This week is OCD Awareness Week, and each day we will be publishing a different account of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
For OCD Awareness Week Chloe Brazener shares her difficult experience of OCD and how far she's come in that time...
OCD is a widely misunderstood and debilitating mental health condition that has a devastating impact both on the lives of sufferers and their families. OCD is often misconstrued with symptoms including being neat and tidy or repeated hand washing, but there is far more to this condition.
First, let's debunk the myth that it is about having all your possessions neatly ordered in a certain way. Many sufferers of OCD in fact experience disturbing and distressing thoughts that they are responsible for situations or events beyond their control. For instance, a sufferer may worry that if they do not repeatedly count to ten and back something bad may happen to a loved one.
My experience of OCD began around the time I was in sixth-form studying for my A Levels. I remember a teacher held a piece of my work up to the class and praised me on how beautifully presented it was. As a shy and quiet individual I felt my heart bursting with pride at the attention my work was being given. However, I was unaware of how damaging this was to my education and mental health. Over time, there were occasions in which I could not hand in pieces of coursework because I was convinced that I must repeatedly rewrite all of my work until it was "perfect", anything less was not enough.