No one tells you as you develop mental health ailments exactly how much it will impact you. Looking back at my teenage years, I was confident, secure, happy, I had friends I loved and never had a doubt in my mind that my life would be anything other than golden.
Fast forward a decade and we see the fragility of a mind decayed by a mental health battle. We see the physical scars of trying to achieve perfection and the avoidance of eye contact deemed not worthy.
OCD is often referred to as the doubting disease as it takes your beliefs, the very core of who you are, your secret fears, brings them to the fore and presents you with what feels like a very real potential of truth. My OCD has always centred around sexual violence and abuse of children, a very ugly thought and for years a reflection on who I could be, whilst these thoughts only exist in my mind, they’ve permeated so much of my life. They’ve degraded me to something evil, ugly and undeserved of love. I felt for so long I was capable of such horrors, capable of evil torment of those vulnerable and needing to be protected. When you feel like this on the inside for so long, it’s only a matter of time before it affects how you feel about yourself as a whole. I was an evil individual, I needed to kept away and deserved to be punished for things I could do, to keep people safe. Thinking like this everyday left me weak, I no longer felt joy and plummeted into a depression. Life was a punishment, I didn’t deserve to be happy and everything that went wrong in my life was deserved. My mind began to switch, depression has a cruel way of forcing you downwards. I would leave my friends thinking they hated me, they wouldn’t reach out to me, they didn’t care, my family didn’t care, I was ugly, every negative thing in my life was because of these thoughts, if you think like this, you deserve to be miserable, a twisted positive in that I was at least getting what I deserved.
This of course is all hidden, OCD and depression are surprisingly easy to conceal despite their crippling effects. My friends would never see my mind chastising me for saying something, holding back so people didn’t think I was stupid. People who received compliments from me on their appearance would never know my mind was belittling me for being fat, ugly. The marks on my face are not acne, they’re a desperate attempt to get control, it’s compulsive skin picking, I want to be beautiful so when people compliment me I believe it, not that they’re saying it to my face then laughing at me behind my back.
OCD strips your self-esteem, your mind can become an ugly place to be and mental attitude projects meaning you feel ugly, spiraling downwards.
However, it is also an illness and one that can be treated, they are at the end of the day just thoughts, we all have them. Ask anyone and they will have days they feel unattractive with low self-esteem, they also know they are just bad days that pass. The thoughts too pass, it’s about finding the right treatment that works for you. Be this medication, therapy or the many other options available out there. I personally blog and volunteer, I have found great comfort in talking about this illness. I find it takes the weight of the thoughts away if I say them out loud or put them to paper, plus I’ve found others benefit which is a massive plus. Although, it took me several years to get to the position where I could share openly, prior to that I found CBT very helpful and would recommend it to anyone who is suffering with OCD and other anxiety based disorders.
If you would like more information a simple internet search will introduce you to a wealth of like minded people whom are a great community for sharing their experiences of OCD and you will find out most definitely you are not alone in this.