- Payal Rastogi shared how she battled with OCD with the help of psychotherapies.
- Only 41% of young Indians are aware of the importance of seeking medical help for mental illnesses.
Despite the high prevalence of mental health illnesses in Indian Society, only 41% of young people are aware of the importance of seeking medical support for psychological problems, a UNICEF survey reported.
Payal Rastogi, a 23-year-old university student, shared with MindHelp how she battled with her obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) with the help of psychotherapy. She mentioned having a few bad habits since childhood, such as cheek biting. Over time, the severity of her bad habits increased and she started facing difficulties in performing her daily activities. But she didn’t express her issues with anyone due to the fear of being judged.
After a point, she realized that her bad habits could be a sign of OCD. A few months later, she went to a dentist with a severe toothache and the dentist noticed some bite marks on her cheek. When asked, she assured the dentist that it was not because of her teeth alignment and she might accidentally bite her cheeks.
By that time, Payal somehow knew that she was suffering from OCD. She comes from such a family where mental health is never discussed beyond as a topic in casual. “This made me nervous about telling my family about my mental health issues, so I never chose to,” she said.
“Fortunately, my mother heard the whole conversation between me and the dentist. When we reached home, she asked me about my cheek biting. She was aware of my childhood habits but never thought that it could be a sign of my mental illness,” Payal shared with MindHelp. She opened up in front of her mother about her obsessive behaviors and compulsive thoughts.
She was shocked to find her mother extremely comforting regarding her psychological condition. Her mother didn’t dismiss it as ‘just a difficult phase in life’ rather she shared her story of taking medical help for depression at a point in her life.
“My mother has supported me throughout my mental illness journey. After attending regular therapy sessions and taking proper medication, the severity of my OCD symptoms has reduced to a level. I can now perform my daily activities without any complications. I genuinely regret not sharing my problems with my parents before.
“Mental health issues feel like you are constantly carrying a load that you only wish you can get a break from. My experience tells me it is only going to get lighter as you begin to have open, honest, and healthy conversations on mental health issues,” Arushi said further.
According to the National Health Service (NHS), people with OCD tend to be reluctant to seek help because they feel embarrassed and ashamed. NHS experts suggest that psychological therapies are one of the best ways one can manage OCD symptoms.
P.S- Name and place changed due to privacy concerns