You don’t have to go through mental illness alone

For me, it started with checking obsessions.

First, it was flicking the light switches on and off. Next, it was putting the toilet seat up and down repetitively. Once, twice, three times, ultimately finding that the fourth time was the sweet spot, the “just right” point. If the anxiety was still present, it meant four additional times.

My mother eventually caught on and asked me why? Why was I doing these repetitive actions? “I don’t know, I just have to do it,” was all I could say.

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A short time later, at an appointment with the pediatrician, the diagnosis was made: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I was not even 10 years old and my mental health journey was underway.

Through the years, the OCD has ebbed and flowed, at certain points almost nonexistent while at other times nearly debilitating. As a person with a mental illness for nearly my entire life, I have seen and heard the thoughts and stigmas that surround mental health disorders.

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