Doubt is thought's despair; despair is personality's doubt. . .;
Doubt and despair . . . belong to completely different spheres; different sides of the soul are set in motion. . .
Despair is an expression of the total personality, doubt only of thought. -
I was first introduced to OCD through my son. I knew when he was very young that something was different about him, I just couldn't put my finger on it. It started out with food. He wouldn't eat fruit. Then he wouldn't eat vegetables. He is to the point now, where he will eat only peanut butter. He refuses to eat meat if there is any visible sign of fat on it.
When he was 5, he had a public toilet overflow after he flushed it. He was forever afraid of public toilets. Our family went on a 3-day vacation, and his fear of the toilet caused him to refrain from using the bathroom the entire time. He now gets frequent urinary tract infections due to this fear. Taking him out to the mall or a restaurant for dinner was always a nightmare, and he frequently wet and soiled his pants.
Then came the phone call from his first grade teacher. My son was brushing the dirt off of his chair every 20 minutes or so. In third grade, his teacher informed me that my son could not do his math if the books on the shelf were askew. She would have to let him organize the books so he would do his schoolwork. Sometimes he would have to pick up the dirt and pebbles by the entry to the classroom in order to do his schoolwork.
He refused to sleep under the covers on his bed, because he had made stacks of things all around the edge of his bed. He collected all sorts of things--rocks, wood, rusty metal, wire, funny papers, TFK Magazines (every one he had ever gotten in school!) His room had piles in every corner.
We finally sought treatment for OCD when his obsessive thoughts started interrupting his schoolwork. He was up at 3am doing schoolwork that he was worried over.
After getting treatment for my son, I became familiar with OCD. I realized that I had some symptoms, also, but I was not ready to go to the Psychiatrist. I knew I was quirky, but I could live with it.
My biggest problem is piles all over the house. I just can't throw anything away, not even junk mail. After all, I might need the paper to start a fire one day when there is no heat or electricity in the dead of winter. I finally went to the doctor because I was suffering from severe depression, due to the clutter in my house, and my inability to keep up with any of the housework. I was sleeping most of the day, and crying most of the time I was awake.
When I filled out the personal survey form, my doctor informed me that I had OCD. He put me on Zoloft. I am now taking 150mg a day. I feel so much better, now. I didn't realize how profoundly OCD had been affecting my life until I started getting better.
I saved bags and bags full of plastic Wal-Mart bags--just in case I ever needed them.
I saved every lid off of every juice bottle, squeeze bottle, frozen juice can, and milk jug I purchased.
I saved every glass jar.
I saved every recyclable plastic container--which are still in my garage, by the way.
I had saved bags and bags full of dryer lint. I don't know why, I just thought I might need it one day.
I had boxes and boxes in the garage filled with nothing but boxes. I saved every one.
I saved every paper that every one of my four children ever did in school. I have several boxes in the attic just full of papers.
I saved the disposable lids off of fountain drinks that you buy at the gas station. I also saved all the straws.
I saved every tin can I ever bought. I washed them, removed the labels, and saved them in the garage.
I washed and found a place to put all of these things. My house was very crowded and cluttered.
I had organized all 150 of our videos--they were in alphabetical order, separated as to the company that produced it, and written down on a sheet of paper to keep track of them. I had placed a sticker on the spine of each one with an assigned number and category (action/adventure, comedy, animation, documentary......)
I had to check all the locks in the house 3 times before going to bed. I had to pray that my husband who works nights would get home safely and not die in a car accident on the way home. If he was 30 minutes late and didn't call, I was sure that every ring of the telephone was the State Police with devastating news. I had to pull all the covers off of the bed and check for bugs. If I went to bed without doing these things, I couldn't sleep and I would have to get up and do them so I could sleep.
I would lock the doors of my car at every stoplight, even if they were already locked.
If I went shopping alone, I was always afraid of being attacked. I didn't like to go to parties or get-togethers anymore, because I talk too much and I can't shut up. I know I annoy people. I would just rather stay home.
I used to love to garden, it brought me tremendous pleasure. I found myself avoiding it because my arachnophobia had escalated to the fear of not only spiders, but any kind of insect (except butterflies and ladybugs). Every time I gardened, I ran into a bug of some kind, and it scared me to death.
I didn't always have OCD. I was very sick during the pregnancy of my last baby. I was severely dehydrated. I was in the hospital on I.V.'s for a month, and at home on I.V.'s for another 6 weeks. When I finally got to the point where I could keep food down, I developed gestational diabetes. My baby weighed over 10 pounds. She was my 4th child, and after being in bed for 3 months, my muscles were shot. It was very painful to stand or walk. I was in a lot of pain every day for the last 5 months, and in a wheel chair the last month. When she was born, I hemorrhaged. It took a long time to build back all the blood I had lost, but I had given my doctor specific instructions NOT to give me blood unless I would absolutely die without it. I didn't want AIDS.
I guess being that sick drained my brain. I started saving things, my house became a mess, I was always depressed and overwhelmed. I kept thinking I'd get better, or get over it, but the symptoms just got progressively worse. I am back to my old self again. I am not completely cured, but I have started throwing a lot of those crazy things I saved away. Saving those things had consumed so much of my time! It still hurts to throw the milk jug lids away, but every one I throw out is a win for me.
If I sound like you or anyone you know, please go and see the doctor. You owe it to yourself and to your family. I wasted almost 5 years of my life suffering with this illness, because "only crazy people go to the psychiatrist." If it's embarrassing to you, then you are the only person who has to know--but DO get help.
I am not a doctor, therapist or professional in the treatment of OCD. This site reflects my experience and my opinions only, unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible for the content of links I may point to or any content or advertising in HealthyPlace.com other then my own.
Always consult a trained mental health professional before making any decision regarding treatment choice or changes in your treatment. Never discontinue treatment or medication without first consulting your physician, clinician or therapist.
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Tracy, N. (2009, January 9). 'Jennie', HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 11 from https://www.healthyplace.com/ocd-related-disorders/articles/jennie