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MajesticShannon

OCD and Friends

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Hi,

Hope everyone is ok,

Was wondering how people went about telling their friends about their OCD (if you told them at all):

- did you just tell your closest friends?

- how did you go about breaking the news?

- what were their reactions?

- did it come back to haunt you in anyway? - were some friends less sympathic than others? - i know real friends should be sympathetic, but a lot of my mates are of the 'macho' mentality who would think 'mental illness is for wimps'.

I've always kept my 'problem' hidden, mainly because i've always (i admit this is wrong) been kind of embarrassed about my thoughts and what people would think of me for saying i had a mental disorder.

Recently my closest friends have noticed that something is up and have been asking my ex-girlfriend (who knows everything) about it. On saturday night, it came to a head, with one of them confronting me and asking if i was depressed - so i told her it was OCD (it seemed like a good idea at the time :thumbup::D - what was positive is that she knew 'OCD' stood for obsessive compulsive disorder and knew what it was!! :) - all the tv shows must be working :D )

Since then, ive just left it at that - but am getting worried that the chinese whispers will probly start flowing. I do trust them, but am concerned of the whole thing getting out of control, and people i dont want to know finding out about the problem. At the same time, im worried that if i do tell them, that the next step will be they will be asking what kind of ocd i have, and i certainly dont think they are ready for my obsessional thoguhts :hug: !! Also, at the same time i dont want my best mates to treat me as a charity case, and admitting to it seems like a mini personal defeat and 'giving in'. :)

After that ramble, i suppose basically what i am asking your thoughts on is;

Is it a good idea to 'come clean' about ocd?

cheers,

MATT

(one foot out of the closet

- in an ocd sense of course :grin: )

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Hi Matt

Coming out of the non-gay closet is a pretty scary step.

I decided to "come clean" about my OCD in the summer and it was honestly the best thing I could have done.

Since admitting to the problem and facing it it doesn't seem anywhere near as scary as it did when it was my huge "secret".

Everyone I've told has been great and really interested - but no-one has treated me any differently - except maybe been a bit more understanding about my reluctance to go out socially. (I hate eating/drinking in public places etc)

I haven't told everybody I know - I emailed my closest friends (they all live a million miles away from me) and included a copy of the booklet Ashie produced. I was amazed at how many people responded with such supportive comments.

I haven't told people about the specifics of some of my rituals or most of my intrusive thoughta - but I don't actually think my close friends would be too perturbed. Most of them are fairly intelligent and are therefore interested in knowing about it rather than being afraid of something they don't understand. (There are some people I haven't told for that very reason).

But on the whole I have felt it is so much easier to fight against it out in the open that trying to do so on my own.

I guess it's kind of like fighting with swords. You need to be out in the open to brandish them properly.

Ooooooh - I am soooooooooooo profound - sorry - I get carried away sometimes :thumbup:

Anyway - for me I knew when it was time to 'fess up (!) - and I'm really glad I did. But don't push yourself into doing something you're not ready for or will feel uncomfortable with.

Seems as though you've gotten off to a good start though - there's no need to announce it to the world and if people do hear about it in a more round about way just make sure you put them straight!

Point them in this direction - there's so much info on this board they couldn't fail to become fully conversant with OCD in a matter of hours!

(I'm rambling away now - apologies)

Good Luck with whatever you decide though - I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised at the support you get! Hope so anyway! :hug:

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Of course it was helpful - and thanks for spending the time in replying :D

I am glad you had a positive response - I would be really freaked out now if you had said that they all disowned you and thought you were a nutter - so your post is definitely helpful to me!!

I think though, that rather than leaving it to fester and people to talk and (for want of a better word :hug: ) ruminate about it......it would be a good idea to set everyone straight and send out a mail like you did. Least they will know then exactly what you want them to, rather than jumping to their own conclusions. I also like the idea of sending them some information - i think this would be better over t'internet cos then people will be able to reply in their own time and not be in a awkward situation that a face to face 'coming out' might bring about. Im sure they'll be cool about it..........

thanks. Matt :thumbup:

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I think you have to be careful who you tell your instints should tell whos going to be helpful.

