Friday, 10 November 2017

My OCD and What It Means To Me



OCD is something that I have always struggled with. Growing up, it was always present that there was something not wrong, but something that was different with me. I couldn’t function the same way that other children could and things got to me and played on my mind in an unhealthy way. It wasn’t until I was a little older that the doctors diagnosed me with OCD.
I want to do this post to try and change people’s perception of what OCD. I think a lot of people don’t understand it, so it makes them rude and quite obnoxious. My family for example don’t understand what it is like for me and I am quite often met with jokes and mockery, and even though I know they don’t mean anything venomous by it, it can hurt because this is something that I have to deal with every single day. Firstly, I want to mention that there are different types of OCD. Don’t shoot me if I am wrong about this, but this is how I understand it…
·         Cleanliness worries, leading to obsessive cleaning and washing compulsions
·         Panic over harm obsessions such as your house setting on fire and the checking compulsions that go along with it
·         Needing order, counting and arranging and control over everything and panic when it can’t be achieved
·         Hoarding
Obviously, many people can worry or think about these things, but that doesn’t mean that they have OCD, even though they may claim that they have. It isn’t until that these compulsions start to take over and hinder what you do on a daily basis that it is classed as an obsessive-compulsive disorder.


My OCD overlaps into near enough every single sub-category of what OCD is. I started with these intense symptoms when I was around 14. It is very strange for somebody so young to be diagnosed with OCD and the doctor at the time said he personally had never known it in all of his years as a professional. I never took it as something to be proud of, at the time I found it incredibly scary because I was having to see behaviourists and I thought that I was doing something wrong. And as I have got older the symptoms that I used to suffer from have intensified.
Firstly, for cleanliness. I need my space, whether it be my desk at work, my car or my whole home, it has to be clean. I will hoover my home every day, there can never be anything left out and every single surface is wiped down daily without fail. Even though I am not afraid of germs and I don’t worry about contamination like some do with OCD, I have to have everything in its place and everything has to be clean. If something is out of place or being left out I have to rectify it straight away. If the mess or issue isn’t something that can be sorted out, it will play on my mind and it will get to the stage where I can have a panic attack, because I don’t have complete control over it.
Now, moving onto panic over harm obsessions. This is people worrying about their house setting on fire or flooding, you get my meaning. Even though I do worry and obsess over these things, for me my centre around people breaking into my home. I would hate to have my space invaded, probably because of how particular I am about everything, but the idea of somebody else entering my space worries me to no end. Over the years, it has been that bad where I have had to turn back from work and even to the point where I couldn’t bring myself to leave the house in the morning.
I know that it is completely irrational to think this way because some things you cannot have complete control over, but in my mind, I need to do what I can to prevent it from happening. Now, when I am finished getting ready in a morning I have to take steps to help me leave the house. I will open the camera up on my phone and record myself as I go around checking things. Firstly, I will video myself unplugging my hair curlers, then checking that the windows are locked throughout the whole house, that the freezer is shut, that the gas is off and then finally when I leave the house I will film myself locking the door and testing it several times. Then as I set in my car I will watch the video back and tick off on a checklist to make sure that I have gone through everything. Only then can I set off to work. Then as the day goes on and my anxieties intensify I can get my phone out and rewatch my video and it settles me down, but it doesn’t settle my anxiety completely.
Next, onto the biggest issue for me which is my need for order, counting and arranging. I have to have complete control over everything. To do this I literally make lists for everything. I go into such detail on my daily to do list that I even have to write to get out of bed. Even though that just goes without saying, my head cannot comprehend things that aren’t on my list. Then for each item on my daily to do list I have smaller lists with documents a set order in which things need to be done. This just helps me to keep control on my thoughts and to try and stop me from obsessing.
Once I looked on my phone and saw all of my lists and I genuinely felt insane. How can somebody as young as me be such a mess without a to do list? So, I sat there and I deleted every single one of them. As I sat there I tried to remember everything that I had wrote down on it so that I didn’t forget anything, my brain was well and truly in overdrive because I could just feel everything rushing around in my head. I ended up having a full-blown panic attack where I couldn’t breathe and it was truly terrifying.
If something is passed to me throughout the day, say at work for example I have to sit and rework my whole list to filter it in. If not I cannot comprehend doing it. In the process of adding a simple task to it through I will have to sit and re-write it up to 10 times to get it right and in exact detail. I know that it is obsessive and to some people they won’t see my need for order in everything as a big deal but when I can’t leave the house because my obsession mind has caused me to get a migraine it does make a huge impact on my life.
Hoarding is something that doesn’t affect me. I am actually quite the opposite. I hate clutter and having things just for the sake of having things. I don’t like trinkets and anything that is unnecessary. Other people may see it as d├ęcor, but to me it is a mess. I need things to be very minimalist and simple, again that all ties in to my need for cleanliness, everything to have its own space and needing to have control.
I know this has turned into an incredibly long winded post and it may sound like I am moaning about it. But, I just wanted to do this post to let you guys know what it is really like. I think the term “Oh, it’s my OCD”, no it isn’t. Most people do not have OCD, they have niggles that they don’t like but unless it consumes you and what you do on a daily basis, it is not OCD.
I just want to help to remove the stigma behind it. Not everybody who has OCD cleans their hands 1000 times a day and not everybody will need control and order the way that I do. People just need to realise how it affects people and do what they can to help that person out, the same as they would with anybody else that has a mental health condition. Because, whether people want to admit it or not, that is what OCD is, a mental health condition.
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8 comments

  1. I'm so glad you made this post. I think it's great to use your platform to bring more awareness to what OCD is really like, rather than letting an incorrect assumption continue.

    Abigail Alice x

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    1. Exactly, that is what it is all about!

      Danielle xx
      http://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

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  2. This was such an interesting read - thank you for sharing! I've heard of OCD but it's been great to look into a real human beings point of view.

    www.meowandme.co.uk x

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    1. Aww thank you for reading!

      Danielle xx
      http://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

      Delete
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  5. This is a really good post. It's great to get an insight into how OCD affects you and you're right, so many people mention OCD in a joking manner without realising the potential to upset genuine sufferers xx

    Beautylymin| L'OccitaneAdventCalendarGiveaway

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    Replies
    1. That is what it is all about, just been open and informing people! Xx

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