I first decided to join this online community one day when I was particularly distraught from a bad thought of harming somebody else. I thought; "At one point I was 'recovering', and now, at this point in my life, my self-improvement isn't working and it's time to start helping myself feel better and to learn to love myself again, while possibly helping others, too."
But there was one particular incident which happened in my reality where I rushed to this community to reassure myself.
See, I'm 21. I've said a few times on ths board how I believe I suffered with OCD my entire life. I've always had odd little habits and I've always felt that my thoughts were unreasonable. I remember being 7 and thinking that there was something horribly wrong with me and that I should confess to authorities and be locked up.
When I was 13, my parents signed me up for counselling. Like many young people forced to go to counsellors, I was far from excited. I felt a little weird. But because of my counselling, I was able to grow some self confidence AND finally comprehend that I was a sufferer of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. From that day onwards, I FINALLY knew what was 'wrong' with me, and it wasn't so bad! *Well, it was bad, it afflicated my life strongly, BUT, I wasn't alone and people had a name for it the problem!*
I desired support from close friends and my *then* boyfriend. I was lucky. My close friends were very supportive and I felt I could heal.
When I took medication, I felt a lot better. Of course, the side effects were what made me quit…that, and the fact that I mistakenly thought that the OCD wouldn't return since I was so 'healed' I forgot how horrible the thoughts were. (I took Fluvoxamine..it worked, but it gave me hot and cold flashes and took away my sex drive entirely.)
But, very recently, about a month ago or so, I went out to dinner with two casual 'friends'. They began discussing what was 'wrong with them both and the amount of anti-depressants and pills which they had to take. (The girl has MS and her condition will only worsen as time progresses, and the guy…I have no clue what he has he's just a bit odd.)Thinking it was possibly a safe time to admit what I suffered from, I confessed I suffered and was diagnosed with OCD.
Instead of receiving support, the girl with MS shook her head at me and told me that it didn't sound like OCD. I couldn't explain it properly to them and I didn't want to tell them about my thoughts surrounding harming people. I became increasingly nervous as the girl questioned if I ever took physc (she was in a Child and Youth Worker program which is similar to my Social Service Worker Program). I said; "But…I've been diagnosed by two doctors, you're telling me that they are wrong?" She smiled in this self-absorbed way and told me "Yes." The guy told me that he knew someone with OCD and I didn't display symptons of it. He said she was really 'messed up' and couldn't leave her house. The girl went on to tell me it sounded like 'Generalized Anxiety' which I could have ALONGSIDE OCD, but she meant it was fully generalized anxiety. My boyfriend tried to explain it to them but they didn't believe it.
I still feel somewhat angry thinking about the situation even though it's been a very long time. I've grown to understand and accept what I suffer with, how dare the question it and tell me what I don't and do have? How would she have felt if I told her she didn't have MS because I've never seen her display symptoms of it?
Either way, it's been over a month and I bet she didn't think anything of it. But I still feel bitter and anxiety over it.
And that's sort of why I want to get the message about about the different kinds of OCD and compulsions. I want people to understand that 'Pure O' IS OCD…not just obessions. I don't want people to feel isolated and alone, especially because some 'Pure O' sufferers may be coerced into believing otherwise. I was lucky I had understanding parents. I was fortunate to have some supportive friends. But there's probably thousands of unknown sufferers thinking that they are bad, crazy, alone … and even having reinforcement of this from their peers.
I want to change OCD for many people and those of us who quietly suffer…those of us who walk and appear normal but fight off this invisible demon…and those of us who desperately need support but fail to receive it.
I'm lucky to have found this board…I hope others find it, too.