Why is it so hard to reveal to anyone else—medical professionals, family, friends—that we have OCD?
In writing, in very broad strokes, about my own early journey to treatment, I realized how many times I missed the chance to share my struggles with doctors.
Part of the reason I kept my symptoms to myself was the embarrassment I felt. Think about it. How strange does this sound?
“I stood in my kitchen for five hours the other night checking my stove to make sure it was off,” I tell my doctor. “My hands are so red because I used a bottle and a half of Lysol to clean my small bathroom. Oh, and I was late for my appointment today because I had to drive up and down the street outside to make sure I hadn’t hit someone with my car.”
How would the doctor react? I was afraid to find out.
I think another reason I didn’t tell my doctors was because I didn’t want anyone thinking I was crazy, weak, someone to be pitied, not to be trusted.
Knowing what I know now, and with the experience I have, the only kind of doctor I would have is one who would treat me with understanding and respect.
What I have gained in getting help from medical professionals far out ways any embarrassment I felt as I revealed my problems.
I have had the benefit of understanding doctors and therapists who encouraged me and told me I would feel better even when I didn’t believe it.
I have had the benefit of medications that have helped me deal with OCD, depression and anxiety.
I have learned ways to think about myself less negatively and more realistically.
I can live a good life with my various disorders, and knowing that is a gift.
It’s not my fault I have OCD. It’s not my fault that I have depression. It’s not my fault that I have anxiety.
And it’s not your fault either.