Obsessive compulsive disorder - OCD treatment and therapy from NOCD
  • Contamination

My OCD Journey

Something that has helped me along the way is no matter the content of the intrusive thought/feeling, I will ask myself “and then what”....you see, the story must go on. Play it out. Play out the worst case scenario. And then what happens… it always comes back to I just don’t like how it feels, and we know that life will go on.

Stacy Quick, LPC

Member Stories

Showing 88

    • OCD is Just A Part of Me, and Not The Whole

      Ashley Marie Berry

      This has always been a part of me. I was born this way. It’s not something that you can catch. It’s not like the flu, or some smashing case of food poisoning that will soon dissipate while you go back to your regular life in peace. I still have intrusive thoughts and contamination fears, some of them are still the same as when I was a child. But after successfully completing ERP, my body doesn’t react the same way it used to. Sometimes I need to refer back to my notes and build a new ladder to see results. When I get overwhelmed in my life, my OCD will swell and try and take over again. Sometimes I need a booster session, but most of the time I can do it on my own.

      • Is It Really Poison?

        Elle Warren

        I live a beautiful, warm life because I know who I am and because OCD does not stand in my way. I still have intrusive thoughts (not about my sexuality—for me, OCD finds a new theme to latch onto when I get bored of one). I am not debilitated by them, though. I am not perfect at resisting compulsions, but I’m pretty good. I’m pretty good. 

        • The devil’s voice


          When I was at my worst, I read stories like this of others that made it to the other side and it was a lifeline I needed. Hope. As you read this, that’s what I want to share. Hope from the other side. It gets better. Life is still good on the other side. Healing isn’t linear, but you can’t quit on your worst day- I had so many. I can’t wait for you to see life over here in recovery. It really is so beautiful. 

          • I have OCD, but I no longer suffer from OCD


            After so many years, I have started fighting hard to get better because I was finally ready to. OCD is so hard to live with that I gave in to it for so many years because the thought of having to tackle my problem was too overwhelming because I knew what it entailed. Everything happens for a reason, and I can't change the past and don't look back.

            • Cancel out the thoughts


              As a teenager, I was frequently hospitalized at psychiatric inpatient facilities. I honestly liked being there, I felt safe. There were nurses if anything bad happened with my health and I was behind so many locked doors that no one could come in and hurt me. In February of 2023, I was officially diagnosed with OCD for the second time. This is when I finally began the correct treatment after seeing a therapist for anxiety for 3 years and just getting worse.

              • The unsolvable puzzle: My experience with OCD

                Grace Anderson

                The memory hoarding became obvious to those around me when I started rewinding television shows and movies a few seconds over and over again until the same dialogue had been heard five or ten times. I knew it was annoying, but it wasn’t enough to make me stop. And how could I ever explain to people that the reason I was doing it was that I didn't understand it, I wasn’t processing it, or I couldn’t remember all the details, and the panic I felt about it made me feel like the world was ending.

                • Our family’s journey through OCD recovery

                  Jill Clark

                  Mom was often late to work as a result of tantrums caused by OCD symptoms. Her daughter was also late to school many times. It was stressful and exhausting and as parents, the Clarks felt helpless. They knew their daughter needed help and they understood that early intervention would be best. What they hadn’t expected was just how difficult it would be to find a specialist who could treat her. Due to her age and the limited availability of OCD specialists, finding help was no easy task. However, they lucked out when an acquaintance told them about NOCD.

                  • Pregnancy, Motherhood, and My OCD Journey

                    Stephanie M.

                    In retrospect, I see that I struggled with OCD all of my life. I recall that when I was very young, my sister innocently told me that the pilgrims died from not washing their hands enough. This would create a severe compulsion which led to my hands bleeding.  I also developed an intense fear of falling asleep. I worried that I would die in my sleep. I would wake up nightly and sneak into my parent's room to ensure that they were still breathing. I needed to know that they were still alive. I can now see that these behaviors were not normal childhood precautions, but rather something more sinister.

                    • Living life by my values

                      Tricia D.

                      I feel like I have the motivation to live my life again. Before treatment, I had just been going through the motions. Now I can truly say that I am experiencing joy again. I have been getting out more. I envision possibilities now. I now feel capable of learning new things. I have a renewed sense of hope. Even if something is not perfect, I will do my best and it will be enough. OCD isn’t going to rule my life any longer. I’m in the driver’s seat now! 

                      • My Story

                        Brooke Miller

                        I can confidently say that I'm doing well, diligently managing all my mental health disorders and making steady progress in my recovery with each passing day. It hasn't been an easy road – filled with its share of highs, lows, and even relapses – but it has instilled in me the enduring power of resilience, the unwavering importance of perseverance, and the undeniable strength of the human spirit. My story is but one chapter in the vast tapestry of human experiences. We all encounter our unique challenges, but together, we share the indomitable capacity to overcome and thrive.

                        • Journey Through the Maze: A Personal Account of Living with OCD

                          Sina Tadayon

                          Life is a narrative, a story. That's how each of us perceives existence. We envisage ourselves as the protagonist, casting the psychological and metaphysical challenges we face into archetypal roles that humanity has been using since time immemorial. In our lives, we all have entities and individuals we perceive as allies, mentors, or shadows. We're all engaged in the same hero's journey, each with our unique story to share. The journey I've shared with you today details my struggle with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and highlights key experiences that have provided me with precious learning opportunities.

