With one or two exceptions, every client suffering from OCD tells me some version of the following. “I am such a freak. People must think I’m such a weirdo. No one else thinks (does) crazy stuff like this.” Sometimes I wish I could get all these people together so they would see they are not alone.
According the International OCD Foundation, OCD affects about 2 to 3 million adults in the U.S. That’s about 1 in 100 people. Next time you are in public whether it be church or the grocery store, observe how many people in the room might have OCD. Very few of them will talk about it since secrecy is such a big component of OCD. Still, you can know you are not alone, not a freak show no matter how much you feel like one.
The other thing I hear from clients is that some other variant of OCD would be preferable to the one with which he or she is suffering. The person with obsessions about stabbing people wishes that he had contamination fears. The one with contamination fears wishes she just worried about being gay. This illustrates perfectly how OCD twists up your thinking about the current area of OCD focus while you are just fine with doubt or imperfection or shades of gray in other areas of life. Sadly, OCD hell is OCD hell in whatever form it currently exists.
For now, please know that you are not alone. Check out the IOCDF website for stories from other people like you.