Although I do know of a few cases where the OC seemed to be almost miraculously healed, OCD is almost always a lifelong disorder; however, if you learn how to put it under your heel, it is very manageable.
(Wow, I never, ever would have guessed that I would be able to say something like that. I feel so unbelievably grateful that I can.)
This week, I was the guest speaker for an Abnormal Psychology class at the university where I am blessed to work. The professor is a Facebook friend of mine and therefore knows that I’m very upfront about my OCD, so she asked if I’d be willing to come share with the students in her class. She kindly allowed me to share for as long as I wanted in any format I wanted (a public speaker’s dream!).
I made a list of topics I wanted to touch on, and the list was LONG! From my own personal story to common myths that need debunking, from OCD themes to effective treatment options, I filled the whole class period. The students were wonderful; they stayed engaged and asked excellent questions (many of them were freshmen who are future therapists), and they were so respectful. (I love Northwestern students so much!)
When I started to share what life was like with OCD, a true statement came boldly from my lips: “OCD is slavery,” I said, and I could feel myself starting to get emotional as I remembered the imprisonment, the guilt, the terror. I don’t know why it surprised me to find that those awful memories would still nearly bring me to tears.
So, does OCD go away?
Yes– for a very, very small few.
Not really, but sort of– for those of us who have used CBT to master the disorder.
But then again, no– years of battle leave real scars.