Walk with members of the OCD community across the nation this October at a One Million Steps for OCD Walk. Find a walk happening near you and register today.
Join the International OCD Foundation and its official Affiliates in October for the One Million Steps for OCD Walk, as we join together to challenge stigma, raise funds, and create awareness about what it really means to have obsessive compulsive disorder. Continue below to hear from IOCDF Advocate Maya Tadross on why she has participated in the One Million Steps for OCD Walk over the past few years as someone with lived OCD experience!
Why I Walk
By: Maya Tadross, IOCDF Advocate
I walk for everyone who, like me, felt like an outcast, or who felt like there was something “wrong” with them.
When I was 14 years old, in between submitting to the mysterious urges to perform repetitive behaviors, I spent my time glued to the computer screen, searching for the reason why I felt compelled to do such things. In hindsight, these atypical behaviors weren't new for me. Sprinkled throughout my childhood, scary thoughts and compensatory behaviors made me feel much different from my peers. As I got older, I became convinced that I stuck out even more. Finally, I stumbled upon an article about obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Immediately, my weird thoughts and behaviors had a name, and I wasn't alone. I wasn't the “strange one,” but one of millions of people living with the same treatable condition.
I walk to spread awareness of OCD to decrease the time from symptom onset to diagnosis and proper treatment.
On average, it takes 11-17 years for individuals with OCD to get properly diagnosed. And with OCD affecting over 1 in 100 people, that's millions of people spending over a decade feeling like the odd one out. Millions of people suffering without a known cause. Millions of people spend hours searching for answers.
I walk to make OCD treatment more accessible.
It can take even longer than 11-17 years to get proper treatment for OCD. And the trajectory of untreated OCD is usually a downward spiral. But OCD is highly treatable! I live in one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the United States, and it still took me several years to find appropriate treatment for my OCD. I cannot imagine the struggles to find appropriate treatment of those in more suburban and rural areas of the world.
I walk so that one day, OCD will be as recognizable as a common cold, so that people don't need to go years wondering why they have such terrifying thoughts and feel compelled to compulsion. I walk so that treatment providers will be well educated about proper OCD treatment, and people can get help as soon as they need it.
I walk for a better future for those with OCD!