Model Lily Bailey on suffering from OCD since childhood and making endless lists of perceived faults, daily!

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic mental disorder in which a person has reoccurring, uncontrollable thoughts and behaviors. Individuals with OCD may have symptoms of obsessions, compulsions, or both, which can interfere with their daily life activities. OCD is a common disorder that can affect anyone all over the world. British model and writer Lily Bailey is one of them.

For Bailey, OCD was a devastating mental illness. As a child, she would have trouble sleeping and had a lot of intrusive thoughts. The disease occupied Bailey’s every waking moment and convinced her that she was a bad person. By the time she turned 13 years, she was convinced of having killed someone just by thinking about it.

Bailey grew up obsessed with being good and would make lists of up to 400 faults every single day. According to her, what is interesting is that people with OCD think that their compulsions are useful. Bailey had one recurring fear that she might harm a child. “As I got a bit older I started to have frequent obsessions that I might have done something bad and that I needed to compulsively make lists of what those things might be,” the 23-year-old model told The Guardian in a recent interview. Constantly mortified, Bailey concealed it from her parents and friends until she could no longer hide it.

Until the age of 16, Bailey was completely absorbed in coming across as a good person that people liked. According to Bailey, though she appeared normal, the stress of just trying to act normal, when it was exhausting, was too much for her. Her breaking point came at the age of 16 when she realized that she could not take it anymore. She dreaded waking up in the morning and would start feeling worse the minute she started interacting with people.

Dealing with OCD

During her school days, Bailey was diagnosed with OCD and saw a therapist for cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for a few years but then she took a year off. According to her, CBT taught her that it was a wrong way to deal with things. During her university days, her condition returned and she found herself drinking heavily. Her condition became so bad that she had to be hospitalized and soon dropped out of college.

“More recently, I’ve been having more traditional psychotherapy, which does involve looking back at my past more, and I’m finding it to be very helpful,” said the model-turned-writer. As per Bailey, the best way to deal with OCD is to keep oneself busy. She now believes that she can get better and that one day she will have a complete recovery. According to Bailey, a number of people with OCD don’t even realize that they are suffering from the disorder. With her book titled, “Because We are Bad: OCD and a Girl Lost in Thought,” she aims to raise awareness about the condition and to shed light on the misunderstood disorder.

Road to recovery

While OCD symptoms may come and go and virtually ease over time, individuals with the condition can try to help themselves by avoiding trigger situations. Typically treated with medication, psychotherapy or a combination of both, most people respond to OCD treatment.

If you know someone who is suffering from any kind of mental health illnesses including OCD, please contact the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline and let us help you find one of the best mental health counseling programs in your locality. Please call our 24/7 helpline number 855-653-8178 or chat online with our trained counselors to know about a licensed facility near you.