Introduction

I started to write this book in mid 2012, at the time though it was more for therapeutic purposes rather than something I was aiming to try and get published. Just before I started writing I had started to see a Clinical Psychologist for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help treat my OCD. I had read some books on the topic, but there always seemed to be something lacking in what I had read. Books were either written by treating professionals (Psychiatrists or Clinical Psychologists), or by other sufferers (Though these were few), but the books that were written by professionals were very clinical, and books written by sufferers were more what happened years ago. Whilst both types were beneficial, they both seemed to lack a reality, or a depth of emotion. I could relate to aspects of these books, but I have never really been able to connect with the authors experiences. They lost a kind of the ‘Heat’ of the moment aspect.

So I decided, that instead of writing purely for the therapeutic benefits, that I would use what I was writing to create a book about my experiences. A book which brought together aspects of the clinical knowledge of OCD and my experiences as they happened. The desire being that one day someone would read my book and if it were a sufferer whilst reading this book they were able to feel a little less isolated, get a better understanding of their illness and be encouraged to either continue with treatment, or to seek out the appropriate treatment(s) for them. If the person who is reading this was to be a loved one, or friend or even a co-worker that they would get a deeper understanding and appreciation for what it is like to live with this disorder, and finally if it were a professional who treated OCD and other mental illnesses, it would give them more insight, or at least a different perspective on what their patience may or are going through.

While initially, my intention was for this to be purely about OCD, it is not what has actually transpired. Initially, I was diagnosed with OCD, however as treatment progressed and time passed those who were treating me started to discover that OCD, for me, was not the whole story. There was much more going on, and as such what I write about is not limited to OCD, but it is still a central theme within the pages of this book.

Whilst I have included information which I have obtained by researching mental health issues online, and through reading books, you should not use anything that I write as a basis for diagnosis or for treatment of OCD, or any other Mental Health Issue. I have had no formal training in the field of Mental Health, nor in any field remotely related to the topic. If you think that you may have similar issues as those which I talk about within this book, then please speak to your Doctor, or Mental Health Specialist. I am only writing about my experiences, thoughts, feelings and opinions and these should not be interpreted as factual evidence for you to base a conclusion on regarding your personal situation.

On the topic of “warnings,” I also feel that I should warn you regarding some of the content within this book. They may be of a disturbing or of an offensive nature. There may also be words, thoughts and opinions which you may feel is inappropriate, or disagree with. I swear, and do so within the pages of this book. You may feel that this book is inappropriate for young readers, or those who are sensitive to this kind of language or some topics.

May I suggest that if this is the case that you use your own discretion when determining wether to continue reading this book, or, more preferably, open your mind and do not fixate on the words or themes. Don’t discard this book purely based on the fact that I don’t talk or think like you do. There is nothing wrong in choosing not to think, or to talk, or to have different opinions to me, but at the same time don’t discard everything I have to say because I might say shit, or fuck, or because I might talk about suicide, death etc. I find it extremely frustrating that so many people chose to remain shallow minded in their belief , that thinking, feeling and speaking in certain manners should not be put to paper, or that by swearing what I have to say is less valid.

It might sound like I am having a go at certain people, and this is true. There is a group of people, who have a predilection to place their heads between their legs, look upwards and snuggle their face right up between their lower cheeks. These same people have trouble believing that mental illnesses are real. These are the same people who say things such as “it’s all in their head,” “they are just after attention,” or “just stop it”. Whilst the attitude towards mental illnesses has significantly improved over the past centuries there is still a long way to go.

It is vital that our society understands that having mental health issues is not a sign that said person is violent or more prone to violence, is unable to be trusted, is going to be unreliable, can not function within civilised society etc. The rate of violence between mental health sufferers and non-sufferers is statistically no different. The most common mental health issues can be treated, so as to mitigate the majority of the symptoms and allow the sufferer to maintain, social and economic benefits within society. Those who we are unable to actively rehabilitate are often housed in mental institutions, for their protection, and the protection of our society. Just because a person, with a mental health issue, is housed in an institution does not mean that the person is prone to or continually exhibits violent behaviour. There are many reasons a person may be housed, both by a judicial ruling or voluntarily. The person may not be able to appropriately take care of themselves and requires ongoing assistance to do so (not so different to the elderly and the disabled. The person can not recieve adequate supervision and appropriate assistance with their family, again no so different to the elderly or the disabled. Of course there are some people who suffer from mental health issues, which cause them to be more inclined towards violence than others, and these people for their own safety and the safety of our community need to be housed appropriately, however their are plenty of examples of those who are not diagnosed with mental health issues who are inclined towards violence, we call them criminals, and they are often housed as well, the difference being that they are only housed for a period of time, and then released back into the community where they may or may not repeat acts of violence which can cause them to be re-housed. It is a sad fact that in our society, that a criminal, a person who by all accounts can make rational decisions, and understands both what they are doing, and the impacts on those around them is treated with more leniency than a person suffering from mental health issues. Please do not read this as I am saying those with mental health issues who require housing on an ongoing basis should be set free, what I am saying is that, if and when a person who is housed is released that our society should receive these people with open arms, and not with judgement, or reservations of the persons abilities, or potential for violence.

So whilst I understand that some people may have reservations regarding the topics I am discussing, and the language I use, my hope is that you let go of your reservations, and read my story, and hopefully you get something out of what I have to write about, and that you understand that it is not my intension to offend you, to cause you any distress at all, either due to the content of this book or by the language I use, however given the nature of the author, and the subject matter which I am writing about, it may occur. In cases, where I do offend you or cause you distress, you have my utmost, and sincerest apologises that you have reacted in such a way, however, I do not apologise for what was said or in the delivery in which I wrote it.

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