So…are you crazy or something?

I’ve always tried to be very open to the fact that I suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder 1, 2, 3. I don’t necessarily wear it as a badge of honor but I’m also not ashamed of having mental health issues any more than I’m ashamed of having to take medicine to help control my high blood pressure or cholesterol. I also take medicine to control seasonal allergies and I’m Vitamin D deficient. There you have it, my health issues in a nutshell. Please feel free to run away, flail and scream if you need to…I understand seasonal allergies can be a scary thing.

I don’t know why I feel like I have to start out conversations regarding behavioral health with a smart-ass opening. Actually, that’s a lie, I know why I do it; I feel it provides me with a “guilt-buffer” for those who might not make it to the second paragraph. I’m always assuming people will see “mental health” and run, or proceed to discredit anything I have to say from that point forward. It’s a very glass-half-empty approach, I get that, but we do live in a world where we are vastly entertained and tremendously ill informed on so many issues of merit. I worry that as soon as that phrase, mental health, is uttered I have to use a “don’t judge me because my serotonin absorption levels are not at peak performance…it’s not my fault”!!! Ahhhhh…overthinking; classic side effect of OCD. I promise, the irony of this is not lost on me.

Anyhow, the original reason I started this post was to provide an update on a new type of therapy I am trying called EMDR 4, 5. It’s a relatively new therapy that was originally used for those with PTSD and other trauma related disorders. However, its efficacy has been so promising that it has been used, and tweaked, to help treat other disorders such as anxiety, depression, and OCD. I am working with a new therapist who specializes in EMDR and who has had success tailoring the technique to treat conditions such as mine. We are in the early stages and laying the groundwork, which has been tough. Much of the early work involves listing out “negative history” and bringing uncomfortable items to the forefront so that they can be confronted, and ultimately dealt with. While these exercises have increased my anxiety quite a bit, I at least feel there is a logical conclusion to this increased discomfort.

I am curious though, have any of you had experiences with trying EMDR? Good or bad, I’d love to hear any thoughts or comments you have regarding EMDR, mental health, or heck, even my seasonal allergies.

4 thoughts on “So…are you crazy or something?

  1. I totally agree, talking about mental illness shouldn’t be awkward! I always feel a little worried when I’m talking to new people, even a little guilty, if I bring it up, not because I’m embarrassed, but because I don’t want people to think I’m unstable or be worried about it. I’ve not heard of EMDR, but I hope it works out for you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! My favorite quote I ever got was “…wow, you don’t look crazy”. I replied with a smirk and “That’s great…because I’m not”. I know the individual didn’t mean it the way it came across (they were actually trying to pay me a compliment ironically) but I’ve always remembered that. I laugh at it now because of how ridiculous it sounds, but it does go to show how far we still have to go before there is true parity between mental and physiological disorders.

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