This week is OCD Awareness Week, and each day we will be publishing a different account of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
Extract taken from the book Pulling the Trigger: OCD, Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Related Depression written by Adam Shaw of The Shaw Mind Foundatuion.
I had battled severe OCD all my life, OCD plays a big role in all of my earliest childhood memories. Like most OCD sufferers I had learnt to hide it, avoid it, invent rituals to try and negotiate with it so it would leave me alone. I craved a normal mind and a normal life, and I thought I had just about achieved that in my early twenties when my OCD seemed to have calmed down and had therefore enrolled at Oxford Air Training school to train as a commercial airline pilot. Life was beginning to seem normal and as we headed off to Arizona, USA for part of our flight training, I was finally beginning to feel content for the first time in my life.
In a life dominated by OCD and anxiety I’ve noticed that when things are really going my way and I feel there is nothing getting in my way of reaching my goals, suddenly something kicks in and my mental health issues begin to really knock me back. And so it did in Arizona. One day I passed through reception at the airport, and as I did so I noticed the young receptionist at the desk, a girl I’d seen occasionally before.
‘I’m going to strangle her,’ I thought.
It came right out of the blue, and no sooner had it done so than it lodged in my brain, gripped tight and wouldn’t let go. The thought horrified me and my anxiety went sky high.