This week we spoke with our good friend Kayleigh Martens about the journey of navigating through OCD as a child, young adult, and now an adult. She shared her experience with us and how she found a light at the end and is working on ways to be successful in her life and career while helping others. Kayleigh shares her journey in her blog The OT with OCD, giving inspiration to others as well.
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[00:01:34] Welcome back listeners. Today. We have Kaylee Martin. She's an occupational therapist and a blogger. Welcome to the show, Kaylee. Hi, thank you. Very excited to have you on we're excited. So, um, yeah, not only, um, of course is Kaylee a guest on today, but we do have a personal relationship with Kaylee and her husband.
[00:01:59] Um, so again, you know, having a friend on is something that I always find exciting. I know it's fine. We don't get to do it often. I know. I feel like the, uh, content is just a little more, uh, Interesting wholesome, wholesome. I feel like it's fun. It's fun. But at the same time, it's difficult because we have to pretend we don't know the answers to questions.
[00:02:20] That we're asking you, like, I feel more comfortable with that because then, like, I know, you know what I mean? I'm like, Oh, well, I'll get a good answer to this. So tell me, you're funny. I'm trying, I love it. So Kaylee, so you're, you're an occupational therapist, right? And then you also started a blog recently, um, before we get really into all of that information.
[00:02:41] Tell us a little bit about your personal story. Where are you from? What's your support system? Things like that. Okay. Um, so I grew up in Rhode Island, um, with my mom and my stepdad mostly. Um, and then my sister, Alison, and my stepsister, Jen. Um, and yeah. We always, I am very close to my family, um, which I think makes dealing with anxiety, um, much easier because you don't feel, you know, like you're alone in the world.
[00:03:17] Um, so that's always helpful. I didn't really know that I had, um, anxiety and OCD until I was in college. So. You know, I had things symptoms that, you know, looking back now, I can say like, Oh, wow. Yeah, it was definitely present in my life far before I was diagnosed with it. You know, things like being very organized as a kid, um, which isn't like not super typical.
[00:03:44] Um, being like really super hard on myself, very stressed about school, wanting to be. Perfect all the time and make sure I was like the best in my class. That kind of thing. Once I got to college and I actually like experienced my first panic attack, that was when it, everything kind of started to unfold.
[00:04:05] It came to a head at that point. Yes. And, um, and of course my mom was not the one genetically who has, uh, the anxiety disorder. So, um, It's my dad's side, who I'm not overly close to. Um, and so there's a lot of history there that I wasn't privy to before it happened or have that, that someone to say, Oh, I went through this, therefore, you know, right.
[00:04:33] Things like that. Like it's harder if you've not had a connection with somebody who's gone through the same thing. Yeah, exactly. Um, and I mean, luckily my mom reached out to my dad and was like, Hey, like, you know, Kaley's going through this stuff, like, you know, is this something that you had, or your siblings had?
[00:04:50] And, um, my dad did say like, Oh yeah, you know, when we turned 19, we all kind of had our first panic attack, which have been nice to know going into college. Yeah. You'd be prepared at least like with a tool set to kind of handle it. Right. Like, Hey, you know what, this is what a panic attack feels like. Like you might have one, maybe you won't, but you know, so, um, yeah, in case you do, you might want to know.
[00:05:16] Um, so that's kind of when everything started for me. So what got you into occupational therapy? Um, so I actually went to college to be a speech therapist. And then, yeah. And which, by the way, Eddie is different, right before you came on, I was like explaining, I was like, you know, occupational therapy. And he was like, it's kinda, it's like speech therapy.
[00:05:37] I was like, it's different. It's different for different, super different. I, um, I worked as a speech therapy assistant, um, after I graduated with my bachelor's and, um, doing early intervention, which I know you guys are familiar with. Very, um, yeah. And, um, I hated it. I hated speech therapy, X. Like I loved it, the kiddos, but, um, I just, like, I ended up falling in love with the OT that I worked with.
[00:06:11] Like, she was just amazing. And I was like, Oh my God, this is so more of like the things. Yeah. Like I love like the body and how it works and how, you know, it's connected to everything that you do. And so I actually blessing in disguise. Didn't get shit and. I was like devastated. And then I was like, thank God I did it.
[00:06:32] Cause then I ended up going back for, um, for OT instead. It was probably, it's probably a sign though. It's like one of those things where if you're not like fully into it, you're not putting it all into it. So it was almost like. Assigned to say, okay, well, you're not, you're not ready for this, or you're not, this is not your path.
[00:06:49] Let's find a different way. That was the universe. Just guiding you to where you needed to go. It's true. It's true. In the moment. It's hard to remember that, but then you look back and you're like, Oh, yeah, that makes so much sense now. Yeah. So tell us, um, for those listeners that don't know, which I'm sure there's a lot of listeners who are parents or in the community that have been through occupational therapy at one point or another.
[00:07:12] But for those who are listening that don't know what, what is OT or occupational therapy. So, this is such a hard question to answer because it's so, um, multi-faceted and which is cool. Um, I find that it leaves a lot of space for growth and change. So OT addicts. Basic level is helping people continue to do the things in life that they do to take care of themselves or that they find as being meaningful.
[00:07:46] So like their routines, their habits, their rituals, um, And that kind of can break off into a ton of different areas. So there's pediatrics, or we work with kiddos that have developmental disabilities or are born with, um, you know, disabilities. And then you can be, um, uh, occupational therapists in the psych world.
[00:08:09] And you can do geriatric psych. Um, you can do the nursing home, which is where I currently work. Um, which is very basic stuff, you know, like, can you take yourself to the bathroom? Can you put on your own socks and shoes? Um, can you feed yourself? Um, and then, you know, you can work in a hospital setting with really acute people that have been in car accident or like a rehab type situation.
