Tag Archive | Mental Health

Moving On

It has been a while since my last blog, but I have a good excuse. I have been busy moving. I have finally moved out of my parent’s house and unlike university this time it is hopefully for good. This is something I have wanted for ages, but I did not think it would be possible for me in the near future. All it took was for me to have a kind of mental breakdown and to feel utterly miserable for months.
I now live in supported housing for those with mental health issues.
Supported housing helps people to have somewhere to live independently, but with support when they need it. There are various types of supported housing depending on need. There is supported housing for those with learning and developmental issues, those with more physical issues and of course for people with mental health problems.
I live in what can be classed as a low support house with staff in weekday nine to five and no staff at all evenings, weekends and bank holidays. Those who need more support may live in a house with staff in evening and weekends, and for those with the highest need there are houses with staff who even sleep in the house just in case they are needed.
The support staff here can help us with things such as benefit and money issues, getting to appointments by helping us work out the public transport to somewhere or even giving us a lift if necessary, helping us organise volunteer work or other things to do, making sure we are getting the help we need with our mental health issues and generally keeping an eye on us to make sure we are safe and managing ok. In some types of supported housing I imagine there is more support with everyday things like cooking and shopping.
One of the main reasons I did not leave home sooner was the cost. Private rent is very expensive, hence so many adult children still living at home with their parents well into their twenties and even thirties. I had looked into social housing (what is now council housing), but it looked almost impossible for me to get any. I then learned there was another way into social housing in the form of supported housing and with my current mental health problems it sounded like it might be a good idea for me rather than jumping straight into living totally alone. Here the costs per person for rent and bills are kept down due to sharing the house between six of us. Most of my rent and bills are covered by housing benefit, with me paying a little bit extra each week on top of that. My main expenses are on food and transport on the bus or train.
So how do you get to live in supported housing? For me it was a case of being honest with myself about having mental health problems that had reached the point I was no longer really coping and going to my GP for help. I was not holding out the greatest hope as I had been to doctors previously about my mental health and they had just upped my medication which I did not seem to help. However last year I changed surgery and this one was proving a lot better for me, so I thought I would see if they could help. My doctor booked me in for a mental health review with a specialist, and actually seemed to take my problems seriously. The mental health specialist came out with a number of suggestions including passing on my details to the local mental health housing guy. It was agreed that living with my parents was not helping me. Part of it was issues with my parents, but also being both jobless and living at home was making me feel stuck, like I had hit a wall and was not able to move forward any more with my life. I needed a fresh start and this place was suggested to me. After visiting the house I had a couple of days to think about it, but I knew almost straight away that I wanted to move in. To live here you must have a statement of need, which for me came from the NHS mental health specialist. Another way into supported housing is through a social worker, but I am not exactly sure how that works. There is also an element of luck in that a space in a house has to actually be available, which sometimes can mean a bit of a wait, but luckily for me this house had a vacant room.
The other great thing about this particular type of supported housing is that after about two years they help you move on into independent housing. The simple fact of having lived in supported housing for more than a few months means you get more chance of social housing in your own flat. The support workers here help you with finding and securing a place to live on your own, with working out things like how to pay and budget for bills, furnishing the place and with the move itself.
This house has space for six residents, all of whom have some kind of mental health problem. It helps to live with other people who understand what having mental health issues can be like. We all understand that mental health issues such as depression can come and go and some days will be better than others. The residents offer peer support to each other, listening and talking together and trying to help when problems arise. Most supported housing seems to be mixed sex and mixed ages, which I find makes life more interesting. You learn more about different ways of living life and how to cope if you have a more varied mix of people.
Before I was offered this place, I did not even know there was such a thing as supported housing for those with mental health problems. I had heard of supported housing for those with learning and developmental issues before, but had never considered supported housing as something that would be suitable for my needs. I thought it was all about helping those who could barely even cook a meal or do their own laundry. Having low support needs I thought I was one of those borderline cases, too special needs to get a job and leave home, but not special needs enough to get any support or help from anyone apart from my parents. So when this place was mentioned I was quite surprised and unsure what to make of it. I did not want to end up feeling institutionalised or like I was back to being labelled as special needs again. I still want to get a job one day and feel like I am contributing to society rather than just existing and sitting around doing nothing all day. I was told it was low support with no staff at all evenings and weekends which is what appealed to me most. They trusted us to be left alone and be independent, but did not totally abandon us.
Before I moved I did of course worry slightly. Would I get on with the other residents, would I get on with the support staff, would I cope living without my mum and having to do more for myself? However I figured I would not know unless I tried and I knew I would regret it if I did not do it. Having now lived here for my first month I am very glad I made the move and feel very lucky to have a place here. It was the right thing for me to do as it has helped me to feel more of an adult, making my own day to-day choices about things and doing far more for myself. I also feel like I have taken the next step with my life and am finally moving forward.



