Of all the disorders I have been accused of having, I will admit to obsessive compulsive disorder most readily. I will also admit I am skeptical of modern psychiatry and feel that psychiatric drugs are not miracle cures. I am a religious person and will never accept a world view in which human beings are brains that can be medicated into proper behaviors. I believe the brain is a component of the mind and the soul. I do accept that there is much in psychiatry that is valid and helpful to many people.
I knew that I had a kink in my thinking from early childhood. I was playing the game “Frogger” as a kid on the computer, and was doing well. I thought, “I bet my life that I can make it to the next round” even though I did not really want to think that. My own thoughts terrified me and I became too scared to keep playing. When I was a young teenager, we watched a documentary at my Christian school called “Hell’s Bells.” I was very frightened by it and had nightmares for weeks afterwards. The possibility that the devil had infiltrated rock musicians to the extent suggested by the documentary seemed terrifying. I knew that my fears were out of proportion to the events that prompted them and I still work on managing my thoughts and fears.
As an adult, I did receive treatment from a psychiatrist from 2006 – 2009. I did not respond well to psychiatric drugs. In my case, I feel that the drugs being used to treat other symptoms intensified my obsessive compulsive disorder. I sought counseling and a second opinion and made the decision, with some opposition, to end psychiatric care in 2009. I have never regretted this decision. I recognize that I may need psychiatric care in the future, but I will not let this stop me from living my life.
Today, I still struggle with thoughts and fears, but I have found ways to make life more positive. I took up biking in 2010 and it has been wonderful for my health and outlook. I also listen to music frequently. I feel that immersion in music and prayer can help break up the old cycle of thoughts that can grow unbearable. Helping others also helps me to stop focusing on myself and my thoughts and embrace reality in a dynamic way. When I spend time with someone who is oppressed with poverty, I understand that my problems pale in comparison with the suffering being felt by billions worldwide. I also find great comfort in nature, especially when I am near trees and animals. OCD is a terrible affliction, but the beast can often be tamed.