It’s been about a year since I was diagnosed with Purely Obsessive Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (Pure O OCD). November of 2019 was one of the hardest times of my life. I had struggled with intrusive thoughts for at least ten years. They got to the point of very obsessive. Because I didn’t want the thoughts I tried so hard to make them go away. But when you try to “not think” about them that makes them worse. Of course, that’s what most people do. I mean, who wants to have horrible thoughts that go against their morals and make them feel crazy, or even worse, like a psychopath? No one! The first step of therapy is accepting the thoughts. Not liking them. Not disliking them. Accepting they exist and moving on. This is extremely hard. I have gotten better at this throughout this past year, but it can still be a struggle sometimes. I have medication that helps lessen the thoughts and it has been wonderful for my mental health. Therapy has not been as great as it could be because we’ve had to do video calls, but I’m thankful for the technology to do this.
“You are never without help, hope, or strength. You are stronger than you think because God is nearer than you might imagine.”- You Are Never Alone by Max Lucado, p.138
I think it is important for people do their research on mood disorders. Many of these can be used in the wrong context which is dangerous. OCD is especially used in the wrong way. If you “like being organized” that’s not OCD. If you “like cleaning” that’s not OCD. If you like it, it’s NOT OCD. I used to use the term, OCD in the wrong way all the time. That’s why I am telling other people how harmful it is. I would say “M.J. is a little OCD” because he is a particular kid. I would say, “I’m the opposite of OCD” because I am a messy, unorganized person. When I was diagnosed with OCD, I was confused. I thought, that doesn’t make any sense, I’m not a clean freak, I’m only a little bit of a germaphobe, I hate cleaning, I don’t have OCD, do I? There are many different types of OCD, many people have many different themes. The themes can also change which make it very confusing. OCD is a debilitating disorder. It is not “liking cleaning.” Contamination OCD is just one of the many themes of OCD. People with Contamination OCD do not like cleaning. They get extreme anxiety about getting sick or getting someone else sick. They often have intrusive thoughts about different bodily fluids: saliva, urine, feces, semen, etc. OCD is not an adjective. You can’t be “a little OCD”.
“For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love. For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow.” Lamentations 3:31-33 NLT
I think it is important to make people more aware because other people could be struggling with similar things. People with General Anxiety Disorders can also struggle with intrusive thoughts. I have listed examples of intrusive thoughts in different blog posts, but intrusive thoughts can be about anything. http://www.snugglesandstruggles.com/indexphp/2020/09/17/the-cleaning-disease/ They don’t say anything about you as a person. They say you are human. Actually, most people have intrusive thoughts, but they just get sticky for some people. For example if someone without OCD gets mad at their boss and thinks, I want to kill him, they would think, oh that’s weird, and move on. If someone with OCD had the same thought they would think, why did I think that? Do I really want to kill him? Do I want to kill other people? Could I kill my husband? Could I kill my children? Why do I keep having these thoughts about killing people? I should kill myself before I kill someone else. This is why OCD is so debilitating. My obsessive intrusive thoughts made me extremely suicidal. My intrusive thoughts aren’t normally about killing people, but that is a common theme people have.
“It’s never a good time to end your life.”
I had considered suicide when my intrusive thoughts got bad before, but never as badly as last November. I came up with different plans in my head. I thought about what would be the least difficult for Dan to find. I asked God to kill me naturally because I didn’t actually “want” to kill myself. I also thought it would be easier for Dan and M.J. if I just died naturally somehow. It got to the point where I thought I seriously didn’t deserve to live. I finally told Dan about it. He knew I had been depressed, but he had no idea I had been considering suicide. Telling him was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Going to the emergency room was even harder. I felt like a crazy person. I felt like a horrible wife and mother. Who wouldn’t want to watch their son grow up? Who would leave their husband a single dad? But, I truly believed they would be better off without me. This was a lie! I’m so glad I got help.
I didn’t want to go to the emergency room. I didn’t want to go to the partial hospitalization program. But, being diagnosed with OCD has been very helpful for me. I don’t like having OCD. I still wish God would heal me, but He has chosen not to. I think part of the reason He hasn’t, is so I can help people going through similar struggles. If you feel suicidal don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be ashamed to go to therapy or take medication. It is okay to take medication for your brain. Mental illness is physical illness, too. Your brain is still a part of your body. Remember, your friends and family would not be better off without you. You are loved. You matter. Don’t let your story end.
Have you ever looked at a knife
And thought you should end your life?
How else would you end the pain?
You must be to blame
For all the struggles you’ve gone through
What else can you do?
Don’t give up, there is hope
You can make it up the slope
So many people love you
You don’t have to be the glue
I promise, it gets better
Don’t forget, YOU MATTER
National suicide prevention hotline: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org