[00:08:35] Yeah. Yeah. Or like veterans. Um, we do a lot of work with, um, amputations and things like that. So because our whole focus is on creating a meaningful life for the person it's very. There's all different areas that we look at. Oh, I like the way that that's put like that more than just like, Oh, we're helping you rehab this area of your body or something.
[00:08:58] It's more, let's make your life meaningful, which I think is huge. Especially if you have a disability or like you said, if there's an amputation or something, it's real easy to just go. There's a lot. I can't do. And that's my world. I can't, and I'm not I'm know it is limiting, but we've seen some great occupational therapists that have really.
[00:09:20] You know, even just given Eddie that the mindset or giving us the mindset to say, okay, he can do more. Let's get that going where we may not have done that. Yeah. I mean, you guys are amazing. Um, and Eddie is like, like just a kick ass kid. So, um, every time that I'm like it's, it's from day one, right? In the beginning, we had the best therapists.
[00:09:44] Like that's awesome. That is a true Testament to like who we were working with an early intervention, like we're huge proponents for early intervention. Cause getting in there right from the start, it does just like adjust your mindset. Yeah. Cause I think we live in a world to where everything is a sickness based or symptom based where it's like, you know, okay, you don't feel good.
[00:10:09] So either here's a pill or here, like, this is how we treat this instead of treating the whole person, you know? Yeah. So like you mentioned, there's kind of like focuses or specialties to each. Um, each area of occupational therapy, what specialty you're focused, are you a part of? So I'm currently trying to make my way into more of the, um, holistic realm of occupational therapy.
[00:10:40] Um, I'm taking a course right now on how to integrate nutrition and treating mental health disorders. So, um, I've personally experienced the benefits of changing my nutrition and how that has helped my anxiety. And so, um, and I think nutrition is an underutilized form of medicine and form of, um, care. So for sure.
[00:11:07] Yeah. I'm hoping to break into helping people that have mental health disorders, um, live the best life that they can live while managing the things that they struggle with. Right. Oh, I like that. I think I didn't even think of that as an, as a area in a way, like you think of them as two separate things, right.
[00:11:30] You think of the holistic route as one, and then you think of. Therapies like occupational therapy, physical therapy, all of those things is another, but really they are so intertwined. They're working with your body. They're working with your mind, you know, they're kind of trying to connect everything like, so I think that's really cool.
[00:11:45] And nutrition is huge. I think when it comes to your body and people don't, we were just talking about this the other day. Like you don't realize, like, if you have poor nutrition, how many. Oregon's and everything get affected. And one organ is affected. It's affecting another organ. You know, your brain is effected.
[00:12:01] If you know your kidneys aren't working well, or, you know, it's just, it's crazy how interconnected our body is. Yeah. Yeah, it's fascinating. It's like, you know, the smallest thing can be off and it can, you know, trigger this domino effect in your body and, you know, make everything feel like garbage. Yep. I mean, I've always, I've said this before, but like it's huge in this house.
[00:12:29] Like I switched to a gluten-free diet. Because it just, I wasn't feeling well all the time. And my doctor finally just said, just try this and see if you're having some adverse reactions to gluten. And I have had in dealt with anxiety since I was a child, like a young child, maybe four. And that was just my norm.
[00:12:49] This is what I have. And these are my, you know, and I deal with the symptoms. I, you know, I just deal with it after the fact. And then when I switched the diet, it wasn't even for that fact, it was for. Stomach issues and other things. And. Little did I know thou that anxiety and panic attacks had faded. I mean, I'll still have moments, but totally different than it was all the time.
[00:13:12] Almost every day. If I had to go to the grocery store or a crowded place or anything, there was a way I had to deal with that. And now it's such a different world, all because I've just changed a small portion of my diet. Well, a large portion, but, but it's manageable for you that know exactly. I think that's something too that people like people aren't willing to change their diet because they're like, Oh, it's going to be too hard and it can be at first.
[00:13:38] But when you feel the benefits for yourself from having made that change, you're like, Oh, it's worth it. Like it's totally worth the meal prep or the, you know, Bringing your own pita pocket to a party or whatever is, you know, like, cause it's gonna make you feel good. Right. You know, at first it's like, I think the biggest I hear the biggest thing I hear is it's the cost.
[00:14:03] Like it's going to, it's too much money to change my diet and yeah. That's because they make cheap food cheap. Like it's crap food. It's cheap. It's easy to get. That's why they make it that way. But we have in this house, like, we've just found ways to find inexpensive alternatives so that we can eat the same and gluten free.
[00:14:24] I think people think like, Oh, I have to find an alternative bread or you could just not. And like, you know, and you could eat, you know, I can eat salads and I can eat proteins and I can eat almost everything on the plate except for pasta and bread. Most of my meals. And I still have those things occasionally, you know, I'll use the gluten-free breads or the glutes, but I'll even notice if I eat that too much.
[00:14:47] I'm not feeling well. Cause it's still, also just full of fillers. It's not any different than the bread you get at the grocery store. It's just a different combination of things. So there's definitely ways to do it. And expensively, it's obviously easier like in the summer when you can bulk up on a farm produce.
[00:15:02] Exactly. But we find alternatives here and the whole house just started eating it. Right. Oh, at my Adam is like, he'll like, he'll eat anything I make, you know? And I don't think he's ever said to me like, Oh, this tastes horrible. Like, he's like, Oh, this is good. Like, you know, super great to have somebody that's supportive in, you know, trying a new lifestyle or diet or, you know, um, I think, and I think it's like, Yeah, it's expensive, but you have to think about if you hadn't made that change.
