If you or a loved one have just been diagnosed with OCD, the first thing you should know is:
There is hope. It does get better.
IOCDF Spokesperson and Adversity 2 Advocacy founder, Jeff Bell, produced this amazing new video — with help from many of you — to share a message of hope for people with OCD. What better way to kick off OCD Awareness Week than by watching this video, and leaving your own message of hope for the OCD community?
We Believe Video - Adversity 2 Advocacy & IOCDF
It can be hard to remember what “normal” feels like when you are in the midst of suffering, but at least know that there is a community here for you, of mental health professionals and individuals with OCD, friends, and family members who have gone through what you are going through now.
There are also a wealth of resources on this website to help you find the right treatment provider, answer questions about treatment and medications, help you find events and resources in your local area, and connect you to support groups where you can talk openly and honestly about what you are going through.
Elizabeth McIngvale-Cegelski, PhD, LMSW and Jeff Bell
Your Messages of Hope:
I am an endurer of OCD, not a sufferer. It has made me stronger and it doesn't define me. I am more than OCD, I am my personality. I am my friends. I am my family. I am my music. I live side by side with OCD and now acknowledge it's presence in the morning. I say, "Hey OCD, ready for the day?" As time goes on, I get better. Yeah, of course there are setbacks. Of course there are days when I want the world to end and I want to give up. But I don't. I carry on. I have to. I love life too much. Most of all, I love my world, even with OCD. SO never give up, stay positive and you will get there one day. Believe :)
Posted by: Richard at 10/8/2012 3:06 PM
My young child has recovered beyond what I had ever hoped for, yes there are fall backs, but having the tools we get right back on track! Keep up your hope! It can be done!
Posted by: IVALO at 10/8/2012 5:41 PM
You may feel that OCD has robbed you of everything you had ever hoped for in life but this isn't true and never was.
OCD has given us the opportunity to demonstrate that we are so much more than and can have so much more than we ever wanted.
Fighting OCD means having the courage to examine everything in your world and then demonstrating that you are strong enough and worthy enough to fight for it. Those things we want the most are the things which are most worthy of our greatest struggles. Fighting and beating OCD means that nothing, absolutely nothing else can ever stand in your way. You will always be strongest because you defeated the greatest enemy- your own fears.
Posted by: Sheila at 10/8/2012 11:15 PM
I'm so amazed by all of this! I was only diagnosed with OCD when I was 11 years old and now I am almost 17. Before I was 11, I was plagued by these repetitive thoughts, compulsive actions, and anxiety that i didn't understand. I thought I was crazy and that I must be the only person in the world with these issues. My parents put me in therapy because they knew something was wrong. I finally told my therapist and she diagnosed me with it. It took a while, but through communication, family support, and a whole lot of exposure therapy I am a lot better. Of course I'll never be perfect but I know how to take back my control over OCD. When I was 15, I got my story of recovery published in Chicken Soup for the Soul. I truly hope that it helped someone! I also realize that OCD makes me who I am and I am proud of it. Whenever people ask me about it, I proudly tell them because just like this page I want to spread awareness. I just wanted to thank you for making this page and helping people realize that they too might have OCD symptoms so that they may find comfort, recovery, and happiness! :)
(My story was published in Chicken Soup For The Soul: Tough Times For Teens, I'd you'd like to check it out.)
Posted by: Janessa Harris-Boom at 10/9/2012 5:28 PM
I fought to overcome OCD because I vowed that I never wanted to feel as bad again as I did at my worst...and I haven't. There are days I even forget I have it, and there are days it definitely lets me know it"s still there. But I'M in control of it now, it's not in control of ME! which is good... because now, at age 50, I have to take care of my age 52 husband who has been suffering with early onset Alzheimer's disease with vascular dementia. And I wouldn't be able to do that had I not overcome and be able to manage my own illness. There is hope!
Posted by: Susan at 10/9/2012 9:10 PM
It was the year 1988: the year my symptoms first made their presence known. Twenty-four years later: and twenty-four years spent in isolation...
July, 2012: just two days prior to attending my first IOCDF Conference (and after nearly canceling the entire trip out of absolute, gut-wrenching fear of leaving my "uncontaminated" existence), I made the commitment to rewrite my story, realizing that I had given up after only the first draft. I made the commitment to no longer live in isolation and to NO LONGER live behind the facade of "normal."
My advice to those living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: give yourself the PERMISSION to let go of the shame you may feel surrounding your illness, for it does NOT define you. Second, CONNECT with others! There is an entire community of people just waiting to lend you their support.
And, most importantly... It is never, EVER too late to begin working on that second draft...
Posted by: Alicia at 10/10/2012 2:36 AM