Lessons From Lockdown – Facing Your Demons

We are slowly getting used to life under lockdown. How long will it last? Nobody knows – at least not in my country. And while social isolation is important, it is very challenging. I guess many of my readers have already experienced how difficult it can be to self-isolate, so I would not want to write about the challenges, but about the things that I have learnt while spending time with my own demons.

Now, who are my demons? Mostly, the different faces of my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. But in general, I think most of our negative thoughts are just like demons who are trying to ruin our lives.

So, what did I learn while spending time with my demons?

You cannot run away from yourself

Okay, this sounded pretty desperate but it is true. At the beginning of this whole crisis, I thought self-isolation would totally destroy my mental health and while it has been a pretty difficult time, I can tell you that so far I have been doing fine.

Why? Because I am forced to stop running away from myself. Now, those who have been following my blog for some time might have noticed that I am a very outgoing person. Which is not a bad thing, but going out used to be one of my strategies for managing my anxiety and my OCD. If I had a scary thought, I would just go to a party or to a nearby shopping mall to spend some time with my friends. If I obsessed over an intrusive thought, I would just travel somewhere during the weekend and try to forget about it.

But a few weeks ago, the world changed and I am no longer able to run away from my demons. Obviously, I can still call a friend or talk to my family but it is just not the same what it used to be.

So, at the end of the day, I am forced to face my own demons. And I do not want to be a hypocrite: I have to admit that at the beginning it was extremely difficult but the more time you spend with them, the less scary they become. And spending time with your inner monsters will also give you experience and handling them. I am pretty sure that when this crisis is over, many of us will be much better at managing our mental health issues.

Further Reading:

Social Media Can Be Toxic

Are you worried about the current situation? Not yet? Just check your Facebook newsfeed and you will surely be scared to death!

I am addicted to social media. I have always loved using it and I can say that I have “grown up online”. But in difficult times, social media is not a place of comfort. In the last few weeks, I spent more time checking Facebook than ever before and this made me realize how dangerous “social media overdose” can be.

Social media is just like alcohol. The world is much more beautiful after having one ore two glasses of wine, but drinking a few bottles will surely send you to hospital.

And well, it has been pretty difficult for most of us and you would think social media could help you feel less lonely and more connected, but my experience is that it just makes things a lot worse.

In difficult times, people should support each other. And that’s what most of us do. I am pretty much convinced that human beings are generally good. But for some reason, this is not reflected on social media. Instead of becoming a platform that supports people, social media has become a place full of fear-mongering, hate and hypocrisy.

If your friend was in a terrible situation, you would tell them to be careful, to take care of themselves but you would not want to scare them to death, would you? Why? Because you love your friend and because you know that fear never helped anybody – and believe me, I am an expert when it comes to fear, having lived most of my life with OCD.

But then, what happens on social media? First of all, it is next to impossible to find positive news in your newsfeed (the only headlines with the word “positive” are the ones about people testing positive for the virus) and even if there’s one, people will make sure they do not miss leaving a few hundred fear-mongering comments below the post. If there are good news, someone will surely post a comment saying that “the worst is yet to come” , “millions will die” or “the apocalypse on the way”.

And it is not only about fear-mongering but there are a lot of posts full of hate and hypocrisy. People who posted “it is just a flu” kind of comments a few weeks back, are now humiliating others for not being able to “stay the f**ck at home” (do not get me wrong, I do think that most of the people in the streets are there for a good reason, at least in my country people are pretty responsible at the moment.) And let’s not even mention all the racism against Asian people.


So what is my advice? At the moment, social media is a poisonous place and it will not help you feel less lonely. If you need someone, call your friends or send them a message – or just spend some time on WordPress which is far more comforting than Facebook 🙂

Further Reading

Enjoying Life

The world is a beautiful place and slowing down made me realize how many amazing things we have in our lives. And we do not always value all of the amazing gifts God has given us.

Not sure how it is in your countries, but here we can still go out for a walk. And having an evening walk has become one of my new habits. And while walking alone, I notice a lot of beautiful things that I have never noticed before – because I basically spent most of my life running around.

Beautiful things such as the smell of flowers in the air, stars on the sky and extravagant buildings. Life is full of uncertainty but at the end of the day, there is one thing you can control: the way you are looking at things.

Now, if you have OCD, it is not easy to get rid of your obsessions and compulsions but I think this is a perfect time to learn how we can manage the way we see the world.

Further Reading

Embracing Uncertainty

I can tell you that many of the “what if” questions I was obsessing about came true in the last couple of days. Nothing seems to be certain anymore. Things that I used to take for granted are no longer there and we are in a situation that none of us can control. Now, this is what I call a real life exposure therapy!

And my reaction to this is pretty surprising. Like I do not want to be a hypocrite and tell you that I am not worried because I am. But I am a lot less worried than I expected. When this whole situation started, I really thought that I was going to have a nervous breakdown and I would not be able to control myself. And my obsessions would take over me. But then something else happened:

I have started to accept uncertainty and living in the moment. You never know what tomorrow brings and this is why you are somehow better at enjoying things that you have today. Has my OCD “miraculously” gone away? Of course, it has not – I probably worry more than many other people, but I am proud of myself for not losing control over my obsessions 🙂

Further Reading:

Final Thoughts

Do not forget about taking care of your mental health in these difficult times. And take care of yourself and your loved ones. Everything will turn out fine! Sending my love to all of you, guys!

Mark

Fight Coronavirus Anxiety: Silence your negative inner voice

Another post about coronavirus. But please do not believe that my blog will turn into a “coronavirus blog”. The reason why I have decided to write about this topic is because I really believe that this has a huge impact on everyone’s mental health. So, in today’s post I will share a couple of techniques that can help you overcome your anxiety.

Life in Europe has changed tremendously since this outbreak began. A lot of things that we used to take for granted are no longer there. Many people have lost their loved ones and most of us are terribly afraid of losing people we love. And death is not the only thing to worry about at the moment but this whole crisis will have a huge impact on our economy, society and on many other aspects of our lives. On the top of everything, self isolation is not an easy thing to do either. Sometimes it is nice to stay at home and relax but being left alone with terrifying thoughts and access to the internet is definitely not the best thing if you’re suffering from anxiety.

So you may want to go out with your friends or to go on a trip, but it’s not recommended. Which means that you have no option to escape from yourself and your negative inner voice. The only option you have is fighting it. You are left alone with your own demons and these demons can be more terrifying than the worst horror movie that you have ever watched. But how could you fight your own demons?