My parents ignored it said i wasnt OC but that i should stop it right away ut since i left home my mum has got OCD which i think she always had but hid well.

some ppl will be patronising, some ppl will go oh ok well why not stop and not get it at alll some will think your mad but then the true friends the ones who are really worth hanging onto in life will be there for you always> :grin:

my partner knew he said already hes great with me its no longer a weird thing i keep to myself in the house its like its lost its power a little now ppl know.

So i think be careful who you choose to tell but it is a good thing when they do finally know

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Hi Matt

I've had a mixed bag of reactions :)

On the whole, people have been understanding, but then again, they tend to be people who have some knowledge of mental health, which I guess gives them a head start.

One irritating response is when someone says, 'oh well, we all do things like that, it's nothing unusual'. It's like me drinking a glass of wine a week and saying I know what its' like to be an alcoholic. RUBBISH :D ! People can be patronising and it makes me feel really stupid. But I also end up having to tell them more than I'd planned in order to get across the message that OCD really can be quite disabling.

Some of my family seem to think there can't be much wrong with me, because I 'appear quite normal' :thumbup: . Mind you, I think it suits them not to think about it in case I ever became a burden to them. Not much chance of that, I don't think :D

I don't think people intend to be partronising or whatever, it's just ignorance on their part. But it does bug me.

Sorry, I seem to be a bit negative about it tonight, but that might reflect the fact, I'm feeling a bit sore with some of my family at the moment. But outside, friends and colleagues have been pretty supportive :hug:

Catherine :)

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I have told 4 people since finding out I had OCD last year:

My mum - Told me to stop being a hypochondriac and brushed it off as attention seeking :hug:

My Ex and the mother of my child - She understood where I was coming from and agreed that I had OCD, she listened a bit but made a few jokey remarks and then told people after I told her to keep it quiet, that was really humiliating for me, as she told a couple of people whilst I was there!!! and made me try and explain to them what it was, I felt really stupid :D

My best friend - Told him by accident the other night! He asked me if I had "that tourettes thing". I presumed he meant my OCD/Tourettes, didn't quite know how he knew but I told him a bit... He didn't mean me!!! he meant a video called John's not mad!! :thumbup: Didn't have much to say on the matter...

My dad - The most positive of the bunch, he wanted to listen and talk about it, and we both came to the conclusion that it comes from his side of the family, I have an auntie who i'm sure has it :grin:

Apart from that I feel quite alone with OCD and I feel as if i'm using it as a cry for attention :)

Im sorry if my comments put people off telling anyone, please don't let them, I think telling someone is the first step to acceptance and whilst I had a bad experience it doesn't mean you will too. Sorry.

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Guest Smudger

There are people who know and I'm fine with that, but I can't ever see me telling anyone the content of my obsessions-I honestly couldn't deal with telling one of my friends that my ocd centres around the worry that I may have raped a child. Things like that tend to cause a knee-jerk reaction in a lot of people, and I should imagine that it wouldn't be too long before I was in a 'shunned by everyone/physically assaulted on a regular basis' situation-and seeing as I don't feel I can 100% confirm or deny what my ocd tells me I don't expect people would be inclined to believe in my innocence when I can't be sure of it myself.

As Denis Leary once said: Life sucks-get a helmet.

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Guest gemgem
Hi Matt

I've had a mixed bag of reactions :hug:

On the whole, people have been understanding, but then again, they tend to be people who have some knowledge of mental health, which I guess gives them a head start.

One irritating response is when someone says, 'oh well, we all do things like that, it's nothing unusual'. It's like me drinking a glass of wine a week and saying I know what its' like to be an alcoholic. RUBBISH :thumbup: ! People can be patronising and it makes me feel really stupid. But I also end up having to tell them more than I'd planned in order to get across the message that OCD really can be quite disabling.

