The Obsessive Outsiders: Breaking the Stigma of OCD
What mental illnesses do you have? When were you diagnosed? What therapy/medication options do you have and why’d you choose those?
I have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, which was diagnosed in 2008, a few months after a traumatic car accident. I went through three different therapists before I was introduced to Exposure and Response Prevention therapy. ERP in combination with medication is the ‘Gold Standard’ for treating OCD. But I refused to be on medication after trying it for a few months in 2009 – my obsessions stopped me from being able to swallow the pills. Therefore, over a span of eight years, I entered into OCD Recovery solely with ERP therapy. Fast forward to today – I now take 200mg of Zoloft daily. I relapsed this very year after my first big breakup. But it wasn’t just the OCD anymore – it was a crippling anxiety that prevented me from a single moment of peace. I can honestly say that I was in an even worse place this year with depression and anxiety than at the worst of my OCD – which is a bold statement to make. Zoloft has changed the game for me. I wish I had taken medication years ago, instead of allow my OCD to stop me from yet another helpful tool.
When did you start your account?
I started The Obsessive Outsiders account in February of 2017. It was high time to bring The Obsessive Outsiders to the web and social media. I started writing a book in 2013 about my transition from ground zero to OCD Recovery and then I knew it needed bloom into a bigger movement. That bigger movement is often garnered around social media.
In one sentence, describe your account.
The Obsessive Outsiders is a movement that gives a platform to OCD sufferers to unapologetically step forward to combat the OCD stigma, become inspired to pursue a life of OCD Recovery, and is a home base to find tools, brands and companies that may aid in mental health recovery and quality of life.
What do you hope your account achieves?
My dream for The Obsessive Outsiders is to actually mean something and make a bold statement to both the media and the average person, with or without OCD. For so many years people have tried to break the stigma of mental health and OCD and yet the stigma is still so apparent.
Something has to change and I am on a mission to find whatever it is that speaks to the world in such a way they will listen and understand. I have a voice that many people with OCD don’t use due to embarrassment. I was that person for years. But I’m not anymore, and now I’m standing up and speaking for all of us.
How does your account help you and your coping with mental illness? How does it help others?
The Obsessive Outsiders has helped me with my mental illness in that my world doesn’t just revolve around my OCD and I anymore. It was always about my OCD and I only thought about my obsessive world and myself. Now I am forced to bring people together, to stand on a platform, and to be held accountable for my continuous journey in OCD Recovery because I cannot and will not preach something I don’t practice.
What is the community online like for those with mental illness social media accounts?
To be honest, I have been surprisingly shocked at the number of social media accounts with a mission in mental health and illness. Although the community doesn’t seem to reach as far as we need it to regarding breaking the stigma, it is still much larger than I ever knew. My social media account has been the primary factor of what has connected me to true OCD sufferers, collaborations and mental health companies and brands that I want to help garnish publicity for and connect with OCD sufferers.