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.

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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 testimonial by E. I. Muse

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  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 ocdisntme.wordpress.com. Thank you for creating awareness!

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