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By Ryan Bernstein, author of OCD to Me: An Anthology of Anxieties

I used to let my OCD control most of what I did. I worried about everything. I worried if the doors were locked at night. I worried if the food I ate was safe. I worried if I read bad news in the paper. It was really tiring.

Another thing that kept me stuck was feeling that I had to be perfect. Not only did I need to do rituals perfectly but I had to pretend that I was OK. I didn’t want anyone to know that I was scared, or nervous, or uncomfortable because I worried about being teased or judged. Has that happened to you?

I have since realized that not letting people know how you feel keeps you isolated and actually makes OCD stronger. I know that must sound funny — to let people know that you have something that perhaps you can get teased about, or feel embarrassed by, but for me, connecting with others helps me change how OCD is perceived which not only helps me but helps others as well.

Every time you speak about OCD it has a ripple effect. It not only feels good to share but it connects our experiences. Once I realized that I started working on a book to help others who have OCD.

My book, OCD to Me: An Anthology of Anxieties, was recently published. Some of you might have contributed to my anonymous survey about what having OCD feels like. Thank you! I picked 60 stories graciously shared from people from all over the world who struggle with OCD and who bravely explain what having OCD feels like for them.

Reading their compelling journeys will inspire and educate. For those who have OCD this book will show you that you are not alone. For those who have loved ones who suffer with OCD you will understand their pain. For those who are curious about OCD or think they may have OCD this book will give you the facts.

OCD to Me features a foreword by Dr. Jenny Yip, a clinical psychologist, author, speaker, nationally recognized OCD expert, and founder of the Renewed Freedom Center in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Yip shares her personal battle with OCD, and why she has dedicated her professional career to treating families and individuals with severe OCD and anxiety disorders using a comprehensive modality she developed.

Two Ph.D. psychologists, Drs. James Claiborn and Fred Penzel, who are also leaders in the field of OCD treatment, contribute chapters filled with valuable treatment information, tips, and practical advice about how to manage OCD.

Ethan Smith, a national OCD ambassador, shares how confronting OCD has positively changed his life.

Also included in this book is information about the International OCD Foundation.

All proceeds from book sales will be donated to the International OCD Foundation. When you purchase a book you support and strengthen the OCD community.

Mental illness is associated with negative stigma and often accompanied by feelings of shame. People worry about being judged. I believe that the more we can talk and share the more we can learn from each other. It takes courage because OCD tries to make you feel helpless and hopeless.

There is hope is in these pages as this short video visually depicts: https://youtu.be/4xdyv8XOVbg

I wrote OCD to Me because I want to educate people, provide earlier OCD diagnoses, and raise awareness about OCD. I want those struggling with OCD to know they are not alone.

What I have learned through my journey is that while it is difficult to erase the stigma associated with mental health disorders the more we speak out about OCD the more we help. I hope my book and my speaking out about OCD will do just that.

Books are available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/OCD-Anthology-Anxieties-Ryan-Bernstein/dp/1642550388/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1532021223&sr=8-2&keywords=ocd+to+me+ryan+bernstein

Ryan Bernstein is a senior in high school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ryan Bernstein is a senior in high school.

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