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Hypochondria and the Counselor

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Of course I had hoped that the obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) connected to my hypochondria would somehow just go away. I figured that I could somehow just reason myself out of it. It didn’t work.

Days leading to an appointment with my primary care doctor about an unrelated issue led me to think I should confide in her about the OCD. She seemed understanding and referred me to a psychiatrist who gave me a prescription for Zoloft. I never saw that particular psychiatrist because he was so terribly busy.

The Zoloft was left on my table, untouched.

I was very fearful of the side effects and my cautious boyfriend strongly advised me against taking it.

A few months passed and I contacted my primary care physician saying the shrink’s office hadn’t contacted me. (I don’t have health insurance and the medical care I have is through the local university, so you can imagine how busy they are.) She then suggested I see a counselor at the clinic, so I made an appointment.

The counselor and I were scheduled to meet on a Friday, and that just so happened to be the day of my worst OCD episode. It’s hard to go into detail but it began when I was looking up a breast condition on the internet. Suddenly I came across another condition, which I had never heard of and began reading and staring at the photos. I
though I had it. I began to feel weak, my heart rate increased and I wanted to cry.

And yet I read and read.

The only thing that stopped me from continuing was the appointment with the counselor. I rushed out to buy a pack of cigarettes because I was in full blown panic mode. Didn’t put any make up on, got in my car, and drove to the clinic.
The counselor was young and polite, with a sweet understanding face that quickly turned to a very worried one, as I described the state I was in.

She listened, asked questions and said that OCD was not her specialty but she would try to get me help, and that I could always go to her to talk. As we talked, the horrible anxiety slowly started to decrease. She may not have understood exactly what I was going through, but she was sympathetic and able to pull me out of the pit I put myself in.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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