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The earthquake only you can feel

Guest Author: JD

This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.

Ever since I was a kid, I felt like there was something different about me from others. I was the oddball in class but there was something more and I couldn’t figure out what it is. It continued throughout high school as well. I always felt like there was something missing, and that continues to this day. I have learned that it was depression.

I saw my psychiatrist about my depression, and while I still have depression issues, I am also dealing with another mental illness that has had a terrifying effect on my life. That is obsessive-compulsive disorder.

When people think of obsessive-compulsive disorder, they think it’s about keeping things tidy and in order. While that is part of it, OCD is a lot scarier than that. It is about obsessing over things so small but they have the ability to ruin moments because the mind is so focused on a little problem, that it’s hard to let go of it.

The best way to describe it is it feels like you felt an earthquake.

With OCD it’s always the focus on negative things that are at times not even a problem at all. An example is having a small mistake in a conversation like saying good morning twice. While most people will just let it go, people with OCD will keep the slightly embarrassing moment in their heads without having the ability to get past it.

The point where this got the scariest was when I started having intrusive thoughts. Intrusive thoughts are horrible sexual or violent thoughts about people around them. While everyone has these thoughts from time to time, people with OCD have the tendency to focus on them without being to let go of these thoughts.

When I would go out on daily routines, my intrusive thoughts made things hard to handle and at times scared to go out into the world. It made me want to stay home and not have to deal with it. What happens when I deal with the intrusive thoughts is it will cause my body to freeze and it feels like my body shuts down. And when it happens, it feels like your body is screaming out the intrusive thought and it is a terrifying experience. The best way to describe it is it feels like you felt an earthquake. While it feels so powerful to you, no one else can feel it. These experiences cause great anxiety and happen multiple times daily for me.

The terrifying thing about this initially was that intrusive thoughts are something that is not well-known throughout mainstream knowledge. When I was having these thoughts, I thought that I was becoming someone terrible and I will end up being a threat to society. After coming clean to my psychiatrist about what was going on, she told me all about intrusive thoughts. When I searched it up, it turns out lots of people have them as well and I was not alone. It’s how people react to intrusive thoughts that judges someone’s character. Good-hearted people who experience these thoughts will be terrified of them and have no desire to act upon them.

While it feels so powerful to you, no one else can feel it.

What really helped me get through it was reading online that people going through this are not alone. If you are going through this, then realize that you are not the only one going through this. I discovered that a good friend of mine was going through the same thing as well.

The more we openly talk about dealing with mental health issues the more progress we will make to end the stigma around it all.

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