- A little about you.
Hi, I’m Kate. I’m 21 from the UK. I live with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).
- Your experience with OCD.OCD could be defined as a huge part of my life. It’s part of why I struggle with anxiety.
When massive changes happen in my life, my OCD can ‘flare-up’ as such. It becomes more noticeable to other people and my compulsions become harder to ignore.
It can start out as a little niggle in my head for instance ‘Did I lock the door?’. The rational part of my brain says to me ‘Of course you have! Continue with your journey’. However, the stronger more irrational, what could be described as the OCD part of my brain is screaming ‘NO!! YOU DIDN’T!! TURN BACK NOW!!’ And 9 times out of 10 it’s the irrational part of the brain that wins the argument. If I go back and check the same argument occurs in my head even after I’ve checked the door. If in the slim chance, my irrational side wins, I will spend the rest of the day extremely anxious about my decision and then when I get I get home, I will dread opening the door to see if I was wrong and I should have listened to the other side of my head.
When I went to my doctor to discuss my OCD, it was tricky to get them to understand what I was feeling, however, I found my saving grace in the form of the Doctor I went to for a medication review. He sat me down and asked how things were going with my anxiety, I was honest and burst into tears and explained what had been happening. He proceeded to explain to me that it is likely I suffer from OCD and that could be what is causing most of my anxiety. He referred me to the relevant teams but still proceeded to maintain a part of my medical team. He made sure I knew what was happening and he dealt with my medication. When we entered lockdown and my anxiety started to spiral again and I realised I needed to up my medication to help with my mental health, he helped me sort it out and made me keep on reviewing it and making sure I knew I wasn’t on my own and checking I was talking to my partner and my family about how I was feeling.
OCD is my most recent diagnosis, but as I see it in my life, I find it tricky to understand how it took so long for my diagnosis to come. If you feel like you may suffer from OCD talk to a trusted person and talk to your doctor as they will be able to help you with avenues of support.
- Your recovery journey and coping mechanisms which have helped you.
Things that help me with dealing with my OCD are using thumb worry stones, they are small enough for me to keep in my pocket and use when I’m in public and can feel an attack coming on. I also try and use grounding techniques, I find these easier to use when someone is with me and is helping me to focus. Mainly I find talking to someone helpful, whether this is a partner, parent, friend, or counsellor/therapist. Make sure it’s someone you trust and understands what you are going through and won’t give you the unhelpful advice of ‘You’ll get over it’. That advice sucks, you don’t have to get over it, you need to learn how to find ways to help you cope with it. Many people don’t understand that OCD isn’t just cleanliness or organisation. It’s much more than that, it’s not understanding why something has changed, why the routine you are so used to is out of sync. OCD is different for everyone and people need to begin to understand we don’t live up the stereotype.
- A message for those living with OCD.If you do suffer from OCD or think you do, then please talk to someone you trust. This is just my experience with OCD everyone’s journey will be different, everyone will have different ways of coping with it. Make sure you understand your story may not be the same as everyone else. 💛