Approximately two percent of people over the age of 18 in the United States suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

And we all have that one picky friend who constantly says they have OCD because they can’t mix green M&Ms with red ones or handle the thought of peas touching mashed potatoes on their plate. What real sufferers deal with, however, has nothing to do with an odd desire to eat red M&Ms first, although strict organization can certainly be one of many crushing symptoms.

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The fact of the matter is that your friend would be able to go about their day if they accidentally ate a green candy first. People dealing with OCD do not have the luxury of messing up a ritual and moving on.

News of a teenager named Alicia Falconer recently broke on Metro’s website. The young woman, who struggles with OCD, feels compelled to tap on surfaces 100 times to ensure that her family stays alive.

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Although that might sound bizarre to most of us, the fact of the matter is that these fears are very real to people dealing with the condition.

In many cases, people struggling with OCD find themselves confined to their homes because their compulsions and rituals take over their lives. You can imagine the emotional and psychological toll that would take on a person. To better understand what it feels like to be trapped by such a serious mental illness, take a look at these real-life confessions.

1. “Someone who I admired and respected passed away some years ago, and I feel like it’s my fault. We never met, and I didn’t know them personally at all.”

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(via Reddit / ComputerLoadUpCelery)

“I keep thinking that through my actions, like buying tomato soup instead of spinach soup on a certain day or whatever trivial nonsense, I caused his demise.”

2. “I started to think I was going to veer off the road and hit some pedestrian, so for about a year, driving got really tedious. A trip that normally took me about 20 minutes started to take me around an hour because of the constant checking and re-checking.”

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(via Reddit / otherdudename)

While he was out driving one day, the Redditor used everything in his power to pass a woman on the sidewalk without circling back to check on her. When he got home, he was consumed by guilt. In his words, “I had put it out of my mind for months until one day it hit me. ‘What if I’d hit that woman? What if she was dead and I did it?’ Ever since then, this has been haunting me. The guilt I feel gets really bad sometimes. I know in my head I didn’t actually hit someone, but since I can’t prove it, the guilt remains.”

3. “I generally refuse to discuss my obsessions in depth because of concern that they are somehow contagious.”

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(viaReddit / panrestrial)

“I worry that the things I obsess over are things that would disturb anyone who really thought about them, and I can’t bear the idea of anyone else feeling this way so I can’t discuss them for fear I’ll pass them on. Are any of you worried that if you talk in too much detail about your obsessions that listeners will become similarly obsessed?”

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4. “Nobody really understands. To be in this cage you can’t break free from. The misery. The things you get used to that would appall normal people.”

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(via Reddit / TurnTheValve)

“I can’t sleep, can’t eat, can’t rest my arms on anything, and can’t sit down. I have to wait hours before I can sit down and longer before I can sleep. I’m depressed, dizzy, thirsty, and my body hurts. Once I go to sleep, I know that I’ll just wake up and do it all over again. I need out so badly.”

5. “I’ve recently had this awareness of swallowing due to a recent post-nasal drip and I can’t get rid of it. The more I think about it, the more saliva my body produces, the more times I swallow.”

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(via Reddit / daszeus1)

“It bothers me when I’m trying to sleep or when I wake up in the middle of the night, and sometimes I can’t go back to sleep due to the constant need to swallow. It causes me insomnia.”

6. “I’ve been having a problem as of late where I get stuck having an argument with myself in my head. That argument just repeats over and over and I can’t make it stop.”

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(via Reddit / Vethar)

“It’s an absolutely terrible feeling. I don’t know what to do about it. I’ve always had to deal with intrusive thoughts and obsessing over particular things, but this is some next-level stuff.”

7. “I have a big fear of schizophrenia and demonic possession, so I have this image of some human guy in my head and I constantly try to push it away and then accept it. Then a thought will say it’s a demon.”

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(via Reddit / SugarPupPups)

“So tired of all these intrusive thoughts of demonic possession. So tired of it. It’s so tiring trying to deal with all this. I’m stressed out.”

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8. “I have developed some fears about whether or not I’m losing my cognitive abilities, and as a result of that, I constantly check my intelligence by doing some incredible logic-based gymnastics in order to reassure myself that I’m not becoming stupid or worse, going crazy.”

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(via Reddit / Sirearthure)

“If I had to sum up this phenomenon in few words, I would say it’s some sort of fear of not understanding something. Because in my poor mind, I automatically associate this fear with stupidity, and stupidity means losing myself as a human being and facing rejection from others.”

9. “I count everything and add, multiply, and subtract until I get nine. Digital numbers, sides of things, everything.”

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(via Reddit / Ziasauruswrecks)

“Examples: It is currently 8:25 p.m. 8+2+5=15. 1+5=6. 6+3=9. Those arrows painted on the road…seven sides plus two equals nine. Stop sign, eight sides plus one equals nine. TV, four sides plus four outer edges, sometimes four more edges, equals 12. 1+2=3. 3 x 3=9. I do it all the damn time. It drives me absolutely crazy.”

10. “Since the third grade, I have had an irrational fear that I’m being watched or spied on with cameras.”

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(via Reddit / Disirai)

I’m 28 now and still have a fear of cameras watching me. Dressing rooms, public bathrooms, the rental house I’m living in. What if the landlords installed cameras?”

If you or someone you know is struggling with OCD, please reach out. Click here for more details about how you can find the support you and your loved ones need.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/ocd-confessions/

A diet is really an eating plan implemented with the intent to lose weight. It includes restrictions on when and where its acceptable to eat, and what food to eat.

Now that were clear on what a diet is, lets understand this: Diets dont work.

Study after study has proven dieting doesnt do a thing when it comes to wanting to lose weight.

