Hi, I’m Jaime. I suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder.
The first thing I need you to understand is that OCD is not a joke. You do not have OCD because you like to arrange your movies alphabetically or because you have some quirky routine. I don’t say this to be mean, just to inform you. Millions of people struggle with obsessive compulsive disorder. It is a biological disorder than can take control of your entire life. Imagine feeling like you have to wash your hands multiple times. You’re at the sink, and you’ve washed them once, but for some reason they don’t feel clean. You don’t feel right. Your brain is telling you something is wrong, that your hands are not clean, that they are covered in germs that you will then somehow ingest later and spread to others and you and everyone else will get sick and die, all because you didn’t wash your hands. You keep washing until it feels right. Or maybe your brain says you have to wash three times exactly.
Or maybe you’re at work, and it takes you three hours to send one e-mail because you keep going over it, sure you’ve made a dire mistake, sure that if the mistake is caught by someone who isn’t you, you will no longer be seen as credible, and you’ll be fired.
Essentially, OCD causes the person to think that terrible things will happen if they don’t give in to compulsions. There’s no reason to think these thoughts, but we do. And we feel powerless.
I have started therapy to conquer my OCD. I am doing cognitive behavioral therapy, working with a specialist. This type of therapy is highly recommended for those with OCD. And from my experience, I can say it works.
OCD doesn’t go away. It’s always in the background, waiting to pounce. But you can gain control over it and take back your life.
Here in my blog, I chronicle my experiences. Every person’s experience will be different. I hope my information helps you, but please remember I am not a professional, and the advice here is not professional. If you suffer from OCD or think you know someone who does, I encourage you to seek help. The International OCD Foundation has a good website that can help. There are also a number of books about OCD. The one recommended most highly by my therapist is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders by Fred Penzel, Ph.D., and I have to say it’s pretty good. It has a huge checklist in the back that goes through all of your symptoms so you’ll know what you need to tackle, whether you’re doing therapy on your own or are meeting with a therapist.
Feel free to ask me questions! I’ll do my best to help anyone else out there, or even just to help inform you about OCD.