Like many OCD sufferers, I did not realize I have OCD until I had struggled with it for nearly a decade. How, you ask, could someone have a crippling disorder for that long and not know what it was?
Well, there are several reasons. First of all, living with OCD just became my “normal.” I knew something was wrong with me, but I developed ways of coping with it, and soldiered on. It was only when I bought the book Brain Lock by Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz that I was able to diagnose myself with OCD. In the book, he tells a lot of detailed stories about his patients and what he went through. I read those stories and identified with them so much that I knew I must have OCD. That lead to me reading more books on the disorder, and listening to a podcast called The OCD Stories. All of this further confirmed my self-diagnosis.