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Written by Paul Conway
A personal journey (Living with OCD)
What is OCD?
No, I am not just ‘a little OCD’. The new in vogue phrase people are grossly misunderstanding and misusing. I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It is a difficulty in which people have recurring, unwanted and intrusive thoughts, ideas or sensations (obsessions) that make them feel driven to do something repetitively (compulsions).
I had it all. Perhaps an exaggeration, but perhaps also an understatement.
Although people may have what seem like similar symptoms, OCD is a very unique experience. It feeds on what we value. I value my family, and so I had many obsessions of inadvertently hurting them.
My Lowest Point
From the very second, I woke-up (I was glad to even sleep at all; often going two days without sleep) to the moment I feel asleep, my mind was bombarded with an influx of constant, unrelenting obsessions, worry, anxieties.
I still remember vividly sitting in a field alone and crying. I was simple exhausted. My OCD had reached a point that it was bordering on psychosis (being afraid to walk on grass for fear of hurting it). I was a broken man, and I needed help.
I asked for help. I reached out to my family. Together, we went to my GP and starting my journey of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and medication (when needed). I also incorporated Mindfulness and Mediation. It took five long years, with many ups and downs. Eventually the downs became less and less. Today, I still have OCD, and I always will, but it has a very minimal impact on my daily life. When my life becomes stressful, my OCD can increase in vigour. However, I remember what I have learnt and implement my CBT and Mindfulness, and calmly but firmly squash the obsessions.
I encourage you to reach out for help. There is always hope. Your journey of recovery may not be easy and it may be long, but persevere; you will succeed; you will triumph.
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