Living With OCD: Parents, Son, Sibling, Lover and Friend As Warriors in the Battles of the One They Love.

“There is nothing in this whole world that can torment you as much as your thoughts can.”

Teens battling with OCD might have it for a long time before Parents or the doctors realize it. Many times the kid himself realizes that his thoughts and actions don’t make any sense. They may feel the need to stop, but OCD makes this almost impossible to do.

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OCD distress and rituals take a hefty chunk of one’s daily schedule. With time, OCD snarls the person so profoundly in itself, that he is left deadened, incapable of doing anything but the rituals.

It becomes so crucial to let out everything in front of parents or any adult for appropriate help and care. But this spilling out of emotions in most cases takes a long time. By the time this confession is done, several months or years passes, causing the unimaginable sufferings to the teen.

What is OCD?
Source: NHC

When something serious hits us, the people who love us suffer with us. We have already read a lot of stories from OCD warriors. Today let’s read the OCD stories from the perspective of people who had been fighting it side-by-side with the OCD warriors.

Our Son has OCD: A Parents’ Story.

I remember reading somewhere that OCD is an anxiety disorder that affects 1 in 100 children. I was like most of the people who didn’t care much about it. There’s a saying: “People don’t understand the gravity of something until it happens to them.” 

By the time we realized something was different with our son’s behaviour, he was 15 years old. We could notice him taking unusually longer times to do simple stuff like washing hands, polishing his shoes and completing his assignments. 

Perfection OCD: A compulsion to write just right.
Image via Greyson K.

Our son was a straight-A student throughout his academics. We were shocked when his teacher informed us that he  had not been submitting his assignments lately. We asked him if anything was bothering him. He burst into tears and said he wasn’t feeling very well. On further examination, he suggested that he wanted to go for a tour of the country-side to make himself feel better. We planned a trip for him.

It was a Friday morning. We were getting ready for work, and we got a call from the travel agency. They said we should come and pick up our son as he was not doing very well. We travelled 600 miles to get him back home. 

Germophobia OCD: Washing too much hands
Image via Kah R.

When we reached the motel, we found him sitting on his bed. He looked so skinny, which scared us to death. There were injuries on his hands. On further enquiring, we came to know he had inflicted damage to himself. It was when we realized our kid was suffering from something serious.

We immediately booked a counselling session, turns out OCD was the issue he had been  suffering from. It was really tough to see him struggle his way out of OCD through these years. But we kept ourselves positive and never made him feel that he was suffering from something detrimental.

I remember an instance when he questioned me, Are you ashamed of me? My 15-years-old kid asked me if I was ashamed of him. It was just heartbreaking. I got hold of my senses, embraced him in my arms and replied, “I can never be ashamed of you. Do you know why? Because you are the bravest 15-year-old in the world.” 

It was difficult seeing him cry, lagging behind in his life, and losing friends. But we never gave hope. All those therapies, medications and patience paid for us, he is doing marvellously good in his life and is in University now. Remembering the journey of a terrified pupa becoming an independent butterfly ready to ooze out the nectar of life, still gives me goosebumps.

One last thing, We never wished for a different version of him and never will.

My Mother has OCD: An OCD story from a Son.

Since I was a kid, I knew something was different with my family. I was not allowed to do even basal things like going out of my house to play with my cousins. But I was okay with it as I got so much care from my mom.

Everything got worse with time. I recall when I was 5 years old, my mom started keeping a distance from me. I wasn’t allowed near her except at a specified time. Everything about me changed from then. I started catching myself with the guidelines of the house.

OCD: A woman crying

All my life, I have been grounded for doing nothing wrong. I got used to it, and it became a norm for me. In 2018 I made a friend, we were basically inseparable. One day he told me that he has been suffering from OCD for a long time and has been seeing a specialist. As he discussed with me the symptoms he had, I realized that my mom had been suffering from a real condition.

I was so happy! All the helplessness I felt all those years just vanished for the moment. I felt like I could finally do something for my mom. That day I went to my mom’s room (obviously, at my time slot), I talked about this thing with my mom. Being confined in a room for several years, her face had aged much for a 45 years old woman. But that day there was a spark on her face which I hadn’t seen in a decade. 

OCD symptom
mage via OCD Thoughts

It took a lot of persuading, but she agreed to get out of the house for her treatment. But life is not a wish-granting factory. Something came up, and she couldn’t get her therapy. But she remained positive that one of these days she could go out and see the world again. My mom is a fighter, I am so proud of her.

Next year we will shift our house so she can get her treatment. I am so excited to show her the world again.

SORRY, I know I am supposed to write about my mom. But I wanna write about the most selfless person in the world, My Dad. He alone had been fulfilling the roles of a dad, a mom and a husband for more than a decade without ever complaining. He used to wake up with me at 5 a.m. to prepare breakfast for me. He came home at noon without ever failing, for us to have lunch. He had even carried Hernia for 2 years without letting us know. You know why? So that we could get our meals on time. 

I can’t praise him enough, because I just couldn’t express his greatness in words.

My Brother has OCD: A Sibling’s narration.

I was excited. Dan, Mom and I were on our way to the water-park. Suddenly, Dan screamed and laid flat on the back-seat, wailing “Nothing is right”. Mom tried to calm him down, with no success; Dan’s fear ruined yet another family outing.

