Being Told I Have OCD – By: Shelly

Shelly3Unless you’re a super good friend of mine, or my husband, no one would ever know that I have OCD.   In my case though it’s more like obsessive thoughts, without so much the compulsion (to an extent). Just before I got married I had so much anxiety about the planning, I decided that for me, it was not a bad idea to see a therapist. After all it’s always good to see someone who is neutral to talk things out with. I was telling her about my behavior at the time. She pointed out that I am someone with OCD.  I looked at her and was like “I’m not a clean freak though.., and I don’t have any rituals.”  I always thought OCD was someone who was just all about being clean, having rituals, super organized, and particular. Turns out OCD can really be anything, not just cleaning. She mostly just said I was someone who has obsessive thoughts but with out the compulsion (at least sometimes).

Anyone, who is reading this maybe like “What the hell are you talking about?” Let me just say my mind can be like a broken-record, repeating the same topic over and over again, and it takes a while for me to “let it go” or move on. Some times I go from one topic to another and at other times just a situation alone. I’ve gone 4 weeks straight (maybe more) looking up everything about credit. Not too toot my own horn, but I’m like a friggen credit expert. I know about soft pulls, hard pulls, inquiries, and how to go about opening a credit card, and the best credit cards to get. I know that the utilization on a credit card should be no more than 30% of a person’s limit, and how often to open a credit card account. I could go on, and on. The point is; I literally, looked up everything humanly possible to find out about EVERYTHING! I even joined Myfico.com. On top of that I would talk about this to whoever would listen! Obsessive thoughts are when people think about things for more than hour a day, affects daily life, and isn’t in control of their thoughts. Most people can think about things, but not let it take up their life.

When my friend leased a car, I looked up everything for two weeks straight trying to get all the information I could about leases. I needed to know the pro’s, the con’s, everything. I knew if I ever wanted to lease a car I would want to negotiate the value of the car’s sticker price, because if I decided to buy it after the lease I would get a better deal. I’m pretty sure I have a file of info save.

It’s kind of sad when my husband notices I’m obsessing about something. He will say to me “So now what you obsessing about?” Mainly because when I’m obsessing about something, I can be found in our bedroom with my computer, with information printed. Just a few weeks ago I was looking into homes for days, and I couldn’t stop. I had states printed out, areas with the best school systems, locations of the best towns, etc. I’m on Craig’s List looking at jobs and pay, just so I have an idea about what we could afford. The way I was acting, it was as if though we would be buying a home this year.

I’m not on any medication, and didn’t take anything when I saw the therapist a couple years ago. I just kind of, go with it. I am careful not to let it affect my life too much, as of now I’m much more aware of what I’m doing, although sometimes it can be difficult. I’m always sure to focus on a job that I’m doing, or focus on a class that I’m in. My mind my ruminate, just not so much if I am actively engaging with a person, or a task that I’m doing in the moment. Having obsessive thoughts is a blessing, and a curse. The positive, I get to learn so much. The negative, it can be very time consuming, especially when there are other priorities that need to happen. My therapist had put it best: the topic/subject on my mind is my obsession; my compulsion is the need to find out info, or purchase the product if we are talking about a material object. I’ve also taken psychology and have asked my professor if OCD can jump from one topic to another, and he happened to concur with the therapist I saw.

I’d love to share this topic with people I know, however, I’m slightly apprehensive because I know people can be so quick to judge. Will people think I’m weird? Who knows; I shouldn’t worry but I do. I’ve never really been an “open book” but it’s always nice to see a different side of someone, and to get a better understanding of society as a whole. I don’t like to label myself as someone who has a mental health problem, although technically mental health in general can range from low level to severe. Mental health can be a touchy topic for most, understandably with the stigma that can come with it.

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