my story 3

My story so far…

December 21st 2018

A guest post written by Jady who explains what it is like to live with OCD

Trigger warning: this post contains some content about suicide which some readers may find upsetting

My name is Jady I’m 19 years old and at the age of 16 I was diagnosed with OCD. So to start off I’ll tell you what my compulsions/intrusive thought’s involve. I have contamination OCD so for the most part my brain is constantly worrying about being contaminated or contaminating someone/something. I remember when I was around 8 years old, I was constantly washing my hands to the point they were red and raw, my teacher pointed it out to me and asked ‘’Why are your hands so red and sore looking?’’ if I remember correctly I didn’t quite know how to answer that question. I’m not entirely sure if I was washing them due to contamination or if I was just constantly washing them because I just felt like I needed to. At the time it was passed off as just ‘child’s behaviour’ and it didn’t really come to anyone’s attention (not even my own) until my teacher had said about it, I knew they were sore and painful but that’s about all. After a while however the hand washing did disappear out of the blue just like how it arrived and from then on it was never mentioned again.

Through-out the time I was at school I was always incredibly unsettled and very unhappy to be in the environment I was in. When I was at nursery I used to cry and scream about how I wanted to go home and be with my Mum. When I was in infant school and junior school I was almost seen as the ‘troublesome’ kid. I never really had any friends because people simply didn’t like me for whatever reason and I was always quiet. I got blamed for a lot of things I didn’t do, and people would sometimes try to get me in trouble for the sake of it. When I went to secondary school that’s where things took a even bigger turn for the worst. I was bullied and manipulated, made to be incredibly unhappy and it got to the point where I could cry almost everyday and it was a big struggle for my mum to try and get me through the gates. Myself and my parents were always trying to talk to the school staff about what was going in while I was in school however they always tried to brush it off and the best thing they could do were take me out of lessons. They said I always looked happy in school but I am very good at wearing a mask and making everyone believe that I’m happy when I’m not.

I was getting more stressed everyday and people in school started to say that I was ‘bunking off’ and nothing was wrong. Little did they know in the time I was taking off at this point was due to the fact I was having horrendous stomach pain and I hadn’t started my periods at this point so we went to the doctors and I had a full examination in which came to the conclusion that I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome and this was down to the stress I was going through and it was only going to get worse the more stressed I got.

Thing’s never got better and I decided that the best way out of this would be to put a knife to my neck and hope it would all end. Fortunately nothing did happen and my mum saw me with the knife and came into the room shouting at me to put it down. After this I was given a school councellor but in my opinion she was no help so I stopped going. I sat down with my parents and I decided I wanted to go for home schooling. I’ll tell you now that this was probably one of the worst decisions I ever made but I did not want to start a new school because I was petrified of being bullied again and nobody liking me. Around this time I started to lose motivation to do anything, had no care in the world about anything and shut myself out from the world, this was something that lasted a while.

I roughly remember being around 14 and I was starting to find interests again and come out of the house a little bit more. On one certain day I decided I needed to use hand sanitiser after something I had touched however once I had used it I felt a sudden urge to use it again, and again, and again. I couldn’t stop. I had no clue what was happening but this urge wouldn’t go away, I thought to myself that i’ll sleep it off and be fine the next day. The next day came around and I still could not stop using the hand sanitiser. All I could think about was these germs were not dying, everything I touched was getting contaminated, I was contaminating myself. Not long after I was asking people to repeat sentences again and again because even though I heard it the first time I still needed to hear it again. I started writing notes on my phone of conversations I was having with people so I could go back and tell my mum otherwise she would die and not know about these conversations I was having. I was having unwanted sexual thought’s along with other thought’s that I don’t feel comfortable with sharing. All of these compulsions were just coming along at such a fast speed and I had no control whatsoever.

I felt alone so I googled things like ‘’I feel contaminated all the time’’ ‘’I can’t stop washing my hands’’ ‘’Do germs ever die?’’ and after some searching I saw ‘’Obsessive Compulsive Disorder’’. I read into it and it suddenly it felt like I was reading a book about myself. I saw people on forums talking about compulsions and intrusive thought’s.

At 16 I went to a doctor that my parents had known since I was very young. I explained to him what I had been feeling. He told me I wasn’t alone, he’d give me a dose of SSRI’S and refer me to a place called CAMHS, however he said there was a long waiting list and he doesn’t know when i’ll be able to see somebody. Some time after my the birthday I saw a psychiatrist and she gave me an official diagnosis of OCD. I then saw my CAMHS therapist who I stayed with shorter than the time I was given because she was not helping me in the slightest. It felt like she was saying ‘’I’m your therapist but you’re going to have to do the majority of this yourself!” She was using a technique called ‘flooding’ and thought it’d be a good idea to get rid of anti bacterial products and soaps in the house. She even said to me she thought my mum was ‘’OCD’’ just because she likes the house to look clean and nice. I was fuming.

While all of this was going on I was still seeing my Psychiatrist so I explained to her that I felt like my Therapist wasn’t doing anything for me and no longer was going to see her. My Psychiatrist told me about a service called IAPT and said it might be worth a try. I agreed to a referral however I was told once again it could be a long wait. Throughout this time I was an incredibly anxious person, never wanted to do something alone and would prefer for people to speak for me. Just the thought of saying ‘’Hi!’’ to someone would terrify me. I met my first IAPT therapist just after my 18th birthday. At this time I was then given a diagnosis of Social Anxiety. This therapist was nice however she was focusing more on my Anxiety rather than my OCD. I wanted to tackle them both together.

My then therapist had to have a operation and the service told me i’ll need a new therapist as they don’t know when she will be back. I will mention that my compulsions have changed throughout time. At this point I was jumping back and forth of constant hand washing and constant use of anti bacterial. I saw my second therapist from IAPT just after I turn 19 and she was great!! She’s managed to get me to where I am today. We worked on my OCD and Social Anxiety, we took a slow pace and nothing was rushed. She taught me how to ‘ride out’ my compulsions. I was discharged from IAPT in August of this year.

Through-out all of this i’ve tried to commit suicide 4 times, my last attempt was last year. I still get anxiety attacks and my compulsions/intrusive thought’s can still be all over the place some days. I still take medication daily, and since being discharged I’ve referred myself to SilverCloud which is run by Mind. I don’t feel entirely secure with-out no help whatsoever so I thought that may be a good route to go down.

Of course typing out every single thing that has happened and is still happening would be a lot to write but I have covered the majority of it and if anyone reading this has experienced what I have experienced or if you’re experiencing it right now, please remember you really are not alone and there is help available out there should you wish to ask for it.

I want to thank Olivia from OCD Action who let me share my story. I’ve recently started volunteering for OCD Action and I can’t wait to get even more involved with this community and spread awareness on OCD.

 

 

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