I’m Mentally Ill, Ha, Ha

‘I am totally mental, the men in white coats will be coming to take me away any day now.’

‘Talking with me for while is enough to give anyone depression.’

‘If you think you’re mad, I’m totally bonkers.’

Those are some examples of how some people have reacted to me when I told them about some of my mental health issues. I am not that surprised at the responses, but I am disappointed. Some people just do not take mental health seriously and see it as a bit of a joke. Someone even once said to me that a lot of people use mental health as an excuse, to get away with being more selfish or lazy!

Out of all mental health conditions I have experienced for myself, depression seems to one of the most trivialised and dismissed. The NHS Choices website states that ‘Some people still think that depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They’re wrong. Depression is a real illness with real symptoms, and it’s not a sign of weakness or something you can “snap out of” by “pulling yourself together”. People often seem to miss use the word depressed, saying that they feel depressed, when they actually mean they feel very sad. Real depression is ‘when you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days,’ NHS Choices website. When I am depressed I feel like my whole world is collapsing around me and I cannot see the point in trying to do much at all, even getting dressed or washing seems pointless. I think why bother, it is not as if anyone will notice or care. Some people say things like ‘I had depression, but woke up one day and decided the depression was not going to win and I was going to get on with my life’. I know people who say things like that are trying to be helpful, but it just makes me feel worse, like I have failed yet again, as I am unable to flick a switch in my brain and not be depressed. People who say that clearly either never really had full blow depression or they were at the end stages of it anyway. When someone has depression unless you are a mental health professional who is actually that persons assigned councillor or therapist, offering advice is normally the last thing you should be doing, as it will probably not help much and could make the person feel worse. I would rather people just said that they care, they love me, they are there for me, they are not going to abandon me and to maybe offer me a hug.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is another condition to get silly reactions. I get the ‘just try to relax and not think about it’ one and I get the ‘everyone has routine and ritual that is just part of being human’ one. If it was that easy not to think about it, I would not suffer OCD in the first place! I agree, everyone has routines up to a point, but not ones that make this little sense and that slows you down to the point you are late for things or even miss them altogether. The one I hate the most though is ‘I’m a bit OCD’. No you are just organised, or a tidy person or just really like something. The charity OCD-UK explain it very well on their website:

‘As understanding and public awareness about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder has grown, so has the use of the term ‘OCD’ as a description for some kinds of behaviour that are not related in any way to the actual condition. When people use the terms ‘obsessive’ and ‘compulsive’ incorrectly, it leads to misunderstanding about OCD and belittles and trivialises the true suffering that the disorder can bring. As the internet and social networking websites have become more widely used, there has been an ever-increasing trend for people to refer to themselves as being a ‘bit OCD’. However, these obsessive or compulsive quirks, that last a brief moment, and rarely cause distress or any anxiety, do not warrant the label or a diagnosis of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, which can actually leave a person debilitated for hours at a time.’

The responses I get for autism are generally not too bad. People say that they either could not tell at all, or that they guessed as much, but it really does not bother them. I do get tired of people assuming my maths skills must be fantastic, as they are not very good at all. I think I might even have dyscalculia which is a learning difficulty with numbers and maths concepts (a bit like dyslexia for maths). As one blogger puts it ‘Asking if we like math, computers, or numbers because we’re Autistic is like asking a Black or African-American if he or she likes watermelons or rap music because he or she is Black or African-American.’ There was the time I was in a chat room and a person who works as a classroom assistant with autistic children said ‘they are all such lovely children’. Firstly she should know better than to call all autistic children they as if it was a race of people and secondly I honestly don’t think I always was such a lovely child. As with everyone else on the entire planet autistic people are a varied bunch, some lovely, some not so lovely and a lot of the time it has nothing to do with the autism.