Before I actually share my thoughts there’s one thing that I would like to tell you: I really do not want to downplay the severity of the situation and I really do not want to sound like a guy “with first world problems”. But telling anxious people that “someone has it worse” will not help them – on the contrary, thinking about other people who’re in a much worse situation will make you feel guilty and you will end up being even more anxious. And there are a lot of articles all around the internet that will trigger your anxiety so I really hope that at least this post will help some of you!

Negative Inner Monologue

One of the main reasons why you are anxious is because you have a negative inner monologue with yourself – even if you do not notice it. So let’s look at the different types of terrifying thoughts!

Overestimating Negative Outcomes

Please do not close the page saying that I am irresponsible saying such things! I really do not mean that we should just ignore all the dangers of this virus but what I am saying is that if you have anxiety, you’re very likely to overestimate the negative outcomes.

I can give you my own example: I am really not worried for myself but for my parents and grandparents. My parents are in their 50s and my gran is 80 years old. And if you have anxiety you are not always able to think in a rational way but your thoughts can easily get out of control because:

You constantly imagine the worst scenario

You may not know anyone who is infected and you know that most of the people who get the virus will recover. However, you manage to convince yourself that your situation will surely be the worst one. And this is one of the reasons why googling statistics (something that I love doing by the way) will not help: even if you found one that says that the situation is better than you would imagine, you would still think that you will be the unlucky one!

So how could you stop overestimating negative outcomes?

It is a very difficult thing to do. I think the first step is noticing when you start overestimating. And that’s the point where you just need to stop reading articles on the internet: because if you have an anxiety disorder you’re very likely to overestimate the risks but there are a lot of people out there who underestimate them, so most of the Google results are not “anxiety friendly” – including many posts that were actually written for people who’re suffering from anxiety disorders.

Now, can you just stop thinking about it?

Well, it is not that easy. So I do not think telling people to “stop thinking about it” is a useful advice. But writing about it helps a lot – so start writing a diary. Or watch a movie, call a friend, read a book – you may not be able to stop worrying right away but spending time on something else will help a lot!

Catastrophic Thinking

Overestimating negative outcomes can often lead to a kind of “Catastrophic Thinking”.

So you can easily end up imagining a kind of zombie apocalypse or losing everyone and everything you love. And even if you’re not particularly worried about the disease itself, you will find other things to worry about: such as a huge economic crisis. And the more you think about it, the scarier things you will imagine.

That is why it is important to recognize catastrophic thinking and to be more conscious about it. And that is why it is important not to spend too much time reading the news.

And talking about the news: mainstream media!

I really do not want to give the impression that I think the media is exaggerating but it is important to think about the way it works. The more readers you have, the more money you earn. And let’s be honest: most of the people are not particularly interested at good news. If your article has a shocking title, more people will click on it. You will find much more articles about how many people died than about successful recoveries.

And there’s even an example I can give you: a prestigious news site (I really do not want to name them) published an article saying that summer in Europe will not make the coronavirus outbreak better – and a few hours later, the very same website posted one more article that said that Australia would have a significant increase in coronavirus cases because of cooling temperatures in the southern hemisphere.

While I cannot predict the future, I can tell you that catastrophic thinking is definitely not a good thing – and it’s difficult to stop doing it but try to look at the facts. China has managed to contain the virus and the rest of the world will do too!

Underestimating yourself

All of us come from a long line of heroes! Our ancestors survived wars, terrifying diseases, natural disasters and a lot more.

And you are stronger than you think! By saying this, I do not mean that you shouldn’t take care of yourself but what I am saying is that you will be able to cope with difficult situations. And you are never alone, there will always be someone who can help you.

Are you worried to death? Let’s talk

Yes, I am posting things that could help people overcome their anxiety, but I do not want to be a hypocrite: me too I feel anxious sometimes. That’s the way I am. And I know it’s a difficult period for those who’re suffering from a mental illness. So if you feel that you need to talk to someone, please leave a comment )or send a mail to markwester92@gmail.com) – I am not a certified therapist or a doctor, so I will not be able to give you any “professional advice”, but sometimes it helps a lot to talk about our feelings.

Take care of yourself!

We should not only worry about our mental health but we should do everything to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the virus. Find more info about prevention on CDC:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html

Further Reading

OCD & Coronavirus: Confessions Of An Anxious Mind

How worried should you be about the coronavirus?

This is a question that I can not answer – and to be honest, I was spending a lot of time googling but I have not been able to find any answer to it. But there is one thing I know: it has been a very difficult period for those who are suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or from any other anxiety disorder.

And I really do not want to downplay the risk or say that the mainstream media is creating needless panic because I am just a guy from Central Europe, who does not know too much about the current situation. All I want to do is to let people know what it feels like for an OCD sufferer to be exposed to the “coronavirus panic” 24/7 – in an era when shutting down social media and avoiding fake news is almost impossible.

Coronavirus and a day with OCD

Waking up in the morning. Feeling almost like P. Diddy. Spring is here and the sun shines brightly through the window pane. It’s an amazing feeling and you feel that your winter depression will soon be over.
But suddenly, a disturbing thought comes into your mind:

What if you will not be able to enjoy this beautiful spring because of this terrible coronavirus outbreak? You are not afraid of dying but what if one of your loved ones die from it?

So, you just need to check the news. You know that it is not the best thing to start your day with but you just need to know how many people are infected and how many of them have died. You just want to be sure that the risk of getting it is extremely low. But the numbers will scare you. There are more and more people who got the virus and a lot of them died overnight. It was not a good idea to check the statistics and you know that, but it does not mean that you can stop. You keep googling and the scary results will make you more and more anxious.

But soon, you need to leave for work. Did you lock the door? Now, that is something that you usually check a few times before leaving however this checking habit has gone ever since the outbreak began: because what if someone else touched the doorknob and it is contaminated? Let’s not touch it too many times because you can never know, can you? It’s always better to be safe than sorry. So you just lock the door and sanitize your hands and finally leave for work.


You are lucky enough – you do not have to take public transport to go to work. But walking to the office is not always a pleasant thing to do. Especially if you have unlimited mobile date. So you just need to check the news once more: in English and then in the other languages you speak. And the news are pretty scary – you knew they were going to be scary, but that does not mean you can just stop checking them.

