So, everyone knows by now, that I am not a well person. I suffer from multiple chronic illnesses, and pass out here, there, and nearly everywhere. Well, I’ve had a catheter in since last Monday, and I went to have it removed, and well, long story short, I passed out in my doctor’s office, woke up, started choking because I thought I had to throw up, lost my breath, blah, blah, blah, they ended up calling 911. Fun fun fun. Hey, that rhymes! I digress.
Anyway, the ambulance squad arrived and got me calmed down, and took me back to the ER, where I was the night before. But it was along the ambulance ride that really got me fired up. You know how someone always rides in the back with you in an ambulance? Yeah, someone was riding in the back with me. They were doing their normal job, asking about my medical history, and of course, medications. When they got to my Valium (Yes, I’m on Valium), he said “Woah, what’re you on that for?” I said my OCD.
Then what he said next sent my blood boiling. He said, “Oh, you must be one of those people who needs to have everything in order.” I wanted to scream EXCUSE ME? That is not the only type of OCD that there is out there. I wished that people would recognize that. What do I suffer from? I’m not the person who needs to have everything in order or needs to tap my foot ten times, though I understand those who do.
I have Pure O. Which I will explain a little more about below.
Pure O means Purely Obsessional. All I have are thoughts. Merely thoughts. Well, not merely. They aren’t mere, by any means at all. They are scary thoughts.
Here, I will let Intrusive Thoughts do the talking for me. “Harm OCD is a common subset of OCD in which sufferers are constantly worried about causing harm to themselves or others. These thoughts are so common that 85% of the non-OCD population admits to having unwanted violent thoughts, including thoughts about harming themselves and loved ones.
However, for Harm OCD sufferers, the presence and frequency of these thoughts is debilitating. They are far more upsetting than occasional images or thoughts of violence. They are repetitive, graphic, and can get in the way of completing simple, day-to-day tasks.”
Alright, that’s out there. Yes, I have harm OCD. Yes, I’ve not admitted that to too many people. Do you even know how SCARY that is?
But Intrusive Thoughts also said this:
“Having intrusive thoughts does not make you a bad person. They are a misfiring in the brain, not a reflection of your character.”
My psychiatrist has reassured me hundreds of times over that my thoughts are ego-dystonic, meaning that they are the furthest thing from my character and person that I would never ever do anything that pops into my head.
That was a big admission. But I knew it was coming someday. I want to educate others about OCD, and Pure O, and Harm OCD, because I’m not ashamed, it is real and the stigma needs to end!