The national OCD charity, run by and for people with lived experience of OCD
Our Young Ambassador Anna has shared an amazing blog post for this months ‘OCD is’ theme.
Thank you Anna!
For many people, OCD to them is not even a disorder, but an adjective to describe being organised and clean. Those of us who know the real OCD, the reality is far more complex and causes immense distress. OCD is different for everyone who suffers from it, but it does share common themes.
For me, the beginning was subtle, I was very young and didn’t even realise there was a problem. The loss of all control I had over my life was so gradual I barely noticed until it had completely taken over. It was unprecedented and unexpected. It was like watching a young child grow taller, you don’t notice until their clothes no longer fit them. This decline accelerated as I became more ill and my condition deteriorated rapidly once OCD had a grip of me. It became debilitating and was consuming every moment of my day. OCD is a very demanding illness. I spent every minute trapped in a compulsion or obsession. The fear was paralysing, and I could be trapped in a loop for hours. Simple tasks became a labyrinth of avoidance and awkward techniques to resolve my anxiety. It was very frustrating, as although I knew my reactions and feelings were irrational, I felt powerless to do anything about it.
It was very frustrating, as although I knew my reactions were irrational, I felt powerless to do anything about it.Anna
OCD is very much a shapeshifter; it was my closest friend and my biggest enemy. It made me feel safe but was also what was causing me to feel unsafe in the first place. It pretended to be protecting me and the ones I loved from harm, but was what was hurting me and those close to me from the very start. It is a thief and stole every element of my life I once enjoyed. I couldn’t pet a dog, read a book, go to school. I was robbed of the teenage opportunities everyone else seemed to experience and I am incredibly jealous of that, even now. I was put in a cage of isolation, unable to share my feelings with anyone as they couldn’t understand, and I didn’t want to become a burden either. I stopped talking to everyone on a personal level and the only conversations I had with anyone was with members of my household, and even then, I can’t say I was connected as OCD was constantly at the forefront of my mind. It was encompassing, surrounding me and restricting me further and further. It was like the walls were closing in. It was an overbearing, fiendish constant chatter of all the terrible things that could ever happen anyone, and how I was to blame.
OCD is a thieving and cruel illness, and I have found it to be extremely humbling, but recovery is always possible. Something I didn’t believe when I was severely ill, and it made me angry when people said “you will get better” because I truly believed this would be my life forever. I was wrong. OCD is beatable and I’m not fully cured yet, but I am now so much happier and know that I will one day be free of OCD.
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