Patient Comments: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - Experience

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

Comment from: Amanda, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

I have always been compulsive, as long as I can remember. I got worse at 19 when I was just married. I would make my husband get up with me in the night to remake the bed that we were sleeping in because the sheets were not straight. I pick my fingers until the bleed and have gotten worse since I have started staying home with my children. The dishwasher has to be loaded a certain way or it won't work and just last week, I had a compulsion to weed the garden because if I didn't the tomatoes would die. I am to start Prozac tomorrow and will see if it helps. I really appreciate everyone that wrote something. While I know that I am not crazy, it helps to know that others feel the way that I do.

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Comment from: Zip, 25-34 Male Published: May 08

I believe that I developed OCD as a result of ADHD. When I was a young child during the late 80s and early 90s, I could not keep my ADHD under control, and it kept me from learning in school. This was before it was a (popular) commonly diagnosed learning disorder. My teachers and parents did not know what to do. I'm guessing they assumed I was stupid, or lacked the willpower to concentrate. I later (around the age of 10) developed OCD, which was a, sort of, compensation for my lack of attention. I would repeatedly count my steps, and do simple tasks multiple times, such as wash my hands. It was also a superstitious thing; I believed that the repeated tasks would keep away bad luck. However, I remember telling myself that I was going to stop doing it one day, and I slowly willed myself to ignore the compulsions. They are still there, but I have control over them. It also helped to ride my mind of superstitious dilutions. My thoughts are still very chaotic, but creative at the same time. It helps to be optimistic. I never took any drugs, just caffeine (which seems to still help), and to this day live a fairly normal life. However, I would probably be a lot happier now if I was diagnosed early on and did not have to suffer through my childhood. Childhood should be enjoyed!

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Comment from: heather, 19-24 Female Published: February 20

I have had OCD for as long as I can remember. When I was going through elementary school, I would always count my steps between the side walks. I made myself believe that I was only allowed to take two steps on every sidewalk. I would always do things evenly. If I rubbed one eye, I would have to rub the other and so on. If I didn't rub or touch something right away, then the part of my body I did touch felt heavier, and I needed to make it even. As I got came to college, my OCD took over. I would be in my class and if certain things came into my head, I would have to write them down. I would write things throughout my entire class, and I would end up not knowing what I was supposed to learn. I finally went to the school psychologist, and then my doctor and they prescribed Paxil. After two months, it helped but not for the more major obsessive and compulsion. At this time, I was home for the summer. I worked in a pharmacy, I would be counting pills for prescriptions not just once or twice, I would count them many times until it felt right, and after that, I would run the pills through the automatic counter a few times until that felt right. This took way too long, so I went to my doctor for my check-up, and she prescribed me a higher dosage of Paxil. Now I am doing a lot better than in the past.

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Comment from: 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: January 21

My OCD started when I was 13 years old. I had to ask the same question over and over. I have been doing this for a long time, but my SAT exams made it 10 times worse so that I couldn't cope. I went to talk to a teacher, and I am going the CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) course now. I have a lot of support from my friends, and counselors. The teachers at school understand if I freak out about tests. Although I get a lot of support, I still wish that it would all go away.

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Comment from: 7-12 Female (Patient) Published: January 21

I started to develop OCD when I was about 8. I don't remember why, but I started to throw up every night after dinner -- when I was in bed. This continued on and off for about two and a half years. Then I started getting nervous about throwing up to the point where I threw up in other places: during dinner, at the movies. It began to take over my whole life, and everything I did was based on whether or not it would make me sick. This went on until the beginning of this year, when I had a really bad phase and could hardly eat for two days. Finally, I went to the school clinic to ask to go home. I was really distressed, and she realized I was having a sort of panic attack. I was made to see the school chaplain, who got me to go and see a doctor. He put me on medication for OCD, and I'm now 14 and slowly learning how to control myself. I can now sit down at the dinner table and eat without fear, something I wasn't really able to do for three or so years.

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Comment from: dontmindme, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 30

My name is Michelle and i was diagnosed with severe obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) 20 yrs ago. I'm 45 now and living drug free and for the most part a normal life, as I understand I will never again live the way I was before OCD took over my life. My obsession is sterile cleaning to rid off any viruses my mind wants me to believe exists on every surface and sure death if I don't avoid it. Well that was long ago for me and I've come along way. I did go through behavioral treatment and drug therapy at the University of Michigan for two years off and on. I am proud to say that after being told I would never be without drugs, I have been off the prescribed drugs for my OCD for seven years. I know I'll always have to rationalize with my fears on a everyday basis for the rest of my life but I have learned to live with OCD and function well with it. I want to help. I wish I could be there to stand next to someone who can't open the contaminated doorknob and help take them through the day. I know how they feel, I have the same brain thought process as them and more then any doctor could imagine. I feel I would be able to relate and they would look at me with hope that they can live like everyone else again.

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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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