Disclaimer: Contains various intrusive thoughts and circumstances that could/will be found distressing by anyone new to this type of mental health illness. This section of the website is to share stories of those who have gone through all ranges/levels of intrusive thoughts caused by various mental health disorders. Each person with a story will have been assessed by professional psychiatrists and psychologists, to confirm/prove it is a condition causing obsessive/intrusive thoughts and not paedophilia or something else.
Ages 0 - 11
I was born in the summer of 1992, my parents tell me I was a little one full of energy and had a bad temper but other than that, a normal toddler. When I was a few years older, it was becoming obvious that I wasn't your typical kid, not listening to teachers and causing chaos. At around 5 or 6, I was classed as special needs until they assessed me more. I remember going to a hospital doing all sorts of tests that seemed more like games but I new something was up. I got into fights and was a menace at school up until I was 9. I just seemed to have no control and would attack the teachers and sometimes other kids girl or boy. I just took each day as it came but it all feels like a blur now, I do remember wandering what was going on. I had a bad temper and I was running around the school like a maniac and would go home and often be violent towards my mum. Now looking back it feels like I was living a roller coaster and I couldn't deal with all that was going on, like it was all so much to take in, I never felt settled, I don't think I ever have.
At age 9 me and my family moved towns, I had already moved town at age 6 but it wasn't significant to me, I don't think I was old enough to really be affected by the change. At 9 though I was fully aware of what was going on and it felt like I had moved country rather than a town that was a 20 minute drive away. I still carried on as usual but I felt I had changed and I lost that careless confidence. I remember my first day at my new school, I tried to introduce myself to a kid but he just ignored me, I felt like this was more than me being the new kid. I managed to make a friend and the first year went ok, I just put my head down. The last two years at middle school were bad, at the time I was not sure what changed but my friends and entire class started to bully me, looking back now it must have been because i was different to them because of my yet to be diagnosed autism. I did not instigate anything, it happened gradually but by the last year I was fearing every day at school. Looking back now I just want to give myself a hug and tell me to fight back but I was too scared too, apart from one time I decked up one kid that would bully me a lot, ironically the first kid I tried to introduce myself to in the beginning. It was everyday, my once best friends sat at the side of the field shouting unkind things whilst I tried to play football with all the kids who bullied me just to pass the time.
All the stress and sadness came out at home, I would hit my mum and fight my sister, my mum would try her best to help but the teachers got so bored of being told I was being bullied. In the end to try and help me, they asked me if I would be ok if they spoke to my class about me and try to get them to be friendlier with me, this sounded great so I agreed. I was only 10 and I don't think I realised what a big decision I just made. The day came and I left the classroom, a few hours later it was done and it was break time, I ran up to the classroom to see what the classroom looked like. I opened the door and all the chairs were in a semi circle around the white board. My name was written in the middle of loads of circles, with the title 'circle of friends'. The idea was to create a support network for me but all it did was humiliate me. The two kids that use to be my friends had there names put in the inner circle as close friends but I think that was done because it was assumed they were friends. Then they had got kids to volunteer to be my friends. I ran outside in a state and a kid that was one of many that bullied me came up to me in a , he said yes. I sat at the back of the class crying, I got through my last year and went to secondary school. My obsessive intrusive thoughts which were more stereotypical OCD (obsessive organising & tidying) started around the age of 10 and would affect me at night mostly. I had a set routine that would start by have the TV remotes at a specific angle, then have a cup of milk, go to toilet and make sure the mat on the floor was not creased. I would then make sure the bathroom windows were closed and if they were opened again, I would get out of bed and shut them again lol. I then made sure everything was in its place in my bedroom, including moving my bedroom door to the 'right' angle and tapping my wardrobe 18 times but would repeat this tapping sometimes until it felt 'right'. Finally I would make sure all my teddies were in there place around me and would always hold one. As you can see this is extremely long and I got very frustrated by it but I couldn't stop and this carried on for many years until I was 14.
Ages 12 - 15
At secondary school, I got my first diagnosis. I was told by the head of a special needs unit (The Link) within the school for kids with difficulties, that I have Asperger's Syndrome (Now known as High Functioning Autism). Surprisingly I didn't have any reaction, I just carried on like nothing happened but with the understanding of why I felt different. I didn't make many friends but just hovered around a few different people and was a bit rebellious, mixing with the wrong crowd at times. Considering how bad my school years had been, year 8 was manageable but that was the only respite I would get. I think its best to just sum up the following 3 years at secondary school as just a worse amplification I faced at middle school. Far more violence and verbal abuse. I had a close friend and I clang to this friendship to survive. By the last year, I was having to do all my lessons in the Linc as I was bullied in almost all of my classes. Where we lined up to go into class I would be repeatedly punched and hit by some other students. I was shouted at in class and the teachers did nothing to help me. The school PCSO was involved many times because of the level of abuse. The second year of secondary school is where my ocd flipped from being ordering things and tidying to being less physical and more in my head. I remember just being so stressed from everything I was going through and also bored of having to do this long routine every time I went to bed that my obsessions quickly changed to even more extreme obsessions. I think I had so much stress and obsessive energy that my mind just went into overdrive. A therapist in the future said that she believed all the bullying made me look inwards for things that could be wrong with myself. It started with obsessing over my breathing, blinking and swallowing but intrusive thoughts quickly appeared, paedophile, incest, gay, harming others, the worst of the worst thoughts started to take over my mind, of course this was horrifying that I felt I didn't know who I was but also that I could be a monster.
