Unwanted thought syndrome
February 24, 2014 6:45 AM Subscribe
How do I (or just, do I) talk about what I think were mental health problems I had in the past - when I never got a diagnosis? TW for discussion of weird mental health stuff.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Background: when I was 13 I started having intrusive violent & sexual thoughts which bothered me a lot. I tried to conteract them by prayer, fist-clenching and avoiding people and places which provoked them. This persisted into adulthood and grew worse over time (I don't want to go into the icky details, but it was entirely mental compulsions & rituals, and was based around the completely unfounded fear of harming children). At various points over the years I felt like I was losing touch with reality. Over time I started avoiding places where there were children or where I could see kids (shopping centres, library, TV, facebook feed - oh god).
A couple of years ago I felt like I was losing it - I then stumbled across a description of OCD online, which seemed to match what was going on in my head. I know that I should have gone to my GP but that made me really nervous. In the end, I read a couple of books which really helped (Break free from OCD, The imp of the mind), spent a lot of time reading OCD forums, and finally stumbled across Maria Bamford through a Metafilter post which probably helped more than anything else. Over time it calmed down, and I'm now at a point where the thoughts don't bother me that much - I still have them occasionally but it's nothing major (based on past experience I know that this problem cycles, and it might come back in the future).
My question is - is it appropriate for me to talk about this based on what is basically me playing Dr Google & self-diagnosing? I know it would be wrong for me to say "I have OCD" - but there are times when I want to talk about it. I wouldn't wear it on a T shirt, but it has affected my life a lot, I also know a lot of people who have mental health problems and I volunteer for a couple of mental health based organisations.
I'd be grateful for any insights - I know this might sound like a bit of a non-problem, and I also recognise the irony that I'm posting this anonymously.