And anyways, can you believe the news? What if the outbreak is much more serious than presented? What if they just downplay the risk? What if everyone you love will die? Or, what if the whole outbreak is just a lie? Who knows. You can never know, can you? So let’s keep checking the news – maybe you will get an answer to your questions.

And in the meantime, do no forget to touch your forehead every ten minutes to make sure that you do not have fever. Because what if your body temperature is too high? What if you have the coronavirus and you will infect everyone at he office? All of those innocent people will get sick because you were irresponsible. And if you think it over, you will see hat you had a lot of exposure: you are exremely likely to have the novel coronavirus. And this means that you are an evil person: you are ignoring the facts and you go to work and spend time with your friends while being infected. You are the one who will make them sick and you will be the one to blame for everything! Most of the people around you are not worried – they say that the risk is still pretty low. But what if your situation is exceptional?

You get o the office and your co-workers would want to shake hands with you. You really do not want to be rude so you shake hands with them but then you just have to run to the bathroom and wash your hands three times. Exactly three times because that is your lucky number and this lucky number.

Then you try to work on your new project, but you are just unable to. Not because you are lazy but because you just can not stop thinking about the virus. Again, you are not afraid of dying, but you are afraid of contaminating others and seeing your loved ones die.

You just want to run away. You do not want to talk about the virus or hear about it but you have no choice: it is all over the place. Everyone talks about it. If you open your Facebook, you will see all the terrifying news your friends posted. If you open your mails, you will find notifications about the potential risks. If you go on a coffee break, your co-workers will talk about the virus. At the beginning of the outbreak, you really wanted to avoid any situation that could potentially trigger your OCD, but at this point, it is no longer possible.

Finishing at work. And time to go out with your friends for a drink. You would normally enjoy going out but nowadays, it’s getting more and more difficult. First of all, you want to enjoy every moment of it, because you do not know what the future brings. What if there will be no more nights out?

They said social isolation would be a good practice. So you do not know what to do. You feel guilty to go out with your friends because you may be responsible for accelerating the spread of the virus but on the other hand you really do not want to be alone with your disturbing thoughts.

But then, going out will not solve your issues anyway. Because you have to check the news at least once in ten minutes. And you have to wash your hands every time you touch something. Which means once a minute. You try to control yourself. You try not to speak about the virus and try not to run to the bathroom to wash your hands. But you just give up.

And then, there’s one of your friends who always make fun of everything. Which is pretty okay in most of the situations but this time he starts coughing and says that he surely has the new coronavirus. You almost forgot about the whole thing but then he obviously needed to remind you!

You do not want to go home anymore because you’re afraid of infecting your loved ones, but you have to. But before going home, you just have to call your best friend to talk about the coronavirus while walking around your block. Seeking reassurance? Yes, maybe but both of you are terribly scared of it. At least you have someone who looks at the newest statistics together with you.

After looking at the coronavirus topic from every single point of view, you just feel more anxious. Because you realize that you do not know anything. That you do not know what is the truth. Overreacting media? Conspiracy? Real risk? The next Black Death? Is there anyone who knows? Google will not be able to give you an answer. You just go home and want to sleep but you can not.

And even if you fall asleep, will it solve your problems? Tomorrow will be a new day full of fears. Full of terrifying news and panic. And you just feel guilty – guilty for worrying about your OCD while there are a lot of people dying. And you feel uncertain because you do not know what is going on. Only one thing is certain: tomorrow will be another day full of uncertainty.


So the only thing we can do is to embrace uncertainty and to take all necessary precautions. May God protect us.

Final thoughts

Again, I do not want to downplay the risks and I know that this outbreak is very serious. And while it’s important to be cautious, there are a lot of people on the internet who enjoy creating needless panic, so I posted this article to let the world know what it feels like for an OCD sufferers to go through all this uncertainty and panic surrounding the novel coronavirus. So all I can say is: think before you share!

Further Reading

Your Story

As you know, there’s one thing that I enjoy more than writing my stories: reading yours! So please share your experiences in the comment section!

Blessings,

Mark

Obsessed With Your Own Body: The Dark Reality Of Body-Focused OCD

What if I stop breathing?

This is a pretty weird question to ask, is it not? First of all, why would you want to stop breathing? And secondly, would it actually be possible to intentionally stop breathing?

Well, at this point, you may say that these were absolutely crazy things to think about. However, if you are suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, such thoughts can easily turn your life into a living nightmare. And what does that nightmare feel like? That’s what I am trying to answer in today’s post about Body-Focused OCD.

What is Body-Focused OCD?

Body-Focused (or Somatic) OCD is a subest of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that causes intrusive thoughts which are focused on non-conscious body processes and functions, like breathing, blinking or physical sensations.

Common Obsessions & Compulsions

Now what does it actually feel like to have Body-Focused OCD? Let’s take a look at a couple of things that people with this subset with OCD may be worried about!

Breathing

Most people do not pay much attention to their breathing – it is just an automatic process that they do not really worry about, but for those who are suffering from this form of OCD, it is an entirely different story.
OCD is a very creative mental disorder and it can give you a huge variety of breathing-related intrusive thoughts. Such as:

What if you stop breathing? Not because you’re planning to die but what if you just forget to breathe? Or what if you’re breathing at the wrong rate and this will damage your lungs? And finally, what if you will never be able to stop thinking about your breathing and you’ll need to live your whole life obsessing about it?

Mouth/Tongue during speech

What if my tongue does not move properly? What if I am not able to pronounce the sounds the way I should? And again, what if I will never be able to stop thinking about my mouth/tongue?

Now, I would not disagree with you if you told me that these questions sounded pretty irrational. But OCD is not a rational disorder. When I was a kid, I did not use to be able to pronounce the sound “R” – and it took me a long time to learn how to do it. So I guess this is why I was obsessed about the “R” sound in my late teens: I was terribly afraid of “forgetting” how to pronounce it and I really wanted to make sure I would never forget it – and these thoughts lead to a very unusual obsession: my OCD forced me to spend hours a day on making the “R” sound.

Blinking

For most of us, blinking is something totally unconscious. But that’s not always the case for people with OCD, as blinking is another thing they can become obsessed about. And this obsession would include the fear of blinking too much or the fear of forgetting to blink and these thoughts can easily force OCD sufferers into time-consuming obsessions such as counting how many times they blinked.

Source: Visioneyeinstitute.com.au

Visual Distractions

Have you ever seen the floaters? The little harmless spots in your vision that are most visible when staring at the sky. Now, having floaters in your eyes is absolutely normal but if you are suffering from Body-Focused OCD, noticing them for the first time in your life can easily mean the start of a new obsession:
What I will never get rid of these floaters? And what if I will never be able to enjoy my life because of them?

