About the Author
Alison Dotson is a writer, copyeditor, and proofreader who was diagnosed with OCD at age 26, after suffering from “taboo” obsessions for more than a decade. Today, she still has occasional bad thoughts, but she now knows how to deal with them in healthy ways. Alison is the president of OCD Twin Cities, an affiliate of the International OCD Foundation. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her husband and dogs.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Elizabeth McIngvale
Introduction: Climbing Up from Rock Bottom
Chapter 1: OCD and Me
- What Is OCD?
- It’s Official: I Have OCD
- What Do OCD Symptoms Look Like?
- Types of OCD
- Karissa’s Story: What If?
- Josh’s Story: I Had a Germ Phobia
- Why Do I Have OCD?
- Sophie’s Story, Part 1: My OCD Started with a Dog Attack
- What Now?
- Sophie’s Story, Part 2: I Got the Help I Needed
Chapter 2: Reaching Out
- Advocating for Yourself
- Finding a Psychiatrist or Therapist
- My First Visit with a Psychiatrist
- Sometimes Labels Are a Good Thing
- Nicole’s Story: Being Diagnosed Was a Relief
Chapter 3: How Therapy Can Help
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Robert’s Story: Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy
- Helped Me
- Facing Your Fears on Your Own
- “I Don’t Want to Go to Therapy”
Chapter 4: How Medicine Can Help
- Finding the Right Medication
- Kiersten’s Story: It Took Time to Find the Right Medicine for Me
- Side Effects
- Worrisome Side Effects
- Paying for Medication
- I Missed a Dose (and a Dose and a Dose and Another Dose)
- I Took Too Many Pills!
- How Long Will I Need to Be on Medicine?
Chapter 5: What Else Helps?
- Beyond Basic Outpatient Therapy
- Rachel’s Story: I Got the Help I Needed in a Residential Program
- Believe in Yourself
Chapter 6: I Am Not OCD: Popular Perceptions and Stigmas
- Molly’s Story: Stigma Made OCD Feel Worse
- Everyone and Their Brother Think They Have OCD
- What OCD Is Not
- Using Humor as a Coping Method
- Times Have Changed
- OCD and Related Disorders
Chapter 7: Being You with OCD
- Putting Yourself in Control
- Building a Community of Support
- OCD and Dating
- OCD and School (and Work)
- Keeping Realistic Expectations
- Looking Back
- Looking Ahead
References and Resources
About the Author