“People who live with OCD drag a metal sea anchor around. Obsession is a break, a source of drag, not a badge of creativity, a mark of genius or an inconvenient side effect of some greater function.”

~David Adam~

March 7th, 2021. Winter is slowly easing it’s frigid grip on the land while spring sneaks in with it’s warm tendrils of warmer air and rays of sunshine. All sorts of animals, bears, birds, and myself, wake up from their season long nap and looks out with a toothy smile at the welcoming passage of seasons.

Yes.

I hibernate too.

Couldn’t you tell by the lack of posts I made in the past two months? Hibernation is a thing, you know. If I don’t get my daily dose of sunshine, I’m a hermit. A legitimate, cuddle in bed, swear at the snow hermit.

But alas, my poor but burgeoning writing career suffers as a result. But fear not, dear readers, I hath not given up! Ne’er, I say, shall a writer give up his pen, quill or keyboard!

All kidding aside, winter does a number on my anxiety, my seasonal depression, and, of course, my OCD. As a result of my yearly struggle with cabin fever and winter blues, other things fall off on the wayside.

I think it happens to a lot of people, and something I may want to address in the future.

“How to combat Writer’s Block while suffering from Seasonal Depression.” Good read. Let me know if you ever find it.

Seasonal depression and cabin fever is not a thing I have mastered quite yet, but it certainly gives me plenty of writing fodder in the meantime. So while I have been hibernating, my ever-loving, hamster-in-a-ball brain kept thinking of all the things I could write about. But yet, writer’s block kept a firm hold on my inspiration, and yet, I struggled.

Until today.

I have never once said I am an expert on all things mental-health related; I only choose to share what I know, and what I have experienced. And apparently my understanding of OCD is vastly different than what OCD actually is.

So when I asininely declared that OCD is an anxiety disorder, I was shot down swiftly and promptly by a lady friend of mine. To be fair, OCD is categorized as an anxiety disorder; however, her explanation of OCD being an anxiety disorder but yet is treated as its own separate disorder was totally on point.

my Tourette’s is fairly mild, mostly controlled with CBT and medication, the OCD not so much, and only in the last 10 years or so have i been able to manage my compulsions enough to say… go on a date in a restaurant without having to first explain that I can’t use the silverware or glassware or flatware, and that I will have to bring my own, in a phone call that I have made to the restaurant in advance so I can get there early and hand my dishes off to the kitchen

This lady friend and I were talking in a social media platform called Second Life, and her words hit home. I could feel the frustration emanating from her words; I could feel the struggles she has had to work to overcome this particular malady. And it drove home a point; something I needed to hear, and of course, share with all of you.

I was humbled. And gladly so.

My version of OCD is a mixed bag. I hate dirt of any kind. I used to pick up everything on the floor as I go. No matter what I was doing, I’d stop, bend over, and pick something up. Or grab a broom, and sweep til I could see the pearly whites of my teeth in the kitchen floor. But over the years, this compulsion decreased to the point where it was manageable. As I learned to manage my anxiety, I also learned to manage and overlook my OCD, otherwise known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

But that is a very minor form of OCD, or so I have learned. The severity of OCD can range from mild to severe, and the more severe cases should get the spotlight.

OCD IS a form of anxiety; it IS classified as an anxiety disorder, but it is severe enough to warrant its own special classification.

The type of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) differs from that of those who suffer from any other anxiety disorder. Different kinds of medication are used to combat the struggle of OCD.

And just like any other anxiety disorder, OCD can be crippling. It can affect jobs. Relationships. Your entire life. When one wants to go on a date to a fancy restaurant, but has to stop and explain that you can only use your own silverware and not the flatware that the restaurant provides…..I myself, just trying to imagine doing that in my own life, it can kill an entire evening of fun and relaxation. And that’s just the silverware.

I once worked with a co-worker who would have this compulsion of touching everything and anything not once. Not twice. But three times. Pot. Pot. Pot. Co-worker. Co-worker. Co-worker. You can imagine the fuss people would have if someone was touching them three times, can you not?

Just imagine trying to live that kind of life, and coping with it.

So yes, I was humbled.

Thank you, my friend. For giving me an education I sorely need.

For those of you who suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, you have my condolences. My sympathies. And my heartfelt apology for thinking that it was simply just another anxiety disorder.

Find the help you need. Live the life you want. Don’t let yourself suffer any more than you need to. Please.


3 thoughts on “OCD Awareness

  1. Amen!! OCD varies in different people. Like you said..mild to severe. I live with someone who has severe OCD. Its not a matter of cleanliness that she has, its more of a struggling mind game that she is forced to deal with. Repeative horrible thoughts over and over, and over again. Not a normal thought process either, a horrific chain of events that she cant escape from. OCD can be severe, and its often pushed aside with people saying “thats not OCD” when in fact…it truly is.
    Sadly, sometimes medications arent effective…and the frustration continues.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I suffer from the unwanted thoughts variety. It was very enlightening for me when I found out the different types and that I too have a relatively mild form, although it does lower the quality of my life a bit. Don’t feel bad you didn’t know about the other varieties of OCD. I wrote a blog post about my own experience which I believe you did read and comment on. I just live with bizarre troubling stuff, and try to accept that it happens and they’re not my thoughts.

    Like

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