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Personal stories about taking medicines to treat OCD

Jesse, age 41: I constantly wash my hands. Sometimes even after I have just washed my hands, I feel my hands may not be clean, and so I wash them again. If I touch a public doorknob, shake hands with someone, or touch something another person may have touched, I worry about germs or dirt and feel the need to wash my hands. This behavior is interfering with my life. I think medicines may help control the urge to wash my hands while I continue with professional counseling to learn how to stop this behavior.

Kyle, age 28: I like to have things in my home and office in place and neat. I worry a few times throughout the day whether I left an appliance on or the doors unlocked in my home. I check the locks a few times before I go to work, but I'm not usually late for work due to checking the locks. I don't think the behaviors are interfering in my daily living too much yet. I think I will try to control these worries through professional counseling only.

Jasmine, age 17: I worry all the time about my grades at school and how other people see me. I tend to rewrite my papers for school numerous times before I feel like they are good enough to turn in, especially if any of my writing looks messy. I take several showers a day because I worry about how I look. I have also stopped eating in hopes of losing some weight because I worry I weigh too much. In the mornings when I wake up, I can't get out of bed until I have prayed for every family member and friend because I am afraid something bad might happen to them if I forget to pray. If I forget someone, I have to start my prayers all over again, and this often makes me late for school. I have been seeing a professional counselor, but I think I might get more out of counseling if I take medicines that can help me control these urges.

Carla, age 38: I spend most of my day reorganizing cupboards and closets in my house. I just can't seem to get them clean enough. I am still able to tend to my children during the day, but when they are napping, I usually spend that time cleaning my house again. I also sometimes think that my buttons are not done up on my clothes and check those throughout the day. However, I can usually stop thinking about my buttons and whether the house is clean when I am involved with my children or have other commitments during the day. I think I will talk with someone about how to resist these urges before they get out of hand, but I don't think I need medicines yet.

Author Jeannette Curtis
Editor Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Associate Editor Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
Last Updated June 25, 2008

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 25, 2008
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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