From Darkness to Light: My OCD Story

From Darkness to Light: My OCD Story

by Hussain

Early Childhood

I encountered my first obsessive thought when I was about 10 years old, centered around God and religion. I vividly remember the overwhelming guilt I felt. I was doing my Islamic religion homework when I first experienced obsessive symptoms and intrusive thoughts. As a shy kid, I kept these feelings to myself, hiding my fear and guilt while continuing to attend school.

A few days later, the intrusive thoughts recurred. I recall my heart beating fast as I ran to the washroom, shaking and crying, trying to wash away the "evidence." During this phase, the intrusive thoughts were not as frequent as they would become later.

Teen Life

My teenage years with OCD were tough, around ages 13 to 16. As my responsibilities grew, so did my obsessive urges and intrusive thoughts about sex and scrupulosity. One incident stands out: in the 6th grade, during history class, I had a mental image of writing blasphemous words on my desk. I panicked, repeatedly checking for these words, feeling intense guilt and fear.

Later that day, I realized I was uttering gibberish words that lowered my anxiety levels—a classic OCD compulsion.


Adulthood with OCD was disastrous. In college, studying electrical and electronics engineering, my stress and obsessions increased. This led to immense pain and academic failure. I feared social interactions, obsessing over writing profane words on desks and sending inappropriate emails. Group projects were a nightmare, and driving triggered fears of running over imaginary bodies.

Low Point

As I began to fail courses, I quit. OCD consumed me, leading to poor hygiene and overeating. I stayed bedridden, wasting my supposedly wonderful years at age 22. OCD took everything from me.

Seeking Treatment

One day, my mother forcefully knocked on my door, insisting we see a therapist. I knew I needed therapy but had delayed it due to stigma and misconceptions about mental health medicines.

First Option

I was diagnosed with OCD by a psychologist and psychiatrist and was prescribed medication, but it had little effect and negative side effects. After several months and different medications, I sought other therapists.

Second Option

I found a well-respected mental health therapist who welcomed me warmly. He treated me like a son and explained everything about OCD. I was prescribed new pills, and gradually, my symptoms became more tolerable and controllable. I regained confidence, resumed daily activities, and focused on my studies.

Turning Point

A couple of months went by, and I started to recover. I felt confident driving alone, going to the store, sending emails, and focusing on my studies. I began to understand my OCD triggers and learned to differentiate between intrusive thoughts and normal ones.

Life as an Advocate

In my suffering with OCD, I found my passion and community. I made it my life goal to help others with OCD. I started my own website ( to raise awareness and provide evidence-based articles. Through this journey, I've met wonderful people and found my purpose.

The ADAA's website and resources have been invaluable in my journey, providing me with information, support, and a sense of community. If I can manage OCD, so can you.

View Hussain's website The Struggling Warrior.

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