My family and friends have always described me as a worrier. Someone who finds it hard to relax and unwind. My role is usually that of the responsible voice of reason when plans are being made, or the wet-blanket when expectations need to be curtailed.
For as long as I could remember, I have had a poor tolerance for uncertainty. . for example, needing to check whether a member of my family was safe whenever they were late for an agreed meeting time, trying to remember whether I had turned a light-switch off before leaving my house, or thinking about my drive home from the petrol station to determine whether I had accidentally driven into someone with my car (even though I had driven in a perfectly safe manner without having any legitimate reason to believe that an accident had taken place).
As you can imagine, I have been selective with the worries I have chosen to share with others over the years as I was able to recognise that some of these worries were more rational than others. But even though I recognised that some of them were irrational concerns, I had always treated these thoughts as being normal and I attributed them to my being of a more anxious and sensitive disposition than others.
It was only after I married my husband and left my job that I began to be increasingly consumed by my irrational thoughts and fears. It got to the point that I was convinced our house was going to be burnt down in our sleep because I was certain I had left a switch turned on somewhere, even though I had checked each switch in our home three times in a row. I did this every single night. Again, I knew that this was an irrational thought that I had but I felt the need to check nonetheless. Even though it was affecting my sleep and enjoyment of being at home.
I was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder or ‘OCD’.
The help I got in the UK was really good, I went to the doctors again there and they advised me that although there were anti-depressants I could take, there were also other ways to go about it. They got in contact with my University and told them what I had been going through. My University were very understanding and were willing to hep in any way they could, so they sent me a form to fill in a sort of questionnaire to see where I stand so that they could provide me with the help I needed.
The form sat in my email inbox for weeks on end because I was still afraid and embarrassed to accept that I was suffering from Mental Health Issues.
Like many others, I had always assumed that individuals with OCD were obsessed with