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By Shaun Flores


Please note that some readers may find content within the following blog to be triggering

OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) is often known to be only about cleaning. OCD is not this and it’s time to clean up the mainstream narrative about OCD that continues to prevent people with OCD from getting the help they need.

‘Pure 0’ is not a scientific term, but is informally used to refer to a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder which involves distressing internal intrusive thoughts. The thoughts are against the individual’s nature.

To relieve ourselves of the anxiety that accompanies the thoughts we end up doing inward compulsions. This in turns strengthens the OCD loop.

I luckily write this blog in recovery from ‘Pure 0’ OCD, which that tormented by life, with obsessive and intrusive thoughts about my sexual orientation, sexual assault, and suicide. Every question that came into my head I went alongside and believed it. I was unable to shake these thoughts off. I went in search every single day and every single moment to prove all these thoughts were true. Even when nothing proved them to be true, I couldn’t believe it. Doubt was my best friend and doubt accompanied me everywhere.

It took a severe breakdown when I had a graphic suicidal thought. I was with my friend and ordered an uber home, I called my friends telling them I no longer wanted to be alive. Streams of tears flew down my face and I couldn’t see past the present moment of feeling.

Over the next couple of days, time felt slow. I would sit down on my bed or sofa and do nothing. Many times, I watched the clock hoping for time to hurry up so I could barely make it through the next day.

It was a Saturday, and it became too much I was flooded with thoughts. quite simply I could not take it anymore, I went on my Instagram in a desperate plea for help. I found my current therapist and explained everything that was happening in my head. Throughout the call, I was so distraught, and she explained to me what I was suffering from was OCD. My therapist told me therapy begins on Monday, and that was the silver lining in the dark clouds that rained above my head.

I lived from therapy session to the very next therapy session. It was the only thing I genuinely looked forward to. Many sessions involved tears and constant reassurance seeking that I would be okay.

Recovery is a long road, but I am a lot more hopeful and in my darkest moments I remember I am not my thoughts, it is simply OCD.

‘Hi, my name is Shaun Flores and I have been living with obsessive-compulsive disorder undiagnosed for almost 3 years and newly diagnosed since April. I have begun writing about my recovery to help others, as the thoughts that come with OCD can bring people so much hidden shame. An invisible illness that torments people within their own minds. Some days are harder, and some days are easier, but I am finding wellness through illness. If you’re reading this you are not alone, we are not alone.’

For information on accessing support through Anxiety UK, please see here.

The views expressed by the contributor are not necessarily those of Anxiety UK, nor can we guarantee the accuracy of the information provided. If you would like to write a blog for AUK please email [email protected] for more information.

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