Tuesday, October 8, 2013

OCD: Not Just a Quirky Personality Trait

I have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, more commonly known as just OCD.

OCD is not just a quirky personality trait or a penchant for perfectionism.  It is a diagnosable mental disorder.

OCD afflicts 2% of the population with its insidious symptoms, which include abhorrent obtrusive thoughts and their accompanying compulsions.  For example, someone with OCD might suffer from an obtrusive thought that if they
don't wash their hands after shaking hands with someone else - or touching something that someone else has just touched - they are going to become sick with a horrible disease.  They will then ruminate on such thoughts, often developing hand-washing and perhaps other compulsions in a desperate attempt to alleviate the anxiety produced by the obsession.

There is both hope and help for those who suffer from this disorder. Next week is International OCD Awareness Week, October 14-20, 2013, led by IOCDF (International OCD Foundation).  

In my last post, I introduced my new book: Self-Action Leadership: The Key to Everything, which contains the Self-Action Leadership Theory & Model for personal, relational, and professional success.

As a preface to my Theory & Model, I share several stories of real life self-action leaders who have utilized the principles to overcome tremendous adversity and become very successful in their lives.  Several of these stories are from my own life. 

One of my stories that I share involves my experiences with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, commonly referred to as just OCD.  I first began experiencing symptoms of OCD when I was only 10 years old.  By age 12, my symptoms had accelerated to clinical status.

Unfortunately, it would be many more years before I was finally diagnosed with OCD at age 17.  In the meantime, my life was often a silent hell. 

In the intervening years, I have been able to find much help and hope as I worked with professionals and others to combat my issues with OCD.  I also applied great personal effort, spirituality, and other techniques to battle my mental disorder. 

Today, I am 34 years old.  While my OCD symptoms have not entirely vanished, and while I do not ever expect them to entirely do so, I have learned to effectively manage my disorder sufficiently to be able to enjoy a happy, fulfilled, and successful personal life and professional career. 

In honor of the International OCD Awareness Week being held October 14-20, I wish to add my voice to the choir of hope for help and healing those who struggle with OCD—and their loved ones who also struggle on behalf of them.

The chapte in my book on OCD was recently nominated for the Online OCD Book Festival by OCD Texas, an affiliate of the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF).  You can read an excerpt from my book's OCD Chapter: OCD is Hell here.  I will be joining a panel of authors at the upcoming OCD Texas conference in San Antonio on October 19-20.

OCD Book Fest 2013

If you, or someone you love, struggles with OCD ~ or its brother, depression ~ there is help and hope available to you.

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