Hello, my name is Samantha Jean Sumampong! I am a freelance writer and an ABA Therapist. I started the blog because I wanted to share my experiences with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and to break the stigma towards mental illness.
The History of My Mental Illness
I’ve always had anxiety and depression for as long as I could remember. In Pre-K, my mom often found me in the bathroom washing my hands when she had to pick me up. It should have been a sign that maybe something wasn’t right.
I experienced Religous OCD when I was eight years old. It started when I saw a clip from the film Agnes of God, a movie about a young nun who is discovered with a dead infant in her convent quarters. In the clip, Agnes has blood on her hands and screams that she hates him (God) repeatedly. As a result, I had obsessions of cursing God and believing in Satan.
I experienced a terrible depression from the ages 9 to 12 years old when I studied ballet. Often I’d have emotional outbursts because I perceived that my ballet classmates were leaving me out of their friend groups. In hindsight, I could have just asked to be in their group. I also experienced depression resulting from the pressures to do well and competition from my classmates.
In seventh grade, I began self-harming as a way to deal with my anxiety. From this point, I self-harmed on and off for a decade.
In high school, I experienced Phartophopia, the fear of farting. It started after I farted at my friend’s birthday dinner at Olive Garden. Throughout my Sophomore year of high school, I had a severe fear of farting because I didn’t want to be teased by my classmates. This pivotal experience prompted me to start therapy.
During my Sophomore year of university, I developed an unhealthy obsession with a guy I dated from freshman year because he dumped me. I’d cry in my dorm room, and I’d write him angry letters and slip it under his door. This not so bright moment in my life helped me reveal my undiagnosed mental illness, OCD, and it was when I started taking medication.
My Two Day Trip to the Psych Ward
I went to the psych ward during my second semester of junior year. The factors included being dumped, finding out I was pregnant and then having a miscarriage. It was a surreal experience, but it was the beginning of a journey where I started to accept my OCD.
Root Causes of My Mental Illness
Mental illness runs in my family. My dad has anxiety and depression, and I have a feeling that my mom has undiagnosed anxiety. I also was raised in a very chaotic environment where yelling was our form of communication.
Last Few Words
Even though having OCD is a daily uphill battle, it’s something that’s a part of me and makes me, me.