My OCD Odyssey
by Jeff Kellen
When I was about ten years old, my parents went through a tough time in their marriage and I often had obsessively sad thoughts, some of which were consumed with violence.
I also constantly drew pictures of sharks and other marine life for a very long time after my parents took me to see the first Jaws movie when I was only seven. I felt driven to constantly add accurate detail – a perfectionism that fits Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
It wasn’t until I graduated from college that the compulsive behaviors of my OCD emerged. Many of the compulsions were stereotypical in nature, such as hand washing and the need to check locks and doors. Although these remain day-to-day problems, the things that give me fits can change as often as the wind.
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For the last ten years, I have been on a variety of medications to help combat my OCD as well as depression. While medications seem to hold the depression in check, I don’t think that they help as much with my OCD, especially the obsessive thinking that can bring on paranoia. My wife and prayer have been integral in helping me combat both of these mental ailments.
I have come to realize that it is not completely necessary to recover to have a full life. For me it’s all about coping and adapting to make life more manageable. My brain simply cannot focus fully on more than one obsession at a time, so sometimes I use this to my advantage and concentrate on something minor compared to what may be considered a major fixation or concern.
With that said, it would be very nice to say good-bye to this disorder and not have to worry about checking so many things, wondering if people like me, or speculating if I have offended them. If there were a pill to make all of this go away, I would gladly pay a hundred dollars for each one.