Escaping the Clutches of Mental Health Concerns With a Guiding Light – Madhav’s Story of Courage Through Therapy

5 minutes

OCD in itself is a serious mental health concern. However, there are several conditions associated with OCD that are still alien to many of us. Here is the story of a warrior who waded through the dark waters of OCD and successfully overcame it.

Madhav is a 26-year-old research fellow in biology at IIT Delhi. Hailing from Nagpur, Maharashtra, he is the epitome of perseverance and hard work that resulted in a fellowship at the prestigious institute.

A child’s mental and physical growth depends upon the upbringing during the initial years of their life. Hence, Madhav’s happy childhood contributed to his success as a young adult. He had a delightful relationship with his parents and family which added to the quality of his life.

“I have a love towards anything related to nature and the environment. I’m pretty old school in arts and love traditional art forms.”

Madhav came across the YourDOST platform at IIT Delhi, as the college had a subscription with the organisation as their official mental health partner, and decided to give it a try because of his OCD diagnosis.

“I met my therapist, Ms Kashish Sharma on the YourDOST Platform. She is a person who made me comfortable from the first session and we talked extensively about all my concerns.”

Madhav opted for a therapy session due to an OCD diagnosis both from his therapist and psychiatrist alike. He was diagnosed with “magical thinking-related OCD”, an OCD subtype characterised by a belief that his thoughts and actions would cause real-life consequences, even when there is no logical connection between them.

“I had an irrational fear of something happening to me or my loved ones based on the repetitive thoughts I had. I wanted to focus on my thoughts and get to a mentality where I could analyse them and see them as mere feelings or fears.”

Madhav had been officially diagnosed with OCD in 2019, but his therapist felt that he would have been struggling with the issues way earlier. He had been a victim of sexual trauma in the 6th grade, and that may have been the onset of his mental concerns.

“I was in 6th standard when someone from my family tried to force themselves on me. I couldn’t understand what was going on, but I figured it to be something bad. I resisted and was successful in stopping them from doing anything to me. Even though the incident didn’t affect me physically, the psychological trauma remained for years to come.”

At a time in childhood, when the most serious concern to a child should be completing his homework, Madhav went through something that no child should ever experience. He had the mental strength to escape the abuse but the trauma remained engraved in him even without him realising it.

Ms Kashish helped Madhav with deep breathing and journaling exercises but he was sceptical. Initially, he thought of these techniques as common and not result-yielding, but later on with his therapist’s help, he started appreciating the deep breathing exercises. He realised that his triggering and disturbing thoughts gradually vanished when he practised the exercise.

“My therapist introduced me to a different mode of therapy known as ERP or exposure and response therapy, which includes exposing me to my triggers and helping me modulate my responses in a better way.”

This new therapy method helped Madhav immensely and he started noticing the differences in just three months. He became capable enough to differentiate between his thoughts, emotions and fears to focus on facts. 

“Before starting therapy, I used to apologize for everything and overshare a lot with my workplace colleagues. I have learned to be more vocal about my feelings and form boundaries whenever needed.”

Madhav gradually controlled his excessive people-pleasing habits and increased his productivity at work which was affected by OCD and lack of concentration.

“I’m thankful to my therapist for helping me see things as they are and making sure that I become independent from them.”

Ms Kashish helped Madhav clear his blurry outlook and ensured he was moving forward with a crystal-clear vision. She even helped him develop a “third eye” to navigate new situations and concerns without her holding his hand forever.

Madhav has rated himself a 3 on 5 in terms of feeling better, as he has come a long way and has an even longer journey ahead. He used to spend a lot of time getting caught in the OCD cycle, but now, he is getting better at handling the OCD-induced fears and emotions. We are extremely proud and happy for Madhav as he is no less than a warrior who waded through the dark waters to success. All the very best Madhav!

Madhav’s Warrior Tips:
1.“It takes guts to accept and be open to understand your situation better.”
2.“Do not get caught up in the blame game of how things occurred and focus on navigating out of it.”
3.“Give yourself time to heal, as all good things take time to manifest themselves and keep going no matter what.”

Team YourDOST

YourDOST is an Online Emotional Wellness Coach. Through YourDOST anyone can Sign Up and anonymously seek advice and guidance from Counsellors, Psychologists, Special Friends, Mentors and other experienced individuals.