Today’s blog comes from Jared, a teenager living with OCD. He originally wrote this post for his high school’s blog to share his experiences with other students at his school and raise awareness about OCD. Jared is a 17-year-old who enjoys playing competitive baseball, recreational golf and tennis, working out, and volunteering for community service projects working with younger kids. Jared plans to study sports broadcasting in college in the fall. Thank you to Jared for having the courage to share his story with his school and now with us!
Going into the summer before freshman year, I started to experience something different with my thoughts. They became “obsessive” and as hard as I tried to fight them, they wouldn’t go away. At first, I was a little scared, but I felt as though if I kept following its orders, it would eventually go away. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
After my summer was consumed with all of these thoughts, the school year came. It involved no friends, suffering grades, and worried parents. Focusing in and outside the classroom became nearly impossible. But again, my hopeful self came in and made me be in denial. I truly felt that the thoughts would soon be over, but it turned out it was only getting worse.
I started to get panic attacks and basically, my whole day was consumed with these obsessive thoughts. I told my parents about my problems, and together we came to the conclusion that therapy was needed. However, that was not enough, and I soon became hopeless.
I was eventually hospitalized and diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder. It all made sense to me now; it wasn’t me who was having these thoughts, but was because of the way my brain is wired. I came to realize my “version” of OCD focuses on physical appearance and perfectionism. Once released from the hospital, I began treatment with a specialist who has helped me develop coping skills to manage my illness ever since.
By overcoming this illness, I have realized that I am not shameful or afraid, but rather, am proud and thankful. This experience has taught me so much and has made me comfortable with who I am. Furthermore, I came across people like me; people who tried to hide their illness but it soon caught up with them. I found that other people are going through troubles every day, even though you may not see it. Smiles can be deceiving.
Although my illness has negatively impacted my life over the past few years, it has had its positives. There is something to gain from everything, as I have only gotten stronger from this experience while learning the importance of a powerful support network. I wouldn’t be where I am now without the help of my family and friends. With all of the support I had, it made it nearly impossible for my disorder to win this battle. Thanks for the challenge, but better luck next time, OCD!
Our OCD in Kids websites features stories written by kids, for kids, as well as personal stories told from a parent’s perspective. If you’d like to share your story with us, email firstname.lastname@example.org for us to review.