What It’s Like To Have OCD and How To Understand It
I’ve been struggling with OCD for a little while now. I’m not aware of when it started or why it’s here, but I’ve recently been in therapy trying to fix the problem as much as I possibly can. When you first tell people that you’ve been struggling with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder it can be hard for them to understand why it’s so hard for you to stop doing the compulsions. Its hard to explain it, but I’m going to try.
Obsession (Noun) (Medical Dictionary): a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling; also: something that causes such preoccupation. (from Merriam-Webster.com)
Compulsion (In Psychology)– a strong, usually irresistible impulse to perform an act, especially one that is irrational or contrary to one’s will. (from Dictionary.com)
In a situation where someone with Over-Compulsive Disorder experiences an obsession or obsessive thought, the compulsion is usually a reaction to reduce the obsessive thought and anxiety.
My Experience With OCD
The OCD that I experience is the urge to wash my hands after having anxiety and obsessive thoughts. These thoughts occur in situations where I have to touch or sometimes be around things that I think may have germs on them. It could be a door handle, money, or anything really. The Obsession in my case is the worry of contamination or getting sick from germs.
Over-washing my hands and using hand sanitizer (Compulsion) is how my mind tries to deal with the obsessive thought and anxiety. If I’m being honest, sometimes hand sanitizer doesn’t stop the obsessive thoughts and anxiety in certain situations. The need to wash my hands can still be there.
What OCD Feels Like
In situations where someone like me gets the urge to wash our hands or do any other compulsion, it can be very hard to shut off the thoughts and anxiety caused by the anxious situation. The best way that I can explain it is that it’s like being bullied by my own mind.
Bully (verb): to cause (Someone) to do something by means of force or coercion. / was bullied into accepting the offer . (From Merriam-Webster.com)
I don’t necessarily want to have to wash my hands just because I touched something that shouldn’t give me anxiety. I am also very aware that my obsessive thoughts and compulsive act are mostly irrational. Knowing this does not make it any easier for me to shut off the anxiety and thoughts. It doesn’t make it any easier for me to just stop over-washing my hands, but I’m working on it in therapy and I’m hopeful that one day I will overcome OCD.
Getting Help for OCD
If you have or believe that you have OCD I want you to know that you are not alone. I put some links down below where you can learn more about Over-Compulsive Disorder, and get the help that you need and deserve.
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Getting Help For OCD