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3 Things That Would've Turned My OCD Diagnosis From Hopeless to Hopeful

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If I could go back 15 years ago with the knowledge that I have now   oh, how different things would be. My outlook on life, on obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), on treatment would all be so incredibly different than it was then. When I was diagnosed with OCD, there was no hope, no light at the end of the tunnel. I was lost, scared and alone. I had no idea what I was going through, that I could get better or that other people were dealing with many of the same issues. All the therapists made it that much worse. They told me my OCD was too severe to be treated, that they had never seen a case like mine, all alluding to the fact that they didn’t believe I could ever get better.

If I could go back to that day 15 years ago when a name for what I was dealing with was finally given, I would tell myself three things…

  1. You are not alone
  2. There is effective treatment
  3. Help someone else who is suffering.

Those three things would have changed my situation from hopeless to hopeful. I would have believed that I had a chance — that I had something to fight for. I would have been motivated to try and to keep my head up. Instead it was an uphill battle for many years, until I met other people who lived with OCD just like I did, and until I finally received effective treatment.

I remember a therapist asking me if it felt good to have a diagnosis — a name for what I was going through. Do you think it felt good? Do you think I felt relief when I was given a name for my diagnosis yet at the same time I was told my OCD was too severe to be treated? No way!

I wish someone had the knowledge I have now about OCD. I wish someone could have explained how treatment works. I wish someone could have introduced me to someone else living with the disorder. I wish someone would have shared with me the healing that comes along with helping others living with your illness or similar illnesses. The knowledge of those three things would have ended up being that shining light at the end of what seemed like a never-ending tunnel. I just wish I would have known them earlier…

To learn more about OCD and find help and resources near you, please visit the International OCD Foundation at

RELATED VIDEO: What’s It’s Like to Be in My OCD Mind for 3 Minutes

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Originally published: February 26, 2015
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