Thursday, February 04, 2010
Dr. Wayne Fiscus, OCD and a face way too yummy for radio...
I have been listening to podcasts for Q, an entertainment broadcast from Canada. Howie Mandel was a guest last week promoting his new book, Don't Touch Me, where he talks openly about his life with OCD and ADHD.
I also suffer from OCD and ADD, I can say my OCD isn't near the level Howie's is. Howie has a paralyzing fear of germs. I always believed my OCD was somehow contained in my head. My thoughts would overtake me, sometimes lead me to have minor panic attacks. For a long time, I thought if I could keep the confusion and disorder in my head, no one else would ever know. I had no outward signs...I didn't check the light switches over and over, I didn't wash my hand 20 times a day, I wasn't afraid of germs....it was all just in my crazy, messed up mind. But, at the end of the day obsessive compulsion is still obsessive compulsion, whether you show any outward signs or not.
Howie made a comment that his mind sometimes seems to be in an endless loop. That is exactly how I felt before I was diagnosed and began taking medication around 7 years ago. He also said something that made total sense to me, but may not to others who are not afflicted with OCD. He said he would give up his whole career and all the fame he has to be normal and not have OCD. I can totally relate to him making that statement. When you are having an attack, the only thing you want, is it to be over and feel normal again. You know you are in no immediate danger, but you cannot convince your mind otherwise, and it is a very scary situation.
Howie began showing signs of his OCD when he was young and dealt with it on his own until he was older. The only thing I can remember doing when I was young...and I know this sounds crazy, but to a person with OCD, this is just part of your normal day. I would touch something...like a book or piece of clothing in a store, and my mind would tell me something really bad would happen if I didn't touch it with the other hand. I KNOW this sounds crazy, there were many times, I would think to myself, "WHY AM I DOING THIS!" But once I would touch whatever it was with the opposite hand, my mind would tell me everything was OK. And almost always, I would simply forget about what just happened, until the next time it would happen. I would never know when I was going to get the urge to do this strange ritual, it was like my mind would tell me when it was time.
So, in summary, OCD sucks out loud and I can't wait to read to Howie's new book. And, speaking of the yummy face....did you check out the host of the Q podcast in the picture above? ;-)