Before speaking with Anna and Ashley just a couple of weeks ago, I knew very little about what exactly it meant to have OCD. When I was in high school and did not pay much attention to mental health causes, I’d heard people make comments like “ugh, wow my OCD is acting up”, and what they usually meant by that was that they were being super picky or organized- as far as I knew, none of these people had actually dealt with OCD before.
When I learned a little bit about OCD in college, I started being a little bit more sensitive, but learning about OCD in an abnormal psychology class hardly gives you an in depth perspective of what it really means to have it. I’m lucky to know both Anna and Ashley.
About Our Speakers
Anna is a University of Washington honors student double majoring in Anthropology: Human Evolutionary Biology and Art History. She also works for the Early Childhood Cognition Lab at the University of Washington studying developmental psychology. She has exhibited signs of OCD since the age of 3 and has gone through intensive OCD therapy using CBT and more specifically ERP. She hopes to raise more awareness through this podcast as to what OCD actually looks like. In her free time, she likes to read, draw and play with any dogs she sees. She hopes to studying clinical psychology in the future in order to help children with OCD like herself.
Ashley is passionate and curious about all kinds of health and healing. She has a MA in Child/Adolescent Psychology from the UW with a special focus in evidence based treatment of anxiety related disorders and OCD. She loves helping children, teens and families reclaim their lives from mental health challenges. Besides being interested in evidence-based care for mental health, Ashley also is a yoga teacher and casual musician. She spends her free time playing piano, doing yoga, cooking with her husband and reading more and more about psychology.
I know both of these amazing women as co-workers and friends, since we all work at the same lab.
Each offered a unique perspective on what it means to have OCD, and what it means to get it treated. One of the reasons mental health is so tricky to deal with is because it’s difficult to think about, sometimes it’s difficult to diagnose, and often, it is hard to afford treatment. So in addition to discussing OCD itself, I also was curious about how people can go about seeking treatment.
After this interview, I can say that I now have a much better idea of what it means to have OCD, but I understand that it is often a hard thing to talk about when you suffer from a mental illness like this. I’m thankful to Anna for sharing her story, and I’m thankful to Ashley for providing her clinical perspective on it.
Now, we’d like to hear from you: what did you like about this episode, or what would you have liked to hear more about? Have you suffered from OCD, and what has your experience been like? Do you know of any other resources that people can use to either learn more about OCD, or even resources for those who have OCD?
Share your perspective with us below! Thanks so much for participating in the mental health conversation.