When some people make a joke response to mental health I realise that some do this out of a sense of discomfort to try to make light of a topic they find very hard to discuss seriously with others. They themselves might have experience of mental health and still not feel like they can discuss it openly. However it is not a good idea to make a joke about mental health as a first response to someone who tells you they have issues. It can be very hard for people with mental health issues to feel that they can discuss them honestly with anyone, so the fact they feel they are ready to talk about them should be taken seriously. You should listen to them, it may help you understand the person better.

The other thing that gets me is having watched one documentary or met one person with the same condition people then think they totally understand you. Yes they may have some idea of what the condition is, but mental illnesses tend to vary from person to person a great deal. For example with my OCD I do not wash my hands over and over, but after one documentary showed a woman with OCD washing her hands excessively till they were red raw, for a long time after people kept asking me if that was something I did. When someone tells you they have a mental health condition please be sensitive in your response to them and think before you say anything.


NHS Choices on Clinical Depression 

OCD-UK on What is not OCD!

15 Things You Should Never Say To An Autistic blog


I am a Writer

Right now the only thing I feel that I am really good at is writing. I have always enjoyed writing since I was young. It is the one area in which I get consistently good comments from people. I sometimes get nice comments about other things I do, but never as regularly as I do about my writing. It has been this way ever since I started school, writing was the area in which I knew my marks would never be that bad. At university my best marks were for my written theory work. I got OK marks for most of my performance practicals, but the written side always got me my best marks.
I decided last year to start this blog as I thought it would be a good way to get back into writing. A way to express some of my thoughts and feelings about things I have been going through. I was not sure if many people would read it, but for me it was more the actual act of writing and knowing that it had the potential to be read by someone. However right from the first post I started getting good numbers reading it and some very good feedback. A lot of the first people to read it were my family and friends, but I now have total strangers signing up to follow my blog and commenting on it too! It is a brilliant feeling knowing that your writing is good enough for people to want to read more of it.
I decided to write on the topics of disability and mental health as I have a life time of experience in these areas and have opinions and ideas on these topics that I wanted to express. I also add in posts about being on benefits as that is affecting my life in a large way right now, and often it can impact on my mental health. It helps that I am a very opinionated person who not afraid to tell people exactly how I feel about things. Being very honest in my blog matters to me, as I want to use it as a way to tell the world what I am really thinking and feeling about things.
I find writing this blog, and writing in general therapeutic in some ways. I find it helps to get things off my chest and out in the open. Writing also helps me focus my mind on what is really the issue and not to worry about so many things all at once. As I write I read back what I have just written and sometimes realise what I was anxious or angry about actually sounds daft when put out in the open like that. It gives me perspective on things. It also forces me to make my thoughts more coherent so that people can understand me which in turn sometimes helps me understand myself better.
Recently I had a blog post published on a campaign website about forced ‘volunteer’ work on job seekers allowance. I emailed them about my experiences, and they said I wrote about my experience very well and would I write a short blog for them. Despite it being unpaid it felt like a kind of commission, like a real writing job. I was proud of myself that I wrote so well they were willing to put it up on their website and post it on their Facebook page. I very much enjoyed the experience of writing for someone else and would love to do it again.
In fact my dream job would be as a writer. A kind of journalist or opinion page writer, the kind of thing you might read in the Guardian in the magazine pull-out. I also think I would be good at writing for websites or as a press officer for a local government organisation and that kind of thing. I am really struggling to get regular work in retail or hospitality or any other day-to-day area, so I am wondering if my talents would be better served doing something like writing for a living. However I do not know how you go about getting into writing as a career, it is not the kind of job you often see advertised on a jobs board online. I fear it might require knowing the right people in the industry, but sadly I do not know anyone like that. If anyone has any ideas how I could get started with this please feel free to share them with me. Even if it is unpaid work, it would be great to have more experience in writing for other people.
Currently I am stuck in a seemingly endless job searching rut and need to get out of it for my own sanities sake. Having been unemployed for over two years (bar a three-month retail job over a year ago), with the job centre driving me gradually more and more insane, old mental health issues I thought I had dealt with in my early twenties are resurfacing. I am wondering if maybe, just maybe writing could be my salvation.


