Q: What really drove you to publish this book now?
A: I decided to publish this book because I feel as though there is still a fair bit of stigma and misunderstanding surrounding the topic of mental illness. It’s not often that such a young person (I’m only 21) has such a troubled and harrowing experience with mental illness, and I’m hoping it can help others who may be in situations I’ve been in.
Q: What was the most challenging part about candidly sharing your personal experience with OCD and a personality disorder?
A: Putting yourself completely out there is undoubtedly nerve-racking. I found it especially hard dealing with the permanency of being so honest. When you publish a book it is there for the public to view and read, and there is no taking it back, so I suppose that is nothing short of terrifying for a generally private person like me.
Q: What do you feel is the most common misconception when it comes to OCD?
A: I would definitely say the most prevalent misconception about OCD is people not understanding the severity of impact this illness can have on your life. My OCD rendered me completely housebound at times, hopelessly suicidal for a decade, and so egregiously neurotic I couldn’t function at all. People often think of OCD as just excessive hand washing, or obsessive arranging of inanimate objects, but it far transcends that and can truly lead to complete and utter destruction and devastation.
Q: What are you hoping readers will takeaway from your story?
A: I’m hoping that people will takeaway that there is no such thing as hopelessness, and they aren’t alone in their struggles. No matter how bleak and grim things more look, there is always room for improvement and a better way of life.
Q: What do you feel needs to change about the way mental illness – in particular personality disorders, is being approached in today’s society?
A: In my estimation, there needs to be more of an understanding of what personality disorders even are. They are very rarely talked about, and if they are, they are usually stigmatized as people who are chronically difficult to deal with. People need to come to realize that there is hope for rehabilitation, even in people with personality disorders such as Borderline Personality Disorder.
Q: What are you hoping to accomplish through sharing this story?
A: I want people to be able to better understand how much mental illness can derail a life. How severe a problem it truly is, and how undetectable these issues can be to the untrained eye. Mental illness sufferers often do all the suffering alone, something I hope ends as abruptly as possible.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: I am going to continue writing. I’ve already made significant progress on a second book, which is a similar style of candid memoir as Obsessive Compulsive Dramatic.