Patient Comments: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - Experience

Please describe your experience with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Comment from: LL, 19-24 Female Published: November 19

I think mine started when I was about 8, I suddenly had the urge to swear constantly, but then felt guilty for doing so and had to tell my Mom. But then the urge grew stronger because I knew if I did it I would have to tell my Mom and that scared me. That was the start. Throughout the years I have constantly worried about things I know are irrational, I have constantly sought reassurance that these thoughts are irrational, I have worried about dirt/germs and washed my hands so much that my skin dries out and splits so much it bleeds, I have worried about leaving germs that other people may pick up and have also washed things I have touched, I have checked things repeatedly, doors are locked, oven is turned off, cigarettes are definitely out and won't cause a fire etc - and by repeatedly I mean getting out of bed 4, 5 or 6 times to check again and again. I am nearly 22 now and have had a 3 year period where my symptoms have been relatively mild. I have never been diagnosed or received help for any of these problems. I believe I just found ways to cope by myself, mostly by forcing myself to just get on with life until the irrational thoughts stopped consuming me so much. I don't think it will ever go away, I think I will have good times and bad times, times when I can cope and times when I feel I can't, but the main thing to remember is that it is a way of thinking, it can possibly be changed, but more importantly, thoughts cannot physically harm you. Knowing that I can control this and change the way I think gives me the motivation to try and do this as best I can. After 3 years of believing it was going away I've realized it isn't and probably never will, but I am determined to get through this and learn to keep it under control.

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Comment from: kittycat, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

I developed OCD when I was 10. It began by counting steps I took on the sidewalk, and soon the counting increased while stepping or performing any action. I jumped over rugs and made sure fringes were straight, really weird things that I did not understand. My parents noticed there was a problem, but suddenly it just went away. Not forever though, later in life I had a child at age 18, worked a job running the counties emergency systems, responsible for over 15,000 peoples welfare. OCD came back I would count while I did everything, I tapped on the wall and turned the lights on and off, swallowed over and over again life was horrible, but somehow I manage to keep going, I once again sought help and was placed on Lovenox. It made me deafly sick, so I stopped taking it. I began doing rituals of counting and tapping that was a never ending life of torment. I decided to go to the church I had been brought up in. I went there for guidance and strength suddenly the OCD was suppressed. I now realize it never really went away and I had developed ways to cope. Today I am 40 at age 39 I had a mental breakdown and OCD is alive and destroyed my life, I can no longer work, and it is hard to function in day to day activities. The doctor has given me this medicine to try due to intrusive thoughts which causes me to repeat an action. I read the side effects and I don't know if it's a chance worth taking. I don't want another sit back from medicine that disagrees with me. In my case I feel OCD will be a constant companion for the rest of my life. I just have to learn ways to cope with it. I don't know anyone else that has OCD has severe as me. As I read the other stories, I cried out of sadness because I know of the suffering , but out of joy also, because I can see that there are other people like me.

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Comment from: Alan, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: February 05

I was diagnosed with a mild case of ADD several years ago. In school, it was always hard for me to focus on a lecture or whatever I was reading. In addition, throughout my life I have experienced various motor and mental tics. Last year, I had a panic attack and obsessed on my breathing 24-7 for about two months. The breathing obsession still comes and goes and is very discomforting. I obsess on the most irrational things; breathing, swallowing, blinking, things that should be automatic. I also have repetitive intrusive thoughts throughout the day. The thoughts can be about random people or things completely unrelated to anything I am doing at that moment. I also suffer from motor tics that I am not able to control. For example, I feel compelled to touch and count things. I do nonsensical physical movements with my hands while performing simple tasks like combing or washing my hair. I also find myself repeating in my head what other people around me say. These are just a few of the things I experience. I've read that OCD, ADD and Tourette's all stem from a common gene. I believe that I suffer from all three of these diseases to some degree. My inability to control my irrational vocal/motor tics and obsessive-compulsive thoughts undoubtedly leads to fluctuating degrees of anxiety and depression. These conditions have gotten progressively worse and while not debilitating, they do cause major discomfort, to the point where I am seriously considering medication.

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Comment from: mom2twins32, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 19

My OCD makes me crazy but it also drives my family crazy. My daughter has also picked up on some of my habits and is also doing them. I can't help it. I try to relax but I can't. I hate it.

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Comment from: Marolyn, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 12

Well to all of us who suffer with this at time unbearable life of counting steps, putting words in alphabetical order, and keeping cupboards organized and cans straight, I can honestly say I have been this way my whole life and didn't know it. I couldn't understand or stop doing these counting things and I was picking at myself until my fingers were sore and my kids would say, “Mom stop picking!” I couldn't stop. It was only after my daughter began working for a psychiatrist that she encouraged me to get help. I know what all of you who have commented are going through. I have good days and bad days, always worrying about my health. My husband died in March and since then things have gotten worse for me. My medication has been increased so I'm hoping that will help me.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - Treatments Question: What was the treatment for your obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)?
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - Symptoms Question: What symptoms do you experience with your obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)?
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - Risks Question: Do you have a relative with OCD? If so, do you believe there's a genetic risk for developing the condition?

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