Of course I had hoped that the obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) connected to my hypochondria would somehow just go away. I figured that I could somehow just reason myself out of it. It didn’t work.
Days leading to an appointment with my primary care doctor about an unrelated issue led me to think I should confide in her about the OCD. She seemed understanding and referred me to a psychiatrist who gave me a prescription for Zoloft. I never saw that particular psychiatrist because he was so terribly busy.
The Zoloft was left on my table, untouched.
I was very fearful of the side effects and my cautious boyfriend strongly advised me against taking it.
A few months passed and I contacted my primary care physician saying the shrink’s office hadn’t contacted me. (I don’t have health insurance and the medical care I have is through the local university, so you can imagine how busy they are.) She then suggested I see a counselor at the clinic, so I made an appointment.
The counselor and I were scheduled to meet on a Friday, and that just so happened to be the day of my worst OCD episode. It’s hard to go into detail but it began when I was looking up a breast condition on the internet. Suddenly I came across another condition, which I had never heard of and began reading and staring at the photos. I
though I had it. I began to feel weak, my heart rate increased and I wanted to cry.
And yet I read and read.
The only thing that stopped me from continuing was the appointment with the counselor. I rushed out to buy a pack of cigarettes because I was in full blown panic mode. Didn’t put any make up on, got in my car, and drove to the clinic.
The counselor was young and polite, with a sweet understanding face that quickly turned to a very worried one, as I described the state I was in.
She listened, asked questions and said that OCD was not her specialty but she would try to get me help, and that I could always go to her to talk. As we talked, the horrible anxiety slowly started to decrease. She may not have understood exactly what I was going through, but she was sympathetic and able to pull me out of the pit I put myself in.