Emma - COVID-19 & OCD

Hi everyone, my name is Emma and I am an eighteen year old from Edinburgh. I was diagnosed with anxiety and OCD (mostly intrusive thoughts based) when I was five. I wanted to share some tips and tricks and also just share my experience of the current lockdown situation.

Being told to stay in the house is my biggest fear. The thought of being stuck with my own brain with minimal distractions for days on end is my thought of hell. When Boris announced the three week lockdown I was sat with my boyfriend and I immediately burst into tears and had a panic attack. I wish I could back in time to that moment and tell myself everything was going to be ok. It is now the over half way point of the initial three week lockdown and time has gone extremely fast and my OCD has been really good. Yes, I have had multiple moments of weakness and a couple of breakdowns on the phone to my boyfriend but overall this has not been half as bad as my brain made me think it was going to be.
For people suffering with mental health, even getting out of bed in the morning should be an achievement for us in a time like this. Most people will have lots of unused energy right now due to doing nothing but sitting and watching television etc, but if anything, I am more exhausted now than I am usually. I have to constantly fight my brain so the fact I have nearly made it two weeks is amazing. The lack of distractions is difficult but I have some tips to try and help fellow mental health sufferers during this time.

1) Do not feel bad if you are not productive. Even staying sane takes work and effort during this time so do not put too much pressure on yourself to "get stuff done". You are doing enough!

2) Do not stay in bed all day (I know, this is very tempting) but getting dressed, showering, making your bed and other basic activities like this make you feel a sense of normality and like you have achieved something.

3) Be social online but don't overdo it. Yes, using video chatting services is amazing during times like this to stay entertained and in contact with your friends and family but you do not want to become too dependant on other people. You need to train yourself to be able to comfortably be in your own head sometimes, even if it's just an hour a day.

Hopefully these tips help somebody and just know that we are all in this together! If you ever want somebody to speak to then feel free to contact me on my twitter page "ObsessiveCompulsiveDiscussion" and I would love to chat or even just listen if you wanted 🙂

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