I’m still sort of reluctant to spill about my OCD, so I’ll keep this purposefully vague. Yesterday, at around 3:30 in the afternoon, I scored a major – in many ways decisive – victory over my stickiest intrusive thought. I’ve been recovered, to all intents and purposes, since late 2017, but there were still a couple hurdles left in front of me before I could more-or-less close that chapter for good.
I jumped over both of them. The other one fell at around 10:30 this morning. (Do hurdles fall? Let’s go with that.)
I quit taking antidepressants 259 days ago, which makes this the longest I’ve been medication-free since…well, from when I was born until I started on antidepressants in 2007. I remain optimistic that this is permanent.
With luck, this’ll be the last time I blog about OCD-related medication. I’ll make note of the one-year anniversary of my withdrawal on June 12, but that’s it. I’m done with them, and for the foreseeable future I’m done writing about them too.
I kicked antidepressants exactly six months ago.
I’m at the tail end of a moderate OCD lapse. Firstly, thanks. Secondly, yeah, it does suck. Thirdly, though, it is what it is: since OCD’s chronic I’m susceptible to flare-ups even when things are going great.
And things are going great! Like, “completely symptom-free” great. Things were so good I was able to listen to and enjoy a Soundgarden album (King Animal) for the first time since Chris Cornell’s death. And that’s what makes this lapse tolerable: the knowledge that I was there as recently as last week and that I’ll be there again shortly.
Ze Good Doctor fired me. It’s a good thing! Let me explain – but first, some Who:
I’ve been off antidepressants exactly three months, and so far, so good. So really good, for the most part.
At the risk of belabouring this point: I am not against antidepressants. They helped me get better; I’d start taking them again tomorrow if it were necessary. For now, though, it isn’t, and I’m hopefully done with them for a good, long while.
A few weeks ago I took the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale and scored myself as generously as my symptoms might allow. I got a 7 out of 40. A 7 is subclinical, but this wasn’t a true 7: it could’ve easily been a 2 or a 3. In other words, if I walked into a psychologist’s office tomorrow they wouldn’t be able to diagnose me with OCD. Yet I do have OCD – and, what’s more, I’ll have it forever. I’m okay with that. And with Doc Awesome ordering me to “let go right now” I figured I should explain what recovery from OCD actually means – and, more importantly, how I’m going to stay recovered despite having this chronic mental disorder.