Okay so I've set up this page because I'm going to be running the GOR Half Marathon in aid of OCD Action UK. OCD is an extremely misunderstood and overlooked condition, with a huge amount of stigma surrounding it. Every day I hear someone say "Oh you're so OCD", referring to someone who is tidy or the misconception that OCD is just the need to wash your hands a lot.
I'm sure some of you are aware (and many not aware) that I was diagnosed with OCD when I was around 15 years old, after putting up with the condition since I was 10. At the time I was diagnosed and started receiving therapy, I was at breaking point. OCD had been slowly overtaking my life, spending hours every single day carrying out my rituals and dealing with horribly intrusive thoughts. I'd have to carry out the rituals (compulsions) because if I failed to do so the intrusive thoughts would take over, one of the most common intrusive thoughts for me was "if you don't do this then you'll die". My rituals took the form of counting, tapping, stepping, looking, organising and repeating particular actions until the intrusive thought stopped, sometimes I'd tap a plug socket 10 times and the thought would go, other times it'd take 100 taps and the thought still wouldn't have gone. Most of the time, I'd finish carrying out one ritual and would immediately have to carry out another ritual, due to the constant intrusive thoughts. For around 7/8 years, I lived in fear of these intrusive thoughts, with OCD taking up 90% of my day and having full control over my life.
I have chosen to raise money for OCD Action UK because the charity helps people with OCD in so many ways (running support groups, helplines, providing information and support and raising awareness). I kept my OCD a secret for 5 years, until OCD Action helped me come to realise that it is treatable, that it doesn't mean I'm crazy and that other people do suffer with it.
I hope by sharing my story I have shed some light onto the true nature of OCD and that next time you go to say "you're so OCD", you'll stop and think about the millions of people all over the world that are suffering with this paralysing condition.
Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my JustGiving Page and I am so grateful for any donations, OCD Action really is a great cause.