My Obsession

October 5, 2007
You would never know by walking past me on the street. You may even be my best friend and not be aware. No, I don’t twitch and make noises; my problem is internal. I feel it all the time, no matter what I do, or where I go. I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and every day is an uphill battle.

I was diagnosed with OCD when I was in sixth grade. All of a sudden, everything around me felt different. I would constantly question my actions. Did I do this right? Did I walk the right way? Many people think OCD only affects children who do not receive enough attention at home, or are even abused. But, that’s not true. As with every other mental disorder, OCD is brought about by chemical imbalances in the brain. In my case, environmental factors also contributed.

September 11th increased my worries and fears. It seemed like nothing was ever safe because of what happened that day. Everywhere, people lost their parents and loved ones. What if I had lost mine, too? Everything made me worry. I was in fourth grade when it happened, but it didn’t seem to affect my lifestyle until I entered middle school.
Sixth grade was a tough year. Every few months there were letters sent home about sex offenders around town, and bomb threats throughout the school. Now, even school was not a safe place, for me. I began to see a psychiatrist who put me on a minor dosage of Zoloft, which was not effective. The doctor told my parents to give into my compulsions and worries, which is the worst thing my parents could have done. By giving into these worries, the OCD only became stronger. Eventually, we realized this therapist was no good, and we moved on.

By seventh grade I completely lost it. I was going crazy with my worries. It was hard to live in my own body, not knowing anything and not being sure of anything. My compulsions became more intense. I missed two months of school in seventh grade because I was unable to cope with the disorder. My parents took me to a children’s psychiatrist in New Jersey, who took me off of the Zoloft, and prescribed Prozac. I was taking 40mg of Prozac a day, and another medicine, Clonazepam, more commonly known as Clonopin. This medicine was meant to calm me down and relieve some of the stress from the OCD. Along with seeing the psychiatrist once a week, I began treatment with a psychologist, to challenge the OCD, which in the long run, helps how I deal with the compulsions. After my two month break from school, I came back and was able to place into all ninth grade honors classes, while in eighth grade. I refused to be stopped by my own obstacle.

Although the disorder is rare, I’m not the only one. About 2.5% of people have OCD. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by people who care about me. Plenty of people who have psychological disorders end up homeless because their families abandon them. Other people are treated like they are inferior because their peers are ignorant and unsupportive. The rest are fortunate, like me. Without the help of my parents, I do not know where I would be today.

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