By Kristyn Nelson
Hi, my name is Kristyn. I’m 33 years old. My battle with OCD began around October 2020.
Growing up I had a wonderful childhood and life. From a young age, I suffered with, what I thought was compulsive worrying.
Looking back I remember several times through life where I would “worry” over different things for a period of time. I didn’t realize all the while this was OCD. It always seemed like I had to have something to worry about. Once, whatever I was worrying over passed and turned out good, I had to find something else to worry about. I was able to get over all these things with time and I never knew I was struggling with OCD.
In 2018 I started having intrusive thoughts that wouldn’t go away, but I was able to deal with them. It wasn’t until the October, after the birth of my first child in 2020, that I had a problem with OCD. A hurricane came through and a tree fell on our home while we, my husband, myself, and 4 month old baby, were inside.
We were all terrified, but no one was hurt! After that I started having panic attacks. I couldn’t work, so I went to my primary doctor. They diagnosed me with postpartum depression and PTSD, from the tree falling on our home.
I knew it was more than that though. From the moment I heard the diagnosis, I immediately began thinking of all the bad things that I had heard of postpartum depression and depression in general. All I could think of were those horror stories day in and day out. I began to worry that I would become like that, or that that would become my story as well. I went back and forth to doctor and talked to therapist. I had to stay with my parents because I didn’t feel safe staying by myself while my husband was at work. I even had to take a trip to the emergency room one night. It was the worst thing I had ever gone through. I became depressed, and I lost a lot of weight. I only weight about 97 lbs.
After talking to numerous therapist and trying different medication, I finally figured out in April of 2022 that I had OCD.
I met with an OCD therapist who was certified in ERP therapy. She diagnosed me with Harm OCD and I completed the ERP therapy.
Some days I still struggle, but overall I have a way better quality of life than I did when this OCD mess all began! I am still learning daily what works for me and how to manage this OCD.
For anyone going through this, it will get better! There is always hope!! Never give up and seek the help you need!
Hello, I am a 6th grader working on my senior project on OCD. I became interested in this topic because I have noticed some mild OCD behaviors and I want to learn as much as I can. I’m hoping to find a couple people that I can interview via email by way of some questions. I read your blog while I was doing my research and I consider you to be a great candidate to provide me with some valuable insight. Please let me know if you can participate and help me learn from you.
I would be happy to help. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for sharing Kristyn. I started developing OCD symptoms around the age of 20. I decided I was crazy and to try and just live with it. It wasn’t until 10 years later after the birth of my child that I crashed 5 week’s postpartum. I literally woke up one morning and felt like I completely lost my mind. The experience was terrifying. I committed myself to a behavioral health ward where I was diagnosed with postpartum OCD. During treatment I learned that I wasn’t my thoughts and to recognize triggers. Ten years later I started a meditation practice. Let me tell you, that has been a game changer. Meditation has been the biggest help in my recovery.