Have you ever woken up and all you can think about is something bad is going to happen? For example if you don’t have all the books straight on your bookshelf your dad was going to have a heart attack. The example may sounds crazy, to you but to the 3.3 million people (which is only in America) with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, examples like this are a daily experience.
You may think Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is just washing your hands nineteen times except on Sundays because on Sunday’s it’s twenty-two, cleaning your room four times a day because you’re a perfectionist, or making sure all your letters are the same size because they have to be just right, which it could be all of these things but, it’s so much more than that. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an overwhelming fear that if you don’t do something, something terrible will happen.
You get a crazy thought in your head for instance if you don’t snap for every stair you go up or down there will be a earthquake. Now every step you take, you snap, and if the snap isn’t loud enough you have to snap again. What if you forget to snap? Well that sends you into a panic attack because you not snapping while you go up the stairs means there will be an earthquake. If there is an earthquake, then there is a large chance the roof will collapse and if the roof collapses you will get crushed and if you don’t die it will hurt and you’ll be trapped and then you will panic even more. So, every step you take, you snap as loud as you can even if your fingers hurt or you’re too tired because you can’t let there be an earthquake.
People may think well why don’t they just ignore the thought. Well, maybe you some people can, but the thing is, the thought doesn’t go away. It stays there and starts a panic attack that starts your fight or flight response which means your adrenaline is up. Now all they can think about is the thought and what will happen if you don’t do what it says.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder could even be something as simple as you get a thought that there are exactly forty-two floor tiles. You try to ignore it but it keeps repeating itself forty-two floor tiles…..forty-two floor tiles……forty-two floor tiles!……forty-two FLOOR TILES! Now all you can do is think about it so finally you have to count them but, you end up getting forty-one. So you count again this time you get twenty-eight. You have to count again this continues until someone makes you stop or you get forty-two.
All of these examples may all seem crazy to you, but it’s real for everyone with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder these examples are their daily lives. The fear controls their lives. They can’t walk up stairs normally or go back to sleep until their books are all straight or even be somewhere with floor tiles without having thoughts that affect their daily lives.