This week is OCD awareness week and in order to raise awareness for the disorder I jumped from a plane – 10,000 ft in the air – on Saturday at Errol airfield in Perth.
My name is Kim Grant and I have suffered from ‘Pure O’ OCD for seven years.
However, six years of this was in complete silence as I could not find the courage or strength to admit to someone how I was feeling.
Pure-O is a form of OCD in which sufferers are plagued by unwanted, troublesome thoughts that they despise beyond measure. It’s called Pure-O because there typically aren’t any outward signs of compulsive, cancelling behaviour. With Pure O, the compulsions tend to take the form of unseen mental rituals – but as a sufferer, I used other peoples reassurance and comfort as my compulsion which is why the term Pure O is somewhat imprecise.
As a sufferer I was very secretive about my Pure-O because it involved me being forced to confront my very worst fears.
The human imagination is extensive as it is, however I was haunted, tortured and plagued by intrusive thoughts that I did not want. Thoughts of harm to friends and loved ones, children and worst of all my own family. These thoughts made me feel like a monster, and I was ashamed that they were in my own mind. I didn’t want to be a bad person but feeling like one was enough to make me believe I was. I began to avoid certain places and dropped out of my college class where I was studying childcare.
Eventually things got too much and I became depressed. A colleague whom I was very close with took it upon herself to help me.
I trusted her enough to tell her how I was feeling and she directed me in the right path for clinical help.
In July of last year I was diagnosed with OCD and the relief I experienced was unexplainable.
I wasn’t a monster and I didn’t need locked up. I was referred to a therapist who is extremely helpful and most importantly non-judgemental.
One year on and I am now confident and no longer ashamed to tell people how awful this bully of a condition is. I still see my therapist regularly and I am on the right medication to help.
Unfortunately, not all family, friends, colleagues and even support professionals understand how painful, unwanted and despised the obsessive thoughts always are, hence why I want to use this week, OCD Awareness Week, to bring as much attention to Pure O as I possibly can.
If anyone is experiencing any of the above then you are not alone and I urge you to seek the welcoming help of medical professionals.