Ages 16 - 21
The plan was to go to sixth form but I was done with school, I had only suffered and I wanted to try and make my own way and got lucky by getting a stockroom job at Debenhams. I saw this as a move forward but unlucky for me again, the supervisor was a bully. When I'm anxious I act a bit strange, say stupid things and act stupid in the hope to make people laugh and like me, this usually worked but with this person he just bullied me more. It got so bad that I had to tell him that I was autistic in hope he would leave me alone and he came out with 'you have made me feel bad now'. My obsessive intrusive thoughts did carry on affecting me badly but I managed to carry on with the help of some medication from the doctor. I also met a new friend at work who became my best friend. At 18 I managed to shout to my mum in the middle of the night to tell her about my intrusive thoughts as I couldn't cope being alone with them anymore. She actually surprised me and was supportive and I calmed down a bit after but the reassurance was short lived of course and I carried on struggling. As always when you think nothing is going to change and get set into a routine, that is when something comes and changes everything, my first love.
I was determined to become a man and not this anxious obsessive mess. I got a new wardrobe and got rid of the baggy clothes I hid in for years. The 2012 Olympics inspired me and I used it to push myself outside and join the local athletics club. The second time I went I met this woman. We got talking on and she actually asked me out. We went on a date and I still couldn't push myself to make a move, again she was the one who made the move and went in for the kiss. We got close very quick and went on multiple dates but it didn't take long for my intrusive thoughts to start trying to ruin it from worrying I didn't love her to thinking I wanted to cheat on her. As time went on it was clear she wanted to go to university and that would most likely mean moving far away. The anxiety of this led me to act very selfish and it put a wedge in the relationship. I did everything to be the man in the relationship, I changed jobs for a bit more money and moved out from home. I was in denial, I thought if I could offer more as a partner she would not go far away, my fear of losing her in the end pushed her away. All the change and stress made my already hard to live with intrusive thoughts intolerable. I had intrusive thoughts going so fast through my mind It was affecting my work at my new job which was being noticed. Ranging from thinking I was a paedophile, to being gay and harming others. In desperation to save my relationship I tried to get more help as I had never told a doctor about the intrusive thoughts and was terrified of doing so but I thought if I am a paedophile at least I am doing the right thing and I won't be a threat. I gritted my teeth and went to the doctor, she said she didn't think I was a paedophile and referred me to the local mental health team. I had an assessment, which the psychiatrist diagnosed me with G.A.D (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) but I disagreed and said I know I had O.C.D but I left it and tried doing some C.B.T sheets (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) as he suggested. The c.b.t started to help but It was too late for the relationship In the end, the relationship broke in 2014 and I went onto a downward spiral of chaos.
Ages 22 - 26
My new boss was another bully, seems weirdly ironic, even with me telling him from the start I was autistic. He put me under so much pressure I was making constant mistakes. I did start to become rebellious and stand up for myself but it was to late in the grand scheme of things. I never drank and was against it but trying to fit in I did a little with my ex. I turned to drinking and going out extensively after the breakup. I was just about managing, started to work out and got back in touch with that best friend from Debenhams. I had distanced myself from him due to being so engrossed in my partner. My drinking got so bad that I was drinking more days of the week than I wasn't. I went on a lads holiday and got drunk all 7 days, taking a caffeine pill every 6 hours to keep me going. I had a blast but it was whilst I was dealing with with breakup and struggling with my intrusive thoughts. I had moved back home after the break up but I moved back out 6 months later because I didn't want to revert back to the boy I once was. Having Asperger's means I struggle with change and social things. I have managed to work on the social stuff quite well. I was alone, getting more mentally unwell. My friends didn't care about mental health and distanced themselves as I got more unwell. My OCD got so bad that I couldn't work properly, In the end I couldn't cope anymore and walked out of my job. I carried on drinking more and more and started to self harm, I called the non emergency line but blacked out on the phone from having so much alcohol and woke up to the police kicking down my door which terrified the other housemates. This led the landlord to evict me and I ended up on my mum's floor.
