I can split my OCD experience into two time periods: the era when I dealt with my OCD alone, and I was the only one that knew this was what I was suffering from, and the era after I was open about having OCD and when those close to me (and eventually acquaintances) knew about me having OCD.

Letting those close to me in on my specific disorder allowed for a touchstone to be formed where my effects on others could be understood in a clinical sense. I was no longer “just crazy” (even in what those around me considered…

It is a paradox of sorts. I have extreme social anxiety, and I need to find a way to communicate this anxiety to those around me. Yet, I have anxiety about communication in general. It almost seems like a cosmic set-up: I need to take action to better my life, but that which I need to take an action on is the very thing prohibiting me from taking such action.

So I’ve come up with a cheat sheet of sorts. Something that I could maybe give to those around me who are affected by my social anxiety so that they…

There is an entire industry devoted to trying to motivate you to do what you’re currently not doing. People are paid for what is literally called “motivational” speaking. Some of these people are successful in their own right, some successful just because they give motivational speeches. Motivation is an industry. The core of all help in our society boils down to motivation.

What is this “motivation?” In essence, it is asking you to buy into a system where you need to be taking actions that are different than your current mental state wants you to take. You need to change…

It is part of the human condition to allow our perception of others’ perception to weigh in on how we present our mental health issues. That is a statement with a lot of weight to unpack. This is because when dealing with how the outside world perceives our disorders, we often work completely internally without actual, real-world participation from people outside of our assumptions on how they may act if they were providing input (positive or negative.)

We assume how others would react, and often base our decisions on keeping things to ourselves versus acting on our mental health issues…

It was the freest I’ve felt in years, almost a high — dopamine, endorphins, who knows. I try not to overthink these often fleeting feelings of, well, good. I spent the previous night in an OCD episode. Nothing was right, and I felt others were to blame. I have a very specific way I want my surroundings to function. Everything being right allows me to continue to move through my perfectionism. I had visitors at my house — which I try to avoid. While I would never tell them, they feel unclean. Oh, not in the superficial sense, but in…

One of my readers completely stumped me today with something I felt I should know the answer to easily. While I am not a therapist or a doctor, I am here to communicate with others about my struggles with OCD, some of which I’ve overcome. I certainly don’t have all the answers, and I am often going through a very specific OCD episode of some sort myself.

I was asked about a reaction this person was having to a dented garbage can. They could not get this out of their minds. This is classic OCD, it is these little things…

Here’s the thing. The truism that none of us will move beyond. There is no solution to OCD. It cannot be wiped away forever. It is not that type of disorder (which is the case with many mental disorders.)

This is OK! It is not a sentence for a life wasted. It is not a death sentence. With OCD, the key is to manage it to the point where it is less of an issue now than it was before. The measurements here are intentionally vague. Because there is no need to measure performance on a numbered scale. …

Don’t let others shape the narrative.

I’ve had a rocky relationship with the outside world. The world of — people, but ideas and movements as well — that exist outside my thoughts. At one point I was convinced I disliked every person, not me. At one point I realized I feared everyone for their reactions and me not fitting in. Heck, if you can label a negative reaction and negative feeling toward others, I’ve had it.

I’m not antisocial. I’m not filled with angst. I’m not a cliché. But I have a mental disorder. Mine happens to be OCD, but…

I interact with people with OCD quite often, and I take in stories that form a wider view of OCD than if I just concentrated on my OCD. This has benefits and drawbacks. Because I am not on the outside looking in (I am not a doctor, for example) every story I hear about OCD episodes and coping with OCD, I naturally compare to my OCD.

The benefits are that anyone — especially those with OCD — can use more information, always. Or usually. With OCD I feast on information. And we’ll get the positives out of the way to…

I was recently asked how I challenge my OCD. I love open-ended questions, though when I go to write about them my brain goes into overdrive trying to map out all the directions I can detail my thoughts on sections, sub-sections, tangential ideas, and the whole set of spaghetti-looking roads my ideas travel. So I’ll try to keep this simple and allow for this to evolve in future writing.

OCD exists internally and externally. Everyone with OCD experiences different weights to each of these two categories. Obsession is often internal, compulsions are often external. …

Christopher J. Falvey

Christopher runs the site/blog Yeah OCD (https://yeahocd.com). Diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder for years, he worked with doctors to uncover his very

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