Hi everyone .. this is my first post, I've just joined as I only recently developed OCD .. I'm lucky, its not too bad, and I've been able to reverse many of the symptoms over the last few months so I'd like to share my experiences in the hope that I can help someone else who may be suffering. I really feel that long term stress was the major factor for me developing the disorder and I know I'm susceptible as it runs in the family.

I have a little analogy - I believe stress is like the water in a reservoir.

Most people have a high tolerance to stress - their reservoir has the capacity to hold many years worth of stress and may never be filled entirely. In general it is healthy to keep the water level in this particular reservoir as low as possible and to try to ensure whatever flows in, in the form of stressful encounters, also flows out through controlled measures.

Some people, from the day they start high school, collage or their career, begin to fill their reservoir drip by drip. These people do not know or realize the importance of ensuring what flows into their reservoir must flow out in a controlled fashion. And slowly but surely the water level in their reservoir rises. Depending on their capacity this process may take years, drip by drip, with no clear signs that anything is unusual. Only when the water starts to overflow the reservoir, breaking the banks, spilling out in an uncontrolled way does the person realize the problem.

Looking back, the signs that my reservoir was getting full came in the form of muscle tension, frequent stress headaches and being easily irritated.
Signs of an overflowing reservoir could be panic attacks, constant and unwanted thought patterns, worry and anxiety disorders such as OCD and General Anxiety Disorder.

My point here is that - what ever symptoms develop - I feel we can control or reverse them but it might take some time.
In my case I believe it took 15 or so years to fill my stress reservoir - so I'm not expecting to reverse that in just a few weeks or months - but I've changed my lifestyle and I'll make a few more posts about what steps I've taken.
I'd love to hear if people think in a similar way about these disorders ?

Take care everyone