For those of you who have followed me the past couple of years you are probably wondering why I changed my blog from ‘The Anxious Perspective’ to ‘The OCD Perspective’. The reason is simple, I have come to discover that my main diagnosis is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
2 years ago, when the doctors were trying to figure out exactly what I was suffering from, I was told I had Severe Anxiety with OCD tendencies and a case of PTSD. So that is what I was treated for. After 2 years of constant and intense medication adjustments and regular behavior therapy, I felt like I was still not that far in recovery. Last summer I started feeling like things were getting better, I was even able to get a job. In July everything started falling apart and by October of 2018 I was unemployed, struggling in school, struggling in church and I had lost some friendships. I was pretty much always in my room and struggling to stay afloat.
3 months ago, I started seeing a new therapist closer to home and my life took a hopeful turn. After meeting with him things made so much more sense than ever before. We realized that I was being treated more for an anxiety disorder and decided to start focusing more on my Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
After some research I have realized that although anxiety and OCD disorders do go hand in hand, you actually treat them quite differently. Now, please remember that I am not a licensed professional and I am not qualified to treat anything. I am just sharing what I have learned from my experience.
It turns out that treatment for OCD is quite different. A person with anxiety usually needs to be exposed to the fear more directly, whereas a person with OCD needs to have encouragement but also the freedom to work through each compulsion at a comfortable pace.
For example, one of my bigger fears is driving. I have had a couple therapists suggest getting in my car and just driving around. That seems pretty reasonable right? For most, it is, but for me the more I did that the more scared I got. I used to stay home from class or wish my car wouldn’t start so I had an excuse not to drive. I found that I would develop more irrational fears and more compulsions. It became that I could only listen to certain music, I needed the air ice cold pointed at my face, I had to wear the right kind of shoes, I had to leave way early and it just became too much. If it wasn’t for my amazing Mom, I wouldn’t have gone to classes at all last semester.
So now what I have decided to work on with the help of my therapist is starting slower, for example, I’m going to start going for walks to prove to myself that my legs will work properly (another compulsion that I will explain later on) another thing is driving a block or driving on back roads, the whole purpose of OCD treatment is taking things gradually.
Anyways, that is why I am changing the blog. It hasn’t been easy to slow down and accept that I need more help than I thought, but it has made a big difference. I am already starting to feel the positive affect it is having on me. Thank you for all your support! I hope you are all doing well and as always remember… You Got This!!!