                          • Learning to live with OCD


                            You are not alone. Millions of people just like you struggle with the same condition. OCD is vicious and unrelenting, targeting everything you love and care about. But you can do more than just survive with OCD: you can thrive. There are so many wonderful therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists ready to help you, and with consistent effort and a long-term approach, you can implement life changes that will get you back on the right track.

                            • Freedom from OCD is possible

                              Jeanine Talento

                              I used to think that having OCD meant that I was weak. But now, that has changed. I know how strong I am. Through seeking help I learned that I am resilient. I know and understand myself so much better now. OCD really forced me to figure out who I am and what I value. I have a renewed vision of what is strength and what is weakness now. I am far more compassionate and empathetic. I no longer feel the need to put on a mask and pretend to be okay. I have been in the depths of despair and darkness. And I have survived. I have even thrived.

                              • Take care of Michael

                                Michael Correy

                                Over time the theme of my OCD and its spikes changed, from relationship to existential OCD but they’ve all had one major feature, uncertainty. Not knowing the outcome of some event, whether I am with the right person, or whether I’m even okay.

                                • Fighting for a better me

                                  Benjamin Ellis

                                  I would encourage anyone and everyone who isn’t aware of just how serious of a condition OCD can be, to educate themselves on this. This is a real disorder and a debilitating one for so many people. Be open to what others with lived OCD experience have to say about this. It may be difficult to understand or to put yourself in their shoes, but that's okay. What they need is your support, just knowing you are there for them and care enough about them to be there for them can mean a world of difference. 

                                  • Blanket statements


                                    I wish I could say that at age 24, I was cured, that I never experienced distress from my OCD again. The truth is more complex and compelling. My OCD has taken many different forms throughout my life-whether it is that I am with the wrong person, or if I am making a terrible mistake at work, and everything in between. But my life has become so much more expansive since I received help for my OCD. Though I still get caught in compulsions and rituals and safety behaviors, I don't stay stuck as long. I still see a therapist at NOCD to help me through all the ways that my OCD has shifted over the years. Most importantly, my OCD has not kept me from living a beautiful life. I met and married an amazing man. I reconnected to art, writing, and advocating for people with OCD like myself. I don't let OCD and fear dictate my life.

                                    • The fear of failure

                                      Dylan AP Davis

                                      The key to reducing the power of these thoughts is not to run away from them, not to push them away, and not even to challenge them. It turns out that the most effective way we’ve found to deal with it so far is to simply sit with The Thoughts, and let them say their piece. Almost as if you were dealing with a child having a little temper tantrum, you just let all of the terrible, anxiety-inducing thoughts rage as they will, until they tire themselves out. While under guided supervision, you are exposed to a situation that triggers intrusive thoughts, and throughout you must self-assess your anxiety levels. What are you feeling as your brain presents upsetting ideas to you? Be honest with yourself, and track how you feel as you continue. Eventually, though it may take quite a while, you’ll notice the anxiety will start to decrease. A quiet observation of the situation will lead you to a calmer state. Give no response except for acknowledgment of what you are going through. You, in a sense, build up a tolerance to the anxiety The Thoughts provoke. Eventually, they become nothing more than what they always truly were, even if they had once felt like something so much worse. Just thoughts.

                                      • Let in the light

                                        Emily W.

                                        OCD was a result of my reaction to thoughts that were abhorrent to me. Unfortunately, trying to force them out of my head only meant I thought about them more. With my therapist’s help, I started to practice exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP). It was crazy how quickly my intrusive thoughts receded — I got to a point where I could remain calm and completely ignore these thoughts, even laugh at their absurdity, instead of being frightened by them. 

                                        • How OCD tried to come between me and my family

                                          Manny D.

                                          OCD no longer controls my life, my behaviors, and my family. OCD doesn’t have a crippling grip on my life any longer. I learned that I likely had OCD most of my life.Recovery is a process. It isn’t as though the OCD is suddenly gone, but I am recognizing it more. I am not allowing it to be in control. My advice to anyone suffering from this is to get help right away, don’t put it off. Face it head-on as hard as it is. Don’t give up, keep pushing forward. You will be so happy that you get treatment. There is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ recovery or treatment. When I have bumps in the road, I get back into therapy and get a quick refresher. You are never all the way back to zero, you cannot unlearn all of the tools you have been taught. You don’t lose progress. 

                                          • What if it could turn out better than you ever imagined? 


                                            I was once tormented by OCDs “What ifs” and left in a state of panic, despair, and ruin, wondering if I would ever get my life back again. While I am not here to say that your life will always be sunshine and rainbows, I will tell you that with hard work and perseverance, you can live a completely healthy, and normal life.

