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People with OCD; need your input

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Sorry if this is overly long, and if it is against forum rules, please, mods, feel free to remove it:


My daughter is doing a research paper on the effect of OCD on the lives of young people. She needs input from people who have the illness. All she requires for identification is age and gender. As this will contribute to her final marks for university entrance; it's a little more important for us than your typical school assignment, and so I am turning to you friendly people here on ENA in hope someone will have the time and interest to forward some responses. You can PM them to me.


My daughter is extremely sympathetic to this disorder, and hopes that the questions she is asking are sensitive and appropriate. Her hope is to create a complete picture of how OCD has affected the lives of the people who have it. Please let us know if you have any concerns about anything we've asked.


Following are her questions:


1. How old were you when you were diagnosed?

2. What were your first symptoms?

3. How did it affect your friends and family?

4. Were you afraid of people's reactions to finding out your diagnosis?

5. Has it affected your social life, jobs or schooling?

6. Do you use medications and/or therapy?

7. Have you ever been hospitalized for your disorder?

8. Do you feel it has cost you any opportunities, or relationships?

9. Are there any benefits to having this disorder for you?

10. If you could choose not to have it, would you?

11. Can you do the same kind of activities other people your age can?

12. Do you feel you are progressing in your life at the same pace as other people your age who do not have the disorder?

13. Has it affected your career choice? Positively or negatively?

14. Has it made you a stronger person, wiser or more empathetic?

15. Are holidays and vacations more difficult for you as a person with OCD?

16. Have you learned any new skills in coping with your disorder that you consider valuable?

17. Has your disorder made you more or less reliant on other people?

18. Do you believe your disorder will get better or worse with time?

19. How has OCD affected your long term plans?

20. How has it affected your self-esteem?

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I had OCD for about 2 years around the age of 13.


I never got diagnosed officially, but it was pretty darn obvious what I had and I never got treated for it, it just kind of.. went away.


It was utterly mentally and physically exhausting at the time, and it was always at night so noone really knew about it until they started finding me asleep by the door lol


It has'nt affected me atall in later years.

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I just spent almost an hour typing out a reply to this... Now I am freaking Pissed because my computer did something weird and I lost the whole damn thing.


But my intentions were good.


I have other things to do and don't have another hour to devote to this. But you can PM me, OP, if you really want my insight. (I was diagnosed OCD 3 years ago.)

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Presently a 21 year old male.


1. Around 8-10 years of age.

2. Compulsion to perform a certain action or else something bad would happen (touching something, going somewhere, doing something before something else happened). Also an organizational obsession.

3. It didn't really. The organizational obsession has never done anything but help me remember where everything I own is. The compulsions went mostly unnoticed, and whenever they were noticed and someone asked me why I did that I'd just sorta laugh and say I don't know and that was as far as it usually went.

4. At first, but I learned to be confident about it and not really care.

5. It has, but not negatively. At work my organizational obsession helps me. The only social repercussion is that every once in a while I'll do something ridiculous looking and get a good laugh out of people but it doesn't embarrass me and no ones ever thought less of me for it.

6. No meds, only therapy is self-control.

7. Never hospitalized

8. Probably, but its also opened other opportunities and relationships for me in that I have a goofy personality anyways, so people find who the way I act amusing or endearing wouldn't have otherwise felt the same about me.

9. Plenty. I'm a much more interesting person for it. Once I learned not to care what others think in regards to the way I act, I allowed my true personality to take over. I'm much happier not tailoring the way I act to fit other peoples views, but finding and befriending the people who enjoy being around the real me.

10. Absolutely not, I wouldn't be me without it.

11. The same and more

12. Yes and no. I function quite effectively in adult society but at heart, I'm really still a kid, and probably will be for the rest of my life. I'm not hung up on trying to act like an adult. I just do what comes naturally.

13. It has effected my career choice, though I can't really say positively or negatively.

14. Stronger and wiser yes. More empathetic, maybe, though I haven't noticed it. The stronger and wiser part sort of go hand in hand in that through gaining the wisdom that what others think really doesn't matter, its made me stronger and more independent. Less reliant and concerned with the opinions of everyone else.

15. Not for me.

16. Self control is a big thing. I used to be positively racked with my compulsions, and truly believed that something bad would happen if I didn't give into them. One day I just said "No" and that I wasn't going to be controlled by them anymore. I still have the compulsion, though less often, but instead of devoting effort to performing whatever task I felt compelled to do, I focus on not letting myself be a slave to them.

