By Alison Dotson
Sometimes I can’t believe how much progress has been made in OCD awareness in recent years, and I feel so lucky to have had access to fantastic care and understanding people when I was diagnosed with OCD 10 years ago. We have a long way to go with many people still conflating OCD with a germ phobia or an obsession with being organized, but progress is being made—sometimes in leaps and bounds.
When I was diagnosed in 2006 there was very little information about taboo intrusive thoughts—which was why Lee Baer’s book The Imp of the Mind was such a godsend—and that contributed to guilt, shame, and confusion. It’s why I was diagnosed 10 years ago, not 15, 20, or even 25 years ago.
Now there’s a site dedicated completely to intrusive thoughts, those nagging, embarrassing, and unrelenting obsessions many of us with OCD struggle with. It’s called, quite aptly, IntrusiveThoughts.org, and was founded by a man named Aaron Harvey, who suffered from taboo intrusive thoughts himself for 20 years before being diagnosed with OCD. Aaron wanted to give back to the OCD community and help others realize they weren’t alone even though they undoubtedly felt alone.
Check out the site to learn more about symptoms and treatment and to find helpful resources, including videos from people with OCD as well as a therapist. Maybe you think you’re the only one in the world who has pedophilia OCD because no one ever seems to talk about it—well, think again. IntrusiveThoughts.org talks about it. That and scrupulosity OCD, relationship OCD, harm OCD, homosexuality OCD, and, more broadly, pure O.
Here’s what I find the most promising about the site: The media coverage of it! I’ve seen countless articles about it, in publications I never imagined would devote space to a rather niche topic. With resources like our site and IntrusiveThoughts.org, awareness of intrusive thoughts can only continue to grow and help more and more people. People care. And honestly, that’s amazing. People who have hurt as much as we have care enough to devote their time to spreading awareness and inspiring hope.
Check out the Intrusive Thoughts website: http://www.intrusivethoughts.org/