It may lead to temporary weight loss, but it wont last. Nearly everyone who loses weight from dieting gains it all back because a diet isnt a lifestyle, its a temporary life change.

Why Celebrity Diets Are Bullshit [Gen Why]

In the long run, dieting can only lead to disordered eating and can help foster unhealthy relationships with food.

Ive tried dieting many times, and I always end up feeling miserable and developing a short pattern of disordered eating after.

While many definitions exist, I define disordered eating as any type of mindset that leaves you feeling worthless, guilty, embarrassed, ashamed or any other negative emotion while and after consuming food.

Im somuch happier and more pleasant to be around when Im not limiting myself to what foodsIm allowed to enjoy.

There is the rare exception of people who go on diets and manage to keep the weight off, but I believe these people have sacrificed a portion of their mental and physical health to do so.

Personally, this is why I think diets fail: They dont take a persons mental health into consideration.

While yes, we do need food to survive, many foods (especially those for the holidays)exist mostly for pleasure. Sugar cookies, gingerbread men and chocolate truffles are meant to bring pleasure to the person consuming them.

Were meant to treat ourselves to enjoying taste.

Our society is obsessed with dieting, and this obsession only worsens around the holidays.Internet articles with titles like X Ways Not to Blow Your Diet at Thanksgiving are abundant throughout November and December, and Im sick of it.

Who cares if you trade in your kale salad for a sugary sweet potato casserole? Who cares if you trade in a spinach smoothie for some hot chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles?

You are allowed to treat yourself. You. Are. ALLOWED.

Theres nothing wrong with choosing vegetables over sweets, but you should be doing so for the right reasons.

If you genuinely enjoy broccoli more than cake, go for it. But if you enjoy cake more than broccoli, and still pick the broccoli because your inner voice is whispering to you youre a failure if you dont, you have a problem.

Food isnt something were supposed to obsess over. Its not supposed to dictate how we judge others or ourselves either. Its not supposed to control our lives and our well-being. Its supposed to keep us alive, and its supposed to bring us joy.

We have enough to deal with in our lives. We should be able to take an extra slice of pizza or an extra scoop of ice cream (or both) whenever we damn well please.

Your mental health is more important than your physical health, so put your brain before your body. After all, you wont have a body to use if your brain isnt in the right mental state to use it.

You are so much more than what you eat and how you look. You dont need to diet to feel good about yourself, you need to eat loads of food you love so youre not hangry at work or at home.

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/wellness/holiday-diet-mental-health/1684287/

Prince Harry knows a thing or two about being a veteran.

He actually just retired from a 10-year full-time military career earlier this year. And it was no publicity stunt. Harry served two combat tours in Afghanistan with the Army Air Corps, and he was even promoted to the rank of captain.

In other words, he can walk the walk.

And he recently showed his support for fellow veterans at Walking with the Wounded’s Walk of Britain.

But he wasn’t there just to cruise around with his slick backpack and his awesome fiery beard.

He was there to get the world talking about mental health.

Photo by Chris Jackson, WPA Pool/Getty Images.

Walking with the Wounded organizes events every year where a small team of veterans tackles an enormous physical challenge.

Over the past three years, teams of wounded warriors have trekked to both the North Pole and the South Pole, and even climbed portions of Mount Everest, in order to raise funds for injured veterans.

This year, though, they brought the event back home to Britain.

Photo by Chris Jackson, WPA Pool/Getty Images.

Prince Harry joined a team of six American and British veterans for a portion of their 1,000-mile hike.

The team started in Scotland on Aug. 22 and is set to finish at Buckingham Palace on Nov. 1 a distance of over 1,000 miles.

Photo by Chris Jackson, WPA Pool/Getty Images.

Along the way, Harry met some pretty amazing people.

Like Stewart Hill, who suffered a traumatic brain injury while serving in Afghanistan. Also on the team of vets is Scott Ransley, who was blinded in his right eye after an explosion from an improvised bomb; Kristie Ennis, whose helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan, causing her numerous injuries; Alec Robotham, who suffered severe trauma to his legs and other body parts after a suicide bomb attempt; Matt Fisher, who lost his left leg due to a gunshot wound; and Andrew Bement, who struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, in part due a brain injury of his own.

Their wounds run the gamut, from the physical to the emotional. But all of them run deep.

Photo by Chris Jackson, WPA Pool/Getty Images.

People turned out in droves to support the veterans on their journey. And, of course, to get a glimpse of the Prince.

Photo by Chris Jackson, WPA Pool/Getty Images.

He even tossed around the football with NFL legend Dan Marino, who was also there to show his support.

Photo by Chris Jackson, WPA Pool/Getty Images.

Not bad for a Brit!

Photo by Chris Jackson, WPA Pool/Getty Images.

But this wasn’t just a photo op for Prince Harry. He had an important message to relay about post-combat mental illness.

Photo by Chris Jackson, WPA Pool/Getty Images.

“It’s a sensitive subject,” he said. “But … we need to talk about it more. Get rid of the stigma.”

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 11%-20% of modern war veterans suffer from some form of PTSD, which can result in disturbing flashbacks, hopelessness, memory problems, trouble sleeping, and it can severely affect relationships with loved ones. It can even be a leading factor in a high number of suicides.

The resources are in place for veterans who need help with these issues, Harry says. They just need to know it’s OK to ask for them.

Prince Harry doesn’t want us to forget … just because we can’t see PTSD or depression doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

Photo by Chris Jackson, WPA Pool/Getty Images.

And just because a veteran suffers from mental illness, it doesn’t mean they’re not mentally strong.

This six-person team’s going to prove that to the world when they cross the finish line at Buckingham Palace, after 1,000 hard-earned miles.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/prince-harry-walked-alongside-veterans-to-send-a-powerful-message-about-the-injuries-we-dont-see?c=