28219[/snapback]

i know exactly what you mean with that- whenever i try and explain how incapacitating it is to not be able to use public loos people (like my grandma and siseter), say ''well i dont like them, either'' which is helpful- NOT!!!

my closest mate knows all about it and my other mates kinda know, as much as Chris has told em. i tend to say it quite jokey- calling myself menatl and that coz i dont want pity and when im out which is very occassionally i want to feel 'normal'

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Hi,

Hope everyone is ok,

Was wondering how people went about telling their friends about their OCD (if you told them at all):

- did you just tell your closest friends?

- how did you go about breaking the news?

- what were their reactions? 

- did it come back to haunt you in anyway? - were some friends less sympathic than others? - i know real friends should be sympathetic, but a lot of my mates are of the 'macho' mentality who would think 'mental illness is for wimps'. 

I've always kept my 'problem' hidden, mainly because i've always (i admit this is wrong) been kind of embarrassed about my thoughts and what people would think of me for saying i had a mental disorder. 

Recently my closest friends have noticed that something is up and have been asking my ex-girlfriend (who knows everything) about it.  On saturday night,  it came to a head, with one of them confronting me and asking if i was depressed - so i told her it was OCD (it seemed like a good idea at the time  :thumbup::)  - what was positive is that she knew 'OCD' stood for obsessive compulsive disorder and knew what it was!! :) - all the tv shows must be working :) )

Since then, ive just left it at that - but am getting worried that the chinese whispers will probly start flowing. I do trust them, but am concerned of the whole thing getting out of control, and people i dont want to know finding out about the problem.  At the same time, im worried that if i do tell them, that the next step will be they will be asking what kind of ocd i have, and i certainly dont think they are ready for my obsessional thoguhts  :hug: !! Also, at the same time i dont want my best mates to treat me as a charity case, and admitting to it seems like a mini personal defeat and 'giving in'.  :D

After that ramble, i suppose basically what i am asking your thoughts on is;

Is it a good idea to 'come clean' about ocd?   

cheers,

MATT

(one foot out of the closet

- in an ocd sense of course :grin: )

28198[/snapback]

Hi Matt,it is very nerve wracking worrying about whether to open up and tell others about your ocd or not.And this is a decision which you have to feel ready about and comfortable with.

To answer your questions though,everyone out of my family/friends and boyfriend know and all have been very supportive about it.The Only people i have not told are my grandad and dad,my dad i dont have much of a relationship anyway so feel no need to tell him and my grandad becuase of the generation he is i do fear his reaction most,yet my gut instinct is if i told him he would be supportive.

did you just tell your closest friends?-At first yes,only though as they had been noticing that something was wrong.

- how did you go about breaking the news?-I just was completely straight with them,i had some information on me about OCD and asked them just to listen at first whilst i explained what was going on and what ocd is.I asked them to support me and if they have any questions about it,just to ask me,i also assured them it wouldnt affect me or change the fact that i am still me!!!

- what were their reactions? -All reactions i have had have been very supportive understanding reactions.I have not experienced any negative reactions yet,i make sure that who i am telling it to can be trusted and that i make sure and make it clear that i am not ashamed to suffer from this.

- did it come back to haunt you in anyway? - it has never came back to haunt me at all.

were some friends less sympathic than others?-no all my friends were very supportive about it ,i found having info about ocd on me when telling them helpful so if they had any questions or didnt know what it was,it would be more easily explained to them.

Whatever you decide ,you should fel comfortable with your decision.Telling people about the ocd has definitely made life a lot easier for me!!! :D Everyones reaction may vary,some positive,some negative,maybe all positive,it just varies from person to person.But i am sure those important to you once they fully understand what you are going through will support you!!!!!

Take care.

Love ittykxx :)

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