Dear Dr. Archer,
I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 17, but I've had it since before I can remember. I think it started because of a fear of people around me taking my things.
The environment in which I grew up was unstable; my parents were drug addicts and alcoholics. My things gave me comfort and now I rely on my OCD for comfort.
My obsession is looking behind me every few steps, and my compulsive thoughts are that I feel if I don't look some catastrophe will happen to my stuff, like someone will get my personal information. My OCD affects my relationship with others -- marriage, college and work.
I have been on medication, seen multiple doctors -- psychiatrist, psychologist, a family doctor, counselors and now Christian counselors at my church. The only time I've lived without OCD was when I was in a car accident and suffered a TBI and lost my memory.
I was so happy at that time, but now it's hurting my life and keeping me from living. It keeps friends away, is ruining my relationships and is keeping me from reaching my dreams.
Is there anything you can suggest to help me live life again? Thank you!
You're right, OCD can overwhelm your life, not only in waking moments but sometimes during sleep as well. From washing hands, lining up cans in a specific order, to the way vegetables are chopped to eating only foods of a certain color, OCD can be devestating.
It's often annoying or questionable to those friends who put up with the behavior but to you it is a constant battle.
Never give up, J.W. Read my book and learn as much as you can, because with knowledge comes power.
In your case medication is most likely needed. Be proactive in your mental health. If you're not happy with the treatment you receive from your doctor, by all means get a second opinion and even a third.
Sounds like you may need medication or a combo of meds. The key is finding what works and you must keep hope alive.
You can still see your Christian counselor and psychological therapy can be very effective for OCD in reducing the frequency and intensity of symptoms. This, along with medication gives the best results.
OCD can be a nightmare for those with the severe type. Face your fears and put forth your best effort to fight your compulsions. Never give up hope, J.W. Help IS out there; your perseverance will eventually pay off. All the best,