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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is the presence of obsessions and compulsions performed to neutralize the obsessions. Obsessions are repetitive thoughts that can be uncontrollable. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors done in reaction to an obsession. These behaviors or mental acts that have an end goal of reducing stress and anxiety or preventing an unwanted situation. Compulsions are incredibly time-consuming and occur more than one hour a day which creates issues with our day-to-day functioning.
I’ve struggled with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) since I was in middle school. Though, it wasn’t up until last year that I actually spoke to my doctor about it. I knew that things were getting bad when the thoughts I was having wouldn’t stop. My obsessions have to do with neatness, cleanliness and most importantly, order. I do not like when my belongings are out of place or when my room is dirty, it causes me severe panic and anxiety. I know that probably sounds silly to most people but I lose sleep over these things. To avoid the feeling of panic and anxiety, I often find myself cleaning and organizing all the time. It’s something that I have to do.
I clean, reorganize and straighten my room every day because if I don’t, it makes me sick. The thought of my things being out of sorts gives me major anxiety but it doesn’t stop at home. I work with special needs children at my local middle school and you can imagine that things are always out of sorts with them. I find myself constantly organizing cabinets, supplies, student work and so much more everyday simply because I cannot help it. My coworkers are thankful for my habits but there’s more to it than they know. If I ignore my compulsions, I will be eaten alive by my own panic so I’m willing to do whatever it takes to avoid that.
Some days, I can’t go to bed until I know that everything’s clean and organized. Can you imagine losing sleep over a piece of clothing on the ground? Or something out of place on your desk? Well, that’s what OCD’s been like for me. If you know someone who’s struggling with OCD, please do your best to support them. OCD is not an easy disorder to deal with.
Read 7 Ways To Support A Friend With OCD to learn how to support friends who are struggling with it!
Read Rachel’s Journey with OCD right here on TurningPointCT.org! 🙂
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