Hello! Today I am going to talk about something that I suffer from which is called OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).
OCD is a mental health condition where a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive activity.
An obsession is an unwanted and unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters a person's mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust or unease.
A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that someone feels they need to carry out to try to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought.
For example, someone with a fear of their house being burgled may feel they need to check all the windows and doors are locked several times before they can leave the house. (Source-NHS)
There are lot of stereotypes about people who have OCD for example that they’re always clean and tidy. I can tell you that this is not true, I am one of the messiest people you will ever meet and I have OCD. Of course some people’s OCD is based around cleanliness and tidiness but not everyone.
Everyone who has OCD has different experiences. If I don’t do a compulsions I will have an intrusive thought: E.G. If you don’t pick that pen up and down 5 times your Mum will die. I know that this thought isn’t logical because it’s just a pen, but it feels real to me. If someone doesn’t do a compulsion they will normally feel an intense amount of fear and anxiety.
Sometimes I have what I call ‘OCD Attacks’ this is what I call it when I’m having a lot of compulsions. Sometimes, on a bad day, I have a lot of compulsions. Sometimes I have intrusive thoughts (Unwanted thoughts). These can be anything but they are normally very unpleasant and might involve your family your friends or yourself. This is why I avoid Horror Movies and anything to do with Horror because I normally have a lot of Intrusive thoughts afterwards which can trigger my compulsions.
If you ever need someone to talk to someone or need advice on this you can direct message @teenswithexp on Twitter and ask to talk to me or email: teenagerswithexperience.outlook.com with the subject: OCD-Bron
Everything will be kept completely confidential and nothing will be shared without your permission.
My experience with OCD:
I have had the symptoms of OCD for as long as I can remember but was only officially diagnosed in the summer of 2015. I started to notice something was wrong when I was in Year 7, 2013. This is when my anxiety and OCD first started. I go to boarding school and in year 7 I shared a room with 3 other girls. One day I suddenly felt really scared about sleeping in my own bed so for about a month I slept in a bed with my friend every night. This also carried on when I was at when the summer holidays started too. I eventually decided to try and sleep in my own bed, it was hard but I finally did it. This is when the OCD first started kicking in. Of course I didn’t know that I had OCD yet. I thought it was something normal that everyone went through. Before I went to bed I made sure all the curtains were fully closed and there was no light coming through. There was a ladder at the end of my bunk bed that I put on the floor and before I slept I read the same paragraph my Nan wrote for me. All of this had to be perfect or I would have an intense amount of anxiety. If there was light in the room, I re-adjusted the curtains. If I read a word wrong in the paragraph, I started again. I eventually knew the paragraph of by heart. At this time I also had a counsellor, but I only saw her for my anger and nothing else. However, I stopped seeing her half way through Year 8. School finally ended and it was the summer holidays, but nothing stopped. I had recently made a Facebook account and one day I started receiving chain messages, the type that said:
“If you don’t send this to 10 people tonight you will be murdered”
These scared the sh*t out of me! It wouldn’t let me copy and paste it which meant I had to type it. I made sure I typed it correctly and checked over and over again to make sure every word was perfect, then I sent it to the amount of people I had to send it too and I checked I sent it to the right amount of people over and over again. I always ended up crying in fear and I was still scared when I went to sleep. Nothing ever happened to me but to this day anxiety still flares in me when I see one. I sure that this was the start of anxiety and OCD. I was eventually scared to sleep in my own room unless I had the light on because of this. When school started again all of this subsided and I had a good year, I only remember 1 compulsion that I had which was when I went to the toilet at night and I had to get back into my bed before the bathroom door closed and if I didn’t make it, I would do it again. In the summer holidays of 2014 I finally started to notice that something was wrong. I was in my room at my Nans and each day I would spend up to 2 hours dealing with compulsions. Before I left the room I would have to do a ‘routine’ I would look out of the window at 2 specific points in the grass and then 2 specific points in the sky then step over an area of carpet in my room and walk to my wardrobe I would open it from left to right 4 times to check there was nothing in there then I would look in the corner of the room then knock on the wall and leave the room. This exhausted me because each time I got it wrong I would start from the beginning. I remember that I would sit on the floor sobbing because I had tried to do it perfectly for 2 hours. My knuckles where bleeding from the amount of times I had knocked on the wall. I HAD to do it perfectly or something awful would happen to me or to my family. This was when I knew something was wrong. I still didn’t get any help though. I started Year 9 and everything was going fine for me, but it all started going wrong again before the Christmas holidays. I don’t remember exactly what happened but I decided to talk to someone. So I talked to my head of Year. I told her what was happening and she said she was glad I told her and she would tell a counsellor. I was so happy that I got it off my chest. One night I was having a bad evening, I was spending over an hour on compulsions and I ended up crying my eyes out at midnight. I went to the teacher on night duty and started to talk to her before my head of house came upstairs and told me to come downstairs. I told her EVERYTHING and that was when I started to get help. I started seeing my old counsellor again who talked me through CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and I slowly started to get better.
Remember that if you are struggling you should talk to someone. A problem shared is a problem half solved.
Thank you for reading,
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