OCD and my family

Before my life-changing round of exposure and response prevention …

Me: Sad, guilty, full of continual anxiety and doubt.  I had this amazing family, friends who deeply loved me, and a college degree in a field that I loved … but I was a soul in anguish.

Dad: Upset, frustrated, reluctant to discuss anything OCD-related.  He couldn’t understand how my life could be so good and yet I could be so sad.  I think it was hard for him to see his daughter suffering from a pain he couldn’t fix.

Mom: Sympathetic, sorry, and wondering if she was to blame for this disorder that was ravaging her eldest.

Sister: Confused and scared.  Sharing a room with me, she had fallen asleep to the sound of my tears every night for– literally– years.  And now, all these years later, she feels guilty that she had listened to me when I asked her not to tell.

Brother: Annoyed.  Why couldn’t his oldest sister just be normal for once instead of a nutcase?

OCD affects the whole family.

I am so grateful that God led me to the exact right doctors to help me!  My psychiatrist got me onto the right cocktail of medication and referred me to cognitive-behavioral therapy, which changed my whole life!

These days, my whole family revels in my rescue!  I just got off the phone with my brother, and he said, “I can really only remember the good things.”

I am glad.

© Images by Marguerite

© Images by Marguerite

12 thoughts on “OCD and my family

  1. You have a beautiful family, Jackie, and I’m so glad for the support they have given you. You gave a very clear overview about how OCD affected your family. OCD really does affect those around the sufferer. I think sometimes those of us with OCD forget that.

  2. Thank you for sharing this–so important to hear, especially as we personally walk with Faith through her OCD. And the family picture is beautiful!

  3. Thank you Jackie for your insights about OCD. I really related to this article about the family. Both of my teenagers are suffering through OCD and since we live in a really rural area, it is hard to find help that believes in CBT. So we are just struggling along day to day. My son, who is 14 and the nicest, most kind, gentle boy you would ever meet, especially is tormented. It is hard on the family because his contamination fears center around his sister which of course if very painful for her. Their relationship is being destroyed by this awful monster. Their Dad, views OCD in much the same way as your Dad did. Anyway, I just want to thank you for your encouraging words each day. PS: My daughter (17) is also an aspiring author.

    • Hi April! Thank you for commenting! My heart just breaks for your family– I completely understand. Since CBT therapist opportunities are rare where you are, I highly suggest purchasing a book like Freedom from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder by Jonathan Grayson. It would help you all do self-guided CBT in your home. Or check out the app at liveocdfree.com. There is so much freedom to be gained … it’s difficult, but SO worth it!!

      Thinking of you and your family today.

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