[00:15:35] Well, you know, now are you going to the doctor more often to, you know, treat the symptoms? Are you taking medication that costs money? Are you, you know, has your lifestyle changed? Like that comes at a cost? I mean, there's, I can't tell you many times that we've had to adjust what's going on in the day because I would be anxious to go somewhere or do something.
[00:15:56] Yeah. Right. And little did I know it was really just like cool. Like from what I, the way I look at it is like, it was the fear of being sick at a location or not knowing how my body was going to feel and what was going on. It was that fear. That's what was causing more anxiety. I mean, yes. I still get some anxiety in general, like generalized anxiety, but it's a different feeling than that.
[00:16:19] Like, I can not go to this place because we're going to be in a line for an hour and there's maybe not a bathroom close and 99% time, I didn't need the bathroom, but it was like things. It was like filling the, yeah, the stomach anxiousness, which was that it was just like a cycle. And it's definitely then a huge difference since we've just changed our nutrition in the house.
[00:16:41] And the kids seem to just. Have more energy. Well, some of them have more energy all the time. I don't know food makes a difference, right? Like sulfur. Um, I kind of cut out sugar. Um, recently I started, I tried keto in June and, um, my body I met with my doctor and my body was having a hard time metabolizing carbs and.
[00:17:07] They were like, you know, do you have diabetes in your family? And I was like, no, like I'm super active. Like I've always been healthy. I've never had this problem. And, um, she said sometimes people's bodies just don't metabolize things as well as other people. So, um, I cut back a little on carbs and, um, started using like Stevia.
[00:17:29] And then, um, the, the sweetener that they use in the keto diet, which is swerve or like a , um, And what a difference, like, because my body wasn't having the insulin spikes throughout the day anymore. My anxiety was like even keel. Like throughout the day. I probably noticed maybe within like a month, like I was like, all of a sudden I was like, you know, I don't have like my afternoon crash or like my nighttime anxiety or, you know, like it was, it was really interesting how it worked.
[00:18:03] That's pretty crazy. Yeah. I don't know if I could cut out sugar. I have a problem with desserts and snacks and chocolate and candy. I just have a problem. I'm aware of it. Yeah. I'm not quite ready to give that up yet. I mean, it's dangerous. I know that every day at two I crash, but. Yeah, well, that's how I was.
[00:18:24] I'd be, I mean, my afternoon chocolate coffee and he'll come home. He's like, can eat that whole bag of chocolate. I'm like, no, we had a previous guest send us a box full, like a box full box, like a box. Wow, he's listening. I know it. Chocolate and candy, essentially liquid from London. Yes. With British chocolate.
[00:18:49] I think it's so much better than American chocolate tastes better hands down. And he lives in Britain and sent us this. Insanely real like the Cadbury collection, everything. And of course I'm like, I have to try one of everything. Yeah. And it's all been, so I'm all the way the rest of it biscuits. There's a, I forgot the name of them.
[00:19:11] They're like Tesco biscuits. I've never had that. Like they were like coconut shortbread. Like there's like little flakes of coconut in them. So like when you're eating it, when you get down to like the last little bits of it just by, through, Oh my God. They were amazing. Not nutritious, but it's tough. I was like, I'm just gonna have a spite of it.
[00:19:32] She's been killing that box. And like we were out yesterday and she's like, Oh my God. She's like, I don't feel good. This and that so much candy. And it's just like, dude, stop. And every time I come home it rifled through again, like she'll like organize it on the countertop. Somebody went through it again.
[00:19:50] Okay. Am I defensive? It's not just me Annabella Annabella also, but yes, I am. I am the biggest culprit anyways. So nutrition is, we do try to eat healthy here, but, or eat well for our bodies, but occasionally yeah, we eat healthy enough to counteract the unhealthy stuff that would be, Oh, and I am not.
[00:20:12] Nutritionally perfect by any means. I certainly, um, like my, you know, like desserts and, um, definitely splurge on ice cream, ice cream is my, be all end, all favorite thing in the whole entire world. I think that's important though. Like, especially if you're trying to change your diet for your health. And it feels extreme to you.
[00:20:33] There needs to be some sort of cheat or you're not going to do it properly. You're just going to quit. So you need to have a balance. Yeah. That's one thing is not going to. Make all the work you've done up to that point, erased. Exactly. You know, it's, it's, your body is miraculous that way and it'll, you know, rev it up and metabolize it and it'll be fine.
[00:20:56] So to take a shift a little bit, tell us about your blog and you know, what got you started. Sure. So the blog is called the OT with OCD. I have honestly, I've been. I bought the plan for like working on the blog online in like June of 2020 and, um, total learning curve. Cause I've never done anything other than Facebook or Instagram.
[00:21:23] Um, but I just felt like there are so many people that I've met in my life, friends, coworkers, um, that will end up telling me like, Oh yeah, like I've had anxiety since I was young or. You know, um, I haven't felt good in this way or that way. And I've been through so much and learned so much through the treatment that I've done and the, you know, um, actions that I've taken to take care of myself, that I felt like being an OT and the personal experience that I have.
[00:21:58] I felt like. Maybe I could actually help other people that are going through this kind of stuff and help them realize that it's not as rare as they themselves feel. You know, it's very, actually very common. Um, it's just not talked about because people often feel like I'm crazy for feeling this way or this isn't normal or, um, so I kinda just started like playing around on it and.
[00:22:26] Um, Adam has been amazing and he was like, you need to just publish it. You need to just do it and, um, get it out there and then kind of go from there. And so I just decided to hit publish, and then, um, I'm happy that I did. I think that. Um, I've gotten some really great messages from people. I don't know people.
[00:22:48] I do know. And, um, I hope that it continues to, to help anybody really. I think, I mean, I think it's great. It's honestly written, it's very open. It's like a breath of fresh air when you're reading your experiences and connecting it to, you know, Your world now. So like you, you know, talk about your experiences when you were younger and connected to how your life is now.
