The most difficult thing about mental illness is that you can never tell the exact time when it all started or when you healed. I don’t know when my battle with OCD started, but I slowly became more and more conscious of things around me, until one day I found myself sitting across a psychiatrist with all the medicines he had scribbled for me on the paper.
I don’t know what caused it, maybe the tense environment at home or lack of friends growing up. Anyway, my mom sensed the eeriness at the right time.
I was suddenly made to realize that I was obsessed with washing my hands, afraid of germs, and had mental images of people I disliked. Just the very thought of those people was enough to haunt me.
I was a rational thinker and my mind had developed its own reasons for everything I did. This made me resent counseling and not take the advice of professionals seriously.
As a result, with time I cut myself from the world.
Today, when I look back in hindsight, It shocks me when I think about all the blunders I did.
OCD is a vague disorder, you know.
I believed that nobody actually understood what I was going through. Since I resisted therapy, I was given extreme medication and seductive and even admitted to the hospital once. A high dosage of medicines started having their own side effects on me.
I also began reading more and writing more and the only friend I had was my pen and books. The thing about books is that they don’t argue back, yet manage to complete the missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that exists inside you.
I read stories of people with mental illness. Reading new things broadened my horizon and made me more aware.
I realised the need to strengthen up my will power and not respond to compulsions. Medicines also helped side by side.
The present is – I am 19 years old, and I am at a much better place in my life today. Have I healed? I don’t know.
I recently watched ‘A Beautiful Mind’ – the biopic of Nobel laureate John Nash who struggled with schizophrenia, which made me realize that you don’t actually heal. You just learn to live with the demon inside you ignoring its demands and slowly it stops bothering you and the life moves on.