                                            • How having OCD helped me help others


                                              These incidents continued to happen throughout my fifth-grade school year. I felt compelled to do many things, many seeming completely random, but they stuck and made day-to-day tasks almost impossible. “Write directly on the line, if you write over it you will fail the test” resulted in papers with holes in them from erasing so frequently. “Wash your hands every time you see a sink, or you will get yourself and others sick” meant I was developing eczema on my hands. “When you are in the car you have to say ‘That’s a cool car,’ or that car will hit you,” this meant I stopped leaving the house. “Count your steps. Make sure that you get somewhere in 4 steps or a multiple of 4 steps, or you will die” made me cry walking room to room in our house. I was only eleven years old.

                                              • The story behind the struggle

                                                The Struggling Warrior

                                                The Struggling Warrior is a 26-year-old Electrical and Electronics engineer with OCD. Throughout his experience with this detrimental disease, he found himself and his passion, to raise awareness of OCD and help people who suffer from it on a daily basis. He believes that through knowledge, education, and understanding of the sheer nature of the disease, people will jumpstart their recovery process and reclaim what OCD took away from them.

                                                • I’m a mom living with POCD


                                                  The biggest thing I’ve learned with therapy is that you cannot unlearn all that you have already learned. OCD will always come up with one more “What if?”, “You HAVE to”, “I demand you do this or XYZ will happen”. You will have the tools in your toolbox to know how to deal with it. You will know how to be one step ahead of it. If it trips you up, it's not a failure. A lapse is not a relapse and recovery isn’t linear. You are not a terrible person and even thinking about wanting to get better shows how strong and courageous you really are. OCD will always want to keep you stuck. ERP is how you become unstuck.

                                                  • Looking fear in the face and not running

                                                    Sebastian Valdiviezo

                                                    I feel like people living with this disorder are the most resilient, strong, and compassionate of people. That makes me happy and hopeful. The biggest lesson I have learned so far from this journey, and this is something I have to give all the credit to my therapist Tara for, is that I can truly deal with all these difficult emotions. I don't have to run away, I never needed to run away.

                                                    • Idiosyncrasies: Navigating an Obsessive-Compulsive Mind

                                                      Morgan Eastwood

                                                      My mind, like many others with OCD, works like a sticky fly trap: it catches every little thing that floats by, even when (especially when) it’s not beneficial to my mental well-being. This means that every insult from a classmate growing up, every melancholy tale I accidentally read, and every scary movie I sneak-watched as a preteen has clung to the walls of my brain until this very day. But what makes the disorder so unbearable at times are cycles of severe intrusive thoughts that bring up those memories, presenting themselves as words, phrases, or images that play in my head.

                                                      • OCD is just radio static in the background

                                                        Christian M.

                                                        I recently became a NOCD community Alumni Member. I volunteer and help others who are struggling with OCD to regain control of their lives. I am spreading education and advocacy about this disorder. I am realizing that so many others struggle with similar problems. I am not alone. I am surprised by how quickly I was able to recover. I attribute this to allowing myself to truly give ERP a chance and throwing myself into treatment wholeheartedly. I want others to know that OCD can play the worst head games with you. I try and help friends and family understand what OCD is really like and how much of an impact it has had on my life. OCD is chronic and I want to spread awareness. Even though it is often chronic that doesn’t mean that you will always suffer or be debilitated by it. There is hope. There is help.

                                                        • Distressing the Distress

                                                          David Kedeme

                                                          Slowly, more and more parts of my life became affected to the point where I was weary about what I was doing and avoiding those parts of my life to the best of my abilities to avoid this distressing feeling in my chest. As my life became more and more engulfed in this, I knew I needed help. This led to a diagnosis of OCD and eventually ERP.

                                                          • OCD felt like a death sentence


                                                            At first, OCD started as a way to provide relief, a means to control things that were out of my control. But then it morphed into something that took over my life and does the opposite of soothing me. I was stuck on my compulsions for 15 minutes, then 30, then an hour. It just kept growing and growing into something bigger and far worse.

                                                            • My journey with ERP and Santa Claus

                                                              Jessie B.

                                                              I spent my childhood thinking that everything needed to be perfect. This manifested in a variety of areas in my life, but the largest, most debilitating area by far was education; straight A’s were my ticket to perfection.The importance of A’s had been drilled into me from a young age – not from my parents or teachers, but from my OCD. I worked tirelessly to be a stand-out student. Anything lower than 93% would send me into a full panic and meltdown.

                                                              • Putting OCD in the backseat


                                                                For the longest time, I thought that OCD was this ‘big and bad’ thing that couldn’t be stopped. But now I know how to break the cycles and fight back. I have a lot of support and I am thankful for that. ERP no longer seems as daunting to me. It became easier with time, practice, and commitment.

                                                                • OCD recovery is more of an endurance race

                                                                  Brian Kleback

                                                                  OCD wants you to doubt yourself and isolate yourself so that you interact with your intrusive thoughts, obsessions, and compulsions to keep feeding them and make them stronger and stronger.  Recognizing that is what your OCD is doing and trying to break the cycle, not once, but repeatedly is the hardest part. This is not something that I recommend that you should try to do alone. I was stuck on the hamster wheel of doubt and rumination and had been pulling farther and farther away from my friends and family, choosing to withdraw into my shell and distance myself from those I cared about the most. I was embarrassed. I didn’t know what was happening. Until I found NOCD. That is when things changed.

