THIS IS WHAT OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER LOOKS LIKE*

for me.
  1. INTRUSIVE THOUGHTS
    intrusive thoughts are defined as "an unwelcome involuntary thought, image, or unpleasant idea that may become an obsession, is upsetting or distressing, and can feel difficult to manage or eliminate."¹ when paired with OCD, they become thoughts that may compel you to do something. for me it's "drive your car into those other cars." I don't want to kill myself but it's a persistent thought in my mind.
  2. PHOBIAS LIKE SCRUPULOSITY & TRYPOPHOBIA
    both my trypophobia & scrupulosity started when I was very young. my scrupulosity manifests thusly: watching a movie like the Ten Commandments, going to bed & not being able to sleep because of fear that Moses was going to appear at my bedside. the trypophobia is far worse because so many images set my skin on fire. & of course, the OCD keeps those images stuck in my mind.
  3. BLINDING RAGE
    I'm not an angry person but I've had my problems with rage & anger related to my OCD. god forbid you move anything in my house, touch something, rearrange something, etc. get ready to feel THE WRATH OF GOD. I've gotten a lot better over the years & people know what's up but it's like you're possessed. inside, you know you're not angry but you can't stop it, can't control it.
  4. HOARDING
    god am I a hoarder. this is the thing I've had the most success with because i FORCE myself to throw things away but damn is it hard. I fear I'm one major catastrophe away from ending up on A&E.
  5. CRIPPLING ANXIETY
    this is kind of a new one for me & it's been difficult to navigate. anxiety attacks are become more the norm for me and it feels like I can feel every single cell. those cells are both shaking violently and frozen and the worst is that it's interfering with my work. imagine being terrified to send or receive emails. yeah.
  6. UNWANTED SEXUAL THOUGHTS
    there's nothing like having images of random people having sex flash in front of your eyes. and that's the lighter side. I have dealt with depraved thoughts that have truly undermined my sanity & my grasp on reality. it has hurt many of my relationships (not solely romantic) & I have tried to repair some of the damage but it's hard. telling your brain to believe one thing while your brain says another is immensely difficult.
  7. EVERYDAY COMPULSIONS
    how I park, put on my clothes, turning off lights, counting asinine things, the way I hang my clothes, everything if I want to be honest.
  8. DEPRESSION
    I was in a serious depressive period for years when I was younger. though now it's not as constant, I do go through some pretty predictable cycles. the big thing for me now is that everyone knows what it looks like & that I know I just have to go through it and that it will end.
  9. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
    I was diagnosed in 2002 & have been working on my own & in therapy ever since to take control of my life. while I'm light years away from where I was at my worst (around 13), every day is a battle. I don't feel stable enough to have children but I feel strong enough to make that decision. I'm surrounded by amazing people who love me & that makes all the difference.
  10. YOU'RE NOT ALONE!
    I made this list because thinking about it, surprisingly, helped me work my way out of an anxiety attack this morning. I've made my struggles known because it is a huge part of me, one of which I'm not ashamed. & it's all because I had someone who helped me. so whatever your OCD might look like, don't be ashamed to ask for help & know that there are people out in the world who support, understand, and love you!