What It’s Like to Have OCD

By, Jared Glassman

Going into the summer of Freshman year I started to experience something different with my thoughts. They became “obsessive” and as hard as I tried to fight them, they wouldn’t go away. At first, I was a little scared, but I felt as though if I kept following its orders it would eventually go away. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Once my summer was consumed with all of these thoughts, the school year came. It involved no friends, suffering grades, and worried parents. Focusing in and outside the classroom became nearly impossible. But again, my hopeful self came in and made me be in denial. I truly felt that the thoughts were over but it turned out it was only getting worse.

I started to get panic attacks and basically my whole day was consumed with these obsessive thoughts. I told my parents about my problems, so together we came to a conclusion that therapy was needed. However, that was not enough and I soon became hopeless.

I was hospitalized and diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It all made sense to me now. It wasn’t me who was having these thoughts, but it was because the way my brain is wired. I came to realize my “version” focuses on physical appearance and perfectionism. Once released from the hospital, I began treatment with a specialist who has helped me develop coping skills to manage my illness ever since.

By overcoming this illness I have realized that I am not shameful or afraid of my illness; but rather proud and thankful. This experience has taught me so much and has made me comfortable with who I am. Furthermore, I came across people like me; people who tried to hide their illness but it soon caught up with them. I found that individuals are going through troubles every day, even though you may not see it. Smiles can be deceiving.

Although my illness has negatively impacted my life over the past few years, it has had its positives. There is something to gain away from everything as I have only gotten stronger from this experience while learning the importance of a powerful support network. I wouldn’t be where I am now without the help of my family and friends. With all of the support I had, it made it nearly impossible for my disorder to win this battle. Thanks for the challenge, but better luck next time OCD.