                                                                  • One step forward and two steps back


                                                                    I want other people to understand OCD better, that it isn’t a fun quirk like it’s often shown in TV shows. It’s exhausting and time-consuming and it can break you and lock you into its invisible cage. Healing requires a lot of patience. You will fall and you’re going to get back up again. You will take one step forward, only to take two steps back. And that’s okay. It’s a part of the whole healing journey. But there is a way out. You can get better. The storm will pass. And even though it will still rain from time to time, you can learn how to keep living your life. 

                                                                    • My battle with OCD


                                                                      Starting around age 9 is when this thing became noticeable in my life. I would do such things as make sure that I never walked around an obstacle without walking back around it in reverse order (e.g. If I walked a lap around my house, I would do a subsequent lap in the reverse direction, as if I were untangling an invisible bungee cord that was attached to me during that first lap.) I would ritualistically perform tasks, whether these tasks were mundane or significant, a specific number of times (e.g. If I inadvertently touched or grazed the dining-room table while walking past it, I would then go back and touch it again a given number more times so as to have a nice even number of touches, before moving on.) 

                                                                      • Be kind to yourself

                                                                        Srini R.

                                                                        One key tactic I learned in ERP was to live your values. These past few years really put me in an identity crisis and made me forget who I really was as a human being. During the ERP sessions, I am often reminded to move toward my values even when uncertainty strikes. I started to think about what I like to do and how I like to live my life. Bit by bit I learn more about myself and my desires in this world. 

                                                                        • The cave, the boy, and the outside world


                                                                          OCD had Gabe feeling like he was living in a dark cave. A cave of despair and uncertainty. Until he found NOCD. For the first time, I felt like what I had been struggling with was understandable and shared by others, and the conversation gave me hope that with a scientific treatment methodology, there was a way out, a way to leave behind the cave and step into my life. The recovery journey wasn’t easy, and many parts of ERP were incredibly frustrating, but looking back, a year after having started this journey with NOCD I couldn’t be more grateful.

                                                                          • Living life to the fullest


                                                                            My mom used to say “what's the value of money if you're not going to spend it to live life to the fullest?” This sticks with me, it is so true, especially as a metaphor for living with OCD. Living life to the fullest is about not letting OCD control what I do. It’s about me being in the driver's seat and taking back the control that OCD tries to take. I have decided to live my life to the fullest and move toward my values, not my fears. 

                                                                            • The search for control

                                                                              Nicole K.

                                                                              Prior to being diagnosed with OCD, I had remained silent about that part of me. I simply didn’t understand it. I wanted to figure out everything first, on my own. Ironically I wanted to solve the problem before I asked for help. Analyzing is what I do, it's who I am. I didn’t like experiencing anxiety and uncertainty. I have always been very self-aware. I knew early on that the diagnoses didn’t fit everything I was going through. At the same time, this only played into more OCD fears.

                                                                              • How my children’s OCD diagnosis led to my own


                                                                                I had a truly life-changing experience with NOCD and my therapist, Jessica. I’m happy to say just a few months ago, I was successfully discharged from therapy with her. Jessica was a lifesaver and was a perfect fit for me. When I started, it felt like ERP and the goals I set with her were unattainable, but I can say with certainty that it is doable and worth the hard work.

                                                                                • Health Concern,
                                                                                • Perfectionism,
                                                                                • Sexual Orientation

                                                                                Getting comfortable being uncomfortable

                                                                                Tyler Devine

                                                                                I was always outgoing, and friendly, not someone you would think struggles with anxiety or perfectionism. I was social and had a lot of friends. I made it through my school years pretty easily. It wasn’t until I started college that I started to struggle. I have since learned that this is a common time in an individual’s life when OCD either presents itself or worsens. It was my first time on my own, away from the familiarity of family and friends. I felt trapped like I couldn’t escape from it. Everywhere I turned there were intrusive thoughts and feelings. I couldn’t explain what I was experiencing to anyone, at least that is how it felt at that time. 

                                                                                • False Memory,
                                                                                • Pedophilic Obsessions

                                                                                The day my brain broke


                                                                                The OCD community needs to come together to talk more openly about taboo themes. These themes are far more common than anyone realizes and people are suffering in silence. Hearing others talk about their experiences can save lives. I wish my 13-year-old self could have learned about it sooner. I wish she could have been a part of the OCD community that I have today.

                                                                                • Existential

                                                                                My battle with existential OCD

                                                                                Brian Yamstein

                                                                                OCD will be part of my life until my last breath.  It’s a hard thing to live with, and it’s not fun.  But, I do have the ability to not let it destroy my life, and have a proven track record to show for it. 

                                                                                • Harm

                                                                                Putting both feet in the water

                                                                                Breck W.

                                                                                Since starting my recovery journey with NOCD, my life has changed and is much more positive than I could have ever imagined. OCD moments still happen daily, but they no longer take up days, weeks, or months. They are moments that do not control my life, and my recovery includes understanding that OCD isn’t going anywhere. It’s going to be here, and it is up to me to decide the role I let it play.

                                                                                • Harm

                                                                                OCD won’t take away who I am


                                                                                I felt like I had no control. I had no control over my compulsions. I felt completely powerless over the things my illness wanted me to do. It was as if a kidnapper was holding me hostage, and spewing troubling words constantly into my brain. Instead, it was not a kidnapper. It was not a real, evil person trying to manipulate me. It was just a chemical imbalance in my brain that made me see life so much differently. I was so much stronger than my thoughts, so why was I letting them take everything from me?

