Gemma, 30, Manchester, UK

If I breathe in too deeply when I walk past a bin, I will inhale germs and my body will become contaminated

gemma-no-textMy OCD manifests itself through cleaning, checking, washing and intrusive thoughts. For example, I will wash my hands frequently (either with hand gel, anti-bac wipes or in a ‘safe’ bathroom), I will check numerous times before leaving places i.e. the house or my car, I am frequently concerned about becoming contaminated and I worry about a whole host of other of things throughout my day.

In hindsight, I have always had OCD but I was unaware that I had the condition until I started my first course of CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy); as far as I was concerned, everyone had the same distressing and intrusive thoughts that I had as that was the only thought process I knew. It was quite difficult to suddenly find out that I had been carrying around such a heavy weight, unnecessarily, but like I said, I didn’t know any different.

The following 6 years, progressing through treatments and experimenting with an array of medications, were by far the toughest and I found myself in a very dark place on many occasions. What it has taught me though, is that I am not alone in my battle and I am a heck of a lot stronger then I perceive myself to be! I am able to dig deep, continue my fight and I need never to feel ashamed of the cards I have been dealt.

Note from the editor

Gemma is the author of “Me and My Bully” the story of the journey of an individual’s fight to gain control and autonomy over their ADHD, OCD and Self-harm

Categories: The Wall

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