Getting My Anxiety, Panic, and OCD Under Control

March 6, 2023 Matt Brocklebank

Looking back at all my past problems from where I am today, it's often hard to remember just how low I felt. It's hard to remember the many years I spent stuck in a vicious cycle of anxiety, panic attacks, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), not knowing if I would ever be able to break free and live a happy and fulfilling life again. There were intermittent periods of depression when I was unable to see any reason for existence. Thankfully, those days are over.

My Life Without Anxiety Almost

I haven't experienced panic attacks in a long time and rarely feel depressed. When I do, it doesn't last long. I momentarily feel like shutting myself away from the world and giving up, but I know that I'm choosing to have those thoughts, and I know I have the choice to think differently.

The only thing I still have occasional difficulties with is OCD. Compared to how it was just a few years ago, it isn't very severe. Nevertheless, it is present, and it does cause anxiety and stress from time to time. I think it's difficult for me to resolve it altogether because it's always been a part of my life to some degree.

For the most part, OCD has been about having things done a certain way or a specific number of times. Everything has to line up, be level, or fit together precisely. People often imagine this type of behavior when they hear the term "OCD," and although it can be a nuisance, it isn't what I consider a debilitating condition for me. Sometimes it's more persistent than others, but it's usually manageable.

Uncontrollable Obsessions in OCD

When OCD became a more serious problem in later life, it was entirely different. I began to obsess uncontrollably about contamination. It wasn't from the perspective of spreading germs or contracting an illness. It was more to do with the thought of unseen parasites, chemicals, and residues beyond my control.

I avoided anywhere I thought there was a risk of coming into contact with one of these pollutants. This included pet shops, drug stores, and second-hand shops. If I did go into one of these places, I would shower as soon as I got home and wash all my clothes. I would thoroughly clean whatever I had taken with me, taking great pains not to further contaminate anything else during the process. Once in a while, I would buy something only to throw it away when I got home rather than risk spreading whatever I had convinced myself it might be tainted with.

This was typical behavior at the time. Sometimes, I would work myself into a corner of the room, unable to move in any direction for fear of spreading or coming into contact with one contaminant or another. Unable to figure out what to do, my mind would inevitably go blank, and I would break down in tears. No matter how convoluted and illogical my reasoning, nor how much despair it caused, I always found a way to justify my actions.

Finding My Way Back to Happiness from Anxiety, Panic, and OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder persisted in this way for several years, but with treatment, I finally developed the power to take control. Now, whenever I get anxious that I haven't done something a certain way or have come into contact with something unpleasant, I acknowledge that I can choose to forget about it. It isn't always easy and doesn't always happen as quickly as I would like, but I know the overwhelming urges will eventually fade away if I let them. I'm another step closer to living a happier life. And perhaps one day, those remaining OCD impulses will vanish completely.

APA Reference
Brocklebank, M. (2023, March 6). Getting My Anxiety, Panic, and OCD Under Control, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 18 from

Author: Matt Brocklebank

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