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The day a psychiatrist first used the words obsessive compulsive disorder to diagnose me was the start of a journey toward ridding myself of the shame that had weighed on my heart for so many years.  Now, a decade after that original diagnosis, I will unapologetically tell anyone and everyone that I have OCD.  I am not embarrassed, and this is why:

Illness is not shameful.  If I had cancer or diabetes or any other medical illness, I wouldn’t feel ashamed.  Why should I feel any differently just because it’s my brain that is sick instead of my kidneys or liver or pancreas?

I didn’t choose it.  I never invited OCD into my life — I hate it!  I’m not embarrassed of a stranger who crashes a party the way I would be if it were my friend who did so.

It gives me a platform to help others.  Because I’ve experienced the trenches of OCD, I am better able to understand and encourage those in the same war.  It’s an honor to use my own story to help others.

I’m done being ashamed.  OCD made me feel that (and so much more) for twenty years.  I won’t let it have another day.


  • Seidy Diaz

    Thank you for sharing your history, how you are investing your life and time to give courage and don’t be ashamed of who you’re, I was diagnosed with OCD ten years ago and still is hard to shere with friends also one thing in a Hispanic community there is a stigma on the mental illness and we need to spread the voice hope there are more information to shere i learn so much from this blog Blessings and keep working hard!!!

    • Hi Seedy! I totally understand how you’re feeling. I too have been there and it’s not easy but seeking help from a professional and getting educated about it was the first thing I did and it’s what helped me gain a better understanding about it and also made me feel comfortable with the idea of opening up about it to family and friends.

  • Thanks for the encouragement and for sharing your story! I too kept it to myself for many years…for 17 long years due to fear of stigma and one day I realized that I am making it more difficult for me by hiding it from family and friends and pretending that I’m alright every time I’m going through my whole ordeal. Opening up about it has helped me in so many ways.

  • Love this post, Jackie! I agree with every one of your points and I feel the exact same way. “Coming out” about my OCD has been one of the very best decisions of my life and I absolutely do not regret it. It has also been an important step in my recovery process. Thanks for sharing this. : )

    • Love this comment, Sunny! I hope many, many people read it and are encouraged by your experience!


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