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'How I cope with OCD'

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Living with OCD

Living with obsessive compulsive disorder

My OCD started when I was about 8. I felt physically uncomfortable stepping on pavement cracks, and then started to have obsessional thoughts that if I failed to say my prayers at night, something awful would happen to my mum. After I had my fourth child, the OCD started to get more and more intense. I was exhausted, and from the moment I got up unwanted thoughts such as, 'Oh my God, it must have been me who caused that plane crash in Holland,' would run round my head.

My day always ended with me putting the children's dressing gown cords into a sealed bag, because my obsessional thinking told me I might possibly use them to strangle the children. Eventually I saw my GP, who referred me to a consultant psychiatrist. He diagnosed OCD and prescribed antidepressants. I also had five sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy, which helped me to understand that I have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility towards other people, and that I wouldn't actually harm anyone because of these thoughts. I've been 99% free of intrusive thoughts for about six years now.

If you think you're suffering from OCD, the most important thing to do is tell your GP, who will be able to refer you to a specialist. And, if possible, tell a friend or partner you trust. It was wonderful how much support and love my family and friends gave me when they found out. The trick is not to get too tired, and learn to be kind to yourself. Therapy is not easy, so be prepared to work hard. But it's worth it. I'm proof of how well it can work.
Diana Wilson, 42, Kent

For more information and advice, visit www.ocduk.org.

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Moe Ben

I beg to differ. Do NOT telll a partner or friend that you have OCD. Keep it a secret from them, but do get treatment.

carol adams

Yes your article was helpful to a point but in my case my obsession is harming my health. Whereas yours probably isnt unless of course you did something with the dressing gown cords. I have a chronic lung condition and have to have an operation later in the year. From time to time and lately more frequently I cough up blood. This various from a fair bit to not that much. However I have now developed an ossession with checking and making myself cough to check to see if there is any blood. Of course eventually because I keep on and on throughout the day it sometimes brings on the very condition I am trying to avoid. So it is doing me harm. I tell myself I have just coughed and there is no blood but then a voice in my head says yes but if you check now you will be doubly sure or whatever my thoughs are and I feel less and less able to ignore the thoughts. It is driving me mad and I make my chest really sore and I know that I have dont it yet again made it sore and then there may be some more blood. I get really cross with myself and so want to stop doing this. Sometimes I can go for a longish period and not cough and other days I am checking all the time and of course when I see some blood I am worse on and on until I think it has cleared. What a nut case. I am in a vicious cycle of checking and couhging and probaly doing untold damage. Someone help me. I have had some therapy but didnt really find it helped. it did help to talk about stuff sometimes depending on the therapist and often if I got stuff out it seemed to relax me. Does anyone else have an obsession that is harming them and they cant stop even where they are scared. I some people cut themselves maybe I am on a par with that. So want to be well and happy and now i am confined to the sofa practically all day long scared to go anywhere in case there is some blood. Help me someone and yes have been to my doctor and am currently waiting for an appointment for yet another behavioural therapist but the list is long. Of course I am really stressed out at the thought of the opeartion and feel it is like a sword hanging over my head. At the moment though I am on really strong anti biotics to clear my lungs of a strong bug before the opeartion.. Carol

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