When someone has OCD in a house, it affects the whole family. Family members get distressed, watching their loved ones suffer. I, as a sibling without OCD, felt the effects of OCD in many ways. After all, I witnessed frequent meltdowns, had plans derailed due to the unexpected challenges raised by the disorder and lived under the constant fear of developing OCD.

OCD: Don't Panic

When we both were young, I used to get irritated as his fears were taking away the family time and also my parents started giving him more attention than me. As we grew up, I understood that Dan had no control over his actions, and he was suffering from a distressing problem. 

I made it my responsibility to make him feel good. I managed to be there for him when he was sad or irritated. His medications were working, and the environment of the house was helping him too. I met Dan’s therapist, he taught me some CBT techniques to help Dan. He was getting better with time. We also had our own type of therapy where he used to call out all his fears in front of me, and we used to laugh at the thoughts together as those thoughts didn’t make any sense.

OCD: Strong Mind

Dan is in High School. He is off his medication and is doing great with his life. Once an unsocial kid is now the captain of the school’s football team. He finally had done something which seemed impossible in the beginning.

There’s a quote I used to read to him:

“You wake up every morning to fight the same demons that left you so tired the night before, and that, my love, is bravery.”

My Boyfriend is an OCD Warrior.

Before he confessed his illness to me I used to observe him keenly. I was familiar with his peculiarity from the very beginning. He always preferred to be secluded, mostly staring out of the classroom window or focusing his glance to a bare corner. He often got into those dark moods where he would blackout amid a laugh, a game or even his assembly speech.

He has always been very sensitive and his words carry a crucial meaning and profoundness in them when it comes to the ones he loves. The divulgence of his sickness did not come to me as a complete surprise but it did furnish a closure and conformity to the doubts I had. My feelings of sympathy, grief and helplessness were immediately followed with an intense urge to be dedicated towards him.

Love can help to treat OCD

I always considered him to be  an invincible person, the forever motivated guy who would never fall in his life. But to see him being shattered was like witnessing the downfall of the strongest pillar of my life, experiencing an ache as strong as if someone had ripped a piece of my heart. He was always in extremes of his moods, either outstandingly happy or dreadfully sad. And believe me, my soul cried with every tear dropping from his eyes.

Calming him down from his anxiety attacks is the best occupation I have. I love to talk to him, explain things to him and to help him find reasons in life to live for. He would often yell and cry out rude things but I knew it was his brain and that he needed me at that time, so I dealt with it with patience for he loves me to death.

His illness has always been one of the binding forces of our relationship making both of us more dedicated and loving towards each other. He accepted me exactly the way I was, in fact, he is the one who not only gives me reasons to love him but also myself, which I never cared about doing before. The changes that I had to adapt for him are so trivial in comparison to his love that they are not even worthy of mentioning here. 

Embarrassed? It is not the right word. But yes, I have been disappointed with him. The compulsions he gets forces him to believe that he is losing hold of the ones he loves which at a point in our relationship made him assume that I value him less than others, which in no way was true. This thought made him insecure and eventually turned him into a protectionist towards me. That can be said as the most difficult phase of our relationship where I felt frustrated and dejected, but even then the thought of giving up on him never crossed my mind.

Perfect Love Casts out All fear

After watching him suffer for years, the satisfaction I get to see him grow now is incompressible, it is to witness the inception of my own paradise. I live for the days he laughs and to see him recover from his dark nights to the beautiful mornings. Unfortunately, his compulsions are a lifelong illness but I trust our relationship and we will come out as brave as we have done in the past years. Living with him would be the best decision of mine which no sickness can ever change. Ever.

My Best Friend has OCD: A Friend’s Anecdote.

Four years ago, a new student came to my class. Do you remember those cool athletic guys in movies? He was exactly that same guy. It felt so good being around him as he was a verbose. Soon we became friends. I started spending so much time with him, and in no time we kind of became inseparable.

I believed that he couldn’t get sad in his life. One day when we were talking on the phone he didn’t seem alright. He cried on the phone. It was difficult to accept for a moment. That day he said, “nothing is working dude.” On much asking, he revealed that he had been suffering from OCD for almost a decade. 

A person suffering with OCD

It was so shocking to apprehend, a guy who seemed the happiest person had been fighting with such a terrible thing. I wanted to help him but he didn’t want to talk about his OCD. So, we rarely talked about his OCD except on the days he had his OCD sessions.

OCD: Phone A Friend

I was always there for him. We used to talk for hours when he didn’t feel good. We worked for years on his OCD compulsions. He is an OCD warrior and has overcome his OCD. He has been off medication for 1 year now. 

There was one quote he used to chant which made sense to me after a long time,

“Thoughts are visitors, let them come and go.”

People with OCD often feel frustrated and distressed about their need to act compulsively. When family members and friends are more informed about OCD, it is easier to be supportive and understanding. 

The more you can avoid personal criticism the better – remember that it is the OCD that gets on everyone’s nerves. Try to learn as much about OCD as you can. Your loved one still needs your encouragement and your acceptance as a person, but remember that acceptance and support does not mean ignoring the compulsive behavior. Do your best to not participate in the compulsions. In an even tone of voice explain that the compulsions are symptoms of OCD and that you will not assist in carrying them out because you want them to resist as well. Gang up on the OCD, not on each other!

Note: All these OCD stories are based on the interviews we have taken. We don’t attach anyone’s name on the wishes to maintain anonymity by some contributers.

Liked this article? Read our article: OCD: It’s My Story.

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