What if being in an amazing relationship, loving someone who shares those same feelings for you, only causes you pain?
I hear it often: “If I could just find someone to love, someone to love me back, I’d feel better. I’d be happy. Life would be great.”
But what if being in an amazing relationship, loving someone who shares those same feelings for you, only causes you pain?
This is life with Relationship-OCD (ROCD), a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder that attacks relationships (typically romantic, but not always). People with this disorder often doubt their love for their partner, and/or their partner’s love for them. This can take form in various ways, from worrying your partner is not “the one” to feeling like you’re cheating simply by finding another person attractive. Many question their sexuality, their loyalty, their values, their feelings, and even their character on a loop until they’re depressed or numb, unable to enjoy their relationship.
Continue reading “Break the Stigma: Living (and Loving) with Relationship-OCD”
I’ve never been great at talking. OK, ask my dad or best friends or boyfriend, and they’d probably say otherwise, because to the right people, I can talk an ear off. I can drain on for hours about politics or philosophy or mental health; but ask me what I’ve been up to or how my day was, and I’ll stumble over my words. (Ask me to give a speech to a full room, and I’ll vomit — but that’s another issue for another day.)
Surface-level conversations are not enough for someone with a mind so chaotic they can’t even think straight. I often end up sounding illiterate, the other person wondering how I could possibly be a writer.
The truth is, I can write and speak for hours. But today, many people are too busy for that. They don’t really care how you’re feeling, what’s on your mind, the struggles you’re enduring. It’s sad. I don’t want to be like that, and I’ve realized I’m not — not at all. And for a while — most of my life, actually — I’ve shamed myself for it.
Continue reading “Why I Connect With Others on a Deeper Level”
I think, for many people, the hardest part of living, much like writing, is the criticism that comes with it.
Last night, I stood in my small kitchen, back against the white wall, eyes squinting in the fluorescent lighting, hunched over and crying. I didn’t feel anything; but at the same time, I felt everything.
“You don’t know me,” I told my boyfriend, and I could see the pain on his face as he registered my words. “No one does. Not you. Not my family. Not my best friends. They don’t know what goes on in my mind. And if they did, they wouldn’t love me.”
He wrapped his arms around me, but I was numb. My body was limp, my mind elsewhere.
Continue reading “Not Everyone Will Understand You, and That’s Okay”
Why did I share that? Do I just want validation? If so, from who? And why?
I open my eyes to the sunlight. It’s already 8 a.m. I slept through two alarms.
Am I lazy? People are already at work, and I’m still in bed.
I open my phone and load Instagram. Scroll through photos. Check for messages. Re-watch the story I posted last night.
Why did I share that? Do I just want validation? If so, from who? And why?
My heart races. Stomach clenches. Like I’m guilty of a heinous crime.
Am I not already content with the people in my life? Do I really need someone else to care about me? To accept me?
I sit up. Wipe the sweat off my forehead. Open my messages, wanting to confide in someone who understands.
Am I looking for sympathy? Is that a guy I’m about to text? What does that say about me? Do I enjoy their attention?
Thoughts pelt me from every direction. My head pounds.
I want to cry.
I want to sleep.
I want to escape.
Who even am I?
Continue reading “What It’s Like to Be Brutally Self-Aware”
I felt nothing, mostly. And when I did feel, it wasn’t sadness. It was terror.
It’s been months since I’ve written about my OCD. Often, painting a picture through words helps me cope. But I thought that if I picked up my pen this time, all I’d see — all anyone would see — was darkness.
Depression. It’s a common term that many use to describe sadness. To express the tears streaming down their face at night, or the crippling stress from piling bills, or the gutting heartache from a devastating breakup.
So, really, I wasn’t sure I even had it. Because, well, I didn’t feel that. I felt nothing, mostly. And when I did feel, it wasn’t sadness. It was terror. Fear — not of death, but of living. I couldn’t imagine waking up just one more day.
Continue reading “My OCD and Me: The Demons that Coexistent”
I just wanted to disappear and not exist anymore. I felt like everyone’s life would be better without me in it.
After being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and depression at age 20, Samantha Ramos, now 25, earned her degree in Film and Television at SCAD, packed up her life, and moved to New York City. While she struggled with this comorbidity during major life changes, she also developed a better understanding of her mental health, allowing her to practice acceptance along with other healthy coping mechanisms. Check out her journey battling such conflicting issues.
What first made you believe something was wrong, or “off” with the way you were feeling?
I always felt like something was “off” with me since at least middle school. I would get what I thought at the time was just really nervous for the simplest things. My grades suffered a lot in school because my anxiety didn’t allow me ask questions or let teachers know when I didn’t understand things. I also missed so much school because of how depressed I was. I didn’t know it then, but I could barely get out of bed every morning, let alone deal with the challenges of high school.
It wasn’t until I got to art school and the assignments and workload became unbearable for me to deal with. I had my first panic attack in my dorm room; I couldn’t breathe or see straight. It was then that I knew something was more wrong with me than just normal stress.
Continue reading “Break the Stigma: Battling the Comorbidity of Anxiety and Depression”
I could feel myself beginning to slip; if this went on much longer, I was going to lose everything, quite literally.
My name is Adam. I am a 26-year-old writer and I live in central New Jersey. I live with four cats and my lovely girlfriend and, for the first time in years, I feel like I might have my shit together.
I’ve never been professionally diagnosed with anything, maybe because I’ve deliberately avoided professionals until very recently. I think I was probably a prime candidate for medication at an early age, but I made good grades and did well in sports, so nobody ever looked at me that hard. All I can say with certainty is that I’ve suffered from a high level of anxiety and sudden mood swings for as long as I can remember.
The mood swings were the first thing I noticed. Even as a child, I would become irritable, angry, and sad all at once, seemingly out of nowhere. The worst part about it was that I knew I had no reason to feel this way, but I felt it anyway. When I was experiencing these moments, I would often lash out at the people closest to me.
My mother is a wonderful person, but I remember especially being hurt by her regularly telling other adults, “Oh, don’t mind him. He’s just in one of his moods.” I hated feeling that way, and I hated it being written off like that because I knew something was going wrong inside me.
Continue reading “Break the Stigma: Anxiety, Mood Swings, and Addiction”