Evening! Sorry to post so soon after the last blog entry, but I didn't plan the last one - I just felt fairly compelled to write about it...
First of all, thankyou, thankyou, thankyou for actually giving me questions to answer - I know I'm not as popular as the other OCD blogs I follow, simply because I haven't been posting for that long, and I don't really want to share the blog with people in my real life, most of whom are oblivious to my OCD and so I'm so grateful that people have read my post and asked me questions!
1. 71º & Sunny: When did you first discover you had OCD?
I've had OCD, I think, for as long as I can remember: I've always had a sort of 'magical cause and effect' way of thinking about things (for example, I remember performing mental rituals when I was about six years old because I thought it would mean that my next door neighbours sold the horrible van they'd bought...!), but the first time I had any really distressing symptoms, I was ten.
After that, despite years of health obsessions, body checking rituals and fairly severe anxiety, I wasn't diagnosed formally until I was having problems with my school work when I was seventeen, and I 'confessed' to my Mum, who arranged for my to see the doctor. He was very reluctant to diagnose me and told me that 'he had friends who did things like me' but, by then, I just wanted to start getting better and pushed for a diagnosis.
2. Elizabeth: What types of OCD bother you the most?
This is one I've had to think about long and hard...I guess the type of OCD which bothers me the most is the one which makes me do compulsions which are completely unrelated to anything else. When I was going through my Health Anxiety OCD phase, checking my body for signs of illness made total sense, as did the avoidance of speaking the names of illnesses. But avoiding stepping on kerb stones and repeatedly touching wood or repeating phrases three times over makes no sense whatsoever and takes up so much time in my day when I could be doing other, infinitely more productive, things.
Another contender for top spot is worrying myself sick about things that will never happen, and not having any sense of perspective. Like getting ridiculous levels of anxiety that my Mum's clothes are contaminated and are going to make my family ill, but not being 'allowed' to tell her so. I know, rationally, it's ridiculous but it's so difficult to convince my OCD of that.
3. Tina at Bringing Along OCD: What would you like people without OCD to know about the disorder?
Firstly, and this is a wish which I think everyone with OCD has, that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - for a lot of people - is not about continuous hand washing, or tidying up. And it's not always a fear of germs or disorder which precipitates either of these actions. I think increasing numbers of people believe that it's something which can be turned on or off on a whim. If I hear one more person say that they 'wish they had OCD' because they have such a dirty house, I may actually have to hire the Fifth Plinth in Trafalgar Square and tell people exactly what it's really like.
Another think I think everyone should know is that I'm not mad. The things I do might look crazy, and sometimes I definitely feel like I've lost the plot, but I am in control of what I'm doing, and I'm definitely not going to hurt anyone.
This seems to have turned into a wordy one; I'm obviously feeling verbose tonight.
For anyone who's made it this far: well done!
My challenge, should you wish to accept it, is to answer the question 'What would you like people without OCD to know about the disorder?' as a blog post. Tina's made me really curious to hear people's answers! If you do that, please post a link to your blog in the comments, because I'd love to read them :)