Patient Story


The Center for Youth Mental Health

formerly the Youth Anxiety Center


person drawing in a mazeOCD-type anxiety is a very lonely illness. Your mind turns in on itself, endlessly deliberating over every thought and task you encounter. You start to withdraw from the world, not out of shyness so much as an inability to tear yourself away from the obsessions and anxiety that command your thoughts and behavior. Your friends start to think you’re a junkie because you stay in your room all day. Your teachers assume you’re lazy because you never turn essays in on time. Your parents are terrified because you don’t pick up their calls or answer their e-mails. Your doctors recognize your symptoms, but the only treatments they have are drugs that have to be taken at doses so high you can hardly stay awake, or a harsh psychotherapy that mature adults can barely handle on their own. In the end, the best you can do is muddle through and resolve to struggle against your own thoughts every day.