When Your OCD Makes You Doubt Your Own Diagnosis
If you struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. To find help, visit the International OCD Foundation’s website.
My mental illnesses lie to me, about a lot of things. Particularly about whether or not I am really mentally ill at all.
“You’re not depressed. You’re faking it for attention. You just have a bad attitude.”
“You don’t have bipolar disorder. You exaggerate your hypomania. Your highs are no different than normal happiness.”
“Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)? Your thoughts are no different than anyone else’s. Your compulsions are just quirks.”
My mental illnesses even like to blame my medication:
“Your medication is making you more depressed. Your medication is useless. It dampens your highs. It slows down your thoughts too much. Your medication is making you fat. You don’t need it. You’re not really and truly mentally ill, so why would you continue to take medication?”
I never give in to the urge to quit my medication, despite its overwhelming power.
Because of the nature of my OCD, my brain constantly doubts and questions things, having to compulsively ask others (or Google) for reassurance. While I’m in the midst of obsessing about my mental illness, I try to battle the intrusive thoughts by asking everyone around me whether they believe I have a mental illness.
Today, I asked my psychiatrist. She was kind and she listened, but of course she told me that I indeed struggle with mental illness.
Am I just in denial? Why is this so hard to accept? Why is it that my brain keeps telling me I can cure depression with my attitude? Why is it that my brain keeps telling me I faked my hypomania?
Some days, I’m an advocate for mental illnesses and I am very accepting of my diagnoses. Other times, I get caught on the labels and worry I’m a fake. I worry I’m not sick enough to wear the labels I have. Or that I’m not sick at all but just an attention seeker who fakes symptoms.
I’d love to hear from others who, with or without OCD, have had this experience of denial, confusion and questioning.
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Getty Images photo via KatarzynaBialasiewicz