This week is OCD Awareness Week, and each day we will be publishing a different account of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
Today's fantastically positive story is being published by OCD-UK volunteer Ruth, and is published with permission from her blog.
Dear OCD sufferer,
My name is Ruth, I am 47 years old. I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 24. I believe I had it for a long time before that, but there was very little awareness of OCD back then.
I really wanted to write to you to let you know that there is hope.
This week is OCD awareness week, and I really wanted to write to you to let you know that there is hope, that I have been where you are now, living with severe OCD. I was in the depths of despair, believing life would only ever be a constant stream of terrorising and guilt ridden days. I have lost count of the number of people I believe I had either harmed through my mistakes or through carelessness. When I was at my worst every day I believed I had either seriously harmed or killed people through coming into contact with contamination and not acting responsibly enough. This was despite the hundreds of daily rituals, changing clothes every time I went out and showering several times a day until I could take no more, throwing away clothes and items I felt were too contaminated to ever be clean again, disinfecting shoes, my phone, handbag, my car – the daily rituals were endless, but they were never enough. However hard I tried to avoid contaminates, and however many times I showered and changed into clean clothes, I still believed I had left a risk to others lives, it was exhausting and I can still remember the desperate yearning I had for some rest from the thoughts of being a bad person that was selfishly not doing enough to protect others.