- OCD patient Mrinalini shared her journey from losing all hopes to finding her inner strength.
- Positivity and patience can help OCD patients in dealing with their obsessive thoughts, IOCDF suggests.
OCD (Obsessive-compulsive disorder) typically presents in adolescence and often goes under-reported and under-treated. According to a 2010 study, the lifetime prevalence of OCD is 0.6% in India.
Mrinalini Bose, a business owner, shared her story of being diagnosed with OCD during the pandemic time. She talked with MindHelp about her journey from losing all hopes to finding her inner strength again. Before the COVID-19 outbreak in India, she used to live with her parents in Delhi. In January 2020, she decided to shift to Bangalore with her partner.
“Within two months, India faced a nationwide lockdown. I quit my job and started a small business in Bangalore. We had no means to visit my loved ones for almost one year. It was the perfect storm of life changes,” said Mrinalini.
Over time, she started having repeated intrusive thoughts. She started having panic attacks thinking about her parents’ health condition. “I had repeated thoughts…what if my parents die of COVID…what if I cannot support them enough..what if I never get to see my loved ones,” she shared her horrifying thoughts with MindHelp.
Gradually, she found herself drowning in her obsessive thoughts. Her partner was concerned for her and wanted her to visit a psychologist. “He understood that I needed help that time,” she said. She found it extremely difficult to face her loved ones and address her intrusive thoughts concerning them. The guilt and shame were debilitating for her.
Due to this COVID crisis in 2020, qualified therapists were limited. But Mrinalini and her partner continued searching for mental health professionals. In this search, she started developing anger issues, withdrawal symptoms, and depression. “I wanted to run away, to be alone. I pictured myself sitting in the corner of an empty, dimly lit room, a place where my brain would run out of material to craft intrusive thoughts,” she added.
After searching for six months, they found a therapist who helped throughout her OCD journey. She attended a few sessions and started feeling a little better day by day. “But it took me some time to accept why this all happened to me,” 27-year-old Mrinalini said.
She spent months with uncertainty and her interrupting thoughts and it is difficult for her to easily erase that phase from her life, she said, “Yet the words I found through my struggle and recovery are simple: Hope lost, Strength found.”
She shared that she still struggles with her repetitive thoughts but they don’t affect her severely anymore. Her OCD journey makes her empowered to live with her psychological issues.
According to the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF), positivity and willingness to accept risk are two significant parts of the coping process of OCD. The patient should not analyze or argue with their obsessive thoughts. Being impatient with the progress and unnecessary comparison can make the condition worse.
P.S- Name and place changed due to privacy concerns