You wouldn’t go to a pediatrician if you had cancer. You wouldn’t go to a kidney specialist if you had heart trouble. All doctors are not alike. Sometimes we have to go to the right specialist to get the help we need. In your case, you need both a psychiatrist and a therapist who work together to get the right care.
The treatment of choice for your problems is a combination of medication and talk therapy. OCD and anxiety disorders can be treated and managed successfully. Generally, patients see their therapist weekly and, after an initial period of weekly visits to get the medication right, they see their psychiatrist every few months. When the two professionals are working in the same practice, they are able to confer with each other easily and work together to give you good care.
I understand that you have been afraid to see a mental health professional because of your grandfather’s experience. But treatments have changed considerably since your grandfather’s time. From the little you shared, I also suspect he had a much different problem.
To find a specialist, ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a practice. You can also go to the “Therapist Locator” on the homepage of PsychCentral.
Please don’t hesitate to make an appointment for an initial session. The clinician will listen to your story and will make suggestions. (Take your letter with you if you want to jump start the conversation.) You are under no obligation to follow through with the treatment plan that is proposed. But I hope you do. You’ve suffered far too long.
I wish you well.