A while ago, I wrote a post concerning my mental state. My intention was to help you understand what sufferers of OCD, anxiety, and depression go through. Unfortunately, some people misunderstood what I was trying to say. A few came across the impression that I am potentially dangerous to be around. That is not true, and I’m sorry if I misled you. Therefore, I will re-post what I have written with a few revisions just to help you understand a little bit better…
“I’ve never really expressed this a whole lot, but I think it is necessary now. I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD; along with anxiety disorder and depression. I’ve been to many different doctors, counselors, and psychiatrists and they are all doing what they can to help me with these problems.
One reason why I don’t tell people this a lot is because most people don’t understand it. A very common response I get is, “Yeah, I have OCD myself. I have to make sure everything in my house is organized.” or “Doesn’t everybody have OCD?” First of all, the desire to keep things organized a certain way is not OCD, it’s perfectionism. Many people use the term OCD lightly and therefore many people do not understand what the sufferer goes through. OCD is not a personality, it’s an actual mental disorder. Am I a perfectionist? Sure, I consider myself one. Is that the only symptom I have? Absolutely not. Being an OCD sufferer, it’s hard for me to totally explain what I go through. Let’s just say this, I have lots of internal voices (figuratively) in my head telling me to do things, even if they are illogical or dangerous. If I don’t do them, the voices get louder and angrier. It’s not as bad as schizophrenia, but it’s debilitating nonetheless.”
Here is where I should clarify myself. I have these internal voices telling me to do bad things, but I am not one bit tempted to follow these voices. I have never done something irrationally dangerous to myself or to other people, and most likely never will. Yes, I have those voices, but I have a conscience too. My conscience and personal reasoning control me, not the voices.
“Even now as I write this blog post, I’m having trouble staying focused. My thoughts are flooded with pointless junk. As an author, how easy do you think it is to write, edit, or even read a book with all these thoughts in your head? It’s possible, but hard. This is why I’m a slow reader.
For the past few years, I’ve tried different prescription medications. My doctors weren’t exactly sure what was wrong with me at the time. I didn’t either. All I knew was that something wasn’t right. I’ve been misdiagnosed with ADD once. Prescription: Amphetamine. That’s right. This medicine really messed me up, and even almost cost me my life! I’ve had a few instances like this since then, but with less intensity. To say the least, these past few years have been the hardest years I have endured.
I hope you now can understand what OCD really does to people, and frankly I’m sick of people using the term lightly. “I have OCD myself” and “Everyone has OCD” are really annoying responses to hear. I believe everyone has the O and the C, but not everyone has the D. D stands for Disorder, after all. If you consider yourself OCD, chances are you don’t have it. If you really think you do have it, talk to a doctor or a counselor. Never consider yourself OCD unless it has been officially diagnosed. It’s like believing you have autism. If you think you have it, then you more than likely don’t. If you do have diagnosed OCD or some other mental disorder, my thoughts and support are with you. I know how hard life can get. But there is help for you, help for all of us. Never give up hope.
That is all. I hope you now know a little bit more about OCD. That is what I have. It is debilitating, but I’m managing it. It takes time and patience, and it’s hard, but it can be overcome.”
Since I have written this, I have experienced good treatment. I’m not cured, and I still struggle, but I feel like I’m making an improvement. I hope now you understand what I am saying a little bit better. And again, if you have any mental struggles, never give up hope. There are people who love you and care for you; they will do what they can to help you. I know because I have met these people.
Never give up hope.