Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

An interview with Kaitlin Snow

Kaitlin Snow is a graphic designer with OCD who helps entrepreneurs build their businesses through their visuals..

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by pervasive and unreasonable thoughts and/or behaviors, and it significantly can hinder someone's life. Kaitlin Snow is a business owner who has been diagnosed with OCD, and in this article, she shares how she has coped with OCD and provides some advice for anyone else who may be struggling with this disorder.

Please note, this information does not constitute medical or psychological advice.

Kaitlin's experience with OCD

Kaitlin has experienced anxiety and worry since she was a child, and would be awake all hours of the night thinking she was in trouble when she had not done anything wrong. It was not until many years later when she was diagnosed with OCD.

The event that caused her to get professional help was when her daughter was three months old. She became convinced that her daughter was going to become sick and die because of an abandoned puppy that she had rescued. To save her daughter, "I took my tiny baby in my arms and did the only thing that I could think of to protect her: I washed her in the sink with antibacterial dish soap."

In her words, "I had a nervous breakdown. My husband forced me to phone to get help. I hated him for it, I was screaming at him about how much I hated him, because I knew that trying to get help meant admitting what was happening in my mind, and I thought they were going to take my child away from me."

Kaitlin then saw a therapist and psychiatrist who prescribed medication that was safe for her to take while breastfeeding, and diagnosed her with OCD.

"Getting help from a professional and learning that there was a name for the things I have gone through my entire life, learning that I don't have to live the way that I have been, has been one of the most liberating things that has ever happened to me. Getting diagnosed didn't make me feel crazy - having these thoughts and feelings without knowing why, going through it, suffering, thinking it was normal - THAT made me feel crazy."

The most difficult aspect of OCD and what has helped the most

The most difficult part for Kaitlin in managing OCD has been trying to help people understand that there are some days that are harder than others for her to visit friends or make plans. Some days her mind is "too loud," and fighting against her own irrational thoughts is exhausted. "Sometimes," Kaitlin says, "just being is hard."

Therapy has been helpful for Kaitlin, but medication and mindfulness practice have been even more beneficial. With the help of medication, she is able to argue against the irrational, harmful thoughts that she has, and the mindfulness gives her peace.

Kaitlin's life and business after treatment for OCD

Since getting her OCD under control, Kaitlin states, "my life is completely different. So much better. I can do more than just the bare minimum to live now. I'm feeling brave enough to do the things I've always wanted to."

She is building her own business as a graphic designer and loving every minute of it.

She notes that entrepreneurship is the perfect choice for her to pursue her goals because it is flexible.

She even sees how OCD can help her to some extent: "I have a great attention to detail and love to find new angles and perspectives to explore because I explore them so thoroughly," and, she notes that her mental illness makes it easy for her to be methodical and meticulous in her work. 

Kaitlin's advice for someone with OCD

"Even if you feel like you are alone, and you feel like everything is horrible, and you are assaulted constantly with distressing thoughts that paralyze you, you are not alone."

She states that there is a way to live where those thoughts are quieted. "There is a way to live where you can feel brave and capable of being the way you have never let yourself dream you could be. Life is so much better on the other side of this."

Kaitlin says:

"Get help. Keep getting help until you feel better, because you can feel better. There is hope." 

About Kaitlin

Kaitlin is a graphic designer who helps other entrepreneurs build their business through their visuals. Learn more about Kaitlin's work at www.heykaitlinsnow.com.

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