I Am Walking 1 Million Steps 4 OCD :)

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Click here to see my video about why WE as a community walk for OCD awareness.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an illness that effects 2-3% of the US population. 50% of those OCD cases are severe.

So what is keeping people from getting proper treatment?

OCD is classified as one of the top ten most disabling illnesses by the World Health Organization, in terms of lost earnings and diminished quality of life. Despite this, it takes on average 14-17 years from diagnosis for a sufferer to receive effective treatment.

I’ve seen first hand how OCD sneaks into a person’s life. It creates havoc. It sneaks into everything you love, bit by bit. Before you know it you’re not you anymore. You’re OCD.

After battling OCD at the age of 16 I gained a passion for raising awareness of mental illness. Once I learned there is a treatment for this terrible disorder, I knew I wanted to give other sufferers the same information. In 2014 I created a YouTube channel dedicated to raising awareness of mental illness. Mostly focusing on OCD.

However, I just have a few blogs. The International OCD Foundation works tirelessly to help people with OCD. They spread only the best information, guide people to the proper treatment, and help people know they’re not alone. I wish I knew about them when I was really struggling! That’s why I have created my own fundraising page for the International OCD Foundation, so you and I can help them in their amazing efforts!

Last year I went to the OCD Walk in Boston with Team Bradley Hospital. I went to their intensive outpatient program for OCD and love them dearly! It’s the therapy they taught me, exposure and response prevention, that changed my life from constant OCD to mine again. Since last year’s walk I have moved down south and am now closer to Atlanta.

My dad and I will be walking as “Team Shalom Aleichem” in the International OCD Foundation’s annual 5k walk. If any of my viewers, readers, and friends are going to this walk, feel free to join our team! If you can’t make it, please consider donating to the International OCD Foundation through our fundraiser. If neither is possible, please share my page or the cause!

Remember, sufferers of mental illness aren’t victims, they’re survivors. ♥

To support Team SHALOM ALEICHEM & the Int’l OCD Foundation, you can donate or share our page, which you can find here.

To find out more about the walk, go to iocdf.org/walk.

What is Shalom Aleichem? It’s my YouTube channel!

My team is called Shalom Aleichem because I wanted to represent my YouTube viewers who are also passionate about raising awareness of OCD and related disorders.

To find out more about the International OCD Foundation, go to iocdf.org.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this and for caring about OCD awareness!

🙂 Kat

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Introducing T-OCD! (OCD Subtypes and Not Fitting in Them)

As someone who has OCD, I recognize the importance of classifying OCD symptoms. It makes it easier to educate professionals (and advocates), and makes it easier to find people who have the same OCD sub-type you do.

HOWEVER, the form of OCD I identify with the most doesn’t have a name.

I have sexual obsessions.

But they’re not about the same sex, they’re not about children, and they’re not about animals. I have obsessions about therapist figures in my life.

Usually middle-aged, male therapist figures.

So, completely opposite from the sexual obsession acronyms we’re used to.

THEREFORE, today I introduce to you a brand new OCD sub-type, Therapist OCD (TOCD)!

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Ah. I finally feel like I belong in the OCD world. I’m going to call the IOCDF right now to initiate this.

YOU can qualify to have TOCD too, if you have any of the following:

  • Obsessions about your mental health professional
  • Obsessions about your doctor
  • Obsessions about other doctors and other mental health professionals

What if you have one of these things and not the other? What if you have harm thoughts with sexual obsessions? What if it’s one or the other? What if you have thoughts about a therapist-like figure in your life who is not licensed?

You lose. Go back to OCD limbo.

If you’re taking this seriously, you’re missing the point.

When I say OCD comes in all shapes and sizes, I mean OCD really does come in all shapes and sizes. OCD is different for everyone.

Sometimes we don’t fit exactly into one OCD sub-type. And that’s okay. That doesn’t mean you have any less OCD than anybody else.

Some OCD symptoms fit into multiple sub-types. For instance, my sexual obsessions also leak into my religious obsessions because I fear if I act on a thought, I’ll go to hell.

This doesn’t mean I need to go off and make Sexual Scrupulosity. OCD is sneaky. It will sneak into any area of your life, even ones that have never been mentioned to any therapist before. (I put it that way because even if there’s no literature on it, there’s a good chance that someone has had that symptom).

To explain OCD symptoms, I like to give the example of windows. People who have OCD commonly have obsessions about germs, order, and harm. And people who have OCD commonly have compulsions involving hand washing, straightening, and avoiding knives. However, people who have OCD can have symptoms about anything! Including seemingly harmless things like plates, chairs, and windows!

You may be thinking, “How could someone be afraid of a window?!”

But OCD is a master of fear. It can get you to fear anything. I am convinced of this.

My OCD symptoms around therapists and professional figures may be uncommon, but it doesn’t make it any less OCD.

OCD is comprised of two things. Obsessions and compulsions. If you have those two things (and it significantly effects your life), you have OCD. Regardless of the theme, sub-type, or lack thereof.

In that way, OCD is the same for everyone. Same formula, different variables.

MATH!

Formula: O + C = D

If “O” represents obsessions and “C” represents compulsions,

“O” plus “C” always equals “D”.

So it doesn’t matter if you plug in dirt, harm, or symmetry for O.  It doesn’t matter if you plug in hand washing, straightening, or avoiding knives for C. It always equals D.

Ugh, algebra. I have a headache.

But do you see what I’m saying? You don’t have to fit in to an OCD sub-type to have OCD. Even the most severe cases of OCD may not fit into a sub-type. Anyone who tells you otherwise either does not understand OCD or is incredibly superficial.

Don’t feel left out if you have an uncommon obsession like I do. It’s my guess that most people who have had OCD for a long time has also recognized an obsession that doesn’t really fit anywhere.

If you have an obsession or compulsion that you can’t place into a sub-type, please comment it below! I know people who have struggled with this with be grateful to see it. 🙂 At least, I know I will be!

Have a nice day everyone and do your exposures! 😛

-Kat

By the way, this post is coincidentally timed to be on #WeirdThoughtsThursday. Weird Thoughts Thursday is a hashtag I started for us to share our weird or scary thoughts. They can be intrusive thoughts or just random! If you have a Twitter, join us every Thursday to reduce the stigma around weird thoughts. My twitter is @thekatway. If you don’t have a Twitter, feel free to start a #WeirdThoughtsThursday on your favorite social media site.

Since starting Weird Thoughts Thursday, I’ve gotten messages saying it’s helped OCD sufferers take power away from their intrusive thoughts. This was it’s mission to begin with and why I’ve continued doing it every week (except when I forgot)! Being able to laugh at OCD has been a big part of my recovery and I want to extend that to you all too.

If you know people with OCD, whether you have it or not, initiate a Weird Thoughts Thursday with them. You’d be surprised at how amazed a sufferer can be when they find out they’re not alone.