Thoughts Intrusive

Sometimes I feel like my brain is struggling to deal with everything.  My mind feels like it is over whelmed with thoughts and I start to feel down about things.  During a recent session of this I decided to write down what it felt like, this is what I wrote:

Over thinking a lot of things, some of which are simple things.

Worrying about things before they even start.  Building things up.

Pre plan over and over in my head, seeing the future event taking place in my mind.  It can be something as simple as what I will do when I get home that day or what I will do at the weekend.

Visualizing things in my mind’s eye in great detail, sometimes they seem almost real.

Overcrowded brain.  Loud, chattering thoughts.

Thoughts swimming through my mind jostling for position.

This can lead to:

OCD  When I over think some things it can trigger me to think an action or task needs redoing as it might not be right.  When I am worrying about something my OCD tends to become worse.

Anger I get angry with myself sometimes at not being able to control my thoughts.  I get angry when I am stuck in an OCD loop or when confused.  I mostly just feel angry inside, but I have been known to shout out loud at myself sometimes, mostly when on my own.

Confusion When my mind is swimming with thoughts I sometimes get confused as to which thoughts matter and which don’t.

Worrying I worry something will not go to plan as I saw it happening in my mind.  I sometimes worry that I will never get better from feeling like this and that can scare me.

Tiredness  Having a brain that will not shut up can be very tiring.  When I am over thinking things too much it can make me tired.

Putting Things off/ Giving up I have an idea or a plan, but sometimes I put myself off the idea by over thinking it and imagining all the reasons it is a bad idea.  I worry about it either coming across as a daft idea to other people or just not working well.

Depression/ Low Spirits  When I over think something to the point it makes me worry or give up, then I can feel very low.  Sometimes I just go back to bed and sleep instead of having to listen to my overcrowded brain.  My thoughts can start to all be negative and I start to blame myself for how I feel.  I also feel low sometimes when something I pre plan in great detail does not work out that way exactly.

The worst is when I start to take out my mood on those around me, mostly my parents who I live with.  I try very hard not to do this, but sometimes I struggle.  I do not like how angry I get with other people at times.  Sometimes I feel the anger is somewhat justified towards them, but most of the time I know afterwards that it was not.

I wonder if anyone else who has OCD or high functioning autism or an anxiety disorder can relate to any of this.



Mental Health Issues

‘One in four people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year’ (The Office for National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity report, 2001)

I have seen or heard this statistic more than once, but what does it mean?  What is a mental health problem?  So one in four British adults experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any one year, which sounds a bit alarming, but it is not always that bad.  Mental health problems can range from being at risk of self harm or hurting others to generally feeling low and  being irritable.

The most common mental health issues are mixed anxiety and depression with almost 9% of people meeting criteria for diagnosis.  I have suffered from this on and off since I was a teenager.  Anxiety is a fear, but it becomes a problem when you can not control it or you suffer long-term effects.  Anxiety for some can lead to panic attacks which can be very frightening as they can feel like you are about to black out or can’t breath.  I have never had a panic attack which I am very glad about.  However I often feel overly anxious about things, especially when something unexpected changes my immediate plans, such as if I am getting ready to go out and then there is a delay for some reason.  I can get irritable, cry or just give up and not even bother to finish what I was doing.  Anxiety can make my OCD much worse which then gives me even more to be anxious about.  I sometimes find I need reassurance from others that everything is OK and I become dependent on them.  Anxiety can be a vicious circle, feeling anxious about a situation that might make you anxious.  I have found myself avoiding situations that have triggered anxiety in the past, meaning I can miss out on things.  This can then lead to depression.

Clinical depression is more than just feeling a bit low or feeling somewhat sad for a short while.  For me it is an overwhelming feeling of sadness and negativity that I feel powerless to do anything about.  I have had periods when I felt so self doubtful that I could not see the point in anything and then just give up  trying to do things.  This includes even getting out of bed and dressing sometimes.  I have spent whole days in my pyjamas getting out of bed after one in the afternoon and doing very little apart from maybe watching television.  On these days I may hardly move or get any exercise, which is not good for my physical health let alone my mental health.  Depression can be triggered by many different things and sometimes can be caused by a combination of factors.  The first time I remember feeling full on depression was when I was in my early teens.  I had been badly bullied in school and was going through puberty both of which combined to make me very unhappy, then when I had a period of not going to school at all, I became depressed.  A lot of my depression flare ups seem to happen when my life reaches a stagnant point, such as between college courses or a few months after graduating university when I was left by a long-term boyfriend and struggling to find work.  It is not uncommon for the long-term unemployed to suffer depression, endless rejections and not hearing back from employers can make the future seem bleak.  Unemployed people, the long-term sick and poorer people are often effected for longer periods than most people when it comes to depression and other mental health issues.

