Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Coming out... in the OCD sense

Less than two months ago I was in a very bad way.

A part of my brain seemed to have developed a new found strength that completely dominated all of my rational thought, and as a consequence, my rational self control. My day-to-day living had become dictated by elaborate rituals that I had to perform. That I had to perform.

I will explain more specifically as to how I have been affected in a later blog entry, but for now, just know that pretty much every normal day-to-day action was affected in some way by the need to perform compulsive routines. If these were not carried out to a satisfactory standard then I would have to start again until I was somehow satisfied. If they were not carried out at all then I was dominated by intrusive thoughts of bad things happening to those closest to me.

The worst thing was that every time I performed a ritual, the next time it would get bigger, more elaborate or somehow more difficult to satisfy.

I stated in my previous entry that I was 11 when I first noticed that I was affected by these compulsive urges and intrusive thoughts and feelings. That was many years ago now; almost two decades in fact.

I always had the intention to admit my condition to my family and friends but I never could muster the courage. In the early days I was scared that I would be the only one in the world to suffer like this and so nobody would understand if I told them. In later years I just justified my silence by convincing myself that 'it just isn't bad enough to bother'.

I wish I had then and not let it get to the point of oblivion that I experienced a couple of months back.

At that point in time I was at rock bottom. I truly and honestly didn't know which way to turn to escape the intrusive thoughts and the compulsive urges and so, I finally told my family what was wrong with me. They had long since known that something was on my mind and they had many times tried to coax my problems out of me but I had always feigned happiness and told them I was fine.

Before that point, I would never admit my problems outwardly. Speaking out loud was a confirmation of my fears that I was not yet ready to acknowledge.

I can only equate admitting to those close to you that you suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder, or some other form of mental health condition, to coming out as a gay man or woman.

Both would take a huge amount of bravery and courage.

If you are reading this entry and have not yet admitted that you suffer from OCD (if that be the case!), either to yourself or to those close to you, then I urge you to do so with all my heart.

It has been the biggest step that I have yet taken on my road to recovery and it has lightened the burden I have been carrying these many years past. Support and love cannot and must not be underestimated as it is truly the greatest thing in the world.

I now have a place to turn populated by the people I love.


Kat said...

It really is difficult to admit, not only to others, but to yourself that you suffer from an anxiety disorder such as OCD. You really do feel like you are alone and that no one could possibly understand. Know that you are not alone. There are many of us out there who have felt the same way and do understand.

Yes, the obsessions and compulsions do have a tendency to snowball. My therapist always tells me that my rituals are like my drug. They help me feel good, but eventually I build up a tolerance and need more, more, more.

OCD Anonymous said...

Hello Kat,
I think I was scared of the stigma attached to mental health issues, a fear that I would be treated differently or with caution but I was surprised to learn that approximately 1-in-4 adults suffer from a form of mental health condition at some point in their lives. Blogs are a fantastic resource for feeling a part of a community united by common ground, OCD in our case, and certainly help to alleviate the isolation.