                                                                                • Perfectionism

                                                                                Picking your face or pulling your hair? You may have a BFRB


                                                                                Now, as an ERP specialist with a BFRB specialty, I find it fun to be experimental with my own OCD.  At first, this treatment feels like torture. It's hard.  You feel like sometimes you're going to fail or that you can't handle it.  But guess what?  We're here to show you that you can handle it and you're going to eventually tolerate the heck out of it. 

                                                                                • "Pure",
                                                                                • Sensorimotor

                                                                                Sensorimotor OCD: Conquering shame and embracing uncertainty

                                                                                Haley Biddanda

                                                                                I hope my story can give hope to someone else who is in a dark place. I was convinced that my OCD was treatment-resistant and that I was the “special” case that ERP wouldn’t work for. I was wrong, and I’m so glad I took a chance to reclaim my life. I now embrace my identity as someone who will always have OCD. The harder days don’t mean that things can’t improve, and having a mental illness doesn’t mean I can’t live a full and meaningful life. 

                                                                                • Existential,
                                                                                • Relationship,
                                                                                • Suicidal

                                                                                Living in the maybes

                                                                                Chelsea R.

                                                                                While compulsively googling,  I found an article about harm-themed OCD. It finally clicked. I now knew that I was dealing with OCD and had been for a long time. It had gone undiagnosed. It was then that I realized that what I had thought were actual suicidal thoughts previously were actually a form of OCD called suicidal-themed OCD. OCD had been causing confusion and disruption throughout my life. The article I found linked me to NOCD. I set up a call right away. I have now been working with my NOCD specialist for 6 months. This decision was life-altering. I am now living in recovery with OCD.

                                                                                • Harm,
                                                                                • Perfectionism

                                                                                Survivor, not a victim

                                                                                Juan L.

                                                                                After college, I went back to school to become a nurse. I remember being so excited about starting my career and looking back at all the hard work I did to get to where I was. It wasn’t until I started working as a nurse that my OCD decided to take the stage. I would excessively check to make sure I didn’t make a medication error and make sure I completed all my documentation. OCD thrived on my fear of losing everything I worked so hard for.

                                                                                • Harm,
                                                                                • Relationship

                                                                                OCD will not stop me

                                                                                Max Persad

                                                                                There may be other people suffering in silence, just like me 2 years ago, who can't find a way out and who don’t understand what’s wrong with them. I want everyone to know, no matter how tough you are, no matter what the circumstances, please speak up if you are struggling with thoughts like mine. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but you have to get past many obstacles in the process. But you will get there. Don’t let mental health get in the way of your hopes and dreams, I know I certainly won’t.

                                                                                • Perfectionism

                                                                                Trusting the unknown

                                                                                Dany Grimwood

                                                                                Try and understand, and educate yourself about what OCD is all about and what it isn’t about. Too many people have the wrong idea about this very debilitating illness. If you are struggling, don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Reach out to those around you. Talk to people, and get the help that you need. You don’t need to suffer alone. I did that for too long. There is hope. I feel so happy now, even after having some bad days still. I know that the word “therapy” may sound scary to many people, it is trying to trust the unknown. It is unpredictable. It is uncertain- everything OCD hates.

                                                                                • False Memory,
                                                                                • Pedophilic Obsessions,
                                                                                • Real Events

                                                                                Debilitated by OCD before I found ERP

                                                                                Ian Seaholm

                                                                                Three years ago I was in the thick of the worst experience of my life. I was constantly scouring the internet trying to find someone with the exact same issues I had. I was haunted by the idea that it must be something else. I want people to know that you can get better from this. There is hope. I have been told

                                                                                • Perfectionism,
                                                                                • Relationship,
                                                                                • Sexual Orientation

                                                                                Consumed by OCD until I found hope with ERP

                                                                                Allison F.

                                                                                I think that it is so important to have a community around you. Having people who are readily available to talk to you and not provide reassurance, to let me know that I am not alone has been a tremendous help. I feel like that is what has helped me from going off the deep end. The community of people brings me hope. I am learning that the more you apply yourself to ERP, the more it works.

                                                                                • Harm,
                                                                                • Relationship,
                                                                                • Sexual Orientation

                                                                                Healthy control of my life and happiness


                                                                                I was a very creative young black girl inspired by everything I consumed from cartoons, music, and television. As I grew older I was belittled for certain things that I loved due to generational trauma and societal norms. One thing I found truly essential and true to my core being was how much I valued my attraction to the opposite sex.

                                                                                • "Pure",
                                                                                • Harm,
                                                                                • Health Concern

                                                                                I didn’t know my own strength

                                                                                Joseph Gerbino

                                                                                This year I’ve been looking forward to expanding my advocacy for the OCD community in any and all ways possible. When this opportunity presented itself to share my OCD journey I immediately jumped on it. I truly believe that it’s something that was meant to be, to share my story. Ever since entering my recovery stage, I’ve always expressed that if I could help even one person who could relate to me in any way, shape, or form, then I would genuinely, love that. Having this opportunity to share my story will hopefully help as many people as possible and that’s important to me. Not only for just this year but for the rest of my life. 

