jessicas journey

Jessica’s Journey

January 14th 2015

I went to the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute knowing what I was getting myself into and knowing what I needed to do. It really wasn’t a matter of what I had to do but Was a matter of what I wanted to do, which was to take on challenges.

Some of those challenges included irrational contamination issues and unrealistic perfectionism OCD. Neither of those types consisted of the typical misunderstanding, “I’m so OCD because I just washed my hands twice”, or “Oh my goodness that tile is crooked, it’s bothering me so I must be OCD”. It is when I obsessed over something completely irrational and had to perform rituals in order to reduce my anxiety. For example; before going to OCDI I was obsessed with rainbow colors and patterns being in order, and if the order was not “correct” or “just right” then I would immediately fix it in my mind as a mental ritual, over and over again. Consuming my mind for hours, leading to other obsessions or unwanted, unpleasant thoughts and rituals that were just as debilitating.

My admission date to arrive at McLean Hospital OCDI Unit was on August 26, 2014. My stay was residential until November 9th, in Orchard House. Throughout that stay I targeted many of my OCD symptoms, worked with coaches and therapists for two hour Exposure and response (ERP) sessions and attended specific groups daily for health anxiety, BDD and intrusive thoughts.

Days and nights were up and down, happy and sad, scared and triggered. The most important part was that I faced my fears on my own will. There were many moments that I did not believe I could get through, but was fully supported and encouraged from counselors and staff. I took deep breaths and a huge leap of faith every time.

Read the full post on Jessica’s blog.

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