Let’s talk about OCD

This might be a term you come across nowadays on an everyday basis so let’s chat about it. The gorgeous Natalie (@thewellbeinggirl) opened up about what it’s like living with OCD. #yourstory

Let’s talk about OCD!! OCD isn’t just about washing your hands a lot. This misunderstood condition of intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviour can rule your life. The term OCD gets bandied about a lot – often people say ‘Ooo, I’m a bit OCD’ to describe being tidy, or a little bit anal. But people who actually have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder aren’t likely to be shouting about it from the rooftops. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder where you have frequent upsetting obsessive ‘bad’ thoughts. Often sufferers try to control these thoughts by compulsively repeating an action.

Since childhood I have had a very obsessive and somewhat addictive personality, I always had to be the best ~ whether this was in my academic studies or on the field competing in athletics. The same was for my first job out of University at 
Oxfordshire Youth I was in and out of youth clubs in delivering sport. 

I started to experience abnormal shifts in my behaviour, 
worrying that something terrible will happen and in particular worrying whether I was going to hurt other people and in turn convincing myself that something horrific will happen to the people I love, worrying that I would lose control somehow. These thoughts and feelings were really stressful to experience and I started to believe them.. the thoughts completely took over! To explain it a bit more OCD develops as the feelings of relief become more short-lived – so you keep repeating an action to feel OK again. And, if your behaviour keeps getting proved ‘right’ – ‘I did all these things so nothing bad will happen to my parents, and my parents are fine, so it worked ‘ – the risk of not doing it becomes too great. Soon you’re trapped by your thoughts and actions, unable to break the cycle of fear and repetition.

The next year was a tough one for me, it was a struggle for me to get through any day – on average I would be satisfying my compulsions at least 20-25 times a day. Compulsions were 
constantly and repeatedly checking things, sometimes for a ‘magical’ number of times, e.g. taps, locks, windows, sell-by-dates on food, or repeatedly going to the toilet to check you don’t need it’; doing mental rituals in my head (like counting to a certain number) to neutralise a bad thought; avoiding any situation where I felt I may lose control; constantly asking for reassurance from others: did I do anything wrong? Are you sure? It sounds exhausting doesn’t it!

I was on the verge of a mental breakdown and I honestly felt for the first time in my life that I didn’t want to live anymore. At this point, I accepted that I had a problem I went to see my GP and I was so lucky that I was referred to a CBT specialist and put on a high priority waiting list I worked with a therapist for 3 months 

My experienced through OCD was a pivotal learning process for me, after support and guidance from my amazing therapist I was able to take control back of my life. Now I am so passionate in supporting people throughout their darkness, as I now know that it is often the darkness that creates the light and for me it allowed me to discover coaching. The lesson from my story, is that wherever you are, however low you feel now ~ it is up from here ~!

#Awareness #Letstalk #Timetotalk #Wellbeing #Help #Support #OCD

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