A Preface about OCD - (last update27-12-2005)
First off, I want to tell you that I never thought I would write a page like this, because I initially thought that I was just a little too wierd, and people without this DISEASE ( yes, it is a disease ) would think I was totally off my rocker. However, I've decided to do it now ( actually, redo it now ) because I have learned not to be ashamed of what is wrong with me, and I want to help others who are in the same boat, if I possibly can.
Let me start off by trying to tell you a little of what OCD is about. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain and in some cases, there have been findings of actual physical brain damage. OCD is known as the doubting disease, because it really can make you doubt just about everything in your life, and then some. I like what I read about it on one page, it said that the doubts are the LIES that OCD puts in your head - that's just what it does, fills your head full of lies, and makes you believe with all you have that the lies are true. People with OCD are constantly asking for reassurances that what they are thinking is not true. Also, many people with OCD have what we not-so-fondly call "bad thoughts".... thoughts that they have hit someone with a car ( this is a rather common one ), that they have or may physically harm someone, that they have committed some heinous crime that they have read about in the paper or heard about on tv. I can identify with these instances personally, each of them.
Can you imagine having to live your life this way? Well, according to U.S. statistics, about 2 percent of the American population has to. Think of it folks, that's alot of people out there suffering - maybe a neighbor, a friend, or even a family member - and you might not even know about it. Thankfully, people with OCD do not have to suffer in silence. There are more and more support groups springing up out there, and there are prescription drugs that can help us - and as more research is done on the disease, more and more treatments are being developed all the time.
A bit of my personal story
I was first diagnosed with OCD when I was about 22 or 23 years old, and I'm 38 now - but if I look back, I can see the symptoms first showing up at about age 10 or so.. I always knew I was different somehow, but how could I know what was wrong at the time?I've had so many "thoughts" ( obsessions ) over the years I can't tell you how many, cause I've lost count. I also have Bipolar Disorder, or so some of my doctors have said, they haven't all said so, though I know I do suffer from some depression. I've been into self harm, have had 4 suicide attempts, and have had ECT ( Electro Shock Therapy ), so I've been rhere and and back a few times, or so it seems. I'm one of the lucky ones, I didn't die, too many of us have. I still have a hard time, but I am in treatment, I take medications, and I have a very good doctor here in Austria, whom I like very much and who is very good. If you're here in Vienna and you would like to speak with a very good psychiatrist, just click on his name, Dr. Peter Poszvek, in my links section, and go to his web page, and maybe write him an email or something, or leave him a voice mail.
He's adjusting my medications and working with me in short therapy sessions, I see him once every two weeks. I may still have some troubles, but I'm not doing so bad for an American living halfway around the world with an illness like OCD, and believe me, if I can do it, going through my illness and after my abuse ( yes, I was abused for YEARS ), then I SWEAR YOU CAN DO IT TOO. - trust me on this one, please. I'm not saying it's easy, cause it's still not easy for me, I just know it can be done. And it doesn't get better overnight in most cases, so don't get discouraged if you take a pill or go to therapy and it doesn't seem to work right away, just hang in there, and really, it will get better.
As proof that it really does get better, let me tell you a little bit more about myself. I came here in October of 2002 for a visit, and then in January 2003 I decided to stay. Things were good at first, and then starting in February I started to have a very hard time with my OCD. I was lucky enough to have a boyfriend who stuck with me through it, and it wasn't very easy. I had an extremely hard time, especially in July through August. Then in August it got so bad I had to go to the hospital. That was very difficult for me, because I am in Austria, and I didn't speak very much German at the time. So what happened was, I couldn't talk about my obsessions hardly at all .... and do you know what ? Things got much better !! I spent about 4 weeks in the hospital, and got out on the 13th of September. It was like I had to follow the advice I had been given by doctors so often, and that was to not to talk about my obsessions very often. And it works, I swear !!! After I got out of the hospital, and not talking about my worries so much, I was so much better that I asked my boyfriend to ask me to marry him !! He asked me, and I said yes !! We were married on November 21,2003, and it's been almost a month now..... and I am happier and doing better than ever before!!! If it can happen for me, this improvement, it can happen for you too. I never believed it could happen, but it did, so DON'T GIVE UP HOPE!!
In conclusion, I want to remind people with my illness that there is help out there for you .... you don't have to suffer alone anymore! The first step may be going to your general practitioner and having a referal for a psychiatrist, medication and therapy. There are always friends and family to talk to, and rather fast growing community of us here on the Internet. Reach out, please, SOMEONE WILL TAKE YOUR HAND.
Well, those are all my rantings and ravings for now, but please come back and visit me soon, as I plan on making regular updates here ....
Peace be with you ........ :-))
Click on the pictures to see the full graphic!
English language OCD and related links
Yahooo Health - OCD OCD Resource Center OCD Foundation OC Foundation of California NAMI OCDisorder.com Doubt and other Disorders Obsessive Compulsive Anonymous Health Center.com - Brain Center Newsgroup - alt.support.ocd The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Washing - The book Turn OCD Catepillars Into Butterflies Yale - Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale All about OCD - Mental Health Net OCD Resource Center of South Florida
German language OCD and related links
Kinder mit psychischen problemen Dr. Peter Poszvek Zwangsstörungen ( OCD ) Selbstverletzung OCD Zwangsstörungen - was ist das? Medicine-Worldwide:Zwangsstörungen Psychologie Links und mehr Angst, Panik, Depression Mailing-List Selbsthilfe Index OCD - Medikation OCD und ADS Der Click zum Tic Zwangsstörungen - Bücher Mailinglist Zwangsstörungen
If anyone knows of any more links about OCD ( Zwangsstörungen ) that you think might work well on this page, please e-mail me or sign my guestbook and let me know!
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