Studying abroad with OCD?
I am applying to uni to study a mfl and already I am worrying about the third year abroad. I have OCD and rely on my family a great deal for their support. I'm not sure I could manage my symptoms by myself in a strange country but I don't want my condition to stop me applying.
I think this depends ultimately on the individual but also on what you do on your year abroad. My year abroad got rid of so much of my ocd because I was so embarrassed by the fact that I needed to close the door 3 times before I could feel at ease in front of all my new friends. If anything my year abroad made it so I can control it and keep it to myself. I also opted for the assistantship because there is not the pressure to get good grades as it didn't count towards my overall degree unlike studying would have. And the pressure to get good grades was what started my ocd in the first place. So my advice would be to know yourself and your triggers, don't let your ocd rule you and don't panic- prior to starting uni I couldn't imagine not having a panic attack if everyone didn't close the car door 3 times before setting off and now I don't even think about it :)
I am currently on my year abroad and suffer from various mental illnesses including BDD which has very similar traits to OCD. Like the comment above it does depend on the individual but I would strongly advise the following:
i) getting your medication just right and making sure you have enough to take abroad
ii) close monitoring before your departure
iii) finding an English speaking psychotherapist or counsellor in the area you are going to so that you can remain under observation and professional care.
iv) putting yourself out there to build your own support network whilst abroad, whilst maintaining contact with those who support you the most at home.
I have done all of the above and am doing okay, it can be a really liberating experience and it had even made me feel better! Don't let your illness control you, stay strong lovely one and take care xxx
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