When I was 13 to 16 my OCD became significantly worse. My whole life became dedicated to it and I was miserable!
By Ida Anderson.
Early Teenage Years with OCD
When I was 13 my schoolwork and homework was a massive issue for me and it would take away all my time. It had to be perfect or I wouldn't be able to sleep, and I had to spend hours revising for pointless exams. When I was 14, I moved to a special needs school that no longer gave me homework! Without homework in the way, my OCD became stronger in other areas.
Food became a huge struggle; I could no longer eat meat without seeing a disgusting rotting animal inside my head. So, I stopped eating meat and later on stopped eating dairy products and eggs. Plus, vegan foods can be unsafe too, so I am very limited on what I can eat. I like to call unsafe foods "poisonous".
When I was 15, OCD was my biggest struggle. I also developed BDD and thought of myself as extremely ugly. In result, I would have to spend 4 whole hours putting on makeup before I left the house. I hated my eyebrows because they weren't symmetrical, and I would spend most of my 4 hours fixing my eyebrows to make them look as even as possible. If my eyebrows didn't look up to my expectations, I wouldn't leave the house. This meant I missed a lot of days at school. Luckily, I was at a special needs school and they were understanding.
When I got home, I would spend 4 hours in the evening tidying the downstairs. The throw on the sofa couldn't have any wrinkles, the cushions had to be plumped and the chairs in the dining room had to be straightened. I then would spend forever in the shower doing my cleaning rituals! I remember my acne became a real issue for me, and even though I didn't even have much acne, I would freak out over one spot. It got to the point where I was having around 3 showers a day and if the shower didn't make me feel clean, I wouldn't be able to sleep in my own bed. I couldn't contaminate my bed with my uncleanliness, so I had to sleep downstairs on the sofa!
It soon became too much and I was very miserable for a while. Then when I was 17, I received a whole year of exposure therapy plus I finally found a medication that worked well with me!
Due to the exposure therapy and the medication I am on, my life has definitely improved! However, I still have some struggles, for example I use a bottle of soap a day. My mum isn't too happy about that one as she pays for it. And my food is still very restrictive. I can't touch several items like kitchenware, furniture and clothes because they are gross or in my words "poisonous". And if my mum was to touch a poisonous item, she would have to wash her hands too. But from what it was, to what it is now I am very thankful.
I hope everyone else struggling with OCD can also find ways to recover and get better! :)