By: Laura Sanscartier
From the time I was a little girl, I have always had horrible thoughts. Thoughts of hurting people, thoughts of people dying. Thoughts of car crashes and horrible accidents around the house. I always thought that I was just a strange person, and that having these thoughts was a part of my broken brain. Fast forward to 2018, and it was finally made clear: I have OCD. I have the kind of OCD where I am in constant fear of hurting those close to me, or absolute strangers. I have horrible horror-movie images in my head at all times. I don’t know where all these images come from, but they plague me 24/7. I don’t have the compulsions that some have, but I’ve been told by professionals that this is a specific kind of OCD, and the thoughts are the whole deal. They’re enough!
Then there’s a bipolar diagnosis, and we have a constant Mr. Hyde situation. Mr. Hyde is the “bad” persona in “Dr. Jekkyll and Mr. Hyde”, and I have felt, especially in the last few years, that I was a Mr. Hyde, and there was no help for me.
The combination of Bipolar and OCD is one of exaggerations. The depression of bipolar makes my OCD obsessions come harder and faster than ever. I feel like I’m not worthy of anything, my head is so full of horrible thoughts. Mania makes my OCD more frightening. The thoughts become “possible”, and there are voices telling me to do those horrible things I see in my head.
Is there a cure for this? For me, a combination of ECT and medication has worked out fairly well. I have less intrusive thoughts, and the depression and mania don’t ramp things up in the same way. It’s all still there, it’s just muted, and I relish the relief.
Having multiple diagnoses is never a fun thing, but I am hopeful that the continuation of my remedies will help keep things in a toned-down manner. Perhaps now I can leave Mr. Hyde behind, and begin living life as a Dr. Jekkyll.