A History of Madness: Coming to Terms With Memories of Mental IllnessPosted: June 20, 2013
I have a new column up at Psychology Today. It’s about something I’ve been wrestling with a whole lot recently – I wrote this while as a way to put my thoughts together, in a way that might help others who are dealing with the same stuff. Here’s an excerpt:
…honestly, there are moments when it feels like I was a different person before my OCD diagnosis and treatment in 2007. As a child and teenager, the OCD permeated every aspect of my life: every birthday and Christmas and graduation, every conversation, every kiss and argument and laugh. Every decision I made, every thought that passed through my head, was tainted by it. I can’t remember a period of time longer than a week when OCD did not find some way to hurt me.
And, even today, visiting my parent’s home, returning to the places where I spent my childhood, can sometimes be especially hard. My years with OCD haunt me. I’ll visit the wrong spot, I’ll see the wrong sign, I’ll overhear a snippet of conversation that will put me in a frame of mind that will bring back a vivid memory – and all of a sudden I’m there again, as a child or a young man, writhing in the grasp of my illness.
How do you live with that?
How do you live with a hurt so big it swallowed four-fifths of your life?