                                                                                • Existential,
                                                                                • Health Concern,
                                                                                • Religion & Spirituality

                                                                                OCD, faith, and freedom


                                                                                During this time in my life, I was at my worst. Every time I thought I found the truth it would quickly shift. It was like sand, slipping through my hands. I would run to the next “truth”, only to be disappointed. I was in despair. Each day my emotions drastically shifted from happy and hopeful to feeling depressed, and angry, back to feeling content, and then back to feeling nothing. My emotions cycled with my intrusive thoughts and I chased each one to their end, spiraling for hours and hours. I truly hated myself and I hated the world. I did not take care of myself. I felt that I was without hope. I could not see a future for myself past where I was. 

                                                                                • Contamination,
                                                                                • Perfectionism

                                                                                Learning to thrive: Getting off and on the struggle bus with OCD, MDD, PTS

                                                                                Lisa de Guzman, LCSW, PPSC

                                                                                I grew up in a culture where you were supposed to “save face” and where you didn’t go outside of the family to ask for help. I also didn’t know how to ask for help within my own family. Living with perfectionism, I could not admit when I made a mistake or when I struggled. I compared myself to my peers and even more crucially, to my siblings. My thoughts were about my failures. Other times, I just avoided my thoughts in maladaptive ways.

                                                                                • Harm,
                                                                                • Sexual Orientation

                                                                                Harm OCD, sexual orientation OCD, model, influencer, and OCD advocate

                                                                                Shaun Flores

                                                                                My name is Shaun Flores. I have OCD. OCD changed my life. It was the worst thing to ever happen to me, but I continue to be the worst thing to happen to OCD. Looking back at life, I took my mental health for granted. I was chasing every single opportunity provided to me. I was raised on the bedrock of ideas that I must succeed regardless of the cost. 

                                                                                • Perfectionism,
                                                                                • Relationship

                                                                                An imperfect journey

                                                                                Victoria Aukland

                                                                                I have learned how important it is to let thoughts be there. Let them be there and I don’t need to respond, I don’t need to do anything with them. For me, medication paired with ERP has been beneficial. ERP has helped me learn so much. One of the most helpful things, for me, has been finding balance. At first, everything was black and white, all or nothing. I needed to learn not how to not go from one extreme to another, to live in the in-between. I had to learn that nothing is certain.

                                                                                • Perfectionism,
                                                                                • Religion & Spirituality,
                                                                                • Sexual Orientation

                                                                                Trapped: Like a bird in a cage

                                                                                Erica Richardson

                                                                                OCD tries to make you think that you don’t get to choose what you want to do with your life, that instead, your life will just “happen” to you unless you fight for certainty and control. Recovering from OCD allows you to recognize that YOU get to choose to live life according to your values. YOU get to choose to be true to yourself, instead of true to your OCD fears. I get to choose how to live my life and stay true to the things that are important to me personally, like my marriage, family, and faith. OCD can’t take those things away from me.

                                                                                • Pedophilic Obsessions,
                                                                                • Suicidal


                                                                                Sommer G.

                                                                                I went to therapy to get help. Within the first few minutes of my session, my therapist knew I had severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This was the very first time I had ever been diagnosed. After so many years of suffering, it finally had been given a name. Prior to my diagnosis of OCD, I had been misdiagnosed with Panic Disorder, lactose intolerance, hormone issues,  and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). I had no idea how to convey my symptoms to the numerous doctors I had seen, school personnel, or even my family. I couldn’t put into words what I was experiencing.

                                                                                • Perfectionism,
                                                                                • Religion & Spirituality

                                                                                Hope is the true voice…OCD lies


                                                                                OCD will attack what you value and fear the most. Don’t be ashamed or afraid to ask for help. Anyone who judges you is not worth your time. Surround yourself with people who make you happy and want the best for you. This matters so much. You need to know that you are not alone in your fight.

                                                                                • Harm,
                                                                                • Postpartum

                                                                                Finding my voice through trauma and OCD

                                                                                Amy LeClair

                                                                                I felt completely trapped and lost in my own mind. I barely slept that night. I couldn’t stop ruminating over the idea that, not only wasn’t my life orderly and perfect anymore, but even my own thoughts weren’t perfect. I became convinced that my thoughts were making me sick and was petrified by the fact that I could not control them.

                                                                                • Harm,
                                                                                • Suicidal

                                                                                Knowledge is Power: Thank You NOCD

                                                                                Dr. Benjamin Hruska

                                                                                I had just wrapped up the completion of my Ph.D. in history, a subject that I loved. I crammed what should have been 7 years of work into 4. It was a time of high stress in my life. I wasn’t eating or sleeping well. I started to have dark thoughts. I thought about hurting myself and others. I knew I didn’t actually “want” to do these things and yet I was tormented by the thoughts. 

                                                                                • Existential,
                                                                                • Suicidal

                                                                                From the Darkness to the Light


                                                                                I call what I experience,  the darkness, like a superhero who has a dark reflection of himself that everyone is ashamed of. It’s something that manifests into shame. It is everything you don’t want. It is something that compels you that you want to expel.

