It’s okay to admit you’re ‘crazy’ When you do something that’s a little different… but admitting that you have a mental health issue is completely different. Its not cool to admit that you get overly anxious about things that are everyday life for most people. My mental health issues make me feel ’crazy’ but I realize that there’s no hope to ending the mental health stigma if I’m not prepared to talk openly about my own experience.
I’m sure that most of us who have struggled with mental health issues want to end the stigma surrounding it but no one wants to be the first to stand up and admit that not everything is peachy-perfect in their life. It is difficult for me to share about the times I lose hope, because of the pressures and anxiety that OCD and depression cause. Common assumptions about OCD make it even harder to explain my OCD I because I feel like I ‘don’t fit the bill.’
OCD (Obsessive compulsive disorder) is often stereo-typed but not actually well understood by the majority of people, so there are worries about the judgements people will make out of ignorance. For example, I imagine that unless someone asks me directly about my OCD, they would assume I frequently wash my hands and check that the door is locked. Don’t get me wrong: these are common and destructive forms of OCD too, however, I do not struggle with these particular compulsions. Its scary and distressing for me to explain what goes on inside my head.
My OCD is different from the stereotypical obsessions and compulsions. I don’t frequently wash my hands, check that the stove is off or that the doors are locked, and I’m not a ’neat freak.’ I obsess that I am going to violently hurt somebody. I constantly live in a state of fear that I will loose control and act on these thoughts.
The never-ending torment these thoughts cause in my mind is too much to cope with; the anxiety caused is unbearable. My mind never stops running; I never have a second of real rest. Sometimes I even get so overwhelmed by my thoughts that the only way I think I can protect others from myself is to kill myself. Now, I do NOT want to die, I just feel as though if I hurt myself before I hurt someone else then everyone around me will be safe. I am so embarrassed about having these awful thoughts. They make me feel like I’m a murderer…a terrible person…disgusting…worthless…alone.
These thoughts are both physically and emotionally DRAINING. I’m not sure I will make it through…but thankfully God has a plan. God is going to give me the extra strength when I need it…and when I have absolutely NONE left he will carry me through. When I’m ready to give up in the middle of one of my therapy sessions: God is right beside me cheering me on even when-especially when-I don’t feel it. I’m learning not to trust how I feel because OCD and Satan give us wrong ‘feelings’ the signals get mixed up and we end up back at the bottom. We have God on our side fighting the battle that he’s already won for us!