Apologies for being AWOL from here recently, I’ve had a lot of appointments and things to deal with. My last post touched briefly on this but I wasn’t comfortable saying what I meant just yet. But I can now.
After going to the Dr finally and getting some things in gear after a referral, I was recently diagnosed with Violent Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I’ve spent near enough to 16 years dealing with a lot of violent things in my head that I never understood and never wanted to bring up for fear of being punished or locked away somewhere. I never realised until recently just how common this condition is. I’d obviously heard of OCD, but I never thought of these images and thoughts that I was having for so long as OCD. After finally getting a diagnosis and referral for the correct treatment, I’m finally starting to understand my illness and the things that it brought about in the past without my even thinking about it.
I’ve also had to struggle with an eating disorder for a greater part of my teens and adulthood. Little did I realise, this was a result of an obsessive compulsion. It was a difficult time that I had absolutely no control over. The situation affected me and my sister badly, but it was out of our control. Because of this I started to control my eating habits. I felt a sense of purpose at finally having something to control in my life, that was all mine and no-one else could change that for me. So I started to eat very little. I lost weight at rapid paces and was hospitalised so many times it affected school and college for me because I was in a hospital bed more often than a classroom. I didn’t like the weight loss or the illnesses that losing weight brought with it, but I loved the control I had at being able to have a choice in life at that time.
Because I hadn’t been diagnosed with OCD back then, I didn’t even recognise what I was doing as a compulsive habit until it was explained to me later.
The weight loss occurred around the same time as these intrusive thoughts started. I didn’t find them too distressing at first because they were just myself taking out aggression on the main problem in life at that time, I thought that was a perfectly acceptable thought given the circumstances. But then it started to get worse. The aggression turned to vile slaughter and the people involved in these acts in my head didn’t even have faces anymore. They were strangers, animals, children even. My eating habits got worse as these thoughts got worse because they were another thing that I couldn’t control and they were repulsive. I kept them quiet from even my oldest friend because I was worried she would think I was insane and disown me.
It’s only in the last few months that it has become so bad that I had no choice but to seek help. I didn’t sleep for days, I clawed at my skin, I pulled out my hair. It was hard for everyone around me not to notice what this was doing so I had to do something about it.
I’ve started the road to treatment, being put on a waiting list for CBT and being given a strategy booklet on coping with intrusive thoughts brought on by this kind of OCD. I finally told my friend about what had been happening all of these years, only to find that she is actually extremely supportive and I’m not the only person she knows who suffers this which was a relief in itself. Not that I would want her friend to suffer this of course, but it was a relief to realise I’m not the only one, I’m not crazy, I’m not going to be punished for this. After almost 16 years of suffering, I can finally find a way to control this.