                                                                                • Religion & Spirituality

                                                                                OCD tried to outwit me

                                                                                Mary Hinchliffe

                                                                                A friend of mine mentioned Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I didn’t know what OCD was. When I was feeling at rock bottom, I decided to research it online. I typed in the words OCD and Christianity.  For the first time in my life, I felt like something clicked. This felt just like what I experienced. I felt heard and seen at last. I knew I had OCD.

                                                                                • Harm

                                                                                The long road toward recovery

                                                                                David Guo

                                                                                I still retained a stereotypical mindset of what OCD looked like and it couldn’t have been farther from what I struggled with. OCD was about being clean and about contamination, symmetry, and order, things that had never brought much distress to me. At least that is what I thought. I had a very narrow view of what OCD actually was. 

                                                                                • Perfectionism,
                                                                                • Real Events

                                                                                OCD is just hearsay

                                                                                Mark Goldstein

                                                                                I realized I had been consumed with perfectionism my entire life. I had always had tendencies toward obsessive thinking but I never thought that it caused me to suffer. If anything, I thought it may have been helpful. 

                                                                                • "Pure",
                                                                                • Perfectionism,
                                                                                • Religion & Spirituality

                                                                                Trusting Even When I Am Afraid

                                                                                Summer Contreras

                                                                                I was spending an excess of time on homework, striving to be the best, to be “perfect”. I made excuses to work on math and to go ahead in the textbook. The idea of a black-and-white world drew me in. Math felt straightforward. It was comfortable to have a correct answer because there was no guesswork involved. It was straightforward and I felt at ease. Other subjects did not afford me this comfort. There

                                                                                • Magical Thinking,
                                                                                • Suicidal

                                                                                The Day the Switch Flipped


                                                                                I had always had what I will call low-grade anxiety. I was a bit of an overthinker. I had a lot of superstition beliefs. I struggled with what I now know to be “magical thinking” OCD themes. However it was never something that negatively impacted my life, it was just something I incorporated into my life. Little did I know that OCD was there, lurking in the shadows.

                                                                                • Existential,
                                                                                • Harm,
                                                                                • Perfectionism

                                                                                Cheering for Myself

                                                                                Allyson McAndrews Washo, M.Ed.

                                                                                The stigma surrounding mental health is still an issue that needs to be addressed. I struggled in silence for so long before sharing my story. I was not the typical “face” of someone who had a mental illness. Over time and through my experience I have learned that there is no typical “face” of mental illness. It is me, it is you, it is your neighbor, your brother, your friend, your pastor, your teacher…it can happen to anyone. Mental illness doesn’t discriminate.

                                                                                • Checking,
                                                                                • Harm,
                                                                                • Religion & Spirituality

                                                                                Out of the Darkness


                                                                                OCD is a jerk of a disorder that goes after the things you value most: family, work, kids, safety, and responsibility. That is my list, but the list is different for everyone. I have learned that it attacks the things you value and hold dear to your heart.

                                                                                • Checking,
                                                                                • Harm

                                                                                I Hate OCD


                                                                                In spite of all the progress I have made throughout treatment, I still love to hate ERP. I still see ERP as scary. Even after all of these years, I do not like it. I look at it as if the rewards are worth it. I refuse to let any mental illness stop me from my future. I hope to continue to be an advocate and a voice in my community and field for anyone who experiences any form of mental health issues. The more I speak up and raise awareness, my hope is that more people will feel safe getting the help they need.

                                                                                • Pedophilic Obsessions,
                                                                                • Zoophilia OCD

                                                                                Recovering from OCD allowed me to stop living in shame


                                                                                I could not get everything clean enough. Someone else in my home may have touched this or that and then that. It was an endless and exhausting process that lasted years. The amount of stress that I felt cannot even be put into words. I was full of shame at my core. I had no one I could tell about this. I knew how strange it all was, I knew logically that it didn’t make sense and yet I FELT so deeply that if I could just get it clean enough that it would all go away. My life wasn’t my own.

                                                                                • Harm,
                                                                                • Health Concern,
                                                                                • Magical Thinking

                                                                                Overcoming Obstacles

                                                                                Mike G.

                                                                                I felt like I was a puppet and something else was controlling my mind. My entire life people had taught me to “trust your gut”, this played into my obsessions. I started engaging in magical thinking. I believed that certain thoughts, actions, and words could somehow manipulate the physical world.

                                                                                • Harm,
                                                                                • Health Concern,
                                                                                • Pedophilic Obsessions

                                                                                POCD Recovery is Possible


                                                                                It's important to remember that OCD is not curable but it is very much treatable. That is what I mean when I say that you can live in recovery. You can live a life that you love and cherish. For me, recognizing that this is a lifelong struggle is important. This helps me to remember that my brain works a little differently, and that's okay.

                                                                                • Existential,
                                                                                • Harm,
                                                                                • Religion & Spirituality

                                                                                Victory Through OCD

                                                                                Shelby P.

                                                                                There came this moment of clarity for me. I had enough. My thoughts are not reality. Would I choose to pay more attention to the turmoil in my mind or my life that was happening right in front of me? I felt this defiance and resilience rise up within me because I was sick of living this way.