[00:23:09] And I think it's good. It's nice for anyone who, even if they don't have, you know, OCD specifically, but can share similar experiences and see a connection to their lives, I think is huge. Um, it's important. I think, especially when it comes to. Anxieties things like that, that affect the brain that people just think, Oh, it's in your head or, Oh, you're doing it because of X, Y, or Z.
[00:23:35] Like, it's something that you've built into yourself versus no, this is a wiring issue or it's a chemical issue, or, you know, where I think, you know, mental health issues. It sounds so negative because of all the stigmas and everything that gets put into the press. And, you know, you hear, Oh, someone's shot a school.
[00:23:53] Cause they had a mental health issue. It's so negative and yes, they have some issues, but the issues that they're not being. Spoken to or taken care of for, and I think right, it shows that there's a gap, the system that allows people to fall through these cracks. And so obviously there's no support, see a need, fill a need, you know, when you see that void, that is just a call to action for, you know, something to be done.
[00:24:17] Exactly. Right. I think people are very afraid to, you know, voice how they're feeling if they, you know, when they feel things like this. And, um, that's kind of where it starts as far as, you know, going deeper and deeper and deeper into this dark place, you know, before being able to get help, unfortunately, um, So, yeah, it is because the tricky thing, you know, with mental health or, you know, any kind of disability, anything that affects you, that is what we, like.
[00:24:51] We say a lot, look at an invisible disability is so much harder to get the support you need because it isn't right there, out there. And sometimes you don't even know you're going through something, you know, it just seems like your life is different. You know, everyone's got something therefore, but it's not always true.
[00:25:07] And sometimes you need a little more support. And connection with somebody who has more knowledge than you do. Um, whatever that looks like, whether that's medication or holistically, or, you know, a therapist or a psychiatrist, anything. I think that it's really important to know that like all of those resources are out there.
[00:25:27] And I mean, that is kind of why we started the podcast. Like we wanna make sure we get every resource possible out there because someone may just not know they need one right. Until they hit. Exactly. Yeah. Exactly. Yep. Sometimes you don't know what you need. Exactly. I was a 34 years old before I actually, you know, now, now I'm prescribed for, um, Adderall.
[00:25:49] Yeah, for 80 minutes. That's amazing, Adam. Yeah, it's kind of like, again, like, honestly, like hearing, well, I could have told you 15 years ago and that's, that's my thing. Like, it was more of, I was just stubborn, but also like, uh, nervous when you talk about things like Adderall and, um, Coming from where we grew up and in the background that I have, like addiction is a thing that just scares the shit out of me.
[00:26:19] So when it comes to somebody saying, Hey, you can take this, you know, this medication, but you might get addicted as well. Well, they don't say they will. They say that directly. They're like, you know, yeah. Just let you know, you can get addicted to this. And I'm like, well, that's very scary. You were saying, I'm going to take less than what they want me to take.
[00:26:37] Cause I'm nervous. And I was like, take what? They wouldn't be prescribing a specific medication for you if they didn't think that would work for you. And I can't tell you many times, I've heard them say like, well, if this one doesn't work, we'll try something else. You know, there is alternatives. And so I think it is scary.
[00:26:54] I think it's scarier when you have kids because a lot of these medications are made for adults. And so it is nerve wracking. When you see friends that when you grew up with that started on these types of medications and end up with addiction issues, but it's possible they could have had addiction issues either way.
[00:27:10] Like it doesn't necessarily mean that they correlate together, but it does change your brain, make it does do those things. So I get, now that you're an adult, I feel like it does. Affecting you and treating you so much more efficiently, right? So accompanied by, you know, like a therapist, a psychiatrist, um, you know, and then like, because previously before, I mean, previously before that, the only, the only thing that I had was self-medication and we all know that that's not great because you're not monitoring, there's no consistency and there's nothing that's.
[00:27:43] There. Right. But it's, it's my concept of me thinking that I'm handling a situation or managing a situation and that's key. Like, I didn't go, how many times that, you know, just from being on the outside and married to you and being with you all the time, cause you just be like, I can't tell how many times I was like, I need you.
[00:28:01] To focus. And like, I think I said, I need you to focus like today is a perfect example because you don't necessarily take it on the weekends because it's not necessary. There's no appointments or anything. There's no reason tutorials for not taking it on Sundays, which is fine because Sundays is football time.
[00:28:17] And I'm just like, yeah, it's fine. Like, you shouldn't have to take it on the weekends. It's meant to take so that you, you know, Ken focus on the tasks at hand at work and things like that. I don't think you'd be as successful having, you're starting your own business if you hadn't taken those steps. And I think that's a huge factor, but you know, for someone that's been on the outside watching you, like today's a perfect day where I was like, I need you to be focused.
[00:28:42] Are you listening? Like, let's do this. Like I think we say I repeat that a lot. And it did having an effect on our marriage, on our relationship when you weren't medicated. So I think it's made a huge difference. You know, it's made, made parenting a lot easier. It's made all of those things. Okay. You're like, I want you to be my partner, not another child to manage.
[00:29:03] Right. Cause I would, I would do that with Adam. I'd be like, I'd shut the TV off. I'd be like, okay, are you listening to me? Like, are we having a conversation? You know? And then he, like, he became, he started medic, you know, getting medication like. I don't know, probably like six years ago now. Um, but it made such a difference.
[00:29:24] Like I think that the miss, the misconception is that it's going to change your personality or it's going to change how much fun you are. Like, I think a perfect example is Adam and Eddie, like they are, they're still gonna be the children that they are. They're still going to be fun. Eddie has, you know, full energy all the time that doesn't change with the medication.
