I’m living with a creature who feeds upon my stress and fears to gain an advantage. A creature who is relentless, tiring my brain to the point of collapse. However, this is not the devil or a giant that I live with. It is my obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
I remember having the disorder in second grade. I used to check book pages when reading and touch stationeries multiple times. It irritated me, but I saw it as a habit. Thus, it stayed passive. I soon was able to identify it when my father told me about the events he dealt with when he had OCD.
My OCD rose to a dangerous level this year. I’m certain it was from fears and stress of my academic and personal life. Many don’t know what an OCD victim has to live with and fail to understand it. Most of my friends don’t even see it as a mental condition, never seeing OCD play out, as it is mostly in the head, and most victims act normal. Even when trying to explain, it tires my brain with so much going on inside my head.
Although my father’s past experience with OCD doesn’t make me feel alone, I’m still afraid to describe my experiences. Not being able to do so leads to many panic attacks and distress. Yet, I still go by my father’s words to describe what the disorder is like. “It is like a monster inside your head,” he said. “The more food you give it, the more control it has over your mind.” This phrase directly translates to my version of OCD, more danger comes from more fear and stress.
OCD for me, was a dreadful experience of constant urges that would trigger distress. These urges would include constantly touching different objects, such as pencils, phones, and notebooks, two, four, or six times, turning the lights on and off multiple times, and writing and erasing my notes multiple times. This tired my mind, I procrastinated, and I couldn’t continue my hobbies. It’s a terrible experience as it disrupted my life to a devastating degree.
My family are my true motivators as they supervise me when it starts, and stop it by distracting me. That’s all it takes, not experiencing it one day and having it disappear the next day. OCD is an experience that I don’t know how long will last for, but I do know that the only thing that will rid me of it will be my actions and judgement to defeat this monster inside my head.