My OCD started when I was 23, my grandfather had died a month before – I don’t know if this was a trigger or not. It manifested itself as a worry that I would shout out something obscene during courses or meetings at work. I became very depressed and anxious about this thought but realised that I needed to put myself in the position I feared to help me overcome it.
Three months after the first onset of my OCD my father whom I adored, died suddenly of a heart attack – I don’t think this helped my OCD as I became even more depressed. I carried on like this for another two years never avoiding situations that I feared and although I was less anxious it still affected my life greatly. Eventually after two and half years of suffering I asked my GP if I could have some help. He referred me to a clinical psychologist. She was superb and helped me immensely, just having the support of someone else who understood was a huge relief and I didn’t feel so isolated.
It was extremely important that I started seeing her as four months into my treatment another obsession reared its ugly head – the thought that I may harm a child if I had one. This was especially cruel as all my life all I had wanted was to be a good mother. I think the thought was precipitated because I was due to get married in the Summer, and planned to try for a baby immediately. This new obsession upset me far more than the first and I could not put myself in the position I feared as I had no opportunity. However with the help of my therapist I used cognitive therapy to overcome it and also put myself in a position whereby I was around children as much as possible. I married in June and became pregnant immediately, I suspected that I may have problems with OCD during pregnancy but much to my surprise and delight, I had a wonderful pregnancy and was virtually free from OCD.
My daughter arrived and the huge feeling of love I felt for her as soon as she was born convinced me that I could never harm her. All was well and I had the most marvellous and peaceful four months.
However, when the time came for me to return to work (part-time) was manageable I was not prepared to let it affect my new found bliss, so I began to take Anafranil and had relatively few episodes. For the next two years, my life was wonderful. I came off Anafranil when I wanted to conceive another child and was absolutely fine without it for the three months it took to conceive. However, I had a miscarriage and this stressful event plunged me into depression and my OCD returned in a very bad way, I have not been able to take medication because of trying to conceive again and the last five months have been very hard, more so because I had experienced such bliss and happiness in the last 2 years. I am now pregnant again and my GP is happy to put me back on medication when I reach the 12 week stage. I am lucky to have his support. I am hopeful about the future, I am determined to get my life back and be free from OCD.