In 2015 I had another assessment with another mental health team in the area I was now living in. I was diagnosed with O.C.D and Depression and put on 200mg of Sertraline. They referred me for face to face C.B.T therapy and I had a mental health worker that would check in on me whilst I waited for the therapy. It was supposed to be a 3 month waiting list, I waited 14 months. During this time I met a new partner through a dating app that I saw was suffering with her own problems and I wanted to help her. When I first told her of my O.C.D, she literally ran out of my flat and I chased after her. She calmed down and became more understanding as she learned more about it. unfortunately she refused to help her self at all and I ended up trying to push her to get help. She got a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder but she never tried very hard to get better and instead of trying, cheated on me multiple times. her self. I became desperate and in 2016, I married her in hope that by showing I was dedicated to her that she would try to get better and that we could make a great life together. After 14 months in 2017 I had the therapy but the therapist was rubbish and I quit after 2 sessions. A year later in 2018, I paid for therapy privately and my partner actually got offered therapy too and she attempted it. I had to basically keep on at her to go but in the end she just gave up and my therapy didn't work due to the fact she caused me so much stress. The first few years of the relationship she had hit me quite a lot and mentally abused me, after a year of it I did snap back a few times and became verbally abusive as well. We became stuck in this stalemate like state where she wouldn't make any effort and I couldn't end it with her because I loved her and she was all I had.
But in 2019 this all changed when after feeling something wasn't right, I had to go detective to find out the truth. She had been having a 4 month affair with my former best friend. When I found out, she told me it was because I left her on her own but she would never go out with me, so sometimes I had to go out to breathe. I happily told her to leave but she wasn't quick to jump which just proved to me as usual that she just found another new man to use because she won't help her self and sticks to people like a leech that will do what she wants them too, but finally after 4 years of hell I was free. I started to do therapy sheets and workout and I felt the best I had done in a very long time.
26 - 29
I still craved that love and affection, even though I never had it from my wife and matched with someone I new was another hot head but I just thought screw it, just give it a go. I was a bit anxious as she had 3 kids because of of my obsessive/intrusive thoughts but I felt quite good in myself. I went out with her and the kids and hung out with them a lot for 4 weeks. She listened to me about my intrusive thoughts and was supportive, I told her that I had done some minor test/action compulsions that involved men, kids and animals, nothing more than slight tapping. I did not believe and also never have wanted to ever sexually harm anyone, especially a child. We then decided we wanted to be together and I had got the love i wanted for so long, she looked after me and I was very happy. I felt well in myself and that I had better control over my Intrusive thoughts, I enjoyed being a step dad and would help my partner out by taking them to the park and to see my family. However over time the stress of what became a toxic relation, helping with 3 kids that weren't mine and not giving my self anytime to rest, I quickly deteriorated, my intrusive thoughts overwhelmed me and I started to struggle to cope. With my wife I got worse slowly over time but stayed in a just about manageable survival state as I was often just laying depressed on my sofa but I had no time ever to unwind.
My partner started to keep breaking up/getting back with me, this just further scrambled my mind but I was in love and couldn't walk away. It was inevitable that I wouldn't cope with this situation for much longer but i didn't know to improve the situation or leave someone I deeply loved. My thoughts got unbearable and I was keeping my distance away from the kids as my mind twisted everything. It came to its worst when the youngest boy of 3 sat next to me and asked me to help him on his tablet. I was hesitant because it would mean my hand being in between his crotch and the tablet as he was playing it at the time and wanted me to get rid of an advert on the screen. I felt guilty about not helping him so i quickly i helped him but I had obsession as soon as I helped him, thinking do I like my hand being here and I very briefly tilted the back of my hand against his crotch for a split second.
For clarity this was the worst compulsion that has ever happened and nothing sexual has or will ever happen because that isn't how intrusive thoughts work. Although some could see this as a paedophile action, because it was an action from an obsessive compulsion out of fear and anxiety, not from desire and not intended to harm. It was confirmed not be because of paedophilia and was accidental due to the mental health conditions that I was newly diagnosed with, which are disclosed further down. This was agreed by several professional psychiatrists and psychologists later in the year, because of covid it took a while to get that important appointment until 8 months later in 2020.
My obsessive mind was trying to convince me that I was a paedophile and this testing behaviour made me even more concerned, I went over it in my mind for 24 hours but I couldn't rationalize it and new I had to tell my partner. I waited until the next day when the kids were back at school so they didn't get upset by me leaving. I packed all my stuff and messaged her about what had happened. She was of course concerned but didn't want to lose me, I decided to go to the local A & E to see a mental health nurse, where I told them about what happened and I was referred back to the mental health team. I thought it went too well because I know regardless if this is intrusive thoughts or not it is still a possible cause for concern. These suspicions proved true when social services turned up at my partners house and said I could no longer be around her kids and effectively ended our relationship. We saw each other in secret but she kept coming and going from fear of losing her kids and it made inevitably it ended.
