I am eighteen. I just recently graduated from a great high school [barely], and am now looking to start college in the Spring. I realized something was wrong one day on my way to middle school, back in 6th grade. I would look at people, feel they were somehow wrong and I would catch the “wrongness”. So I found a way to appease myself by faux-coughing twice while looking at them, as if to give back whatever made them seem wrong. It just started. Later, in about 8th grade, it turned into needing to touch everything a certain amount of times. I would also think morbid thoughts about dying in crazy ways, but I usually found them to be thought invoking, while my friends thought I was crazy. But the weird thoughts wouldn’t go away. Next, I started worrying that I didn’t lock the doors, and rechecking, even though I knew they were locked or checking the stove. All complete with the thoughts that if I didn’t, something bad would happen. What exactly used to be more specific, but now it has just dimmed to an overall sense of “something bad.”
It went haywire in high school. I mean, I didn’t even know what it was until I graduated middle school. I completely bombed high school, because I could barely keep the OCD under some form of control without losing, or giving myself away. It got to the point where I wanted someone to notice. Just so I didn’t have to be the one to admit there was something wrong with me, and ask for help. Now, it seems to have progressed to where I have internal arguments, with myself.
My mom knows, but she herself has quite a few mental health issues. I see her take so much medicine for it, alog with for her CVS, and it frightens me. Not to mention, my siblings and I all suffer from some form of mental illness. She never got any of us diagnosed, and claims it will hinder us in life by ruining our chances for great opportunities. And while I hate her reasoning, I can’t help but believe her.
What I’m asking is: Would officially being diagnosed hinder my opportunities? Is mental illness something you have to make public knowledge when applying for jobs? I mean, how likely is it that therapy will help me?Undiagnosed OCD & Internal Arguing Ruining Life
Undiagnosed OCD & Internal Arguing Ruining Life
Receiving a mental health diagnosis will not hinder your opportunities. In fact, determining a diagnosis is often the first step in recovery. Once a diagnosis is made, a treatment plan can be developed and implemented.
You do not have to disclose physical or mental impairments to your employer unless you wish to ask for an accommodation. Accommodations are modifications to the job or job site that enable an individual with a disability to have an equal opportunity to complete their job. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) an employee requesting an accommodation has to reveal their mental health condition to their employer. Disclosing this information to a supervisor is kept confidential by law. If you do not need an accommodation, then there is no obligation to disclose information about your mental health condition to your employer. You might want to, for other reasons, but the only time it is required is when requesting an official accommodation. You can learn more about disclosing your mental health condition at work at this website.
Your mother refuses to take you and your siblings to treatment yet she is currently receiving treatment. In order for her to have been prescribed medicine, she would had to have consulted a doctor. Perhaps she is not satisfied with her treatment. It might explain why she is reluctant to seek help for her own children.
Medicating mental health problems is often not enough. Many conditions require both medication and psychotherapy. Psychotherapy could help your mother a great deal, if she were open to it. It may be the missing element in her treatment protocol.
The best place for you to receive help, at this time, might be the college counseling center. Their services are free and typically high-quality. They can help you determine what might be wrong and develop a comprehensive treatment plan. College counseling centers typically provide short-term treatment. If longer term treatment is necessary, they can refer you to a mental health professional in your community.
Let me underscore the importance of seeking treatment and the likelihood of your overcoming OCD. OCD isn’t something that you should just live with or accept as your reality. It is a highly treatable condition. If you fully participate in treatment and work with a competent mental health professional, you should expect a full recovery. Anyone who suggests otherwise is simply wrong or misinformed.
Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle