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My Experiences with OCD: A Case Study

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 22 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Ocd Ocd Symptoms Ocd Obsessions Ocd

Adele (24) has been experiencing OCD symptoms for around 5 years now, since she was 19 years old. Her symptoms revolve around OCD obsessions with hygiene and cleanliness. Here is her take on how she is affected by her OCD symptoms.

Obsessions and Compulsions

Like OCD sufferers in general, her obsession with cleaning has taken over her life. “I clean even if it looks tidy and it needs to smell like Dettol or bleach. It has driven me mental though because I can’t control the urge, and there are days when I am tired or have things to do but am late due to cleaning. I can clean for hours and there have been days when I’ve got up at 7 in the morning and not stopped until midnight. As I am particular and specific, thankfully it’s only my own house that I’m like this in - although in my head, I’m thinking ‘I’d love to clean that’ when I’m elsewhere. I had a job cleaning high class apartments and loved making them look like new. I gained big satisfaction but sometimes if I ran out of time and it wasn’t done to my high standards, I would be upset about it.”

How Others React

OCD can have a big impact on relationships and Adele has found that other people haven’t been that understanding about her condition. “Everything has a place but my ex would leave his stuff in other places and my blood would boil. I’d even cry as it felt like I had so much work to do. My friends think I’m a control freak and don’t understand it.”

Knowing other OCD sufferers also helps Adele to feel that she’s not alone with her OCD symptoms. “I know someone who also has OCD, although theirs is more compulsive than obsessive. They give me support and it does help that someone knows exactly what I’m going through and how to take me.”


Adele has tried both therapy and medication in her bid to overcome her OCD symptoms. “The therapy lasted for about a year but I think it made me more depressed as I had to talk about things that may have been an underlying problem. In one treatment session, the therapist actually licked the table and the very thought of it makes me cringe. These were ways of trying to make me tackle the OCD but in reality, it drove me deeper into cleaning! The medication I think is false hope as the OCD symptoms are always there. I’m still on the medication but I still suffer with OCD, although I do feel a little more in control.”

Self-help Measures

Because her experiences with OCD treatment and medication haven’t been as successful as she had hoped, Adele has turned to self-help measures to help her deal with her OCD symptoms more effectively. “I have helped myself as well by not giving into my pressures. It is hard though and the OCD wins more than I do.”

The Current Situation

While Adele has tried various ways to tackle her OCD symptoms, she has not yet been able to overcome them. She is due to move house soon and is not sure whether her OCD symptoms will intensify with the added stress and mess. She plans to try some further self-help techniques in the future and perhaps more therapy too.

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