Guest Post by Morgan R – A Secret Case of OCD

I’ve decided recently to feature some guests here on my blog to showcase some other people’s troubles with mental health. Here we have Morgan R who talks about her journey with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder after keeping it a secret for a decade. Please check out her blog by clicking here for more.

morgan

I find it odd that I can be having an anxiety attack and no one around me would ever know. Then again, it’s not all that odd because that’s how it was for over a decade. I’ve had OCD since at least elementary school but I was only diagnosed a year ago. And the unfortunate thing is this delay in a diagnosis is not uncommon at all. It’s quite standard for OCD.

I’m not sure why for all these years I put so much effort into hiding all of my fears and compulsions. Maybe it seemed like I was acting odd at times but somehow I did a pretty decent job of hiding my rituals. I remember as a little kid one of my compulsions was to spin in circles evenly to the right and left. Somehow I blended this in all through ballet class. What’s almost funny is I even saw a therapist at times in high school. Yet even she didn’t notice so how could anyone else?

Even if I hadn’t hid my symptoms all these years I’m not sure it would have made much of a difference. Aside from my brief phase of hand-washing in middle school I don’t have very stereotypical OCD fears. If most people heard about my fears and compulsions they might actually be surprised to learn that these are a part of OCD. For example, currently I have a lot of fears about preventing fire, fears about losing information, and even fears about losing information in fires.

It wasn’t until I began college though that my OCD really worsened. It went from fairly annoying to incredibly destructive. An hour a day of rituals very quickly grew to several hours. After enough googling and thinking back to AP psychology it became pretty obvious to me that this was OCD. I don’t recommend diagnosing yourself but the pieces fit too well. I spoke with my mom and we scheduled an appointment for me to meet with a different mental health professional. That day I got an official diagnosis and the road to treatment began!

Now I continue to work on my OCD through ERP (exposure and response prevention) therapy and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy.) For the most part it is helpful. In particular I find exposures extremely helpful. I have already gotten over several fears and am working on more. It is tricky to balance working on OCD with the stress of school and I am being honest when I say ERP is very hard. Old fears like to try to come back when I am focusing on stopping new fears or if I am extra stressed, such as during exams. Nonetheless, I like to remember past successes in therapy to remain motivated and to remain hopeful that I can continue to make progress.

If I can give advice to anyone struggling with their mental health my advice would be to stop hiding everything and take the chance of telling someone. Find someone you trust and tell them about your concerns. Most importantly, make an appointment with a mental health professional. It’s definitely frightening and not always easy but getting better is very possible. It is so worth it too.

Thank you so much to Lauren for letting me write a guest post!

Morgan

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14 thoughts on “Guest Post by Morgan R – A Secret Case of OCD

  1. Leslie says:

    Thank you for this important post! I myself have just been diagnosed with OCD, but I’ve been finding it very hard to accept. I did not realize that the spinning is also a symptom. I do that, too. Everything has to be even. Even chewing food must be done the same amount of the right side of my mouth as the left. Guess this is stuff I should bring up at therapy this morning.

    Again, thank you so much for posting this. These invisible conditions are so hard to deal with. We just don’t have the information we need.
    Peace & love

    Liked by 2 people

  2. jennymarie4 says:

    Thanks for this informative, eye opening post. And I totally agree with your message, to reach out for help. I had panic attacks since I was a child and never told anyone. I was able to hide my scary symptoms. I didn’t tell my doctor about it until I was in my 30s. When my daughter showed signs of panic when she was ten, we went to a doctor. I didn’t want her to suffer as long as I did. There is help!

    Liked by 2 people

    • myocdvoice says:

      It’s my pleasure! I’m glad you liked it.
      That is definitely something good that has come out of this that if my children ever show signs I can hopefully recognize it and get them treatment quickly.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jennymarie4 says:

        Yes, that’s how I felt. My doctor had told me panic disorder (what I have) is hereditary. So at the first sign of a symptom from my daughter, my gut feeling told me I knew what it was. We didn’t wait long to get medical help. I feel she’s so fortunate because she didn’t have to go through years of not understanding what was wrong with her, like I did.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Janet (ocdtalk) says:

    It’s always heartening to read about someone with OCD who is working toward recovery. It’s still amazing to me that so many people (including some therapists) are not even aware of exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy, even though it is the first line psychological approach to treat OCD as recommended by the American Psychological Association. I am so glad you are getting the right help and wish you all the best as you move forward. My son had OCD so severe he could not even eat and today he is living life to the fullest…….thanks to ERP!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. nevernotlaura says:

    I managed to hide Bipolar Disorder from friends, family and professionals until I was in my late 20s and very, very ill. I echo what you’ve said about coming out and seeking help. Treatment can be hard but is *so* worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tailor says:

    This story is so similar to my personal story that I haven’t quite let be known yet. I posted a small insight into how I have worked my whole life, on my blog, but no one outside of my husband and my sister know I’ve been diagnosed a month and a half ago. I opened up about it on my blog because no one that I know (other than my husband and sister) know about my blog. Posts like this almost make me feel a little normal. Lol. Although, I’m much too prideful still to share my story with everyone that I know.

    Liked by 1 person

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