How Do I Find Out If I Have OCD?
To answer the title of this article I want to share my story in the hope that it may bring you some comfort. In hindsight I can now see that I had OCD from the age of 6 or 7, I remember being petrified of swimming in swimming pools because of any ‘sharks’ that may be in there. Or the fact that I would have to walk back and forth past any old painting or ornament until it ‘felt right’. But I don’t think I really realised that my behaviour wasn’t normal until about the age of 16. As a kid I remember thinking that this pain I was feeling couldn’t be the normal human experience, but I couldn’t ask anyone, to compare notes. I was terrified. I don’t know what of. Maybe that if it wasn’t normal, people might think I was insane. Over the years OCD just became normal to me. It bothered me, but I had come to accept it.
At the age of 16 it started to cause me more issues and affect my day to day life. I was tired of feeling this way. I googled my symptoms (doctors love it when you do that), and after reading a few articles on OCD it was apparent that my mental torment was a result of obsessive compulsive disorder. I’m pretty sure from memory that I decided to make an appointment with my GP (Doctor) fairly shortly after finding it out. I remember waiting in the Doctors waiting room, adrenaline coursing through my veins. I was scared, weak with anxiety. As I walked into his office, and described what was going on, I had never felt so vulnerable. Exposing my ‘madness’ to a stranger. I can’t remember a great deal of what he said, I do remember him referring me to the mental health department of the NHS. Which I saw at a later date. But that’s another story…
If you aren’t sure of what you are suffering with or you want to get therapy, then go see your doctor. It is terrifying, there is no doubt about that. But living with OCD is the scariest thing you can do. Seeing the doctor is over very quickly, and after, you should feel a great relief that you’ve finally shared your secret. Being vulnerable and taking this step is one move closer to recovery, to peace of mind. This may be one of your hardest steps in recovery, it’s also one of your easiest. Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can find the right therapies, books and information to tackle this. And remove it from your life, so that you can live the life you deserve.
Here are some tips for taking the plunge and seeking help:
- Ask yourself the question: What’s worse, the discomfort of going to the Doctors or telling someone, OR, living a life plagued by OCD?
- Understand that the Doctor has heard it all before. So you won’t come across as ‘weird’
- What you say to the Doctor is confidential. So you don’t have to worry about anyone else finding out, if you don’t want them too.
- Be honest with your Doctor. The more honest you are, the better they can advise you.
I hope I’ve inspired you to seek help if you haven’t already. If you have any more specific questions please leave a comment below.
To your recovery,