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The Fight With OCD You Can’t See Just by Looking at Me

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What if you couldn’t rationalize your greatest fear? What if you couldn’t escape your own thoughts? What if an internet search turned into a breakdown, an endless tunnel that drags you into a deeper and deeper panic? That’s how OCD can make you feel.

I have a fear of blood and all the diseases I can get. I can tell you any fact you’d want to know about HIV and your risk of infection. I passed a needle next to a dumpster while I was hiking yesterday, and the rest of the day was a downward spiral. I had to check for needle holes in my shoes. Then, I checked my feet for any sign of being pricked at least five times.

You couldn’t tell by looking at me. You probably couldn’t even tell if you observed me. I’m good at hiding my oddities. You can’t see my daily battle. I struggle silently.

I’ve had a psychiatrist ask me why I was in therapy since I take antidepressants every day and they help. I’ve had therapists tell me I need to rationalize my fears and try not to worry so much. My antidepressant does the trick. It means I can have a day where I don’t double or triple check my steps for things I could have stepped on. I feel balanced and normal on antidepressants.

Sometimes, it’s scary that I can’t be myself by myself, that I need help to balance my brain. It helps though, and it means I don’t have to only hide my fears from others. I can hide my fears from myself.

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Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: January 5, 2017
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