Chloe, October 13, 2016

Not ashmaed of getting help

Hello everyone, am I really about to blog about this?!

Yes. I am im Chloe I am 18 and live in the South West, I have OCD and anxiety.

I have been diagnosed with this for almost three years now. It’s not fun, but it makes me who I am, not that I want to defined by my OCD.

If I have a story why not share it, after all maybe one of you could relate, gain something from reading about me, or change your minds about mental health. 

I have always been an anxious person since I was very young, normal activities like going to school or visiting a friend came with a “funny feeling in my tummy” or so I called it.

Talking to 18 year old me I can now label that on going uncertainty as anxiety (a normal emotion).

It wasn’t until I was 15 when my family went through a series of hard events. A loss of my grandfather and my mother not being too well, meant that I felt the need to protect them. My obsessions and compulsive developed quickly, I would say within half a year I went from doing one or two compulsion, both mental and physical to spending hours a day trying to keep myself and my family safe in my mind.

It got to the point where I knew I couldn’t do this anymore, I was truly being ruled by my OCD and I didn’t like it. Arguments came as a result of my OCD, it was stopping me from going out, seeing friends and even holding normal conversation, it needed to stop. 

My school realised that something wasn’t quiet right, my pastoral manager sat me down and said “what’s going on?” - she was worried. To cut a long story short, the arguments around my OCD at home sometimes got out of hand and social services became involved, they were more than happy that I was safe and realised that I simply needed a little support. This lead to me speaking to a therapist a CAMHS. They were nice, really nice; at first it seemed scary to have to speak about something that I have always kept to myself. 

I thank them from the help they gave me, but my mental health deteriorated after the few months, my obsession and intrusive thoughts were so real to me and the importance of completing rituals was more severe than they had ever been. I started self-harming (which  turned into a compulsion) and was involving my family more and more into my OCD. I couldn’t cope. This ended up with me being sectioned on section 136 by the police as they were simply worried for my own safety. I hated that I felt powerless. But I am now grateful in an odd way. I was put with another local mental health team. Who have now placed me on a waiting list to restart CBT, I am so ready to give it another go. 

I have experienced stigma first hand from people around me at various stages in my experience of this and know other people who to have as well. If I could give a few pieces of advice. I would say know there is help out there, you’re not alone and don’t have to be. Once you start seeking help you will soon realise that what you feeling is alright, it’s not stupid or silly and it is NOTHING to be embarrassed about. Take my word for it because I kept it in the quiet for a long time. If anyone reads this keep smiling and you can do this not just for OCD but for any mental health problem. 

We can beat this stigma and make it ok for people to talk about what they're going through and get the help they need.

Love Chloe

PS, I also have a blog I set up as a coping mechanism for me; feel free to have a look. No pressure though, it's not great, haha!

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Too many people are made to feel ashamed. By sharing your story, you can help spread knowledge and perspective about mental illness that could change the way people think about it.