It is important to understand that if you have OCD, that doesn’t make any of the negative things you have written about yourself true. You believe yourself to be a “terrible morally reprehensible, disgusting” person. The negative underlying thought process is likely preventing you from seeking treatment. If you don’t think you’re worthy of treatment, then why would you expend the energy in the effort to seek it? Of course, you are worthy of treatment. To think otherwise is simply wrong.
OCD is a common mental health disorder involving uncontrollable reoccurring obsessions, thoughts, and behaviors. People with this disorder feel the urge to repeat certain behaviors in an attempt to decrease their anxiety. Unfortunately, that doesn’t decrease the anxiety but instead increases it. OCD, if left untreated, can worsen, leaving an individual to feel as though there’s no way out of the vicious cycle.
You stated that you “vacillated for years” about how you should treat this disorder but the mistake in your logic is that you can be the treatment provider. You should see a trained professional to treat this disorder and not continue to attempt to treat it on your own. The right choice is to seek professional help. You began to reach out for help by emailing professionals but continue to believe that seeking treatment makes you a “monster… that is massively selfish and disgusting.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Treatment doesn’t make you any of those things. Treatment makes you wise. It makes you a person who realizes that they need help and who is open and willing to do what is necessary to get it.
Cognitive behavioral therapy will help to rectify your irrational thinking, or a related treatment such as exposure and prevention response therapy. You wouldn’t attempt to perform surgery on yourself because you know that you don’t have the requisite training to succeed. The same is true with mental health treatment. Therapists undergo a minimum of five years of training to prepare for their work. In addition to years of training, they also have to pass a licensure test and continue their education throughout their careers. Therapy is a skill that is developed through education and training. If you don’t have that education or training, you should not be attempting self-treatment.
You began your outreach by emailing therapists. That was a good start. It’s important to follow through and make an appointment. OCD is a highly treatable condition but you must be willing to participate in the treatment in order to benefit from it. You deserve help. I hope you are willing to give it a try. Good luck with your efforts. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle