Doubt is thought's despair; despair is personality's doubt. . .;
Doubt and despair . . . belong to completely different spheres; different sides of the soul are set in motion. . .
Despair is an expression of the total personality, doubt only of thought. -
My Perfect OCD
As a child I didn't know I had OCD and didn't know that the way I behaved was not normal. I always used to have a little spot in my dresser where I kept my disaster kit in case there was a tornado. I lived in NH and they don't even have tornadoes there so I don't know where I got the idea for that (Wizard of Oz maybe?). Anyway - I had to be prepared in case there were some sort of a sudden emergency!
At around 35 years of age I began to question why I had to check things all the time - are the car lights really turned off, did I make a mistake in the work I did today (better recheck it), etc... Then things grew worse and it wasn't just checking anymore. Then it was fear of a lack of control. I couldn't drive over bridges because I felt to uncertain about it. The "what if" scenario. What if someone in the other lane drives to close to my car and I'm forced off the road and off the bridge.
Eventually, I felt I could no longer drive over bridges. The problem with that was that I had to drive over a bridge to get to work. Even the alternative routes had bridges. So.... how to get to work and how to keep my job? That wasn't too hard. I just became OC about my work. You know how it is - people call you a perfectionist and a master at whatever you set your mind to. So, once I 'proved' myself at work I convinced them to let me work from home. No more confronting the bridge!
My OCD also took form in fits of anger - intense, unexplainable rage over nothing! I hated that I acted this way and I hated that my husband suffered for it too. But - I just thought that was me - my personality - and what a horrible person I am. Why couldn't I be kinder, less of a perfectionist - ease up a bit...
Then one day I saw a book cover in the bookstore that described a disease. I was stunned and delighted because it perfectly described me. It was a book about OCD. That's when I realized it's a disorder and not just a matter of me being a horrible person. Armed with this new info I went to my Dr. and told her I'm OCD and I have to have medicine. (I had a long list with me and I was prepared to argue if I had to).
I told her my symptoms as fast as I could, so she couldn't stop my momentary courage, and I ended with an exasperated demand: "if you don't give me medicine I'll go to the streets and self-medicate!" She said - "OK, well I've thought that you might be OCD but I wanted to wait and see if you came to that conclusion as well and I'm glad you recognize it and do want help". (why she never discussed this with me before I don't know).
Anyway, I now take Zoloft and it works very well for me. It has changed my life dramatically. I still have moments of doubt from time to time, but I can behaviorally handle it much better than previously. I sleep better, I live better, I'm not stressed out anymore and the people around me enjoy my happiness. There's also a physical benefit. I used to suffer sever Spastic Colitis. The minute I'd get too stressed out I'd be doubled over with intense abdominal pain. I also used to suffer crippling migraines that would send me to the ER in the middle of the night! I no longer suffer from these things since relieving my OCD.
Finally, I personally think there's a genetic and heredity component to OCD. My Dad (who died of a heart attack) was very OCD. I think I learned how to be OCD from him, but I also think he passed it on to me genetically. My 4 year old niece was also diagnosed with OCD which I thought interesting because no one in my family yet knew of my OCD - or even what it was.
Thanks to the owner of this website for providing a forum where we can hear the personal side of OCD - not just the clinical side of it.
Good luck to all of you,
I am not a doctor, therapist or professional in the treatment of CD. This site reflects my experience and my opinions only, unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible for the content of links I may point to or any content or advertising in HealthyPlace.com other then my own.
Always consult a trained mental health professional before making any decision regarding treatment choice or changes in your treatment. Never discontinue treatment or medication without first consulting your physician, clinician or therapist.
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Gluck, S. (2009, January 10). 'Cara', HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, May 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/ocd-related-disorders/articles/cara