Condition is tough for all sufferers

Kim Grant from Larbert, OCD sufferer
Kim Grant from Larbert, OCD sufferer

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.