[00:29:44] No, the medications causing his anxiety of needing to get 50 things done. Speaking of anxiety, like it is another, I think the biggest thing. And that's honestly, the only reason why I feel like, um, it has a benefit on the weekends too, because, um, the, the, the nighttime worries, like the anxiety and that's all day, Sunday, too.
[00:30:05] So, because during the day, like I'm not, I I'm only taking it for during work mid day. And then at nighttime there's I feel no need to take my medication, but sometimes like, it's like 10 o'clock at night now it's completely out of my system and I'll get, I can potentially get a panic or he's up all night.
[00:30:21] Yeah. Yeah. Really, really, those are the things that like, I just. I'm going to try to manage through. And that's where it's like talking to a therapist, you know, is the addiction to it. And it changing my diet, uh, making sure that, because as you talked about, like there's a lot of sugar, there's a lot of carbohydrates in my system, which then break down into sugars or like, and so that's, that's a big problem of mine.
[00:30:45] And I feel like, um, fixing that would be a, be a great addition to the small steps that I'm taking to just better manage myself. Absolutely. I think all those little steps make end up making the difference that you need. You know, Adam, when, uh, cause I did have at me and I'm talking about it all the time, especially when we're driving.
[00:31:08] Um, well I love him cause he w he was one of my, he was one of my first like people that I was like actually able to talk to where, you know, Adam doesn't have like a big addiction background or like a, uh, Yeah. Like for lack of a better terminology, like criminal background, like kind of like mischievous background.
[00:31:28] Okay. Just say you're not a criminal. Yeah. But you know what I mean? Like, um, and so to hear some background, right. And to hear him say, no, this is what worked for me and stuff. And I'm like, cool. Cause this is somebody who I feel like we are like on the we're absolutely on the same wavelengths and stuff.
[00:31:43] So to hear him, I trust what he's saying and Adam's not. Taking it for anything other than Ben herself. So that was always like, and then when Kristen kept being persistent about it, that's where it's just like, okay, you know, like we're having the conversation with her about that too. Like, you know, they talked about this and I remember talking to Adam and stuff, and then I have another, a very close friend of mine that.
[00:32:04] Kind of shed a lot of light on it too. So I was like, all right, let's, let's see how this works. And, um, you know, so those are good, good things. Tell us about OCD specifically. How does it affect you? How does it affect others? Is it kind of the same for everybody or does it vary? So OCD is something that, um, so I, I actually originally thought, you know, I just had like a generalized anxiety disorder.
[00:32:32] Um, And OCD is very interesting in that it can kind of change throughout your life. Um, So, um, in one of my blog posts, I talked about when I was little, I would lay in bed at night and I would like say out loud, you know, like good night, mom, goodnight, like to my grandma, like everybody in my life that like was important to me.
[00:32:55] Um, and I said, this. You know, I would say them out loud because I felt like if I didn't, they were going to die or something bad was going to happen to them. Um, and then it kind of like manifested into, um, being super, super neat. So like my bed had to be made and like, nobody could sit on my bed. Um, And the reason behind that, I don't think was very clear to me at that age.
[00:33:21] I was like, you know, nine maybe. Um, I just knew that it made me really upset. Like it made me inside, like, so. Angry and like mad. Um, and then it definitely extended into, um, my schoolwork and wanting to be like, you know, super, super, you know, top of my class. Um, I don't know if it, you know, like had something to do with the, like, how I felt about myself, my worthiness, my, you know, um, success rate.
[00:33:56] Um, and then as I got older, um, I started learning more about it because I I've had, I haven't written about it yet, but, um, One of the major areas of OCD is harm OCD. Um, which is where you either fear harming yourself or harming somebody that's important to you. And, um, I started, yeah, it's very scary. And what you learn, what I've learned through therapy.
[00:34:31] Is that OCD attacks the things that mean the most to you. So, um, you know, like a lot of moms postpartum will have fears of hurting their baby and it's not because they actually want to hurt their babies. It's because they're, they're so, in love with their baby, that their biggest fears, anything happening to their baby.
[00:34:52] Um, And for me, I've always been a, I love life. Like I, you know, I want to live to be 110. Like I, you know, I've always been like that. And, um, within the last like five years or so, my fear has turned into this fear of harming myself, um, which was a really terrifying experience. Um, yeah. So, um, I've worked a lot with my therapist.
[00:35:18] Um, Does that have some connection? I feel like, you know, it seems like it's a, in a, in a form of like needing to have a control over a situation. Like when you mentioned that, like, you know, having that idea of postpartum of, you know, I'm afraid I might hurt my child. It seems like, well, yeah, that would make sense in a way, like, if you, if you have something that's saying I have to control these situations and then.
[00:35:46] Having an infant is uncontrollable. So no doubt that you would be afraid that like something might happen. And then you add onto that, that it would be at your hand or your doing, you need to try to feel the need to control that at all times. That fear of loss of that control, right. It basically comes down to, and it is, it's a fear of loss, of control, of fear, of, um, you know, not always having the crystal ball answer that you want.
[00:36:16] Um, and. I, I read something that was really cool. And, um, when I was learning about the whole harm thing, and it was this guy saying like, you know, do you have thoughts and fears of harming yourself? And the person he was talking to was like, yes. And then he said, well, Do you also have thoughts about living?
[00:36:38] And he was like, Oh, all the time. Like, I'm so excited to like go here and there and do this and that and have kids. And he was like, so you have, it's learning how to reframe your thoughts and realizing that the thoughts are trying to make you afraid. Um, but they're not, the thoughts are not you, you know?
[00:36:57] Um, but it's, it's a huge. Uh, undertaking. Cause it's something kind of have to work on all the time, right? Yeah. It's like a constant w you know, your typical, like mind frame, like the way that you break down your brain, it's like, I look at this and what do I think about? And it's like, well, no. Before you start thinking about what do I think about what I look at that you have to understand that like, let me reconstruct that.
