Wednesday 14 September 2016

All The Deets On My Mental Health

As this blog is a mixture of a bit of beauty and a bit about my life, some things that I'm sure will be about neither.
I do tend to waffle :D
I thought I would write a post talking about my mental health. Kinda like an introduction to what my life is like living with mental illness'.
It makes sense to me that I should share with you the details as I'm sure I will be talking about it quite a bit on my blog/channel.

Ok, so I've got OCD. I was diagnosed in 2014, and it really isn't all about being overly organized and washing your hands all the time
(although, I am guilty of both of those!).
At that time I was working in a shop and I was getting more and more stressed.
I was crying everyday, panicking and I wasn't even able to switch off when I got home.
I was checking and re-checking everything. It was taking up so much of my time.
Even when I had checked something for the 5th time I still wasn't convinced.
literally didn't trust my own brain.

Something wasn't right.
My family had seen everything that was going on and urged me to see a doctor.
I was diagnosed and in some ways it helped to know what was going on.
Unfortunately I had to leave my job within weeks of being diagnosed.
It had continued to worsen and the whole situation became more than I felt I could handle.

The best way for me to describe it is the same way a lot of others do and that is to break down the name itself :
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Having OCD involves having obsessions. For example, I will feel dirty. Literally dirty.
It may be because I have touched something I think may be dirty or sometimes, I just plain feel it.
I panic. I fear contaminating someone/something so I try to find a way to deal with this situation.

Which leads us to the compulsions.
Performing physical and/or mental 'rituals' in the hopes of relieving the anxiety.
In this scenario, I would then want to quickly find a way to wash my hands, if I can't do that for whatever reason, I will use hand sanitizer.

That brings us to the 'D' - Disorder.
OCD is a mental disorder and not something to be taken lightly or romanticized.
"The illness affects as many as 12 in every 1000 people (1.2% of the population) from young children to adults, regardless of gender or social or cultural background. In fact, it can be so debilitating and disabling that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has actually ranked OCD in the top ten of the most disabling illnesses of any kind, in terms of lost earnings and diminished quality of life." *link*

Unfortunately, I have obsessions and compulsions from a few different 'types' of OCD.
In the beginning, my main compulsions were centered around checking.
Whether it be plugs, windows, the correct orders at work, making sure I haven't said the wrong thing... The list goes on.
Ever since then, my checking has minimized; due to the fact that I am at home everyday and don't go out and mingle with people very much
(reducing the amount of plug checking, talking to people etc.).
My contamination OCD has progressively gotten worse. I don't like being touched, touching other people or their belongings.
I am not scared of germs, I am concerned that I may be dirty/contaminated and that in touching someone/something I will make them ill.

During my first round of C.B.T, it was brought to my attention that I have a heightened sense of responsibility.
To me, anything and everything is my fault. I feel it wholeheartedly, it's not just a passing feeling.
I have a hard time believing otherwise.

I also suffer with anxiety. Talking in general and interacting isn't easy for me.
I worry a lot about what I say and that I may hurt someones feelings or offend them.

Amidst everything, I struggle with lack of self care.
I am not a priority and I don't treat myself with the love and respect that I feel everyone should.

Recovery whilst feeling this way is incredibly difficult to say the least, but I am trying to persist.

So that's pretty much the ins and outs of my mental health.
With each of the above mentioned issues I struggle with, it has been a learning curve.
Since being diagnosed, I have looked back and been able to see that some illnesses have been with me for quite some time, under the radar.
I wasn't always as constrained as I am now and that gives me hope for the future :)

This year I have begun to learn how to live with my mental illness' rather than be controlled by them and that is a huge deal to me.
Baby steps.

I would love to be able to raise awareness and in any way help others - even if that is just by showing that fellow sufferers are not alone 

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