Living with OCD is of course a challenge and I firstly want to say that not all people with OCD are annoying assholes, so I apologize in advance for Howie Mandel and his entire career.
That being said; being bald, afraid of handshakes and Jewish are things all people with OCD do have to learn to live with.
I first caught OCD in grade school while walking alongside a chain link fence in the dead of winter. We had been warned by teachers and subtle Sesame Street segments that mental illness could strike at any moment and one fateful night, it would consume me and change my life forever. When it first got ahold of me, I thought I was snagged on a tree branch or something but this was no ordinary tree snagging, it was OCD and once it had me, I was powerless to defend myself. Struggling as it dragged me into oblivion, I could feel the world around me become colder and more full of confusion and fear. Many who describe contracting OCD describe a similar feeling of coldness and pure terror. The OCD monsters appeared before me and offered me a chance to sell my soul to be rid of them forever. The three large, colourful furry monsters crept ever closer, holding the contract and what appeared to be my missing pen from third period math class. The lead monster had bright pink fur and lumbered towards me in a calm manor befitting a much less threatening situation. Lucky for me I had been trained in the art of Tae Kwon Do, the ancient Korean martial art that came with a lunch buffet. I steadied myself in a combat position ready to strike...
Before anything else could happen, the monsters were gone and my math teacher was asking why I was standing in a combat pose in the middle of the class. I explained to he about the monsters and was sent to the school nurse, since we didn't have the luxury of having a school psychotherapist which would have been much more helpful. After a few questions, the nurse decided I had hit my head and send me off with a bandaid on my forehead before I could explain that OCD is a real mental disorder.
Over the years, I have been working to make sure everything I do is up to standard to subside the monsters so they don't come back and kill me. Simple things like performing rituals can deter the monsters from killing you. It is hard to explain to people who do not have the condition, so people often are confused why people with OCD tap things and do other compulsive acts. Much like Jehovahs witnesses and alien autopsy victims, people with OCD are afraid to come forward about the OCD monsters lest they appear to be crazy or possessed. Most operate under the guise that they have a common medical condition that was developed in their early years, but few beyond those who have it truly know the terror that the OCD monsters invoke.
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