They didn't assess me because they made the assumption like alot of people do because of how unheard of this is. They scared my ex so much she didnt think she had any right to argue, even though she legally had the right to be offered insight into what I could do to be around her children again e.g. an assessment. They told my family I couldn't be around my sister's kids as well which they just accepted because they think social services are the law, again out of fear. I have a right to be assessed but they were telling the parents off the record I couldn't be around their kids when they have the right to ask for me to be assessed. This left me in this limbo at that time of legally I could be around children but social services were telling parents I couldn't. The only people that could challenge them were the parents but they get so scared by the way social services spoke to them, that they did what ever social services said because they though they were the law which they are not. This led me to going through the local ombudsman to complain that the council was not doing what they were legally obliged to do.
The lockdown was hard, like it was for everyone, it was maddening but after it was over I went back to my flat and spent a few months working out and doing some of my artwork. I met a new woman who I thought was going to be my big break, we had many great times and she said to me she was the first real nice person I would have been with but over time it turned out to be another person who put an act on. It started with her being very understanding but she wanted to live a life where she never really stayed in one place for long and me with my issues proved to much of a commitment for her. Over time you see beneath peoples acts if they are pretending to be ok, it turned out she was as unstable and had many issues. The difference was she refused to accept she needed help and for someone like me who tries to face my issues this proved a big problem. She broke up with me 3 times in four months and after we finally ended, I went into the 2nd lockdown on my own and I really struggled to stay at least in a manageable state, again like many millions of people were.
During the middle of that relationship I had the assessment with a psychiatrist and a forensic psychologist I had been waiting so long for to prove I am not a danger to children. I had a hour and a half assessment where I told them everything including all the obsessive/ intrusive compulsive testing behaviors that had happened over the past 14 years, I was diagnosed to my surprise with a: Mixed Personality Disorder ( B.P.D & O.C.P.D Types), Mixed Anxiety & Depression and Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
I had my suspicions about having a personality disorder but didn't believe I had a serious trauma which usually plays a big role in developing a personality disorder but it turns out having constant moderate traumas is still enough to develop one it seems. My O.C.D diagnosis was wrong but I only had a quick assessment when that diagnosis was made but also less signs of worse conditions had appeared yet. Because a lack of funding the mental health system struggles to cope with the backlog of case it has. You are rushed in and out and only get proper in depth help when you becoming critically unwell. In the document of my diagnosis that I might put on here in the future, it said I am a low/moderate risk to everyone, So i am no more a risk to an adult, than I am to a child. This was good news because even in the assessment they said they didn't see me as a risk that I couldn't be allowed round my family.
It turned out that my intrusive thoughts are caused by my obsessive compulsive personality disorder, rather than obsessive compulsive disorder which was wrongly diagnosed back in 2015. As already stated on the other pages of the website, intrusive thoughts can be caused by different mental health issues, it just so happens it was a different one than the one I had thought it was.
Early 2021, I get the government's local ombudsmen findings and decision... after waiting nearly year and 16 months after social services got involved. The outcome was interesting to say the least, the ombudsmen found no fault with the council but the councils response was unbelievable. They said the parents made their own decision to not let me around the children, which is a lie of course. They were verbally told which is not legal but because there wasn't any proof that the council did this, the ombudsman found nothing wrong with what they saw. The council responded with it is the parents choice and that even though I had a good outcome from my mental health assessment, it is not up to them to tell the parents to change their minds. So put simply, the council did some dodgy work off the record, i complained and had my mental health assessment which showed i had a mental health issue and not a high risk offender like the council tried to make out. Backed into a corner they were forced to respond to the ombudsman with the true legal position which i know I would have never been given in a written letter, if it wasn't for the complaint. I new all this all along but now that the council has written it as such, i can now use this, which the very same day I did..
I sent the documents to my sister which told her everything, she called social services and said she wants to let me around my niece and nephew, to which they replied, it is her choice and noted it down. After all the struggle and lies from the council, one phone call from my sister and the prison of a life i have been living for what seems forever, ended suddenly. Now i'm trying to get my head around all of this and the next challenge is ahead, working on myself now, doing cbt therapy at home and getting the proper therapy that can help teach me how to cope with my emotions and try to rebuild myself. I have my family to keep me fighting, seeing my family again was overwhelming. I'm lucky I was able to fight but I almost gave up many times, a lot of people take their lives because of how hard intrusive thoughts are and how bad the system that is in place like the council and mental health services which are supposed to help us but often get rid of us as soon as they can.
Thanks for reading.