When I was 15, my OCD told me to become vegan. This is because meats, eggs and dairy products were unsafe. The problem was, a lot of vegan foods were also unsafe, so I was very limited in what I could. This resulted in a vitamin B12 deficiency and me becoming very tired and ill.
By Ida Anderson
When I was 15 my OCD gradually made the decision for me to become vegan. I found this very difficult because it meant giving up some of my favourite cakes, meals, sweets and chocolates. As school got harder for me, I found eating becoming very stressful and my food intake dropped significantly.
My diet got worse and worse, to the point where I became extremely tired and lethargic. I was more depressed and lost a lot of weight. I also was super pale and would get dizzy and blackout a lot. Although I had these symptoms, I didn't do much about it until my feet started becoming an issue. I found it really painful to walk because my feet were in agony. At night I couldn't sleep and would cry to my mum about it. She would have to get me buckets of ice to put my feet in to stop them hurting. We then went to the doctors and I found out I had vitamin B12 deficiency.
B12 keeps your nerves healthy and supports the production of DNA and red blood cells. It is found in animal liver and kidneys, beef, salmon, dairy products, eggs and several other foods. I was pretty much living on soup and pasta at the time, so I missed out on a lot of foods that are high in B12. After being diagnosed with my deficiency I had to take injections every 3 months. But now I take a B12 vitamin pill every evening.
I really wish I could go back to be a vegetarian, but my OCD thoughts won't let me. The disgusting thoughts I have about food, such as milk coming from the insides of a cow are so strong. Even though I used to really love eating cakes with milk or ice cream, the bad thoughts override anything good. They even make me feel physically sick. I currently am deficient in vitamin D but at least I am at a healthy-ish weight now!