I’ve been riding the OCD train since my diagnosis in 1998, and it never ceases to amaze me how so many of us have walked such similar paths despite the wide array of obsessions and compulsions we have to deal with.

My time in high school was a lot like yours. My grades were great until the OCD set in, then they began to trail off. I was always very social, but that started to change my junior year. By senior year, I spent most of my free time cooped up at home. I did manage to graduate college, but only by the skin of my teeth, and I needed an extra semester plus a couple summer courses to pull it off.

CBT and ERT weren’t the go-to treatments back then, though. I was instead put on a steady diet of antidepressants that did absolutely nothing to help me. Now I again find myself in a very similar place as the one you’re in. I’m back in therapy trying to regain a hold of the situation, though that’s much easier said than done. My primary problem used to be obsessive thoughts, but that changed about 8 years ago. Now it’s the compulsions, and I’m afraid the physical damage I’ve done to myself — not self-harm, but the wear and tear resulting from my specific rituals and compulsions — might be too severe to completely recover from.

Cheers to both of us for fighting the good fight, though!

Also, I really ought to look into mindfulness meditation. You’re not the first person with OCD who I’ve heard talk about it, but you seem quite enthusiastic about it. I think it’s about time I give it a try.

Outer space enthusiast. Japanese history junkie. I write about politics, culture, and mental illness. Disagreement is a precursor to progress.

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