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.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘VN_PG_DCBP_ATF’); });

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.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘VN_PG_DCBM_BTF’); });

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.”


(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.”


(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.”


(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?”

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘VN_PG_DCI1_BTF’); });

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.”


(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.”


(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.”


(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.”


(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.”

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘VN_PG_DCI2_BTF’); });

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.”


(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.”


(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.”


(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:

Jason Statham is doing pushups for a really great cause.

It’s called the 22 Pushup Challenge and it’s meant to draw awareness to the epidemic of post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide among military veterans. The 22 represents the highly-cited stat for the number of veterans, on average, who die by suicide each day (although that statistic is lacking context and possibly based on outdated or incomplete numbers).

In recent days, Statham has been posting videos of himself completing his 22 daily pushups even poking fun at director Guy Ritchie’s less-than-perfect form in the process.

To honor those who serve and to raise awareness for veteran suicide. Real heroes that need help.
@22pushupchallenge #22kill @guyritchie

Posted by Jason Statham on Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The goal of the challenge is to utilize the power of social media to combat the stigma surrounding veteran suicide.

With roles in movies like “The Transporter” series, “The Italian Job,” the “Fast & Furious” series, and pretty much any other film that’s ever needed a tough guy with a cockney accent, Statham is one of the greatest action stars of all time.

Knowing that, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that he’s got his form locked down when it comes to being able to fire off a string of pushups.

Statham isn’t alone, either. Tens of thousands of others celebs and otherwise have taken the 22 Pushup Challenge, sharing their stories on social media.

Some notable participants include John Krasinski of “The Office” and, more recently, “13 Hours.”

Actors Chris Pratt and Anna Farris also joined in the challenge.

And even Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker got in on the action.

Like other socially-driven awareness campaigns, the 22 Pushup Challenge relies on a combination of participation and fundraising.

Similar to 2014’s Ice Bucket Challenge, which helped raise more than $100 million for the ALS Association, the 22 Pushup Challenge helps raise money for an organization of its own: Honor Courage Commitment‘s 22Kill. Money raised by 22Kill through the 22 Pushup Challenge will be used to support organizations offering programs focused on veteran empowerment and mental health treatment.

While PTSD can affect anybody, veterans are at a higher risk of developing the condition than the general population.

Many combat veterans are exposed to traumatic, life-threatening experiences. According to the Veterans Administration, between 11 and 20% of veterans have PTSD. If left untreated, PTSD can lead to suicide.

To learn more about the 22 Pushup Challenge, visit 22Kill’s Facebook page.

Read more:

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:

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:

If you can imagine believing that your own strength is what keeps others alive, even at the expense of your own well-being, you might be close to imagining what it’s like to live inside the mind of a veteran.

But who gives strength to the heroes who support us should they need it? This catch-22 is exactly the conundrum so many veterans face.

What should happen first is this: Someone dials the number 800-273-8255, and presses 1.

GIFs via Veterans Crisis Line.

It’s the number for the Veterans Crisis Line. It’s so important that places like this exist so very important that in 2012, President Obama doubled its staff.

The VCL is exactly what it sounds like. Some of its call responders are veterans, and many more are friends or family members of veterans who can understand what they’re going through.

These folks stay on the phone. They follow up. They try to ensure that the person calling is able to get help from local services.

People at the Department of Veterans Affairs are committed to preventing veteran suicide. Even one death by suicide is too many.

While the suicide rate nationwide has been climbing, the suicide rate among veterans receiving health care from the VA has dropped.

The VA is committed to preventing veteran suicide at large, in particular through programs like the Veterans Crisis Line.

Some veterans need even more help. That’s where the Veterans Crisis Line comes in.

It’s hard to reach these heroes. And it’s hard to give them the power to realize that there’s so much strength in putting yourself first and taking care of yourself.

“You know when you hit a baseball and you … get that crack? It’s like that when you’re able to hear a person smile. And make a difference.

Each of us has the power to reach out to a veteran. If a veteran gets help, things can get better.

I’m sharing because I want every veteran to know about this. It might save that person’s life.


If you or anyone you know needs support, pick up the phone, dial 800-273-8255, and press 1 or visit the Veterans Crisis Line website to reach a caring, trained responder for a confidential online chat and to connect with other resources.

Read more:

A while ago,Icollaborated with famed dream expert,Lauri Loewenberg,todecodeany and all of your freakiest sex dreams. And Ive had a guilty conscience about it ever since.

I know there are far freakier sex dreams than the 22 general concepts that arementioned on that list. We all have deeply personal, weirdly detailed dreams that we sometimes just cant seem to shake out of our heads.