Swallowing

Swallowing is another thing that most people do not pay much attention to. However, there are OCD sufferers who are obsessed with it: they spend exaggerated amount of time focusing on their swallowing. Why? I have not had this obsession myself but my friends who had it told me that he had started having this obsession because of the fear of choking.

Heartbeat/ Pulse

What if your heart stops beating? Or what if it is beating at the wrong rate?
These are two of the many intrusive thoughts that people with somatic OCD can have. And as it’s very difficult to control your heartbeat (I am not a doctor, so I am not sure whether it’s even possible), this obsession would normally force you to check your heart rate/ pulse multiple times a day, without no rational reason.

Body Temperature

I have not found too much information about this particular one on the internet, so I may be the only one who has it, but I am afraid of having fever – especially during the flu season, and let’s not even mention the novel coronavirus – and this fear forces me to take my temperature multiple times a day – again, without any rational reason: I do not take my temperature because I feel bad or feverish, I take it because I just feel that I have to.

A few other obsessions

I have read a very interesting article about Body-Focused Obsessions so I think it would be a shame if I did not share some of the things it had mentioned with you:

  • What If I can never sleep again?
  • What if toxic levels of carbon dioxide are accumulating in my lungs because I’m not exhaling enough CO2?
  • I wouldn’t be paying attention to this if there wasn’t something to worry about.
  • If other people find out I’m thinking about this, they’ll think I’m crazy.
    Source: Stephen J. Seay

How to get rid of your obsessions?

Having Body-Focused OCD can be very challenging because you can not just run away from your obsessions: simply because you can not get out of your own body. (And let’s be honest, avoiding the situations that you’re afraid of is not a good idea anyway).

Consult a therapist

I think this is the number one piece of advice I can give to you. Not too creative, because this is what you’ll find on most of the OCD-related websites, but yes, seeking professional help is definitely the first step to take!

Do not try to stop thinking about it!

Okay, I know this may sound crazy but OCD is like a vicious cycle. The harder you try to get rid of an unpleasant thought, the more you actually think about it. So if an intrusive thought comes into your mind, just accept it. I do not want to be a hypocrite and I know this may be very difficult at the beginning, but believe me, if you learn to accept your thoughts, it will get much better!

Learn more about OCD

You must know your enemy to defeat him! The more you know about OCD, the better chances you have to fight it. Especially because it’s important to make a difference between “your real thoughts” and “the lies OCD is telling you”.

Further reading

It would be next to impossible to give you every useful piece of information that comes into my mind in one single post, so please find a list of useful articles from different sources.

Escaping Reality: My 10 Favorite Books

Life is not only about OCD. This is one of the things that one has to learn to overcome this terrifying mental disorder. I have been suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for over a decade and this global panic over the novel coronavirus has made my everyday life significantly more difficult. And do not get me wrong, I’m not scared to death and I do not spend my days googling symptoms and reading the news, however let’s be honest: the mainstream media is not necessarily OCD friendly.

At the moment I really do not want to think too much about my OCD and that’s why I have decided to talk about something totally different in today’s post: my favorite books.

Broken April – Ismail Kadare

Country: Albania

Gjorgj’s brother is murdered by a neighbor and he has no choice: the code of Kanun requires him to kill his brother’s murderer but as a result of this killing, his own death is sealed. He is to be killed by a member of the opposing family but according to the law of the Albanian highlands, he is entitled to thirty days’ grace (besa) to prepare for his death. He could easily run away, but does he want to? Could he find a way out of the circle of vendetta or is the centuries-old code of blood feuds something that he is just unable to break?

Why do I love this book?

Honestly, this is pretty hard to explain without giving you a spoiler. But one of the things that I love about this novel is that it perfectly describes how hard it is for an individual to break the rules of their society. And another reason why this book is one of my favorites is because I have always been fascinated by Albanian language and culture – and I was actually studying it at university!

What is Kanun?

Revulsion – László Németh

Country: Hungary

Would you marry someone that you are not in love with? Well, if you lived in the Hungarian countryside at the beginning of the 20th century, you would not really have a choice as arranged marriages were pretty common back then. This novel is about Nelli, an introvert woman who is forced to marry a man that she does not love. And she tries everything to make her marriage as endurable as possible, but her indifference towards her husband will soon turn into another feeling: disgust (and that would be the actual translation of the Hungarian title). And because of this terrible feeling of disgust, she will soon start looking for a way out from her failed marriage. But how could she get away?

Why do I love this book?

As many of my readers may know, I am from Hungary. Which means that I have obviously read a lot of Hungarian novels. And I can say that Revulsion has been my favorite ever since I read it. I do not have too many things in common with the novel’s heroine, Nelli, however, I can totally relate to her thanks to the way this amazing book describes her emotions. In our modern society, you’re not forced to live with someone that you do not love. But just imagine what it would feel like to share your whole life with a person you’re not in love with. Don’t you think your indifference would turn into disgust? And how far would you go to escape from this terrible situation?

The old and the new parvenus – Nicolae Filimon

Country: Romania

The story is set in Bucharest at the beginning of the 19th century. Wallachia, a province of the declining Ottoman Empire (now part of Romania) is ruled by phanariots – a ruling class that consists of prominent families from Istanbul – who throw all their money for lavish and expensive parties, while the rest of the country lives in unthinkable poverty. One day, Dinu Paturica – a wannabe phanariote – knocks on the door of a rich lord. And he has a hidden agenda: he wants to become a lord himself. But what does it take to achieve his dreams?

Why do I love this book?

One of the reasons why this novel has become one of my favorites is definitely its oriental atmosphere and the way it depicts the 19th century Bucharest and the life of its ruling class. And another reason why I just love it is that I come from a phanariote background. But do not think of anything fancy: my family’s far from being rich – probably because our ancestors were spending all their wealth on those lavish parties.

Who were the phanariots?

Sentimental Education – Gustave Flaubert

Country: France

A beautiful story about love at first sight. This novel describes the life of a young man, Frederic Moreau who falls in love with Mme Arnoux – a beautiful woman several years older than himself. He even befriends her husband, an influential businessman, and as their paths cross and re-cross over the years, Mme Arnoux remains the constant, unattainable love of Frederic’s life.

Why do I love this book?

I have always been a hopeless romantic person so it is not a surprise that this novel about platonic love has become one of my favorites.

Crooked House – Agatha Christie

Country: UK

The billionaire Aristide Leonides dies. He was murdered with a fatal barbiturate injection. But who was the murderer? And why was the rich man killed? Hm…And I guess it’s better if I do not give you any other details because it’s pretty difficult to write about an Agatha Christie novel without giving you any spoilers.

Why do I love this book?

I have always been a fan of Agatha Christie. So the list of my favorite books wouldn’t have been complete without mentioning at least one of her novels. Now, why exactly this one? Because it’s dark and shocking – exactly the way I like it. And because I would have never guessed who the murderer was.

Image result for it stephen king
Source: nofilmschool.com

IT – Stephen King

Country: US

Derry, Maine. A small town that is pretty similar to your own. But let’s hope that your town is not haunted by an evil entity that exploits the fears of its victims to disguise itself while hunting its prey. It’s been many years since seven teenagers managed to save their town from this evil monster, who’s so scary that it doesn’t even have a name. And they made a promise: if “IT” ever comes back, they will fight it again! But will all of them keep their promise?

Why do I love this book?

Okay, I said I didn’t want to think about my OCD. But the evil monster from Stephen King’s novel has always reminded me to my OCD. It has a lot of different faces, it’s very creative – and it impersonates your biggest fears. But at the end of the day, it’s just a stupid clown that you want to get rid of.

Crime and punishment – Fyodor Dostoievski

Country: Russia

Raskolnikov, a desperate former student, wanders through the slums of St. Petersburg and commits a random murder without any remorse or regret. He imagines himself to be a great man, who stands above the law. Someone who acts for a higher purpose that’s beyond conventional law. But can he get away with murder without any kind of punishment?

Why do I love this book?

Do I really have to give you a reason why this book is on my list? Crime and punishment is a classic, a pure masterpiece that talks about the darkest feelings of a deranged mind. And reading this amazing book will really make you think about many of the most interesting questions of life. How do you know what is right and what is wrong? Can you actually commit a crime without feeling any guilt or will your own mind punish you for the horrible things that you have done?

Eye in the Sky – Philip K. Dick

Country: US

Did you ever want to see the world through the eyes of someone else? Well, this exactly what happened to eight people who were forced into several different alternate universes following an accident. And it can be much scarier than you would imagine. During the course of this novel, a few of these eight people impose their reality on the others, creating a series of bizarre worlds that they need to escape. Just imagine what would it feel like to wake up in the morning in a brand new world where if you want to get something, all you will have to do is to pray for it? Or in a world where everything that you do not like will simply cease to exist!

Why do I love this book?

We all know that everyone sees the world differently. But how differently? I have always been wondering what it would feel like to get stuck in someone else’s mind. And Philip K Dick’s novel gives a perfect depiction

An American Tragedy – Theodore Dreiser

Country: US

Based on an actual crime case, An American Tragedy tells the story of the corruption and destruction of Clyde Griffiths, a man who forfeits his life in desperate pursuit of success. The novel also represents a massive portrayal of a capitalist society whose values shape Clyde’s ambitions and seal his fate.

Why do I love this book?

I guess this may sound pretty shocking to some of you, but I do think that there are a lot of criminals who are not evil: they became the way they are because of our society. And I really do not want to say that an individual is not responsible for their actions and we can blame everything on the society, however, I do think that in a lot of cases, the circumstances are responsible for turning good people into monsters. And the reason why I think Dreiser’s novel is a masterpiece is that it tells the whole story from Clyde’s point of view and

Beware of pity – Stefan Zweig

Country: Austria

Anton Hofmiller, an officer who is stationed in the Hungarian countryside – in the middle of actual nowhere – is invited to a party at the castle of a rich landowner. He asks his host’s daughter for a dance, only to discover that the girl is actually crippled. What follows is an attempt to set everything right again. Anton becomes a daily guest at the castle, befriending the moody, inexperienced girl who misunderstands his acts of pity as an expression of love. Thus the whole story takes a fatal turn.

Why do I love this book?

I will tell you a secret: Beware of pity is my favorite book. And one of the main reasons why I have fallen in love with it is that Stefan Zweig’s heroes are far from being perfect: they are just human beings with their own mistakes. Anton Hofmiller, the main character has a lot of conflicting emotions: he’s haunted by guilt, uncertainty and pity. And while I really do not agree with many of the things he did, Zweig’s ingenious writing allowed me to see the world through his eyes and understand the reasons behind his controversial actions.

Keep calm and read books

I was browsing my blog statistics and I noticed that most of the people who visited my blog in the last couple of days had been looking for articles about “coronavirus and ocd” or “coronavirus and anxiety”. So I guess it’s been a pretty difficult period for people who suffer from mental illnesses (especially anxiety disorders). And reading about coronavirus will definitely not be the solution for our problems – I’ll be honest with you, I’m full uncertainty and I really do not know what to believe . But there’s one thing that I know for sure: reading novels is something that has always helped me a lot. A good novel really helps you escape from the prison of your mind and it allows you to see the world through other people’s eyes. So, keep calm and read books!

What are your favorite novels?

As you know, there’s one thing that I enjoy more than writing about myself: reading your comments. So please share the titles of your favorite books in the comment section!

Blessings,

Mark

OCD in Numbers

What are the most common obsessions in OCD? And how many people actually have them?
These are two of the questions that I am trying to answer today. As I have always loved statistics, I decided to look at some research data about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and in today’s post, I will share a couple of interesting things that I have found.

Most of OCD-related research was conducted with a relatively small sample size, so I can not guarantee that all of the numbers that I got from different sources are a 100% accurate – but they looked pretty realistic to me – I mean, obviously because otherwise, I would not be sharing them with you!

1 in 40

1 in 40 adults in the U.S. have OCD.(source)
What about other countries? Now that is a good question! I have not been able to find statistics from other countries, however, I was going through a few websites from France, Romania and Hungary and most of them estimated the prevalence of OCD at about 2-3% – which is very similar to the U.S. numbers.

65 %

The percentage of OCD sufferers who get diagnosed with OCD before the age 25.

19

The average age at diagnosis. (source)
And looking at this, I can see that I am pretty “average”. My OCD got out of control when I was a senior in high school and I got my diagnosis at the age of 19.

Want to read more about how OCD is diagnosed?

