We have chosen to keep our names anonymous in order to keep our private lives separate from our mental health advocacy lives, but we would love to introduce ourselves and tell you a little bit about our OCD stories.
Age/Major: 20, Psychology major
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Past OCD themes: suicide obsessions
Current OCD themes: moral scrupulosity, driving fears, responsibility OCD, and emetophobia.
What inspired you to create A Penny For Your Intrusive Thoughts?
After attending a session at the IOCDF Conference in 2017 that addressed OCD topics people tend to avoid talking about, I realized how freeing it was to talk about taboo and isolating intrusive thoughts. I didn't even know some of my thoughts were OCD. About six months later I was reflecting on this panel when the idea for A Penny for Your Intrusive Thoughts came to me. When people are given the opportunity to share their thoughts anonymously, they open up about feelings they never would have otherwise. I wanted to find a way for people who have embarrassing, shameful, and taboo intrusive thoughts to share them so they could realize they are not alone.
Age/Major: 20, Elementary Education major
Hometown: Boston, MA
Past OCD themes: contamination
Current OCD themes: symmetry, perfectionism, ROCD, moral obsessions
What inspired you to help in the creation of A Penny For Your Intrusive Thoughts?
I also attended the IOCDF conference in 2017, which was where I met C. Attending the conference for the first time was life-changing and opened my eyes to the amount of different ways OCD can affect people's lives. I was also relieved to see myself reflected in so many of the panels. I wasn't alone. After C expressed her idea to me months after the conference I knew that I wanted to get involved. One of the hardest parts of any mental illness, specifically OCD, is how isolated it can make you feel. I know what it is like to feel intense shame and I want to help others realize that they too are not alone.