My name is Kate. I am 21 years old and studying at university. As well as my studies I also have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

My OCD is a combination of different things that affect me every day, these include; numbers, repetitions, and even how I get dressed. My days are lost in OCD and everything can be affected by it. As a university student, I have assessments and reading to do, all this is affected by my OCD meaning I struggle with certain things. I also find it difficult to sleep round friends, therefore my social life is affected as I have to leave places early to get home in time. Some days it’s a struggle to get out.

I’ve had OCD my entire life. My first memory of it was when I was around the age of 5. We were having a family meal, which was meat on skewers. I had these images of my parents swallowing the skewers and dying. I remember the panic that came over me felt uncontrollable, I was kicking and screaming, but I was simply branded as a naughty child not thinking there was anything behind the 5 year olds tantrums. I first realised I had OCD when I turned 13, after reading a book and looking into it, however I was too nervous to go to the doctors until I turned 18.

The treatments I have received have been a combination of medication and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). I have had different medications such as SSRIs, anti- psychotics and benzodiazepine. Having the medication when needed has been useful for me. CBT was also a great support as it helped me understand OCD and the medication made me feel able to fight my OCD.

I never thought I’d have the courage to seek professional help and now I see a therapist once a week. I am at university and able to get on with my life. To those thinking about getting help, the sooner you do it, the sooner you act, the quicker you can recover. It’s not worth waiting when you can already be making improvements.