Living With OCD

Living With OCD

Kareli Gutierrez (12th), Reporter

Hello, I’m Kareli Gutierrez and I have OCD. I’ve decided to write this article just to just tell my experience as someone living with this mental illness.


I was diagnosed with OCD last year in 2020. Honestly, when I was diagnosed with OCD there was a mixture between dread that I had OCD but also a sense of relief that someone was able to diagnose me. Although if I am being honest, there was more dread than anything else.


I realized that I suffered from OCD that dealt with intrusive thoughts. If you don’t know what intrusive thoughts are, they are thoughts that come into your mind without you wanting them to and they are so unlike your character that you are able to just brush them away. But for someone with OCD who deals with intrusive thoughts, they are harder to push away and it brings anxiety.


The thing that I have noticed is that OCD attacks the most valuable parts of your life. For me, it was religion and family and because of this I was terrified.


These intrusive thoughts brought me a lot of anxiety. I would usually start crying and just having anxiety over all these thoughts popping up in my head. 


Not only would I have these thoughts, but here would be certain things that I would have to do. Certain patterns. Many people with OCD have certain patterns that they have to perform in order to take the feeling of anxiety away but the anxiety leaves only for a while. Later on, these thoughts would go away and my compulsions would come back. 


I knew that these actions that I repeated multiple times were unreasonable and that I had to stop. I would tell myself to not give in, and yet there always seemed to be a fear holding me back. There was always a “what if” in the back of my mind. Let me give you some examples.


What if I don’t unsubmit and submit my homework again and something bad happens? Then there I go unsubmitting and submitting my homework so that nothing bad happened.


What if I don’t touch the picture again and something bad happens? Then there I go touching the picture again.


Or, I have to pray twice now because I wasn’t praying out loud. Then there I go praying again.


Everything would be a constant worry and from other people’s point of view it might have seemed irrational, right? And, they are right. But for someone with OCD like me, it’s a trap my mind held me in.


Not only that, but I found it harder to sleep. The thoughts would come floating in and would just come back and fight harder if I tried to push them away. It was a nightmare of thoughts that kept me awake.


Fortunately, I have an amazing family who supported me in trying to seek help. I was able to get an amazing therapist which helped me realize that those intrusive thoughts were not mine and that those repeating patterns were absolutely unreasonable. There was so much relief in hearing these words.


They helped me realize that the only way to not get stressed out anxiety from these thoughts and actions was to ignore them. That the harder I tried to push these thoughts away, they would just come floating back in with no permission whatsoever. It was not easy but there is a process to everything and it takes time.


I started attending webinars meant for teens with anxiety and I was taught how to control my anxiety from getting too bad by using breathing techniques or ways to take my mind off my thoughts.


I’ve learned to cope with it and I am getting better with living with my OCD by not paying as much attention to my intrusive thoughts or not always giving in to my compulsions, but there are still times where I get frustrated and want to just give up. But, there’s always that little sliver of hope that everything will be alright. That I can get through this. I tell myself that I got through yesterday and so I can get through today, and that sentence helps me keep moving. I ask God for strength and I know He has heard my prayers.


It might seem weird to read what I’m going to say next but here it goes. I want to thank my OCD because it showed me how resilient I am and how strong I am. It helped me realize how strong people who suffer from mental illnesses are.


I hope that whoever reads this is able to understand how much OCD can affect a person and that if you have OCD you are still loved and valued no matter what.