[00:37:23] Yes. Yeah. To have that. To have that idea before you approach the situation, that's going to be just very difficult to start because that's how you'd start training yourself. It must be easily misdiagnosed because like you said, like to say, Oh, do you have thoughts of harming herself? That's going to put you in one diagnosis, but if you then rephrase it and say, well, but do you have thoughts of living and like maybe figuring out where those thoughts are stemming from.
[00:37:51] If you don't do that, you can easily, I can imagine you can easily misdiagnosed. Having OCD. Well, and I said that to my therapist, you know, I was like so upset and like, you know, I said, these thoughts have never come into my mind, like until, um, you know, later in my life. And she said, um, She said that the key for her and looking at someone who is, you know, has OCD or who has like major depressive disorder.
[00:38:17] Um, she said someone that is, is depressed and is actually, um, you know, having suicidal ideations or, or that kind of thing. It doesn't cause them anxiety. It, it tends to, you know, there's like a lack of emotion associated with it, or a sense of. Calm associated to it. Whereas, you know, she's like, you are so upset about it, which is basically indicating that this is exactly what you don't want.
[00:38:48] Um, so it's very, it's like this very backwards, complicated, um, way of like your mind trying to protect you from the things that you feel that must though. I mean, I don't know. I can't speak for you, but hearing that must. Also though kind of flip it on its head a little bit and make it feel a little that more manageable.
[00:39:08] Cause I can imagine if you're in the other way, you're thinking. Oh, no, like I have this major depression and going further down this hole, where will I end up versus someone saying, listen, this is your mind. Like protecting you. And, and then all of a sudden it kind of flips it to a more, not necessarily positive, but something that must seem more manageable.
[00:39:29] In a way, like something that can be helped yeah. That you can get, you can work on yourself. Yes. When you start to like, you know, I mean, I still see my therapist, um, at least once a month for Y you know, if I'm having like a rougher time, I'll see her every two weeks or whatever, but, um, learning the patterns that your brain starts to take.
[00:39:50] Like now, like, for example, like Adam has said to me, You know, everybody has scary thoughts. Like he's like, I've had thoughts where you're driving on the bridge and you're like, what if I drove my car, like off the bridge right now, the difference is that someone with OCD hangs on to that thought and they're like, Oh my God, does that mean I want to drive my car off the bridge.
[00:40:12] Whereas somebody who doesn't have those, those chemical imbalances in their brain that, you know, just kind of goes out the other ear and they continue with their life. Um, But we kind of try to make meaning out of that one thought and it it's ends up spiraling. So learning to. You know, have a thought like that.
[00:40:33] And like now one of the main things that I say to myself is like, okay, brain. Like, I know you're saying to protect me, but I'm okay. I don't, I don't need you to protect me right now or like, you know, um, so it's learning what works for you to manage those kinds of symptoms? Well, I think, I think it's important, like how you're acknowledging your.
[00:40:57] Your view of OCD, what you've gone through, because I think classically what people think of when they hear OCD is, Oh, someone who has to brush their teeth this many times or somebody that has to put deodorant 12 times on each side. Like, because that's what we've seen on TV or that's what you've seen in documentaries.
[00:41:12] And that there's probably cause that's the easiest way to physically show an explanation of, you know, classic OCD. But the fact that there are so many other layers. To it that can affect you in unseen ways that even someone who has it might not know, I think is really important because. It's probably very easy to just go, Oh, you're F like for even a parent or for anyone around to just, Oh, well you don't have OCD because you don't have X, Y, or Z happening.
[00:41:45] Right. Right. And, and it's crazy. Cause they kind of everybody's form of OCD kind of links back to the control thing where it's like somebody who is, um, afraid of germs and washes their hands. Like, you know, an insane amount of times during the day. At the root of that is still that fear of not being able to control whether or not they get sick or they get some, you know, horrible disease that causes them to get sick and die.
[00:42:16] Like it kind of always goes back to. Trying to protect themselves and have control over their life in some way of some way, shape or form. That's crazy. Yeah, it is. So, you know, as someone who is medically trained in a way you have, you know, you've been through this world as well. How would you, do you see something like OCD as a mental health issue as a disability, as a special need all of the above?
[00:42:42] Like how do you kind of look at it? Um, so it it's taken me awhile to accept, um, you know, that it's part of my being part of who I am. Um, I definitely think it is, um, I tend to look at it as a mental health disorder. Um, because I think I look at it as if you can treat the brain, um, it kind of helps you treat everything else.
[00:43:16] Um, so if your brain is healthy, um, You know, that's going to, like, if you mentally feel well, you're going to feel well enough to exercise, which is going to make your hormones feel good and, you know, be activated the way they're supposed to. Um, I think it can be a disability. Um, I've, I've been written out of work before, um, So I, I definitely, I think any disorder can become a disability if it's not treated, um, and not cared for the way it needs to be.
[00:43:49] That's a, that's a good, I mean, I think so many times me and Eddie have talked about this couple and they're like, it is a blur, it's kind of a blurry line sometimes between a disability, a mental health issue. They're not all mental health, health issues that can be disabilities. And there's not all disabilities that are obviously mental health issues.
[00:44:06] But I think it, I think for society to take something, I guess I'm not on a parent, a parental side for society to take something serious enough. So that it can be an accepted to be accepted, to have actions towards it, unfortunately has to fall in a category that is acceptable. And I think right now we live in a time where like disabilities or special needs are, are more, not accepted, but.
[00:44:34] Are granted more leeway to get support systems, then mental health. And when people think mental health, they just think someone who snapped or w you know, quote unquote, someone who snapped or whatever, instead of, Hey, everyone's, brain's not working just like everyone's leg might not be working the same, or everyone's, you know, are, might not be working in the same.
