Interview with Kathryn Booth
Updated: Jul 17, 2019
So, we are back this week with Kathryn Booth who runs a YouTube channel and an Instagram account dedicated to OCD and the battle against it! She's on a path to share her story with the world and break the stigma around mental health, particularly OCD. Let's have a look at what does this aww person have to say about her condition. So, tell us a little bit about the type of OCD you are dealing with? How'd you first come to realise that you were diagnosed with it and how'd you deal with it? I was diagnosed with severe OCD at the age of twelve and was further diagnosed with social anxiety and depression while in intensive treatment. My OCD got to the point where I was critically impaired, I couldn’t eat, sleep, go to school, get out of bed, or even leave the house. Even though I was doing ERP and I was taking medication none of it was helping. As a result, my parents, specialists, and I realized that I needed a further-more intensive form of treatment. In August of 2017 I was admitted to the Rogers Memorial Hospital in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin where I stayed for over three months. There I tackled my OCD surrounding perfectionism in school and at home in my room as well as my social anxiety. How does this condition affect your daily life and routine? OCD causes me to overthink the simplest of things, always with the constant thought- What If? It’s really frustrating because I’ll want to do something, such as walk my dog in the evening in my (very safe) neighborhood and I’ll have intrusive thoughts about (TW) getting kidnapped, killed, or raped. I just sometimes wish that I could make it all go away, but luckily there is ERP which makes the condition, all the more manageable. Additionally, my perfectionism OCD in school makes me think that every mistake that I make is the end of the world. Logically, part of me knows that not to be the case, but the OCD part of me feels otherwise. Could you tell us a bit about the period after you were discharged from the hospital? How did you cope up? I was discharged from Rogers in November of 2017 and returned home and back to school for my Sophomore year in high school. Even though when I returned home I continued to see my therapist multiple times a week, things regarding my OCD grew worse again. This lead me to be admitted into a partial hospitalization program (PHP) at Rogers Behavioral Health in Walnut Creek, California starting in April of 2018 until July of 2018. This second intensive intervention of ERP tremendously helped me and allowed me to live my live again for me and my personal happiness, not that of OCD. Your account on Instagram is really intriguing. Could you tell us a bit more about that and what inspired you to start it? Right before I discharged from PHP at Rogers, I began my Instagram account @the_road_to_recovery_from_ocd with a passion of changing the way that the world viewed OCD by sharing my journey with others. Since then I have encountered other bumps on the road in my journey to recovery, but I have managed to persevere. Since July of 2018 my account has grown tremendously with a current count of 375 followers, many of which also suffer from OCD. Helping others by providing them with hope that things will get better has helped me get through the hard times in my own recovery. I just finished my Junior year in high school and will be beginning my Senior year in August. I’m really excited about the future because I will be applying to college this fall to pursue my dream of becoming a clinical psychologist specializing in those with various anxiety disorders like myself. Battling OCD isn't an one-man-stand. How would you describe the support you have received from your close circles in dealing with this situation? 3.) My support system has been incredible regarding my battle with OCD. My parents are literally my everything, they have put everything in their lives on hold, making me and my treatment the priority. They never let me see the pain that they felt while watching me struggle, but instead remained strong for my sake. My parents haven’t been the only amazing people in my support system, my sister, friends, teachers, and followers of this account have remained by my side during both the good and bad. Lastly, my incredible treatment team is one of the main reasons I am where I am today. That includes all the members of all my various treatment teams: Emma, Kelsey, Dr. Buchart, Heidi, Julia, Maria, Chelle, Sarah, Becca, Hannah, Dr. Thienemann, and Dr. Vidrine to name a few.