By Chloe

I have had Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder since I was 9 years old.  I am now 19.

My Nan was severely ill and died in 2002 and since then I have suffered with OCD.  I remember having to tap the bedrail four times before bed time so she wouldn’t die.  When she died, my OCD got worse and I still feel I have to do certain things to stop others dying.  There are times when my OCD restricts me from doing ‘normal’ things.  Some days I cannot get dressed quickly because of my rituals and obsessions, such as making sure my hands are clean and doing certain things the right number of times.

I have facial tics and have to do them a certain number of times, which caused me to get bullied in high school.  If something I touch is ‘contaminated’ I immediately have to clean my hands and can’t get anything that is clean near them due to my fear of getting diseases and illnesses.

Seeking reassurance is a main part of my OCD, and it helps me calm down, but it’s not a good thing to seek when having OCD, so I am working on not doing it so much.  It’s a struggle!

I have to turn the taps off with tissues so I don’t get any germs, and open the doors with tissue too.  I even have to wear tights under my trousers so I don’t contract any diseases when sitting down anywhere.  The anxiety is physically and emotionally draining.

Most days, the only thing I can think about is my OCD.  Will I get any germs from this?  What will happen if I do that?  If I don’t do that, my mother will die.  The rituals are exhausting and when you have OCD, it feels like your thoughts are in control, not you.

READ MORE  An OCD Testimonial by 'MC'

I started my treatment in 2008 (which was when I was diagnosed) under the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team (CAMHS) and my school work and family life suffered due to me having Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  There were many times when I never went to school due to my OCD.  I was also diagnosed with Clinical Depression and stayed in bed for most of the day, lost my appetite and lost a lot of weight.  Eventually, I dropped out of my A-Levels in 2010 and started working in Administration.  However, due to me becoming ill I had to leave in April of this year.

When I was 18, I was transferred to the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) and had the opportunity to do a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.  The course helped me understand that my thoughts and obsessions are not me; it’s OCD!  I have obsessions and intrusive thoughts regarding death, contamination and bad things happening.

I have learned a lot from my treatment and I am now learning how to manage my OCD and get better.  I have good days and I have bad days.  I know one day I will be free from OCD, one day it will have no control over me and that ‘it’s always darkest before dawn’.

Chloe’s tips:

  • If you think you have OCD, please see a GP.  They will give you the help you need.
  • Remember to do things you enjoy, like reading or cooking. I enjoy writing poetry.
  • I find that eating and sleeping well really helps me manage my OCD.  If I don’t get the right amount of sleep, I’m very emotional and irritable.
  • Talk to someone you trust about your OCD, whether it’s a family member or a friend.
  • OCD does not have to define you – you are you, not your OCD.
READ MORE  An OCD Testimony from Caroline

Click below to order Check Mates, the first ever collection of fiction poetry and artwork about OCD

  1. OCDisntme says:

    I’m 18 years old and was diagnosed with OCD around age 7 or 8. Reading your story it sounds like we have so much in common. Read my story at Thank you for creating awareness!

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