[00:44:55] And I think I on our side, and sometimes we're not as politically correct as we shouldn't be, but. I think it's okay for everything to kind of be lumped together. Yeah. If it means a positive, like if you're going to get more support, if there's going to be more support and more awareness than lump it together so that we can bring awareness to things so that everyone can have the support that, and the resources that they need.
[00:45:17] Right. Absolutely. You can call it. They've got a lot Collier. You can call your boss and say, Hey, like I broke my leg. I gotta be out of work. But if you call and say, Hey, you know what? My medication for my OCD is not working really well. Like I have to be out of work. The difference in the way that you're looked at, unfortunately still exists.
[00:45:39] Oh, for sure. And they might say, Oh, okay. But there are definitely employers that that's going to affect maybe their growth in the company, or, you know, future things, because at some point something to go home. I remember though they were out for a week because, and it's looked at as if like they're lazy versus the reality or there, there, there there's a flaw too.
[00:46:03] Right? Exactly. And it's not, because in my opinion, there has been times where, um, I've presented the idea of, you have to acknowledge that you have to acknowledge what they're saying, because that's, in my opinion, a cry for help and things like that. And that was looked at as a weakness in management. You know, you can't, you don't do that.
[00:46:21] You have to, you have to, you know, like convince them to keep pushing themselves. And it's like, you can't do that though, because if somebody is willing to take that. Take that step to say, listen, I got to fix this in my opinion, me as a human, the best thing I can do is receive that and say you're right.
[00:46:41] Absolutely. Well, plus it's only benefiting. Every fitness side. If someone join, look for help, they're getting the help. You're getting a positive change out of that person. They're coming back to you. I'm sure there's going to be an amount of gratitude, which I that's, again, things that I've received in, in, in managing and doing that.
[00:47:02] Like you, you see that people come back and be like, thank you. I know you could have taken it two ways. I just appreciate that so much. I just need that time. You got it. Well, on the flip side, you have an, you have a chance you may lose a valuable employee because they cannot perform to the way they need.
[00:47:17] Cause they just need a break. Mental health days are important. And I mean, it's crazy that it's not built in. Right. Like if you had shut that person down, now, the likelihood of them, you know, speaking out to get the support that they need in another way, you know, they may never do it or the next time.
[00:47:37] Right. And now you've got this person that never gets treated and you know, who knows what happened? No, I think there's a responsibility factor there, as for sure. Yes. Agreed. We have responsibility as humans to be compassionate to your neighbor. Like I just, I don't know if it is like a, uh, if that is a personality trait, I know it is because there is things like sociopath and things like out there.
[00:48:03] Yeah. But the idea that for me, One, it, it, it feels extremely good to do something nice for somebody or just do the, the good deed. But also like, I, I almost get sick if I see an opportunity and I don't take it back. That is not even, that's like minimizing how your reaction is when you think you can, like, someone's pulled over on the side of the road with a flat tire.
[00:48:29] It's like, it takes everything you have to not pull over. Even if there's three other people pulled over, like it's like. Yeah. Cause it's like, they're, they're fine. They're fine. You can go, you can go. I like the opposite. I call a sociopath and like, whatever. I don't think I've stopped ever. I'm like, I'm probably though sociopath in your example where I'm like, yeah, it's not going to stop.
[00:48:50] And that's the idea is that for me, that is a gut wrenching feeling to leave it up to somebody else. Like if you're there. I mean, it amazes me. I work in healthcare and the lack of empathy and compassion that I come across and, you know, various people that I've worked with or, you know, I'm like, how are you in this profession?
[00:49:13] And you have, you know, and it, and it's easy to become numb to things like people's complaints of pain, you know, you're like, yeah. Okay, Mrs. Smith, like you've had pain for, you know, whatever, but. Sometimes that that ex explanation of pain is completely unrelated to the pain and it's something else. So I think it's so important to try to ask other questions, like, you know, well, you know, how did you eat today or how did you sleep?
[00:49:43] Or, you know, how are you feeling? Like, are you feeling frustrated? Are you feeling sad? Like, and you know, sometimes that frustration manifests into pain. Like it's, it's not so easily. Explained. Well, I think it's a perfect example is like, if you had an eight year old or a seven year old or whatever, a child doing the same thing you would investigate before you just said either no.
[00:50:06] Or took them to the doctor, like there's one extreme or the other, but usually as a parent, you're saying like, well, you've had headaches before. Do you think it could be because you didn't drink enough water? Like, let's talk this out versus just being like, here's a Tylenol. Exactly. Exactly. You know, even though it's funny how we, like, we, we do something with kids and then at some point we just kind of stop as someone becomes an adult.
[00:50:30] We just assume that they'll be fine. Like it's not how it works, you know? No. Now do you think there should be more awareness or do you think there's enough awareness specifically for like kids going through the same thing? Because it's, they're so young and they're so. On the unaware of their feelings and what's going on with them and their bodies.
[00:50:50] Um, I definitely, I mean, I was lucky to have. An amazing mom that was very present and very, you know, there, um, paying attention to her children. Um, but I think even the best parents, if, if neither parent has ever had an anxiety disorder or a mental health disorder, or maybe like, you know, their great-grandfather did, but nobody ever talked about it.
[00:51:18] Um, I don't know that it's, I don't feel that, you know, OCD specifically, um, is talked about as much, especially in children. Um, I think it can easily be looked at as anxiety, but, um, treating OCD is, is different than treating, right. You know, just an anxiety disorder. So, um, I definitely think it could be included more in, you know, whether it's.
