Abbey, 18, St. Louis, USA

I often cannot think or speak clearly to others because my mind will not stop the patterns of spelling and counting.

abbey-no-textI remember in 4th grade I had repetitive thoughts about spelling. I thought it was normal – just something that helped me to spell better.

But, as I grew older, it got worse and worse. I couldn’t think a few sentences without spelling the words I was thinking. If I didn’t like the words I was focusing on, because of the spelling not being what I wanted, I would go to my “default words”: “shutting”, “shuttering”, “shutterin”. My brain would make up words that satisfied the patterns I craved. Words that could be split into groups of 3s, 4s, or 5s. Sometimes it stops, but as soon as my mind senses any hint of stress, the spelling is back. These thoughts are out of my control.

I did not realize until the first semester of my senior year, in my psychology class, that these thoughts could be caused by OCD. I thought, like many others, that people with OCD were just anal-retentive people. But now I know that this is not true. I believe I have OCD, but I have not been diagnosed. OCD is not something to ignore – talk to someone.

Categories: The Wall

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