I battled with undiagnosed OCD for fifteen years before I finally sought help. Now, that just seems silly.
These days, when I encounter a problem, I open my mouth and ask for help. This isn’t weak. It’s smart.
I’m so over the ridiculous stigma attached to this. There is nothing shameful about identifying areas where I struggle and then seeking out solutions. I celebrate my enterprising, aggressive spirit and commitment to health.
This post is not to toot my own horn but to give my blog readers another way of framing the often humbling experience of asking for help. Doing so is a brave, intrepid, wise move– don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
As we know, Jackie, you have a way with words :). Great post…..asking for help is the mature, sensible thing to do!!!
So true, Jackie. Always a good reminder!
So true!!! People respect you and look to you for help, this is a great message!!!!
I have suffered from OCD for years but my intrusive thoughts are so bad they convince me I want to do the horrible things in my head? Is that what ocd really does?
It really, really is. The best, frontline treatment for OCD (and the only treatment I suggest) is ERP therapy. Read my letter at http://www.jackieleasommers.com/OCD-help! It will point you in the right direction. ERP is hard– very hard– but not harder than living with OCD. Make the brave choice to fight for your freedom!
I’m with you, A.
My OCD is at that stage where it’s trying its hardest to convince me that I want the things the intrusive thoughts are centered around, even though I know, consciously, that I don’t want them. Just started CBT therapy and I’m hoping it will help. Stay strong!
Good word! You can do this!!
Thank you, Jackie ☺ Second session is tomorrow and I have to show the counselor the journal I’ve been keeping, so I’m feeling kind of nervous. It’s been a tough week.
Proud of you. This is SUPER WEIRD, so you can ignore me if you want: but think of “tough weeks” as labor pains. You HAVE to get through them to get to the joy on the other side! Keep it up!!!
And if your counselor is trained in OCD and ERP, they’re not gonna be shocked by anything in your journal! 🙂
That’s a great way of looking at it, actually!
Amen! It takes strength and wisdom to seek help.
Hi Jackie, I posted a response on one of your blogs and I talked about dealing with ‘Transgender OCD’. It’s the fear of one becoming transgender. I believe I posted this in Oct/Nov/Dec I can’t remember. I just wanted to say that I’m almost at the end of the road, I did ERP therapy and it has worked. Once I realized the irrational fear of one event, the others quickly fell apart as well. I still have a few more weeks but it’s going well so far, thank you for this blog it helped me so much, and good luck on your book!
Spencer, I LOVE to hear this!!!! If you’d ever be interested in doing an interview about your ERP experience, I’d love to chat more with you about it. (Even if you wanted to do it anonymously!) Either way, CONGRATS! Great work on doing the hard work of ERP!!!
15 years with undiagnosed OCD must feel horrible. I just want to ask, if it’s pure O or “classical” OCD you have? I think I might be suffering from pure O, but very few psychologists I’ve spoken to seems to know what it is and classify it as overthinking or general anxiety disorder. I am too doubting if I really have OCD because It’s not constant, but flares here and there.
Anyways, I don’t know when this happened for the first time but I’ve noticed that when something bad happens to people like their phone is stolen or something like that, I think they will find out it was me somehow and make me responsible. So basically I have fears of being falsely accused of things I’m not responsible of at all.
For example, there were burglary in my school (I’m 18, female and in my last year) and my teacher was talking about it and immediately I felt panic and stress in my gut, and thoughts coming to me “What if they think it was me?”, “What if they saw me at that place that time and thinking I was involved” and then I ruminate about it even though I’m sure I haven’t done anything!! But it feels like I was part of the burglary even though I wasn’t. I doubt something that has never occurred which is bizarre. I just don’t know how to explain this at all.
I also remember when my teacher said they were searching for drugs in the lockers with dogs, and I had the same reaction as stated above. “What if they find drugs in my locker?”, “What if someone planted it in my locker?” and then I feel anxious and stressed out even though I’ve never had anything with drugs to do. Why am I doubting like this? Is this even OCD?
I also remember when being 9-10 years old and one of my teachers said you are 30 persons in this class, statistically 3 of you are going to end up being gay. I remember feeling uncomfortable about this, like wait, what if I turn out to be one of those? And yeah, HOCD thoughts started in january for me this year but they were present in summer 2014 although they didn’t bother me so much then.
I also feel immense guilt. When I have done something bad or wrong, I just can’t let it pass. I constantly go through scenarios like that. If I fall out with a friend for example, I feel anxious and guilty and I can’t let it go, especially if it’s someone who I hold near.
I have obsessed about my health, and in particular having cancer, brain tumors or even being pregnant (without sexual intercourse!) to the point that I thought about going to a nurse and testing myself, and doing an abortion. Thank god that never happened but it was painful 3 months before my period was back and I felt safe and the fear/obsession stopped. I have obsessed about my parents dying and had the need to check if they were breathing in their sleep…so yeah that was pretty intense.
But I’m still unsure if this is OCD. The fact that I’ve had HOCD for 4 months which is my longest obsession, and the fact that I’m a virgin 18 year old female with some tomboyish interests scares the hell out of me.
This comment feels like a book but I just wanted to share my experience with something I’ve been going through lately. Take care.
Hi friend! Aaaaaaalllllll of this sounds strongly like OCD! I recommend getting diagnosed by a professional and then seeking out the frontline treatment: ERP (exposure and response prevention) therapy. It really works! It gave me back my life.
Go to http://www.jackieleasommers.com/OCD-help and read the letter there, okay?
Reblogged this on JACKIE LEA SOMMERS and commented:
I was just going to write a post about asking for help and then wondered if I’d already written one. I had.
Here you go!
You’re so smart and on top of things you already had accomplished this! Nothing to add to such a great post either, especially since its OCD Awareness week and encouraging people to reach out! You don’t have to suffer this much. Help is available, but you do have to reach out. Thanks as always for being such a strong advocate.
And thank YOU, carol, for all you do to help those in bondage to mental illness find a way to freedom!
I get a lot of help from God. 💜