Teacup Conversation is spending a week interviewing various people on the topic of Mental Health and Disability, in the hopes to shed light on the lives and experiences of those who are affected.
Today’s topic is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or O.C.D. Authoritative website ocduk.org defines O.C.D as: ” a serious anxiety-related condition where a person experiences frequent intrusive and unwelcome obsessional thoughts, often followed by repetitive compulsions, impulses or urges. “
Anon, 22, Essex
In your own words, can you define what O.C.D is, or what it is to you?
O.C.D is a mental health disorder that can be brought on by anxiety. It’s like this irrational thing inside of you making you need to do routines and rituals to ‘stop bad things from happening’. It feels like an irrational side of your brain sort of takes over usually in times of anxiety.
Tell the reader a little bit about yourself?
I’m currently studying childcare at college for the second time as mental health issues such as O.C.D have held me back in the past. I also enjoy reading, writing, gaming and films. I’m in a battle to constantly not let this disorder and fear take over or define me.
How does a typical day in your life go?
A typical day in my life will start by me waking up and depending on how I’ve slept (anxiety and O.C.D causes the mind to be in overdrive) will relate to how productive I’ve been. I will try to go to college when needed but it is sometimes a struggle. My bedroom is my comfort zone. Day to day I try to step out of that though. I have a few hobbies and my best friend who keeps me relatively sane.
How does O.C.D affect your day to day life?
Day to day life can be affected varying on how my mind is. Anxiety and stress aggravates my O.C.D making even leaving the house difficult at times as my mind goes into panic and more and more routines and rituals come up to curb my irrational thoughts and fears. It’s tiring and really tedious. Sometimes doing the things my O.C.D tells me to do doesn’t always relieve the fear or anxiety I feel. It’s hard to get control over these irrational thoughts when in a highly anxious state. O.C.D is closely connected with anxiety and other mental health issues and so they tend to all over lap and set each other off. It’s often a war in my head.
Do you think there is a stigma attached to O.C.D and do you feel as if anyone treats you any differently?
I feel there is a stigma attached to O.C.D as there is most mental health issues. Mostly from people being ill informed and making the careless judgement that it means a person is ‘crazy’. I still function as a normal human I just deal with things differently. The way people with mental health issues minds may just go through different thought processes than others. I have experienced people not understanding when they hear about my O.C.D but most will listen and get to know me and that I am NOT defined by my illness.
What would you like to tell people about O.C.D?
O.C.D is so much more common than anyone realises. To a point everyone has a bit of O.C.D in them. For example people like certain things done a certain way. Or have a routine they have to follow before bed. It’s when that O.C.D starts to affect your life, your ability to think rationally and cope with anxiety that it becomes a problem. But it doesn’t need to control your life. There is help out there. O.C.D can stay with you for life so never underestimate what invisible battle could be going on inside someone to even do simple things like leave the house. With a war going on in your head even those small steps are great accomplishments. Never judge another person by their illness. We all have our own battles to fight.