Most Common Obsessions

Source of Data – chart by Mark Wester

I guess the fear of contamination is the most well-known OCD obsession – and according to the statistics, it is also the most common one. However, as we can see it is not the only obsession that people with OCD have – and it is not even significantly more common than other obsessions such as aggressive or terrifying thoughts (for example, fear of harming loved ones) or body-focused obsessions (such as the fear of choking).

10%

10% of people with OCD constantly question their sexuality.

Most Common Compulsions

Source of Data – chart by Mark Wester

Want to read more about obsessions and compulsions? Check:

Living with OCD: What impact does it have on your life?

So, what impact can OCD have on your life? It really varies from person to person. And obviously, it changes over time: OCD used to make my life a living hell, but then it’s gotten a lot better so I can say that in my case it went from “significant impairment” to “mild impairment”.

  • 50.6% of adults experience significant impairment.
  • 34.8% experience moderate impairment.
  • And 14.6% experience mild impairment.

13.7%

13.7% – the lifetime prevalence of ADHD in adult OCD patients.

What is ADHD?
It stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Myself, I do not have ADHD myself, however, you can find a lot of interesting articles about it on Maja’s blog: Lampelina. For example this one: Me and my ADHD

Over 30%

30% of adults with OCD have a lifetime history of GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder). (source)
What is GAD?
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by exaggerated anxiety about simple, everyday life things – with no apparent reasons for worry. I am a very “lucky” person because I have both OCD and GAD – sounds amazing, does it not?

Read more:
How to tell the difference between OCD and GAD?

About 30%

About 30% of people with OCD have had a substance use disorder at some point in their lives. This is nearly double the rate of the general population. (source)
And yeah, me too I have been there. I started to drink at a very young age and had alcohol problems during my teens. And by saying alcohol problems, I do not mean that “I sometimes got drunk” but I mean actual alcohol-abuse.

10 times

Depression is 10 times more prevalent in OCD patients than in general population. (source)

Want to read more about depression? Check out Kacha’s blog to read more about depression, burnout and a lot more: Food.For.Thoughts

Your thoughts

As you know, there’s one thing that I love more than writing about my thoughts and experiences: reading about yours! So please feel free to share any thoughts, opinions or questions in the comment section

Blessings

Mark

OCD: Prisoners of Guilt

Do you feel guilty about your past mistakes?
You are definitely not alone with that. It is a perfectly human thing to blame ourselves for things we think we have done wrong. However, if you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, this feeling of guilt can easily turn your life into a living hell.

Two of the main features of OCD are doubt and guilt. And in today’s post, I will talk about guilt. If you’re suffering from this terrifying mental disorder, you’re likely to feel guilty about a lot of different things. Like, many people with OCD have intrusive thoughts about harming their loved ones. And if such a terrible thought comes into your mind, what will be your first reaction? You’ll be scared to death but then, you will think that you are a horrible person and you will start feeling guilty. Because only a truly evil person has such thoughts, right?

But this is not the only type of guilt. There’s another one which is exactly as dangerous – or maybe even more:

Feeling guilty for having OCD

I have always thought that OCD was pretty similar to obstacle racing. You manage to overcome one obstacle, but another one will soon appear. For me, one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome was the feeling of guilt. And by this feeling of guilt, I do not mean that I was feeling guilty for having intrusive thoughts but something even worse:

I felt guilty for having OCD and I did not want to let go of it, because I thought that I was guilty for wasting so many years of my life on my obsessions and that I would not deserve to live without having terrifying thoughts and time consuming compulsions.

Sounds totally crazy, does it not?

Now, I know it does. But I did not always use to know. Simply because most of the articles on the internet will talk about people with OCD who feel guilty for having unacceptable thoughts and urges, but they will rarely talk about people who actually feel guilty for wasting their life on their OCD. In a way, this is also a kind of guilt about unacceptable thoughts, but it took me much longer to realize that this was just another face of the OCD monster. And a very dark one.

Guilty Superstitions

So yes, I used to feel guilty for having OCD. And I do not even remember how this whole obsession started but one day, I started to blame myself for not enjoying my life enough. And then, I started to recall all my beautiful past memories and told myself that I had been a terrible person because instead of having fun, I was spending all of my time on useless obsessions. But the story is still not over. Because OCD is much more creative than anyone would ever imagine. This demon (I think it is a demon at the end of the day, and it is worse than the demons from Hollywood movies – because you can not even run away from it) told me something that actually made me its prisoner for a few more years:

What if my life will get worse if I let go of my OCD?

This feeling will be pretty difficult to describe especially because I am not sure if any of you have ever felt the same way. So, I did not actually think that OCD was a fun thing to have but what I used to believe was that God would punish me if I let go of my OCD.

Do not get me wrong, I did not think that God was evil and he would want me to suffer. But I thought that wasting so many years on OCD meant that I was a terrible person. A sinner, who was not able to enjoy his life. Someone who was not grateful enough for the wonderful life he had – and let’s admit, I have always been pretty privileged. We may even say that I am a spoiled kid. And I really believed that if I find to escape from my OCD, I will be punished and God will take everything away from me: my family, my friends, my job, my house – everything!

So you see how evil OCD can be: it actually made me believe that I would be punished if I ever managed to get a way from it.

Read more: Magical Thinking OCD

Breaking out of prison

So, how did I actually break out of this prison?

It would be a lie if I told you it was easy. And it would be a lie if I told you I had done it by myself. One thing that helped me a lot was learning more about OCD because it made me realize that this feeling of guilt and the superstitious fear of getting punished had something to do with it.

And then, time heals all wounds. As time went by, it was getting better and better. And nowadays, I do not feel guilty anymore. Life is a precious gift and we should not spend it suffering. When I was a teen, I would have never thought that one day, I would be able to enjoy myself without worrying about irrational thoughts and weird urges. But then, here I am: I do not say that my OCD is totally gone, but I can enjoy my life without feeling guilty about things that I couldn’t possible control.

Your story

As you know, there’s one thing that I love more than writing my stories: reading yours. Please share your experiences in the comment section! 🙂

Further reading

Is it OCD or OCPD?

OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) and OCPD (Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder): two disorders that have a pretty similar name. But are they actually similar? And what are the differences between them? This is what I am trying to find out about in today’s post.

When I told my friends I had OCD, some of them would be pretty surprised. Why?

Because they used to think that OCD sufferers were perfectionist, always punctual and that they loved planning everything. And then, there’s me who never gets to work on time and who enjoys traveling around the world without booking accommodation in advance.

