A Journey Begun with Hope
Hello, my name is Aarav. Ever since I can remember, I've had a vision for my life—to clear the UPSC exams and dedicate myself to the service of our country. That dream led me to Old Rajendra Nagar, a mecca for UPSC aspirants like myself. I knew it would be challenging, but what I didn't expect was an internal battle with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
The Silent Onset of Obsessive Thoughts
In the beginning, it was just a gnawing feeling, like an itch you can't quite reach. Negative thoughts started to dominate my mind. "What if you're not good enough?" "What if you fail?" "You're wasting everyone's time." Trying to shoo these thoughts away only made them louder and more persistent, draining me emotionally and mentally.
The Moment of Realization
At first, I attributed these symptoms to general exam stress. But when the obsessive thoughts began to interfere with my daily activities—eating, sleeping, even casual conversations with friends—I knew I had a problem. After a bit of online research, I found that my symptoms matched those of OCD
Taking the First Step
Acknowledging the need for help, I confided in the one person I knew would understand—my sister, Radhika. She suggested I try online counseling. Though hesitant at first, I was desperate for a way out.
The Healing Power of Counseling
The initial sessions were both uncomfortable and enlightening. My counselor helped me recognize these obsessive thoughts as symptoms, not as reflections of my actual self-worth. We worked on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques to break the cycle of negative thought patterns.
The Calming Effect of Mindfulness
One strategy that really made a difference for me was Mindfulness Meditation. Whenever I felt overwhelmed by obsessive thoughts, I focused on my breathing, grounding myself in the present moment. Slowly, this practice enabled me to detach from these disturbing thoughts, seeing them as just that—thoughts.
My Pillar of Support
Throughout this journey, Radhika stood by me like a rock. She would regularly check on me, reminding me that healing is a process, with its ups and downs. Her support made this challenging period a little more bearable.
A Journey Far from Over
While I still experience obsessive thoughts, their intensity has decreased significantly. I now possess the tools to manage them more effectively. This mental clarity has also been a boon to my UPSC preparations; I'm studying more efficiently and managing stress better than before.
A New Perspective
Yes, the UPSC exam still looms large, and there's a ton of material left to cover. However, regardless of the outcome, I've already gained something precious—the ability to manage my own mind and the understanding that my self-worth isn't tied to any exam or external validation.
If you're going through something similar, remember that it's okay to ask for help. Conquering internal battles makes facing the external ones a lot easier. Believe me, I've been there.