1. Living hell. It makes you go crazy. Anxiety and depression takes over soon after something triggers you.
You over think every situation-whether you should do this? Whether you have done something bad and don’t remember? What if you have done something? What would have happened if I did this? Will I ever get out of this? Can you ever hurt somebody in a gruesome way?
Horrific mental images, false memories, obsessive cleaning.
All these things have a very very bad impact on your mind and your body as well. I pray to god that it doesn’t happen to me ever again.
My entire life, I’ve had compulsions with counting. I count the letters in words I say or hear or read. It’s calming to me and I’ve gotten it a bit under control. It used to be so bad that I could barely carry on a conversation, I’d either be counting what I was saying or what I was hearing, or I’d be anticipating what to say next and trying to find a way to word it to where what I’d say would count out to be a value of 5 or 10.
Intrusive thoughts are the worst. They can be horrifying and make me question whether or not I’m a good person.
Magical thinking is another. I’ve convinced my brain, somehow, that as long as I worry about something, it won’t happen. So if I can’t get in touch with my SO or mom, I immediately think they’re dead, which somehow….protects them? Lol it makes no sense and I’m aware.
Not my newest, but my current ‘thing’ is that I’m constantly paranoid that what I say and write doesn’t make sense or that it’s incomprehensible gibberish. I’ll do assignments or post comments and when I reread what I’ve written, I feel like I haven’t articulated myself or that the words just don’t make sense.
I had a complete breakdown Wednesday and Thursday; I had a midterm Thursday which was 2 essays about a specific historical event and I was so obsessed over whether or not my sentences were coherent and relative to the assignment that I wasted too much time trying to figure out what to write and ended up turning in 2 essays that I could have done much better on.
I was crying after class and I almost want to email my teacher and tell him that I don’t want him to think that what I turned in is reflective of who I am. I also don’t want him to think he isn’t a good teacher and feel like it’s his fault I didn’t do better. If I had more time they would have been something I was proud to turn in. Even writing this, I don’t think I’m making much sense or explaining myself correctly. I’m afraid I’m losing grasp of the English language. Naturally, this has led to me having intrusive hypochondriac thoughts that I’ve developed a thought disorder and am schizophrenic.
3. So like, imagine that what you love, and everything you enjoy in life, is liable to become the ultimate focal point of stress if you don’t close a door “correctly”.
Imagine having doubt about every little thing ranging from whether you locked the door to whether your family will die as a result of not stepping the right way or number of times.
Imagine needing to redo everything that you see as not done with the right thought.
Imagine having a constant weight of stress just bearing on you nonstop and there is no escape aside from medicine or causing more stress through ERP.
It sucks and make getting through days hell. There is nobody I would wish this illness on, not even my greatest enemy.
What really sucks though is the public thought of what OCD is, like “Oh I’m so OCD” is the most frustrating thing in the world.
All in all, just be glad you don’t have it, unless you do, then I’m sorry and I sincerely hope you hey better and are okay.
4. Constantly rechecking things you know you did but your fears and anxiety make you doubt yourself. So you redo the small things (for me anyways) over and over because you think something bad will happen. Example:
- Locks car and makes it beep.
- Walk 20 feet.
- Anxiety: “You didn’t lock your car.” 4, Make car beep again while locking it.
- Gets into house/work.
- Anxiety: “You didn’t lock your car. Go check.”
- Brain: Yes I did. I think I did.
- Anxiety: “Wait do you remember doing it.
- Brain: It beeped.
- Anxiety: “Maybe it didn’t. Maybe you should check. Maybe you thought you did it. Ok what if you didn’t? Someone will break in. Crap. I bet you didn’t. You should be going to check. You think you did it. No I don’t think you did. You need to make sure. It’s better to make sure or else someone will break in. Or steal it. Or ruin the interior. You didn’t lock it.”
Rinse, wash, and repeat.
5. You know when you get a terrible song stuck in your head and it’s annoying the hell out of you, but you just can’t stop humming that stupid tune? That. Except instead of a song, it’s a fear.
I have had OCD since I was 4 years old. My big one when I was a child was “don’t step on a crack or you’ll break your mother’s back”. I would think it constantly, knowing it was just a stupid rhyme but unwilling to risk it. I seriously didn’t step on a single crack in the sidewalk until I was 19. But even missing every crack was never. good. enough. There were symmetry obsessions — I stepped over the last crack with my right foot, so the next one needs to be avoided with my left foot or I would feel unbalanced and I might trip and hit a crack. And “good” numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 25, 50, 100, 150, 250, 500, 1000, 1500, 2500, 5000, 10000) of steps to take. And if I didn’t do it all just right, I would be responsible for my mother’s death.
