Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been obsessed with cleanliness. I’d often put things in order and tidy up my environment, compulsively scrubbing surfaces until they sparkled. As the years went on, I started to recognize that my fondness for cleanliness was more than a habit— it had become an obsession that impeded my daily life.
At first, it wasn’t too bad — just a nagging feeling that things weren’t quite in place or that something wasn’t ‘clean enough.’ But as time passed by, these thoughts became more intrusive and frequent: checking over and over again to make sure counters were clean or doors were shut properly. This impacted both physical and mental health; it felt exhausting having to double-check everything before leaving anywhere or going to bed at night.
My family noticed the changes too and soon recognized the signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). With their help, I sought professional help from a therapist who helped me understand my behaviors better and encouraged me to practice new coping skills instead of giving into my anxiety-provoking habits. Now when I feel those moments of intense paranoia and scrutiny come creeping in, I actively work on staying mindful while distracting myself with other activities whenever possible.
I still have moments where OCD manages to take control but slowly but surely I’m managing it better everyday. Dealing with this disorder can be tiring but there’s hope; by honouring our own needs without judgment, we can work towards minimizing its toll on our lives!
I can definitely relate to the feelings of anxiety and unease you describe. I’m a 35 year old man who’s been dealing with OCD for many years. I know how overwhelming it can be - it feels like you’re constantly being taxed mentally and physically, which is exhausting. But over the years, I’ve found some strategies that have helped me cope with my disorder.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that self-compassion is key when dealing with OCD. Taking a pause in moments of intensity allows me to acknowledge what’s going on without judgment, allowing me to work towards better managing these episodes. Along with this, distraction techniques have been really helpful - taking a walk or listening to music has allowed me to redirect my focus away from my obsessive thoughts and relax just for a bit. Lastly, setting small goals each day has also worked well for me - this helps bring a sense of accomplishment but more importantly, motivates me on days where symptoms might be worse than usual.
It’s so important that we make emotional wellness part of our everyday lives so that we can lead healthier, happier lives despite all of the challenges presented by living with OCD. Take all the time you need and don’t hesitate
Hey there, I can totally relate to what you’re going through. I also struggled with obsessive cleanliness and the constant need to check and double-check everything. It’s so exhausting, isn’t it? It’s really great that your family noticed the signs of OCD and that you sought professional help. I’m glad to hear that therapy has been helping you understand your behaviors better and develop coping skills. It’s definitely a work in progress, but it’s so important to remind ourselves that there is hope and that we can minimize the impact of OCD on our lives. Keep doing what you’re doing and know that you’re not alone in this!