My friends were not alone with their misconception about OCD. There are a lot of people who think that people with OCD are super organized and are extremely worried about details. But why do people think we are like this?

Well, OCD has multiple subsets and there are people with OCD who’re obsessed about cleaning and planning. But I believe that one of the biggest reasons behind the misconceptions is that people do not always know the difference between OCD and OCPD.

First of all, one thing that I need to tell you is that I do not have OCPD so I won’t be able to tell you what it exactly feels like – all I know is what I have heard from friends and what I have read in books and on the internet. Also, if you have OCPD and you think that some of the things I wrote are not correct/offensive, please leave a comment.

What is Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder?

OCPD is a personality disorder that is characterized by extreme perfectionism, order and neatness. People with OCPD will also feel severe need to impose their own standards on their outside environment.

And now, let’s look at what OCD is:

A disorder that causes repeated unwanted thoughts or sensations (obsessions), or the urge to do something over and over again (compulsions).

So if we just look at the two definitions, we can see that they’re pretty different from each other. While the main features of OCPD are perfectionism and neatness, if you have OCD, it will not necessarily mean that you’re obsessed with cleaning or that you love to have everything organized. People with OCD can obsess about a lot of different things other than order, cleanliness and adherence to the rules.

The big difference is the way you feel

People with OCD are typically distressed by their thoughts. Like as you may have noticed, I usually compare OCD to an evil monster who sits on my shoulder and whispers terrifying things into my ears. So I am definitely embarrassed by my OCD.

And then there’s my friend who cleans the kitchen floor multiple times a day and is a perfectionist. So if he told you about the things he normally does, you would easily think that he had OCPD. But he does not – how can you know?

He does not clean the kitchen floor a hundred times a because he thinks it is not clean enough, but because his OCD tells him that if he does not clean it one more time, a terrible bacteria will make his whole family sick. Does he know that this is extremely unlikely? He does, but it does not necessarily mean that he can stop acting on his compulsion.

While as far as I know (and if any of you have OCPD, please feel free to correct me in the comment section). People with OCPD believe that their actions have an aim and purpose.

Symptoms of OCPD

I have written a few posts about the symptoms of OCD (okay, let’s be honest, my whole blog is pretty much about my OCD symptoms and I really hope you won’t get bored of reading it.) So this time, let us take a look at the symptoms of OCPD.

As I mentioned earlier, I do not have OCPD so I have done a little bit of research to find out more about the symptoms. If you think I have missed anything important, please leave a comment.

And one important note: OCD is a very creative mental disorder so people who’re suffering from it may have symptoms that are very similar to the ones of OCPD.

An overwhelming need for order

I guess this symptom is the reason why it can be so difficult for many people (sometimes even for mental health professionals) to make a difference between OCD and OCPD.

OCD involves unwanted thoughts and images as well as obsessions. And common OCD obsessions include repetitive arranging, organizing and lining up of objects. But people who have OCD do not keep their homes organized because they love arranging things, but simply because they have to. You just have the feeling that something terrible will happen if your bookshelf is not arranged in a certain way. You’re likely to know that you’re being irrational but it does not mean that you can stop doing it. It’s like a kind of “magical thinking”. On the other hand, OCPD is characterized by excessive concern with orderliness.

Rigid adherence to moral and ethical codes

Everyone has their own views and beliefs but people with OCPD have rigid adherence to their moral and ethical codes. And this is something extremely different from what OCD feels like.
Do not get me wrong! By saying this, I do not mean that people with OCD have no moral codes. But what I mean is that one of the main features of OCD is doubt – if you have OCD, you’ll question even the most fundamental things in your life, while people with OCPD will be absolutely sure that their ethical code is “the right one”.

Being hardworking

I have always been a workaholic. But not because of my OCD. Some people with OCD are hardworking, some are not. And some of us can be obsessed with our jobs. Like losing your job is a scary thought that can easily force you to check your sent emails nine hundred times a day – just to be sure you have not written anything creepy. But being hardworking is not the main thing about OCD.

An overwhelming need to be punctual

Pretty much the same as above. There are OCD sufferers who feel an overwhelming need to be punctual but just look at me: I am always late – and I never even stress about it.

A sense of righteousness about the way things should be done

When you have OCD, there are things you just have to do in a certain way. But not because you think it is the right way, but because you’re afraid that if you do not lock the door the “way you should” something terrible will happen.

Finding it hard to express your feelings

While there are OCD sufferers who may find it difficult to express their feelings, this is definitely not an OCD symptom. But it is a symptom of OCPD.

I can only speak about my experiences but I have always found it relatively easy to talk about the way I felt and I never really try to hide my emotions.

Not being able to throw things away

Hoarding may be a symptom of OCPD and at the same time it may also be a symptom of OCD. So, something that we have in common. Hoarding related to OCD is something totally unwanted: you do not do it because you find it enjoyable, but because you just can not stop doing it. Like what if you throw something away and you’ll need it in the future? What if you throw something extremely valuable away – without even knowing it?

And a few more OCPD symptoms

  • rigid mannerisms
  • being extremely frugal with money
  • a fixation with lists
  • extreme attention to detail

How common is OCPD?

Estimates for the prevalence of OCPD in the general population range from 2.1% to 7.9%. A large U.S. study found a prevalence rate of 7.9%, making it the most common personality disorder. While OCD affects over 2% of the population.

Can you have both OCD and OCPD?

It is possible for a person to have both disorders.

The gender gap

An interesting fact that I came across is that men are diagnosed with OCPD about twice as often as women. When it comes to OCD, the overall prevalence between males and females is equal.

One thing we have in common

Living with a disorder is not an easy thing. Both OCD and OCPD can make a person’s life very difficult. And let’s not even talk about the things that these conditions can force us to do – such as irrational compulsions or extreme hoarding.

Further reading

Want to read more about OCPD or OCD? Check:

Important note

I am not a certified therapist – just a guy who’s living with mental disorders. And believe me: self-diagnosis is never a good idea. If you think you may have OCD or OCPD, seek professional help!

Your thoughts

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been living with OCD for most of my life, but I do not have OCPD. So if there’s anything that you think would be important to mention about this disorder or if you have any experience that you’d like to talk about – please feel free to share it in the comment section or send an email to markwester92@gmail.com

As you know there’s one thing that I love doing more that writing my stories: reading yours.

