Behind Kira's Mind

I was diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder and a panic disorder when I was 11 years old. I struggled so hard to go to school. I made good grades, I had friends, but for some reason I just couldn't do it. It got so hard in the 6th grade that I was home-bound schooled. A teacher met with me every day at the library. Inevitably my parents made the choice to homeschool me from my 8th grade year on. I was in and out of the hospital, I went to therapy, I went through about 7 medications before we finally found the right one. It wasn't until college that I discovered the diagnoses I received as a child were not complete. I didn't realize the constant chatter in my mind, my desperate need to be perfect, the intrusive sticky thoughts I had were all signs that I was also suffering from a severe case of OCD.

I was terrified that I would never live a "normal" life. But with the support and love of my family, and my then boyfriend/now husband, and with therapy and proper medication...I got my GED, went to college and graduated magna cum laude, got married and bought my own home, and now live a very typical life of a 31yr old. Once I discovered my missing diagnosis of OCD, I learned new ways to be treated. I still struggle. I still have panic attacks. I still have sticky intrusive thoughts. But I also have been able to be supportive of others who struggle. I have been able to be an advocate for mental health by sharing my story. While that doesn't make it go away, it makes me feel like I have a purpose.

Kira L.

Evansville, IN

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