OCD and Friendship.


Friendship has been so important in fighting my Mental Health condition.

Friends who have been there for me through the worst parts of my illness have been many, but those who have answered distressed calls and texts in the middle of the night are rare and epitomise a wonderful quality; that of selflessness. Those who support us often do so at great risk to their own wellbeing and that worries me. After all, who cares for the carers of OCD sufferers?

When was the last time that you sent someone who has supported you a card or letter telling them just how much they mean to you? Have you ever sent them a gift to demonstrate your gratitude, or more importantly have you tried to give them a break, some respite from your obsessions and compulsions? Our loved ones need respite from listening to us talk about OCD. When we are in the grip of our condition we talk about it a lot, did you know that? I’m not a selfish person per se, but OCD is selfish. In the grip of a severe OCD crisis, I have stolen hours from my support network and destroyed their peace of mind at the same time.

There are forums on the OCD Action and OCD UK websites for our family and friends, but have you told your loved ones that there is somewhere for them to vent their frustrations? I have told my husband, but not my friends. I’m not really sure how to tell them to be honest; maybe because I don’t want them to think that they can’t cope. Who am I to suggest to them what to do, with my background of not coping?

What could you do tonight to give a loved one some respite from your OCD?

 

 

 

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Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of with OCD


Today I did something surprising, I told a neighbour that I have OCD, I told her why I am stuck in a moment that I can’t get out of.

http://youtu.be/Xqrn2q3WCS8

I wanted to explain why I wasn’t working.

Usually my default answer is that I am suffering from extreme tiredness, which is true, but it is not the whole truth. You could say that I didn’t want to hide any more, that I was tired of pretending that everything was fine and that I wanted a different moment.

My neighbour’s reaction to my disclosure was unbelievably positive; even asking if she could read my blog. She made me feel as though I had simply told her that I had twisted my ankle or had toothache. I was so grateful to her.

Until recently, I have kept this blog from anyone who knows me in person. I was happy to share my thoughts with thousands of people in the blogosphere, but people that I knew? Are you kidding? Then I had a change of heart. I sent the link to a few people that I really trusted, or who were at least writing themselves; it was a heart stopping moment.

Previously when I have tried to explain what OCD was like, I have made light of it or even suggested that it was simply perfectionism. My comments made OCD sound easy to live with, not impossible. It is no wonder that stereotypes abound, when even I could not explain what OCD was really like.

However, as honest as I have been in this blog, there is still an aspect of my OCD that I have promised not to discuss. That aspect of my condition has been hell on earth to live with and not just for me, but for those that I love as well. OCD can have a devastating and draining effect on friends and family members, who have to deal with the associated anxiety and panic attacks. I am ashamed of my behaviour when I panic. Terror is destructive and the fallout is often catastrophic; OCD is an unforgiving master.

So yes, I have been a little more honest about having OCD, but I can never give others back the time that they have lost to my condition. If you think that you may have OCD you must tell someone before you too are stuck in a moment that you can’t get out of. I don’t wish that on anyone.