Thank you

Special thanks to Ashley (check out her blog: https://mentalhealthathome.org/ ) for giving me this idea to write about! 🙂

Blessings,

Mark

Scared to let go of my OCD

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder has always reminded me to obstacle racing. You manage to overcome one obsession, but another one will soon appear.

It really is like a never ending story full of obstacles. And this story is much scarier than any horror movie I have ever seen. At least, in the movies you can run away from the monsters, but escaping from the prison of your own mind is definitely not that simple. You can try to run away but believe me: it will not work. OCD is a demon that you have to fight, even if it is a difficult thing to do.

I usually share techniques that could help people overcome their OCD or at lease ease their anxiety. But today’s post is a little bit different. And apologies in advance if it will not make too much sense. I just feel that I need to write about the way I am feeling at the moment.

Letting go of my OCD

I have been living with OCD for most of my life and over the years I have seen many faces of this terrifying mental disorder. I have been able to overcome a lot of different obstacles: I used to be afraid of blinding myself, harming my loved ones or jumping off a cliff. And I can say that most of these obsessions are gone.

And over the years, I have learnt to deal with most of my obsessions and compulsions but there’s one thing that I have never been prepared for: the fear of letting go of my OCD.

And I mean it is pretty obvious why I have not been prepared for this. Because if you think about it, this fear sounds absolutely crazy. Why would anyone be afraid of getting rid of a mental illness? Reading this you may even think that I have lost my mind. But…the more you think about it, the more it makes sense.

Running out of fears?

Obsessions and compulsions can change or can be replaced by others over time. And the little OCD monster never sleeps.

I do not only have OCD but I am also suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). But lately, I have been feeling a lot better. I started worrying much less about the things that I used to worry about and I started feeling much more relaxed. And ironically, this is exactly what started fueling my OCD.

In my case, this new feeling of calmness meant the beginning of a new obsession:

What if I do not care about anything anymore?

There are a lot of things that I want to achieve in life. I have a lot of plans. There are a lot of places that I would like to visit and things that I want to do. But the little OCD monster never sleeps and it has planted the seeds of doubt in my mind:

Why have you been so relaxed lately? What if you’re not motivated enough? You have not worried about your job for a long time. What if it means that you do not care about it anymore? What if you are lazy and you just simply do not want to work anymore? What if you do not want to achieve anything in your life? What if one day you just do not want to get up in the morning? What if you will never enjoy your life again? Okay, at the moment, you think you’re enjoying yourself but what if you’re lying to yourself?

So again. The typical “what if’ questions. And most of them are pretty easy to ignore because I have gotten used to these kind of thoughts over the years. But OCD is a very evil monster and it has other questions to me. Questions that are much more terrifying:

Are you sure you really want to let me go? Remember. You used to be much more motivated when we were together. And nowadays, it seems that you do not think too much about me anymore. You have not managed to escape from me but we definitely spend much less time together. Do you not think that this could be the reason why you have become much less motivated? Do you not miss me? What if you do? If you overcome your obsessions and compulsions, you will not be the same person anymore.

Dealing with a jealous partner without breaking up

At this point, you may be thinking that I have totally lost my mind. Because comparing OCD to a jealous partner is absolutely sick. I know. But in the past couple of days I have realized that OCD was pretty much like a jealous partner. The OCD monster will go crazy if you see other people (have pleasant thoughts) or if you ignore it. And the worst thing is that you can not break up with this monster because it is living inside of you.

But one thing you can do is learning how to handle it and recognizing when it tries to manipulate you

Finally: Life is almost like a fairy tale

The Beast let Belle go. But Belle decided to stay. And the Beast turned into a handsome prince.

I have always believed that life was like a fairy tale. And Beauty and the Beast are one of my favorites. Belle and me do not have too many things in common. But I can totally relate to her because I have my own Beast: OCD. And we live together in the castle of my own thoughts.

Will the beast ever let me go?

I do not think so. But one day, this beast could turn into a prince. When I was a teenager, it used to be terribly difficult for me to manage my OCD. But it has gotten a lot better. And I am sure that one day, all the scary obsessions will turn into something much more beautiful.

Okay, now that I have just finished writing about my feelings, I can tell you that I am feeling a lot lot better. And writing about your emotions is something that I can recommend to all of you. It really helps a lot.

Thank you for reading

Mark Wester

200 Followers <3 Thank you!

When I started my blog last December, I would not have thought I would reach 200 followers. But I did. And it is an amazing feeling. Looking at the stats, I see a lot of numbers but the most amazing thing is that these numbers represent actual human beings: more than 200 people who actually follow my blog, who read my articles and who support me with their comments.

I would like to say a big big thank you to all my followers!

You can not imagine how much it means for me to see that there are people out there who’re interested at what’s going on in my life – and in my mind. Ever since I started my blog, I have been feeling so much better, and not because I could finally find an interesting hobby, but because of my readers: it is a fantastic feeling to see that there are people whom I could help just by doing something that I have always enjoyed: talking about myself. So thank you again: for reading my posts, for encouraging me with your comments and for everything, really.

Suggestions: What would you like to read about?

One thing that I’m terribly afraid of is writer’s block. At the moment, I still have a lot of ideas to write about however I am pretty sure that this list will not be endless. And even if it was, my blog is not only about myself and it is not only for myself.

So, if you have any questions, any topics that you’d love to read about: please share them in the comment section. I have already received a few ideas, such as Comparison between OCD and OCPD from Ashley or Foods that help OCD from Robin – Will soon publish these posts!

Or if you do not feel comfortable sharing your questions, thoughts and ideas in the comment section, you can also send an email to: markwester92@gmail.com

Guest Posts

Would you like to talk about your own OCD experiences?
I would be more than glad to have your guest posts on my blog! 🙂

What have I learnt from blogging?

Blogging has shown me that suffering from a mental disorder is nothing to be ashamed of. In real life, people rarely talk about their feelings but on the internet, it is much easier to tell others about the way you feel. A few years ago, I used to think that I was the only person with my problems but now I know that there are a lot of other people out there who understand the way I feel.

What are my plans for the future?

I have never been a planner. And honestly, I do not know what my plans are. I’m just going with the flow. But one thing I know is that I will keep on writing. 🙂

My Most Popular Blog Posts

So far, I have published 34 posts – let’s see which are the ones my readers liked the most:

Mark is a Happy Fox

Okay, do not ask me why and how this happened but most of my friends call me “foxie”. Just another weird thing about my life. So at the moment, I can say I am a happy fox:

Source: lovethispic.com

Blessings

Mark