                                                                                • Perfectionism,
                                                                                • Religion & Spirituality,
                                                                                • Suicidal

                                                                                Walls or Windows?: Glimpsing the Good from Inside the Grip of OCD

                                                                                Maria A.G.

                                                                                My experience with OCD has rooted me in hope, for I have learned that my struggles need not be opaque walls or echo chambers of pain. OCD does not have the final word in my story.

                                                                                • Harm,
                                                                                • Postpartum

                                                                                Living, No, Thriving with Uncertainty


                                                                                Growing up I never heard about OCD other than when people made comments about “being so OCD”. Looking back I truly wish I would have known about it and I could have started therapy sooner. People around me just chalked up my behaviors to my personality. I think that happens a lot, even in today’s society. People tend to think of OCD in a certain way not realizing there are so many forms .

                                                                                • Contamination,
                                                                                • Existential

                                                                                ERP Helped Me Find Acceptance

                                                                                Kristi Crowell

                                                                                I was constantly embarking on quests for certainty.I have had various themes or subtypes over the years but I didn’t present in the stereotypical way that the media portrays OCD. The content of my thoughts was so terrifying to me that I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone.

                                                                                • Health Concern,
                                                                                • Religion & Spirituality,
                                                                                • Sensorimotor

                                                                                When Your Fear Comes True

                                                                                Jesse Miller

                                                                                It was at this crucial turning point in my life that NOCD therapy helped me the most. One of my fears had become a real life event.  It happened, my marriage fell apart. It was then that it all clicked. I realized that recovery from OCD was never supposed to stop our “what ifs” from happening, it was supposed to help us cope if they did happen. I knew that I could tolerate these feelings of discomfort and anxiety, I knew I

                                                                                • Contamination,
                                                                                • Harm,
                                                                                • Perfectionism

                                                                                Reclaiming Life, One Exposure at a Time

                                                                                Pamela Charbonneau

                                                                                I’d spent a lot of my childhood frozen as my mind raced and I cried so often as I tried to understand what was wrong with me. I didn’t know how to explain it to anyone...

                                                                                • Harm,
                                                                                • Postpartum

                                                                                From Mental Prison to Recovery

                                                                                Betty Ray

                                                                                OCD has latched onto many themes throughout my journey. I had health themes where I was scared that I would contract aids or that I had it already. I had contamination fears where I was scared of germs and being unclean. 

                                                                                • Perfectionism

                                                                                My Struggles with OCD and Trichotillomania


                                                                                I knew ERP worked, after all, it helped me so much in the past. I knew I just needed to put the difficult work in and keep forging ahead.

                                                                                • Harm,
                                                                                • Health Concern

                                                                                It Was More Than A Phobia


                                                                                I always thought that if I didn’t feel like I wanted to do something, leave the house, or do something that I had maybe previously enjoyed doing, it was me making that choice. Now I can clearly decipher the difference between me wanting or not wanting to do something versus the OCD telling me I shouldn’t do something. I don’t need to let OCD run my life...

                                                                                • "Pure",
                                                                                • Harm,
                                                                                • Religion & Spirituality

                                                                                Finding Purpose


                                                                                Seemingly overnight, these thoughts became more and more intense. I was consumed with guilt over them. It snowballed into experiencing unwanted thoughts about harming my family; the people that I loved the most in the world. I knew I had to tell my wife. I needed to seek help.

                                                                                • Perfectionism,
                                                                                • Religion & Spirituality

                                                                                The Freedom of Uncertainty

                                                                                Tia Wilson

                                                                                The uncertainty I’d spent my whole life running from now feels exciting and liberating. I don’t need to know “for sure” before I move my feet. I GET TO MAKE MISTAKES. And that’s horrible and amazing all at the same time.

                                                                                • Harm,
                                                                                • Magical Thinking,
                                                                                • Religion & Spirituality

                                                                                Religion, Harm and Superstitions: My Descent into OCD


                                                                                My family was surprised when they learned of my OCD diagnosis, I didn’t have the stereotypical signs of OCD. I didn’t wash my hands for countless hours, I wasn’t someone who was super organized. To look at me, you would not suspect all of the turmoil that went on in my mind. This is one of the most frustrating parts of this disorder, people do not often understand the mental compulsions. Many people just see the physical compulsions and don’t really understand the “why” behind the compulsions. I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as mental compulsions.

                                                                                • Perfectionism

                                                                                Learning to live with OCD

                                                                                Mollie Albanese

                                                                                I don’t remember a life before my OCD showed up, as some of my earliest memories involve (what I now know are) obsessions and compulsions. I remember being early school-age and feeling different from everyone else around me.

                                                                                • "Pure"

                                                                                My Experience with OCD

                                                                                Stephen Smith, NOCD CEO

                                                                                My life was going great. I was an award-winning college quarterback with a bright future ahead of me. But then OCD came out of nowhere and derailed everything.

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                                                                              1 in 40

                                                                              people experience OCD at some point in their life


                                                                              of the OCD population also has substance use disorders


                                                                              The suicide rate of people with untreated OCD is 10 times the rate in the general population


                                                                              If you or a loved one is struggling with OCD, book a free call to speak with our team today.

                                                                              Learn how we can help you by talking with our team.