Another issue I have problems with is Anger.  Everyone gets angry, it is a natural human response to certain situations, but excessive anger can be a problem.  Excessive anger can often be a sign of other mental  health problems, such as anxiety, alcohol or drug addiction or depression.  I used to get very angry in school and yell at teachers in front of everyone.  I still get angry now, but less often in public than I used to.  I tend to get angry when frustrated with myself or others.  My anxiety and depression can make me very angry sometimes, blaming everything and everyone around me.   I also get angry when I feel powerless, which maybe why I did it so much in school.  Anger is very scary for those around you and can damage relationships with people you love and care about.  Sometimes with my OCD I get angry and yell at inanimate objects, which is not only very pointless, but if other people see it can make you look insane.  I  find that anger often leads to depression, bursting into tears after a yelling session, with feelings of even more hopelessness and frustration, which means the anger session was pretty pointless.  The scariest times for me have been when I was so angry I threw things, such as a ruler at a teacher or when I lashed out and hit my mum.  Luckily for them and me I am a bad shot and missed and I am weak and fairly easy to grab and stop.  I never went this far very often and try hard not to, but sometimes I seem to lose myself in the heat of the moment.  I then feel guilty about it afterwards.

Over the years I have had various types of help for my mental health issues.  I have had Cognitive Behavioural Therapy more than once.  CBT combines talking therapies with behavioural therapy.  The therapy looks at how you feel about the things going on in your life and how this affects the way you behave.  Then you and your therapist try to break the patterns of negative thoughts and change the way you behave in negative situations.  I found CBT slightly more helpful the second time I had it as I was older and more ready to deal with the problems.  The first time I had it in my early teens, it helped a bit, but I am not sure I was mature enough to take it all on board properly.  I  had CBT mainly for my OCD and depression.  I had counselling which is a talking therapy.  A regular time and space to discuss problems and explore feelings.  It can help a lot, but you need to be open and honest with the counsellor.  I found that you might need to try more than one counsellor before you find the right one for you that you can open up with, but it is worth trying again with another one.  I had group therapy when I was about twelve, which I enjoyed for the main reason that it got me out of school when I was being bullied.  I think it helped me realise that I was not alone and that compared  to some I was not even that messed up, but it was not much help for actually dealing with my issues.  I found that during the breaks and afterwards the other children just encouraged each other in the negative and bad behaviour patterns.  Anger management therapy helped me somewhat, with one-to-one weekly sessions for several weeks. I had a combination of CBT and talking therapy to try to understand what made me angry and how to deal with it better.  I do think it helped me in some situations, but not with all of my anger.  I think therapy has been worth while as although  it has not cured my mental health issues, it has helped me to understand them better and to at least make a start in them being less of a problem.

With mental health issues I have found that mostly it is down to me, I have to want to change.  Before therapy, sometimes just helping yourself can be enough or at least a good start.  I find keeping active helps with depression and anxiety, if I am busy I have no time to  think about it.  Also doing something positive can make you feel that in fact life is more worth while, such as volunteer work or contributing in some way to someone else’s life.  Talking about how you feel with friends and family can help.  Not only will they hopefully understand what you are going through better, but I find talking about it helps me work out how I feel better.  I find keeping a daily diary helpful as it lets out my emotions without hurting anyone else’s feelings.  Keeping to a more healthy diet helps you bodies all over well-being as does not drinking too much.  I find if I drink too much it can just aggravate the mood I was already in making me more angry or more depressed.  Most of all you have to accept yourself, we are all different and good at different things.