17. Much less.

18. Its gotten much better since I've learned to control it.

19. Not in any way I've noticed.

20. At first it did. It made me feel broken, like there was something fundamentally wrong with me that made me somehow less than other people, but once I realized that it was just part of me, and that it was just a unique attribute instead of a disorder, my self-esteem is higher than most because I am unique and feel that I have not necessarily more, but something different to offer the world.

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GeneralLee, that was inspirational. It's really an example of resiliance. If anyone else would like to respond, here or by PM to me, please do. If the post is removed, and you would like to have the list of questions to refer to, I can send them by PM. Thank you for your help.

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  • 1 month later...

32 year old female


1. Unofficial diagnosis from a professional in a private circle, age 19. Diagnosed with GAD twice, official OCD diagnosis age 31, but I well knew it before that

2. I am closer to the misnomer pure OCD, but I also have a bit of checking. First symptoms: asking for reassurance at a disproportinate rate and never feeling satisfied, so asking for more. This evolved into googling as techology developed!

3. It is very difficult for me to answer.

4. No. I shared my worries with my husband and mother before I was officially diagnosed. Yet, I wouldn’t want this to be the ‘fact’ about me at work.

5. It must have. As I gain more insight into it, I realize that some “choices” I have made may indeed be more related with avoiding the OCD anxiety , spikes etc than my career/education etc “goals”.

6. Yes.

7. No.

8. In relation to question 5, I felt very angry when I first realized it and felt like I wasted over a decade of “success” (As an achievement oriented OCDer, this meant a lot) Now, though, I am happy and relaxed because I am not thinking along that axis at all and feel closer to my true self. I am trying to see life as smt more dynamic than my often rigid perception .

9. Tremendous benefits (but shh, don’t tell anyone I think my life has thought me more through my failures than my achievements. Perhaps not OCD itself, but my struggle with it and learning to live with it has taught me to really look into my self, follow my own choices rather than other people’s expectations, self-care, my strength over my fears, how to tolerate uncertainty etc. I believe learning to live with it is making me a more mature person and I find that I actually like the person I am. But if I choose to act along my OCD tendencies, I get more appreciation in professional environments as I can be super organized with “foresight” or "vision".

10. A year ago, I would choose not to have it for sure. Now, I don’t care that much because having it or not having it is not the issue. To me OCD is a life fact and my formation as a human being has been hand in hand with it. The problem with obsessive thinking is not that your thoughts are sick right from the beginning, but they get out of hand at one point. I quite like the way I think and process info until I lose the balance and processing probems begin That's why, OCD has more to me than just the symptoms or compulsions and of course it has a role in my personality and attitude towards life and other poeple. I wouldn’t like to get rid of all that. It scares me to wish to get rid of my history as a human being and OCD is definitely a part of that. But, the spikes, the cancellations on my life, yes, of course, I would choose not to have them.

11. Yes.

12. Professional career, yes, and in all my jobs I got promoted very very quickly. Academic career no. (I was much faster at the beginning and then my dissatisfactions started). I actually want to be even slower and do things at my own pace rather than trying to achieve everything because I believe I “should”.

13. To me, it has affected me positively. I dropped my career as an academic and started literary translation – which I always wanted to do anyway. In terms of social status, this was a step down in the eyes of many people but I am really happier now and find more meaning in my life.

14. Living with OCD, especially when untreated, requires tremendous strength anyway. I think this aspect somethimes gets unnoticed because we start doing funny things. I believe treatment does not add to this strength but teaches us to use it more productively for our own good and health. As for empathy, I have responsibility obsessions so I’m actually trying to learn to be less empathetic in some aspects of life.

15. No.

16. Yes.

17. It has made me super reliant on other people as I needed assurance all the time. I have found some difficult and even toxic individuals to hide behind and that has chipped away my confidence and has made me more reliant than the illness itself.

18. If I work toward controlling it and receive tratment, it will get better. If I don’t do this, it feels like a ticking bomb ready to explode and it does…

19. Prioritising my self, needs, well being and the things I want to do is more important to me now.

20. It has truly screwed up my self-esteem but gaining insight into OCD has helped tremendously. When I have a spike, I have to remind my self “I am not bad”, go figure

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