OCD has never been my friend; it has been my struggle ever since I was 12!
It seems like I have always known of the term OCD and the first time I got diagnosed at age 12, was definitely not a shock. It explained so much for my urges and thoughts.
My OCD became a huge battle for me during my early teenage years but now with the help of exposure therapy and my medication, my OCD has improved. (Although I do still struggle, especially with my soap usage and what I consider "poisonous" items!)
By Ida Anderson.
“You don't have to learn to control your thoughts; you just have to stop letting them control you.”
When I was 10 my OCD started to become noticeable. At 5:50 am I would wake up and spend an hour or two cleaning the bathroom. I can't remember why I thought this was normal behaviour, but I was young and just did it anyway. I then had to align all the bottles, soft toys and items in my bedroom and put them in pairs of two, as I didn't want them to feel lonely. Sometimes I couldn't even play with my toys because I didn't want to ruin the neatness. Neither of my mum or dad recognised this as OCD as they didn't really understand what it was and how much it affected me, at first.
OCD gradually became bigger for me. I would have to count the fences on the way to my primary school. I would have to spend an hour getting my hair perfect! Even if there was one little hair out of place, my mum would have to redo it. I would have to have everything even, from toilet paper usage to how many sips of water I drank. Usually it would be in counts of 4. I had to spend 20 minutes in the bathroom sorting out the toothbrushes and I wouldn't go upstairs alone or have a shower if no one was nearby.
At the age of 11, I started secondary school, and this caused so much anxiety for me! In addition, my OCD was getting much more unmanageable. And I still wasn't diagnosed so I didn't receive the help I needed at the time. My hair was becoming an even bigger problem and caused a lot of stress in the morning. And when I got home from school me and my mum would redo my work and complete my homework until I thought it was perfect. This took all our time! We would be doing schoolwork and homework from 3pm to 10pm on weekdays, whereas some students would only spend half an hour on homework. I wish I could have just stopped and forget about it, but I couldn't! I could not rest until it was done. And all my weekends were making sure my homework was correct. My parents helped me a lot with my homework but it was very time consuming and really took away my social life!
And at the age of 12, I was finally given a diagnosis of OCD! And it made so much sense.