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OCD: My Story

Updated on April 13, 2018
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Brittany Banks is a young woman who likes to help people in difficult situations.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder makes you feel trapped and vulnerable. You feel like you are in your own little world when you don't want to be. Maybe you just don't realize you have OCD? There are different kind of ways that people express their OCD. Counting, tapping more than once, hair pulling, having boundaries, over cleaning, over organization skills, etc. It could be hereditary or an event may have happened in your life that could trigger it. We don't understand or maybe we do? We want to do something about it and maybe we believe it's not so bad to get help? Let me tell you my journey with OCD and see if maybe I can help you in anyway possible.

When I was younger at about the age of 5, my parents noticed I had a clean room more often. They thought I was only listening to them when they told me to pick up my room. I started putting my toys away by myself and started to learn how to make my bed. A weird issue was that I was afraid of the vacuum. I used to jump on the couch or chair and scream. I would run to my room and hide from it. I didn't realize that it would turn into a huge issue until I got older.

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My parents got divorced and I would have visitations with my mother. I had two separate rooms at each house. My mother and I moved a lot, so sometimes we would share a room. Having two rooms to take care of starting driving me crazy. I was around the age of 9 at this time. My room at my fathers place was very clean and organized. I started to learn to use the vacuum at this point.

I also started counting. I don't know what triggered it or how it happened. Maybe my parents divorce? I started counting everything.

We used to go places in different states to visit, and I noticed I started counting the lines on the road and street signs. I did it quietly to myself, so my parents didn't notice. I also counting tiling in the bathroom and the print on the shower curtain. We would sit in a restaurant and I would have already counted how many people were sat down. It didn't have to land on an even number or an odd number. I then realized my lucky number was 27. My birthday is on the 27th.

Anxiety is the #1 cause for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. (OCD)

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After I moved to my moms when I was 14, is when I finally realized what was wrong with me. I started doing research. I didn't think it was excessive for me to get help. I knew we couldn't afford it. I also knew I didn't want the help. I started feeling trapped. After I moved, I noticed I started organizing and cleaning my room. I started cleaning the house as well. My mother was already being excessive about her cleaning so I may as well join her. We had a super clean house to the point that you had to take your shoes off at the door or we both would go psycho. I was happy it wasn't only me. I also started to notice I had a routine in the morning before school and after school. I had stopped counting at this point, because the cleaning was helping me cope with my anxiety. I have always been an anxious person for some unknown reason. My parents used to fight a lot when they were together and it did get violent when I was younger so maybe that's the cause of my high anxiety.

After I lived at my moms for awhile, I met my best friend. The worse part of it, her room was messy all the time. I offered to help her clean it and organize it all the time. We would get half way and she would give up. I would continue until I needed a break and would go home. I would come back and it was messy again! So I eventually gave up.

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As I got older and moved out on my own is when I realized my cleaning and organizing got worse. It would be 2 am and I am organizing my book shelf or closet. I would having a cleaning routine as well. The cleaning routine would only last 2 hours a day, but I would clean after people left and after dinner as well. I would go though our apartment we had and get rid of things I didn't want. We started having roommates move in. I started posting signs everywhere. Please clean up after yourself. Please take off your shoes. My roommates probably thought I was crazy. I told them I had OCD. They knew I did before they moved in, because we would hang out a lot before they moved in. We ended up going through 7 roommates in total, 6 were couples. I started telling myself, don't touch their items. It is theirs and they can do what they want with it. Don't go into their room. Don't move their bathroom stuff around. Don't do their laundry. Don't do their dishes. I eventually got fed up with it and me and my boyfriend moved into our own apartment.

Now til this day, we are still in this apartment by ourselves. It is clean and organized of course. I noticed my routine wasn't as bad anymore. I now vacuum once or twice a week, not every single day. I now clean my bathroom every two weeks. I still wipe down the toilet when it needs it but not multiple times a day. It is organized but not to the point that I am moving items for no reason. I don't count anymore. I am a little OCD about my hair as well. I still make sure it looks good for the day. I used to be OCD about my face and wear make up to cover it up. I only wear eye liner now. I didn't get help. I didn't talk to too many people about my OCD. I also got a job that I organize a store and cashier. I now try to leave my OCD at work and not at home. Do I regret having OCD? Sometimes I do, but then I realize, if I was a messy person, it wouldn't work as well with my life style. I like to socialize and have people over. I don't want them to sit in filth.

Hopefully I have helped you understand my OCD and maybe help you understand yours.

Do you believe you have OCD?

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© 2018 Brittany Banks

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