[00:51:46] Primary care or, um, you know, somehow explain that, you know, these are things you might see in kids that have OCD or, um, cause I think, you know, had I not had the mom that I had, I may not have gotten. You know, to, to the type of care that I needed for sure. I think there's definitely, I mean, like see it sometimes in, in our experiences, like there's a lack sometimes, and even like the schools to someone, not that the school system is responsible for medical, you know, support.
[00:52:21] Yeah. But, you know, a lot of times we've heard the rhetoric, even with Eddie and that's a physical disability. Well, if it's not affecting his class, if he can hold a pencil and if he can walk upstairs, he's good. Doesn't need any therapies. And we're like, well, you're the only people we can get this support.
[00:52:38] And it does affect him if he feels. That his body moves incorrectly or he's not feeling like he's walking crazy. He can't catch up with the walk with the line. Yeah. That doesn't affect his education, but it's definitely affecting his social skills, which will affect his education at some point. Exactly.
[00:52:56] And so something like this, I can imagine for sure if you're in a classroom and you're having anxiety and, and you know, you have some OCD tendencies or anything as a child, and that's not being recognized in the classroom because they're getting straight A's. Cause this is the child that has to have straight A's.
[00:53:13] The answer is probably will they get great grades? Yeah, exactly. Yeah. You know, kids want to be accepted. They want to be liked by their classmates and to feel internally. Not good about the way you feel and feeling like, well, nobody really understands me and like, you know, my classmates think I'm weird or, you know, it, it's just not that just sets them up for further, you know, challenges for sure.
[00:53:39] Sure. For sure. So we ask all our guests the same thing. If you had a few moments to speak to our community, what advice would you give them? I think. Um, the best thing I can say is that what is right for one person is not right for the other. So I think it's so important to pay attention to your own body and, you know, not go off of like what you see online or what other people say works for them.
[00:54:15] I think you have to take the time to really look into. What's going to work for you and get the right support and, um, you know, work on you. Don't be, you know, affected by other people because everybody's different and that's okay. You know? Okay. But I think that's great. I mean, it is perfect advice when it comes to anything, you know, in general, it's just really like, You've got to know what is going to work for you and not just say, Oh well, so-and-so is doing that.
[00:54:48] So that's going to work for me. And then when it doesn't you just feel devastated. Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. So for the blog, I mean, it's really awesome. I love, I get like excited every time. There's another post. Um, how would you like to see the blog grow and, you know, in what ways. Um, so I think, um, I, I'm working on this class right now on the whole, um, linking nutrition to treating, uh, mental health.
[00:55:15] So I'm really, I would love to, um, start to use the blog for ways to teach people. Right. You know, depending on what disorder they may have or, um, What issues they might be having, how they can use nutrition, um, to try to sort those things out. Um, and so far the classes fascinating only on module three, I have like 10 more modules to go.
[00:55:42] Um, um, so I definitely, uh, would love to link it, link up with that. Um, and, um, also continue to. Show that, um, occupational therapy can do these things, um, and, you know, make, make occupational therapy more than, you know, someone that gives you arm exercises or, um, helps to go to the bathroom, you know? So, um, I definitely think.
[00:56:14] Those right now, those are like my main, um, directions. Oh, I think that'd be great. Yeah. Right now, I think especially like our generation and the generation coming after us, they're looking more at alternative treatments for things. And in general, even just in general, how they can keep their body healthy, strong.
[00:56:36] Like quality of life over quantity of life almost seems the most important thing right now. Like I think our generation is always looking for quantity. That's why they want more days off. That's why they're willing to work from home and work on a Sunday, but have a Monday, like they want to be able to bank vacation days and put in 60 hours a week because quality is more important to them.
[00:56:56] If they can get a three-week vacation and really shut their brain down. And I think it's something that's not always, you know, recognize when it's like, Oh, that person just wants three weeks. It's like, no, they are prioritizing their life. They're going to work for you 110%, but they want that they're going to want what they need or what they feel like saying to keep that going.
[00:57:16] Exactly. And I think a lot of that is to find ways to kind of recenter. Yeah, reset, take care of your body. They're always going to the gym. You know, I say they, because I'm right on the cusp of that generation and I clearly don't do any of those things, but in my mind, I'm like, I'd love to go to the gym all the time and take care of me.
[00:57:35] But I think it is definitely a trend that is. A good trend, not one of those trends. You're like, Oh, it's just a trend. It's like, no, this is a good trend. I hope that keeps going and connecting. That is great. I think people put too much emphasis on, like, when you say you have a day off, people are like, Oh, well that must be nice.
[00:57:53] It's like, yeah, it is nice. Like I deserve a day off. Yeah. Yeah. It shouldn't be seen as like this lazy thing. Like I think go, go, go is not something to applaud all the time. It's more not physically made up for that. That's pretty high. Yes. No, no, absolutely. That's awesome. So where can everyone find the bloods, the blog website, social media, where can they find it?
[00:58:16] So, um, if you just type in the OT with ocd.com, um, it should come up like on Google. And then, um, if you find me on Facebook, um, it's Kaylee Martins, um, I believe my maiden name is in parentheses, which is the kitchen. So, um, and I usually link my posts on there as well. Perfect. So we'll definitely link, you know, the website, stuff like that.
[00:58:44] So our listeners can check it out for you and definitely connect with you if they've got questions or anything like that. Yeah. I'm super excited for what's to come and yeah, I know. Thank you so much. This is so cool. Thanks for coming on. I'm super pumped that we were able to set it up. Absolutely any time.
[00:59:05] Awesome. Well, you have a great day. All right. You don't really have to hang up
[00:59:16] right there. Yeah. Well, thank you so much for listening. We really hope you enjoy this episode as always, please make sure you share with a friend and leave a review. You can find all the resources mentioned in this episode, on our Facebook or Instagram on, at special about special. Thanks again. And we'll see you soon.