Why "71º & Sunny?"

I consider 71º to be the perfect temperature. Not too cold and not too hot. I also love perfect sunny days. The vast majority of days are not 71º & Sunny and yet, all days were created by God's hand and they are still gifts, even if they don't fit my ridiculous definition of perfection. My struggle with OCD has at times imprisoned me in an impossible attempt to achieve perfection. I'm now learning to love all kinds of days that don't even come close to 71º & Sunny.

Please leave me a comment below. I really want to know what you are thinking!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

OCD: A Disabling Mental Illness

Yesterday, Janet Singer, of OCD Talk, wrote a really great post about fighting stigma for Beyond OCD. While I was visiting the Beyond OCD site, I came across another interesting post entitled Roadmap to Recovery: Families of Adult OCD Sufferers Living at Home by John Hart and Throstur Bjorguinsson. It was the first paragraph of this article that caught my attention:
Because of the debilitating nature of OCD, many adult OCD sufferers find themselves living at home with parents or other family members. Since OCD sufferers are often unable to work, it can be financially impractical to live independently. A retrospective study of the adult patients admitted over a 7-month period in 2007 at the Menninger Clinic OCD Treatment Program confirms many of these difficulties (Björgvinsson, Heffelfinger, Wetterneck, & Hart, 2007, March). Approximately 81% of adults lived at home with family, despite only 14% of them being married. Although most were unemployed (86%), many also required help with daily living tasks such as grooming and cleaning (62%). In addition, most sufferers (75%) reported a significant disruption in social activities and indicated the cost of treatment and the loss of wages were a significant financial burden on family (77%). These data suggest that OCD presents ongoing challenges to both the patient and the family system. Marital problems, family conflict, isolation, and financial strain are common results of the stress that OCD places on both the sufferer and the family.
Wow. It is unbelievable, and yet it is so true. I personally know many people that have not been able to work, or have had significant disruptions in their careers because of OCD. Though I have been a homemaker for the last 15 years, I do know that there would have been times in my life where working outside the home would have been impossible due to the disabling nature of my illness. I also know that had I not been married, I most likely would have had to move in with my parents, as there was a time when I needed constant support and "hand holding" just to make it through the day.

Just in case anyone was wondering, living with OCD is no joke. And doing it alone? Well, I can't even imagine.

12 comments:

  1. I think that is why it is so hard for me to tolerate people using the word "OCD" in either a joking manner or to mean they are super clean or organized. I know it is just that they are mis-informed but it is hard to hear when you know how disabling OCD is and the pain and suffering that accompany OCD. Thank you Sunny for your part in bringing OCD out into the open and for your suppot of all us out here with OCD.

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    1. Oh it IS hard to hear, Krystal Lynn. Sometimes it makes me want to cry and sometimes I just want to scream. There are people who are really, really suffering and it is heartbreaking.

      Thank you so much for your very kind words. Honestly, I get so much out of all this stuff myself, that it feels kind of selfish!

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  2. Those numbers are incredible. I agree with Krystal Lynn. It bothers me so much to hear people talking about being "so OCD" and mean it as just a quirk, when there's so much suffering going on amongst those with OCD and their families. We indeed need to continue to do what we can to help educate others about the disease. As I commented on Janet's blog about her Beyond OCD post, I'm more comfortable writing about it than speaking about it, but I need to do both.

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    1. You know, Tina, I think you are being much too hard on yourself. You do a wonderful job about speaking out about OCD through your blog. Maybe that is where you are meant to do it. I don't think we all need to do stuff in the same way. We're all wired differently, which is great, because it means that we all excel in different ways and we can make a difference in different ways.

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  3. Thanks for the mention, Sunny. Those statistics are mind-boggling to me and make me even more thankful that my son continues to do well on his own. Oh, but we have so far to go in getting people to understand what OCD really is. Great post!

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    1. Yes, we do have so far to go! But I'm so glad that your son is doing so well. What a beacon of hope his story is for others.

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  4. Always know I can find some good info here. Learning a lot from what you share Monique. Blessings.

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  5. Wow. Those are some powerful stats. I'm going to read them to my Mom later on-- who, as you know, I live with ;-)

    I'm also going to print out that article. Thanks, Sunny!

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    1. My pleasure, Elizabeth! Yes, I found them very powerful as well.

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  6. I find blogging very therapeutic. I don't have OCD but I do struggle with depression and have my own issues. It is so nice and refreshing to find some caring souls out there who struggle with their own issues, it makes me realize that I am not alone. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. Oh, you are definitely not alone, Linda! I too find blogging to be a great outlet. I feel like I can get some stuff off of my chest and hopefully help others at the same time. It's pretty much a win-win as far as I'm concerned. Hugs.

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