Taming my OCD: My personal experience of talking therapy
One of our Young Champions writes about her personal experience of talking therapy.
Since around the age of six, I have suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder. I felt like there was an evil persona in my head, making me do and think things I didn’t want to. I felt trapped and isolated. I was living my life in fear of this monster inside my head. It was honestly so tiring being forced to do unnecessary tasks by my own brain.
The most frustrating thing was that I knew it looked stupid. I knew nothing bad was going to happen if I didn’t tap my foot five times or wash my hands ten times, but I still did it because I didn’t want to risk anything bad happening. OCD took up hours of my day, and I would even avoid certain situations because I knew it would trigger the monster inside my head. I was embarrassed and I felt so alone.
At the age of 15, I plucked up enough courage to tell my school counsellor. If I’m being honest, at first it was very daunting. I had to pour out all of these feelings and emotions that I had never shared with anyone. The worst part about it was the awkward silences! I did start off as very reserved and I wouldn’t say much – but over time I felt more comfortable and was able to express myself.
If you are struggling with trapped and disturbing emotions and thoughts, I would definitely encourage you to talk to someone you trust, even if it is very daunting. I definitely don’t regret it. I felt as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
After around a month or so, I was referred to therapy for CBT. I found it much easier to talk to my therapist as it felt like she understood what I was actually feeling. This gave me the confidence to open up even more. She made sure I understood how the whole process worked, and how it was definitely possible to overcome what was happening to me. We would make mind maps and flowcharts so it was more visual for me to understand.
It took time, but after a while I was able to tame my OCD. It is important that I remember it will never go away, but it will fluctuate in severity. Going to therapy gave me the skills to deal with my problems. I am still working at it, but I can definitely see an improvement in myself.
Talking therapy enabled me to be a more open person. If you are struggling, I would definitely suggest speaking to someone you trust about how you are feeling – it’s scary, but I assure you that you will feel much better afterwards.