Just like you can’t get the song out of your head without singing it, you can’t get the obsession out of your head without the compulsion. Except while you might only hear that song every once in a while, the obsessions are with you always.
6. It feels horrible. Imagine your brain just constantly working and worrying about EVERYTHING you do. Putting objects down on a table, turning things off or on, walking a certain way. The longer you let it rule you the more you feel your brain frying. For some reason you just can’t give it up. Some days you don’t want to get out of bed for fear of not making the bed right or not putting your foot down on the floor the correct way.
7. It’s like I’m fighting a losing battle against myself.
My OCD brain is my own worst enemy. It plagues me with images, doubts, and thoughts that drive me to the brink.
One of the most frustrating parts is the complete ridiculousness of many of my obsessions.
For example, for a very, very long time, my biggest obsession was Band-Aids. Or rather, avoiding them. My brain decided that Band-Aids were contaminated, so I couldn’t use them, touch them, say the word “Band-Aid”, or even think about them without going into full-blown panic mode.
It was irrational. It didn’t make any sense. But it was my life.
To this day, even after years of treatment, I’m still uncomfortable around Band-Aids. I can use them, but I have to shove my anxiety to a dimly-lit corner of my brain and tell it to stay put.
Contaminated people are another fun one. For me, when someone is contaminated, I can’t touch them, I can’t be around something they touch a lot (like I can’t use their shower or ride in their car), I can’t eat anything they cook or that’s made in their kitchen, and I can barely stand eating at the same table with them.
But whether someone is contaminated isn’t my choice, and it doesn’t mean I don’t like them.
Case in point: my sister is contaminated, as is my grandma. And it’s fucked up. I can’t even hug my grandma, and there’s no way she can ever understand that it’s my OCD, not me (she’s pretty old, and her cognitive skills are fading, so I don’t think she even knows I have OCD, even though I’ve explained it to her before).
And even though “contaminated” is the word my therapist uses, and it doesn’t mean that someone is germy or dirty – just that my brain has decided to fuck with me – when I try to tell someone that s/he’s contaminated, there’s no way for him/her to hear that without being offended.
But I don’t know how else to describe it; I don’t know how to explain that it isn’t you, it’s me, but it’s really not me, because it’s my scumbag brain. So I try to avoid even having that conversation, but I can only hide my subtle attempts to avoid high-fiving my best friend for so long before she asks me what’s up.
8. Imagine cleaning your room for 5 hours. The room was “clean” in the first 30 minutes, but you’ve just spent 4:30 hours rearranging what position your remote is in, or fixing the angle on your blinds a hundred times. And this continues for every moveable object in the room: TV, computer, light switch housing, pillows, creases in sheets, rearranging clothes in drawers you can’t even see into , etc. And why only 5 hours? After 5 hours there is enough dust to start the process over.
I find the only way to put it at bay is marijuana. Other than that, it’s a mental prison cell that is never quite clean enough to sleep in.
9. Ever burn yourself? You know that feeling afterwards that just won’t go away? The throbbing? The gnawing? The relentless attention-seeking, focus-stealing hard-to-get-rid-of pain? Now, imagine that same sensation, but etched into your brain, perpetually invading every transient moment of your life.
It is akin to a mental prison. You cannot escape. There is no way out. This is your own mind. There is no running away.
You look out the window to see freedom, but the steel bars hold you in. Everywhere you go, there it is. ‘
No matter how much you focus on other things, no matter how hard you try, you are always consciously aware. M
ental exhaustion becomes your new best friend. Everything becomes a threat. You constantly size up everything. Thick clouds of paranoia envelop you on a daily basis.
You want it to stop, you want it to not bring down others around you. But, you can’t. It’s you.
Irrational repetitions of electrical signals being processed by your brain that we simply cannot understand.
You want to control the universe, but ultimately you realize the only thing you can control is you.
You think about ending it all, but you can’t, as this would be the greatest loss of control. Therefore, you suffer. Daily. Endlessly.
You feel as if you live a meaningless existence. You think that nothing is what it seems. You don’t want to die, but you don’t want to live. You try to deal with it. But you can’t.
The OCD is cunning, deceptive, manipulative, infuriating, and downright annoying. You fight it with logic, but it grows stronger. It absolutely will not listen to reason. It laughs at your evidence. It attaches itself to your emotions, like a leech trying to find blood. It wrestles you into accepting an alternate reality. It plays tricks on your brain. It forces you to see things that aren’t there and hear things that have no sound. It wants you to believe. You want to beat in its face, you want to curbstomp it, you want to kill it. You want to take its life. You can’t.
It is hell.