OCD Stigma

I’m embarrassed.

 

I have been embarrassed for a long time because of the stigma surrounding mental health, and I still am even though I am writing about it. I am writing to break the stigma and show myself –and hopefully others– that there really is nothing to be ashamed of.

 

Image result for stigma

 

I was embarrassed about my anxiety and depression –especially when I first got diagnosed– although I am more OK with it now because I feel like enough people have these issues and that the awareness for them is strong and only getting stronger. Don’t get me wrong; I am still embarrassed about them, but I just understand them more. I understand that this happens to many people and that it’s not my fault. I am, however, way more embarrassed about something else: my OCD.

 

 

The OCD Cycle

I have OCD. I get stuck in the “OCD cycle,” and it’s taking over my life. My head is a scary place to be right now, and I have to live there every second of every day.

 

People have said to me, “There’s nothing wrong with you! Everyone’s like that! You’re not special!” I am not saying that I am “special;” I am saying that I am feeling a certain way and that I know something is wrong. Due to people saying this to me, I too often feel like my constant struggles aren’t enough to “qualify” me for having a legitimate case of OCD. Be careful what you say, because after hearing these things, I just feel worse about myself and like I’m an attention seeker.

 

 

Think Before You Speak

So, please, I beg you: don’t belittle someone’s mental illness. You are not in their head, so, therefore, you cannot know what they are feeling. When someone is telling you that there is something wrong, DON’T tell them there isn’t! It just makes things worse and creates more stigma and embarrassment for the person.

If you don’t understand what’s going on, ask!

 

Sarah Last

Sarah Last is a passionate 20-year-old from Plainview, New York. She is currently attending Stern College for Women, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Education. Sarah has been diagnosed with anxiety, Depression, and OCD and wishes to use her experience with mental illness to help others and break the stigma.

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