June 11, 2016

My name is Josh Davis and I am 18 years old. I have suffered from extreme OCD for 9 years of my life now and have faced moments where I have just not wanted to continue or thought I can’t. I have experienced OCD for 9 years and only just recently reached out for help. Going through that process made me realise that I have certain aspects of dissociative identity disorder, although I have not been diagnosed with DID by a doctor. 

I used to wake up, go out to school or to town and think I was doing amazing or terrible things or had to ritualise everything to ensure I was making everyone safe and happy.  I used to sit in school and for all 6 hours I would ritualise breathing, hearing, smelling, blinking and talking - where I would repeat things a number of times.

My experience with OCD has been hard, to the extent that I sometimes couldn’t even open my eyes. However, there have also moments of amazement. I sometimes woke up and was saddened by the fact that I had to ritualise everything and knew I would have to do so throughout my day however, other days I would randomly feel over the moon and simply was able to ignore the ritualising. Some of my experiences with OCD were simple: opening and closing my pencil case a few times in year 7, for example. However, there were other times where I would feel as if I dissociated into another person or that god and Satan were affecting me in both positive and negative ways.

 I sometimes used to not recognize those who I have known all my life and not even recognize I was myself as well as feel paranoid that others were judging me all the time so I literally kept my head down throughout the entirety of year 7 and 8 and hunched my back to avoid eye contact. In class I used to repeat words when speaking, which interrupted a lot; sometimes I felt compelled to delete all my work and re-write it. No teacher picked up on it – in fact, when I told one teacher  I had anxiety when talking in front of others, she looked at me with disgust and made a very rude gesture. As a result of the negative judgements of others, I used to fake being ill to avoid walking to and experiencing school, and once faked being bullied in order to miss a week or two of school. Until this day I haven’t told anyone at school. Before I leave, I want to explain to them the reasons why I’ve behaved in ways that might seem strange. I hope they listen and respect that.

The support my family and friends gave me boosted my confidence to tell people about my suffering as I was scared that I would be called silly or stupid or weak but what I realised, and my girlfriend made me realise, is that I have been to the darkest place and managed to come back making me, and others who experience OCD, some of the strongest and most determined people in the world. I recently learned about a quote by Alan Turing stating: 'sometimes it’s the people you least expect anything of who do the most amazing things imaginable.' I think this is true of a lot of people who experience mental illness. But if you know someone who is going through a hard time, you can help them on this journey: sometimes all you need to do is remind them they are not alone and you are there to listen.

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Comments

Josh blog

You are brilliantly brave Josh, thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

misdiagnosis

Thanks Josh; I have not recognised myself for years.....talking to people who arent or are there, chronic paranoia and felt like Id lost my mind; only today to find out that I had been misdiagnosed as borderline when I am actually bipolar; having been put on a cocktail of medication for an illness I didn't have and no medication for the illness I did have. At the moment, I feel like my brain has been destroyed by external forces, this was always what I was thinking, never believing that those forces were my psychiatrist. I had to in the end, before nearly killing myself in a state of psychosis, go to Harley Street. I knew I was getting iller and iller but had no idea why.....and now I know. We must all be very careful when we access help, because it just could be the poison we do not need....I have no idea what they have done to my brain.....as yet......but this is a message to be careful to all of us......

Thank You

Hi Josh, Just read your post and am in awe. When I was 18, I was beyond afraid, terrified and embarrassed to admit that there was something different about me - something beyond my control - to even consider asking for help. I applaud you for being so strong and self-aware.

Thanks Josh

Just read your blog Josh. Well done on being brave and seeking help. It's tough having OCD especially at such a young age. I've had it since I was a kid too.Im in my 30s now. Your story has inspired me. I was sad to read the part about the teachers reaction to your anxiety problem though. That's terribly unkind. Keep up the good work buddy.

Hi Josh ,

Hi Josh , I got quite emotional when I read your blog because my sister who is 19 has OCD too. She was diagnosed with it 5 years ago. The last few years for us have been very very hard . My heart goes out to you too because I know what it must to be like for you and the struggles that you go through. When I read the part about the teacher I was truly saddened that even the most educated people don't even understand mental health . Thank u for your blog and stay strong .

OCD Organization

I've had OCD since i was born. When i hit 18 years old, it finally got severe and i finally became mindful of the fact that i have the mental illness. Your not alone. Im looking for people who have the mental illness and are seeking help. I want to create an organization based off of mantra meditation. I did a minature meditation retreat and i think i was on the verge of being anxiety free of my irrational fears. My OCD makes it hard for me to depict wether or not if the meditation took me as far as i think it did. I feel like it was counteracting my compulsions and slowly deminiahing my fears. I missed a day and everything evently went back to the way things were. You can not miss a day of meditation in order for it to work. My fear right now is that it was all based off of the placebo effect in which you can make yourself think its working, in turn, things start to change in your life based off of your choice to believe that it works, and not because the meditation is working. I've tried to meditate and not miss a day and i continue to miss a day sooner or later. During the process of doing the meditation practices, i feel like different paths are being taken to conquer all of my fears. Im not sure wether or not the meditation practice is going to deal with this fear or that fear first. I feel like it just makes its own path. And the only way im going to be able to find out if it truly works or not, is if i don't miss a day. That is why i want to start my organization now. I want to find a group of people who are willing to meditate for about six months (more or less) and are willing to help me see wether or not if the meditation truly works. The only way i can see this working is by doing this over the internet. Over a video chat ordeal where the group will meet everyday at the moat convenient time for everybody and we will do a mediation journey that will last for about six months. We will start out meditating for about 5 minutes a day, and end the journey meditating for about 3 hours a day. The journey will be free and worth doing because at the end of the day you will get great benefits from meditation all by its lonesome. If we worked together, we very well could become anxiety free of our irrational fears.And if you believe in God, then hopefully i can persuade you with the thought that i think that God gave this too me because it will make me and everybody with OCD anxiety free of their mental illness.Ive bn on a jney w God 2 save his kds frm OCD.

Well done Josh

Hi Josh, I really can relate to this type of OCD. Every single step or movement I make has to be done, whilst in a certain order, yes even down to blinking. I have colours that I use has mental rituals whilst doing absolutely everything. If I start to walk with my right foot, then my last step before stopping must be my right as well. I always have to imagine there is a colour around me or around whatever it is I'm touching. If it's red, yellow or orange, I am feeling okay, if it's blue, green, grey or white then it means something is wrong and I have to start again, it does get a lot more complex than this but I'm sure you can relate. I liked your blog because it helped me gain some clarity about my own OCD and put into words what I'm experiencing. I run a blog named wwwocdkeepingitrealcom Please feel free to come and have a read and chat. I'm interested in your meditation theory. I'm 36 now and have had severe OCD for as long as I can remember, I totally get how debilitating and exhausting it is and it can make you feel like giving in. Good luck with your recovery.

Josh, You are brave!!! My

Josh, You are brave!!! My son has went through this as well as he was 15 when he exhibited symptoms and after years of meds, psychologists with PHD's he was helped a Great Counselor who is amazing and who really cares with a Masters Degree. He has helped him more than anyone including all the PHDs and all their years of schooling put together (It took us 6 years of before we found the treatment that was right for him).He taught him REBT - Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy..It has tremendously helped him and has basically changed his life..His first session he had him read part of the book called How to Stubbornly refuse to make yourself miserable by Albert Ellis..He went on to read many others by Albert Ellis..Albert Ellis is Amazing!!! He is also reading David Burns (amazing as well)books as well...This was the key to his Getting Better and Staying better!!!! Hope this helps someone:)

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