So a short while ago I asked round Twitter for people to tweet me images that portrayed OCD. Many that were tweeted to me I had never seen before, but they all related to me in some way and I was able to interpret my own thoughts and feelings around them, taking into account different situations.
So below I’ll show the image(s) submitted by each person and then below it I’ll try and put into words how I would interpret the image.
OCD leads us into a vicious cycle that can be so difficult to get out of. As if being stuck on a roundabout. You’re spinning so much that it distorts your vision, just like OCD can distort your view on everything making our head spin with anxiety.
The ‘just a thought’ phrase is extremely important. Thoughts are just thoughts. They do not affect what happens. You can’t think someone into getting ill (even though at times my brain tries to convince me that I can) it’s not possible. Think of intrusive thoughts as just little storm clouds. Yes they are annoying and frustrating, but they do pass. Allow them to pass, acknowledge that you have a thought and let it go.
They eye in the ‘O’ made me think. We are so observant as OCD sufferers, nothing gets past us. Anxiety can make us hyper sensitive to our surroundings, our rituals. It’s as if we are on high alert all the time, all day every day.
This image is truly powerful. It shows how we are trapped in our own minds. OCD makes us it’s slave. Our minds try to control us. The fact that there is a window shows that there is a glimmer of hope. Things can get better. The little bird perched on the edge of the window may represent a figure in your life that is helping you beat this. A family member, a therapist, a friend, anyone. Yes, it may feel far away, but it is possible to reach. If I could describe mental illness in one image, this would be it.
I think this image just sums up how we all feel about OCD. The thoughts, the compulsions, the avoidance, the reassurance. Everything. It makes us just want to scream. Just like ‘shut up OCD!!!!’
This week is OCD awareness week, so I please encourage you to use the hashtag #thatsOCD to raise awareness about this condition. Anything than you can do to help raise awareness is greatly appreciated and I hope you can join me in this fight to break down the stigma.