I have suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder since the age of 12. I have a type called Pure O which involves intrusive thoughts. We all have intrusive thoughts. Like what would happen if I drop this baby on the floor or push this person in front of the train. But we know they are bonkers thoughts, we don’t pay any attention to them. But someone with a Pure-O gets so distressed by them that they try to prove they are not that thing. It has caused long periods of depression. I think a lot of illnesses are treatable if you get them on time otherwise they can snowball. I developed terrible coping mechanisms of drinking and taking drugs. That’s not the solution.
What I would say about all mental illnesses is that they lie to you, tell you you’re a freak, tell you you’re alone, tell you nobody is going to understand what you’re talking about. Mental illness works much in the same way as an abuser. It isolates you, it wants you inside your own head, it does not want you outside talking to people about this stuff because then there is a road to getting over it. It thrives on the darkness and the shame.
I think it’s important that we talk about mental health more. The number of people who came out and said ‘omg me too’ when I started talking about my OCD was amazing.