If you would like to learn more about mental health or would like some advice I found these two websites very informative:

Mental Health Foundation http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/

Mind http://www.mind.org.uk/

Mind also run ‘Elefriends’ a good website for sharing how you feel with other people suffering from mental health problems.  You can write or post whatever you want on the site and other people can comment on it and offer advice.  I find the people very non judgemental and often they understand exactly what you are going  through.  http://elefriends.org.uk/login?next=%2Fposts#_=_



  • I wash my hands over and over.
  • I turn the light switch on and off ten times before entering a room.
  • I think my family will die or get hurt if I don’t stick to my routine.

These are the most common things people seem to think I must do and think when I tell them I have OCD.  I would like to start by dispelling some myths.  Not everyone who has OCD washes their hands over and over, yes a germ phobia is quite a common symptom of OCD, but I do no have this.  I do like to keep clean, but only to the extent that most people do.  I can see why people think this, if  you look up OCD on Wikipedia, it even has a picture of someone washing their hands, which does not help me.  I have never had to turn the light on and off over and over.  I do have some issues with numbers, counting up to twelve when I do some things, but I do not  have a set number of times I must do any one thing.

I have always realised that if I do not do my routine my family will not die, nothing will in fact happen to them.  Most people with OCD realise this, and the thought that someone will die if the routine is not completed I gather is quite rare.  The reason I have to stick to my routine is more how I will feel if I do not.  I feel very uncomfortable and can’t relax if my OCD is not complied with.  I feel wrong somehow and my mind nags at me.  I can lie in bed at night, very tired and ready to sleep, but if I have not completed my full routine my brain will not shut-up.  ‘You need to check the door is fully shut, yes you do, check it, check it, go on, go on’ a bit like Mrs Doyle in Father Ted will not let you get away until you agree to give into her.  So I have to give into my crazy mind and get out of bed, no matter how comfy I am and re shut the door.  This is the only way I know I will get any peace and my mind will switch off for the night.

Another thing people sometimes say to me is ‘I think I might have OCD’.  Now everyone has some kind of order and routine or we would not function in society, but having a routine is not the same thing as having OCD.  OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and until your thoughts are so obsessive in your mind that you simply have to give into them or end up going crazy then you don’t have OCD.

Full blown OCD can effect you ability to function in society.  Firstly I find it hard at times to live with others as sometimes they can do things that mess up my routine by interrupting it, meaning I have to start all over again.  Sometimes people move or rearrange objects in a house, which can seriously mess with my mind.  Half way through a routine to find that something is not where I need it to be can set me right back.  Secondly I have been known to take so long to get dressed and ready to go out that by the time I am done the shops are shut or the event is half over.  So I either miss out totally or have a rather rushed experience.  Even if I do turn up in good time, I can often be worn out already by the long routine of getting ready to go out.

I have been on medication since I was about fourteen.  Paroxetine is better known as an antidepressant drug, but is often used to help with OCD.  I have no idea if it is still doing anything for me these days as I have been on it so long.  I am sure it was helping me in the first few years of taking it, making me slightly less anxious about not doing certain things, but now I am on a lower dose and may have become immune to it.  I do know I am addicted to it and have to take it or I feel awful.  It take about two or three days without it, but then I feel dizzy, sick, tired and my head feels like it has been hit with a hammer.  I ran out once when at university and I was without it for nearly four whole days, by the end I was seeing coloured sports in front of my eyes.  I am not sure being left on medication with these effects is a good idea long-term, but I am glad I took it.  I also had therapy for my OCD, but on its own the therapy clearly was not enough.

My therapy was mainly behavioural based and did help somewhat, but it was no cure.  The trouble with therapy is that I would sometimes have a good week and be so relaxed at the session that you would fail to really explore the true issues.  If you go on and have a few good weeks in a row the therapist may think you are making such good progress you no longer need to see them and then the sessions come to an end.  Then you go and have a bad week and have no one to help you.  I find stress, worrying situations and upset can trigger off a bad OCD phase.

Every day I have to do my OCD routines, but depending on my mood I can do them to a lesser extent at times, meaning that I can get on with life fairly normally.  Then something triggers me and I have to do them to the fullest extent.  This can be hard for other people who live with you, who may not understand how one day you can function relatively fine, then the next  hardly be able to cope at all.  I can sometimes work out why my OCD is playing up worse and explain this to people, but sometimes I do not know what the cause is and can’t explain it.  OCD is not always at a constant level, which some people seem to have trouble grasping.

To learn more about the misconceptions of OCD and what it really is and is not check out this web link I found.  OCD UK charity