of concern.
People with OCD try harder to ignore their obsession or related triggers. Generally, they neutralize their thoughts by engaging in other compulsive activities, including prayer, washing hands, etc.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Personal Experiences
Here three women share their personal experience about OCD, i.e. how they identified the disorders and controlled the symptoms.
Non-Matching Ornaments Bother Me (Marla)
I always knew that I had a different personality. However, I had no idea that it was full-blown OCD until I got a call from my third-grade daughter’s teacher. The teacher explained that my daughter was sobbing in her school because ‘her mother did not allow her to put class project Christmas ornaments on the tree because they are not matching well’. It was disturbing to know that my issues have started negatively affecting my daughter’s life. She is so young, yet she knows she will never get permission to put non-matching ornaments on the tree.
Initially, I decided not to seek professional help or treatment. But then I realized that OCD is affecting my relationship with the family. My family and I acknowledge OCD on a routine basis. This way, I have started letting go of some thoughts forcefully. It has made holidays and other celebrations easier for me. I can put ornaments on the Christmas tree whether they match or not.
Nevertheless, it is still a challenge for me to act normally daily. I try not to visit my kids’ rooms more often because non-order things can send me into a tailspin.
Obsessive Thoughts about Potholes (Carla)
I had obsessive thoughts in my early 20s. It was genuinely challenging to figure out the reason behind these runaway thoughts. I usually think about some different incidents. One was that I was about to fall asleep while driving my car. And second, was that I was about to drop car keys in sewage hole. Also, I was about to drop my car’s keys in the crack between the elevator doors. One was quite serious, i.e. once I hit a pothole and thought my car accidentally ran over someone.
It was terrifying for me to drive around potholes as there are so many potholes around the road these days. After some Google research, I realized I am experiencing some OCD. After months and months, I realized that my feelings have a specific name and other people experience them. I am not struggling with it alone. Sadly, I was not functioning well due to disturbing thoughts.
My psychologist diagnosed that issue, and I visited her clinic frequently for treatment. Now I visit her office when I need it the most. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is effective for me. I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle as I quit smoking, drinking alcohol, etc. I go to the gym and walk daily. Also, I tell myself there is nothing to worry about.
An Eating Disorder (Dena)
I was 21 when I went through extreme psychiatric testing when they treated my eating disorder. After proper check-ups and examination, I was diagnosed with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and OCD. I feared germs that forced me to wash my hands unnecessarily. I realized that I couldn’t wear the same dress at home and in public. Also, I was so concerned about not eating in public places, especially when I had to touch food without washing my hands.
I tried three different clinical programs, but nothing reaped positive outcomes. I felt so helpless because it seemed impossible to treat my unusual disorders. But I didn’t quit and determined to work on myself. I read so many novels, journals, and books to know more about my disorders and how to treat them. I bought a workbook and filled it daily.
I decided that such destructive thoughts shouldn’t ruin my life. After years of effort and hard work, I can say that I have saved my life.
If You Want to Treat OCD, Simply Believe That You Can
Indeed, spending a happy life with OCD is quite daunting. However, you can make everything possible. Seek professional treatment and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
You can & You Wil….