Like, WHY did you dream about that guy from the grocery store yesterday? WHY was he wearing atop hat and nothing else?!What does it mean? Do you have to tell your boyfriend? Are you actually into the weird grocery store guy?!

So, Ive decided to start a column.You guys can submit your sex,and we will have Lauri interpretone dream a week.

This week we have 24-year-old Jennifer*, who cant stop having dreams about her rapist:

I am running down a long hall, with doors lining both sides, trying to remember which one Im supposed to go through.

Suddenly, I fly through a wall and Im in my brothers room, having sex with my big brother and feeling guilty as hell, but I couldnt stop or go away. Then, my whole family walks through the door, pulls us apart and my step dad starts whipping us with his belt.

I have had this dream quite a few times. My brother raped me in real life, and my step dad was extremely abusive. Its just been freaking me out.

Heres Lauris Interpretation:

Repetitive nightmares that mimic an actual, real-life trauma are a classic symptom of PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder). PTSD is most commonly associated with combat veterans, but you dont have to have been through a war to have it.

Any sort of horrific event that scars the psyche is fertile ground for PTSD. If you havent yet, please, please, PLEASE seek out a mental health practitioner, so you can be properly diagnosed and treated.

In the meantime, Ill tackle this dream for you, and then, Ill give you a powerful technique you can start doing tonight to help end these nightmares.

Your dream takes place in a hallway, which means you are in some sort of transition in waking life because we use hallways to get to another room or another part of the house. This does concern me that, since youve had this dream quite a few times, you are in limbo somewhere in your life.

Just as you cant remember which door to go through, what area of your life seems to be getting you nowhere?

I think your dream is showing you that the source of your limbo is the rape you suffered at the hands of your brother AND the abuse from your stepfather. The emotions you have in this dream are indicative of what is going on in your psyche to this day: You feel guilty.

I have dealt with countless women who were abused in their past, and they continue to get dreams that the abuse is still happening.

And one of the reasons is that they carry guilt over it and beat themselves up because some part of them feels they allowed the abuse to happen.

It isa vicious cycle: The guilt creates the dreams, and the dreams enforce the guilt.

Therapy will help you get to the bottom of the guilt and help you to release its hold on you. In these dreams, your family pulls you and your brother apart. This is because your psyche desperately wants to separate from your past.

It seems you are still holding on to it.

Heres what you can do to start the separation process, so you can be free from the guilt and the painful past and these dreams.

Tonight, at bedtime, right before you turn out your light to go to sleep, write this dream down in a journal in as much detail as you can remember. Write down thethoughts you had in the dream, how you felt everything.

When you get to the end, the point at which you normally wake up, keep writing!

Then, write out a different ending, where you somehow take control. Create the ending you would like.

Its a dream, so you can be as creative as youd like. There are no rules! You can pull out your Harry Potter wand, cry out Furnunculus! and watch in delight as boils pop up all over your brothers and stepfathers bodies.

Remember, this dream is a creation of your own mind, so you have the ability and the right to recreate it.

It is also important that, in your dream recreation, you also write out what you would love to say to them if they were sitting right in front of you.

Get it all out of you and onto paper. Curse those mother-effers out, if you want to. Just get it out of your psyche and onto paper.

Once you feel you have exhausted yourself, rip it out of your journal and throw it in the trash. This sends the message to your subconscious that these dreams are useless to you.

I know one woman who, in doing this technique, peed on her journal papers after ripping them out. Ha ha! You are certainly welcome to do that as well.

I recommend you do this every single night for, AT LEAST, one week straight, and then again every time you get the dream. You can change up the ending every night, if youd like to keep it interesting.

By doing this, you are reprogramming your subconscious and letting it know this is the new story we are telling ourselves, not that old, awful one. Your subconscious will follow suit, and the dream will change or even stop entirely. Ive had clients whose dreams changed after the very first night!

So promise me you will do this and that you will also get some professional help, if you havent already. A therapist whospecializes in PTSD, and who does dream therapy, would be your best bet.

These dreams dont have to be a curse. They can actually be a very tangible and powerful tool in your healing process. And healing is absolutely possible!

I hope this was helpful to Jennifer and anyone else dealing with the aftermath of something so traumatic and horrible.

If this is something youre also dealing with, the PTSD Foundation of Americahas a hotline crisisnumber specifically for victims of rape, abuse and incest. Call them any time at1 (800) 656-4673.

If you have your own sex dream youd like to have Lauri interpret, feel free to email it to us at And read our last installment here.

*Name has been changed.

Read more: