In 2018, when Gabriel Boric was a deputy, he published that he would take a mental health license due to the compulsive obsessive disorder (TOC) with which he lives.At that time his ability to be an authority was questioned.But four years later and after being elected as the new president of Chile, he was news again for his diagnosis, but this time for inspiring Antonia Guerrero to study and reach the national score in the last transition test (PDT).
"Toc is defined as a chronic disorder that implies the presence of obsessions, compulsions or both at the same time," explains specialist Tomás Miño, an infant-juvenile clinical psychologist of the PUC and specialist in psychotherapy and compulsive obsessive disorders in children and childrenHarvard teenagers.“On the one hand, when we talk about obsessions they are thoughts and ideas that cause a high level of anxiety or significant discomfort in people.And compulsions are acts or behaviors of a repetitive nature that the person launches in response to obsession ”.
For 2018, in Chile there were between 2% and 3% of people diagnosed with TOC, something like 500 thousand people."And probably that digit will grow post pandemic, because we have seen an increase in consultations of children and adolescents by TOC related to the arrival of the COVID, for example in cleaning and order," says the expert.
We talk with three women of different ages and occupations that were diagnosed with OCD to know how they live daily with this condition and their perceptions about how society treats these disorders at the cultural level.
Josefina Gutiérrez (26) and works as a commercial engineer in an audit company.Seven years ago, a psychiatrist diagnosed Toc, after he consulted for an obsession that he had to bathe and avoid contact with objects or people that he could consider desalted, which was frequently located while preparing with private classes to enter the college."It was a catharsis of anxiety and anguish, I realized that I did activities in a very ritualist way, I could not live quiet," he says, then detail that "there was a teacher who changed the leaves of the notebook with his saliva" and another thatHe always wore a "fat" t -shirt ".
That forced her to spend more than an hour in the shower, while she had to put her clothes on the washing machine every time she got home.He even avoided touch."He could not be at peace," he reiterates, and then comment that from his school stage he had symptoms of anxiety that caused him vomiting and prompted her to eat mentitas to calm down, "that could handle it, it was not normal, but it did not prevents me frommy life".
While the drugs recommended by her first psychiatrist helped her reduce her obsessive behavior, they also influenced that she climbed 16 kilos and that she develop insulin resistance.Later, when they consult another professional, he told him that he had been given so high doses that they could even have generated hypertension.The replacement of these helped her stabilize.
And despite the fact that initially he did not take psychological therapy because of the insecurity of attending an unknown place, he did when the pandemic began and the online modality was established: "There I said 'this is my time', it helped me to understandthat one is much more than a diagnosis and that you can learn to handle your life and overcome millions of barriers that you are putting on ”.According to their calculations, the 7 years of psychiatric therapy translate into a consultation of approximately $ 90.000 per month, in addition to monthly drugs that cost you $ 70.000 in total.To this are added the weekly psychological sessions that began in 2020, which have a value of $ 50.000 each appointment.“It is something shameful to speak, because most people do not understand, they judge much, so having the support of your circle is fundamental.Not everyone is fortunate to have that base or the money that supports them to get out of there, because if you do not take the remedies, it is super difficult to do it, ”says Gutierrez.
Antonia Silva is 16 years old and was diagnosed four, when one of the strongest crises left her lying in her bed for several days."I was officially diagnosed at 12, but in reality I remember that I have for a long time, since I was 4 years, but it was diagnosed as child depression and was treated that way," he says.
The specialist tells that this is frequent."In general, between one third and half of adults diagnosed with TOC, they begin to present symptoms in childsexual and symmetry and accuracy.But you have to interfere markedly in the person's life to deliver a diagnosis: one of the obsessions or compulsions has to be marked more than an hour a day and that affects their family, academic or labor relationships ”.
“I started with symptoms like guilt, which tormented me.Especially with the use for example of scribbles, it is like a little point that Equis person is weona ', but how I tell her that I think about her.And that was an issue that tormented me, I had nightmares, anguish and that in the end gave me more anxiety and became a vicious circle, ”says the teenager.
Being able to seek early help is what Antonia says, she saved her life."I was driving me crazy, I thought I was going to die, I wanted them to get my brain and rest, because your mind goes to 200 km/h".The young man thanks that she always had the support of her mother and grandmother, who to this day cost her treatment that exceeds $ 300.000 pesos per month between drugs and therapy.
“I am outraged when they appropriate the disease or take it for the joke.Say ‘Oh I have touch’.Sorting something is one thing, they do it because it surely bothers them in sight, but it is not something that stays in their heads always or that produces fear, "he says while explaining in a graphic way what goes through his mind:" I graphicMy TOC to understand it, it is like a waiting room where all the thoughts are going through and the assistant is collapsed, all accumulated of papers and thoughts ”.
She is the author of discovering Tocito, a kind of guide for those who are recently diagnosed can understand and classify their thoughts and emotions easier.For Antonia, this is the true purpose of having been diagnosed, “my touch is like my superpower, it does not make it impossible, it is not a disability.If I stayed in this world, it was to help other people to understand that Toc does not define you, that I am not my OCD and that none of the mental illnesses should be treated like this, ”he confesses with a hopeful smile that fills her face.
Javiera Torres (31) knows the TOCs since he was little.Seeing his mother turning and off the lights several times to make sure they were really off and close the doors in case they were open, they made him take it as usual in people's behaviors.Until then I still did not know the medical concept for this condition.
As he grew, he began to present compulsive behaviors similar to those of his mother and decided to go to a psychological specialist, but he assured him that they were not inheritable and that they could be caused by stress.Simultaneously, at 26, he entered to study psychopedagogy and in a class where they talked about the TOC commented that when he left the house he had to see four times to verify that the entrance door was completely closed."I asked the teacher if I could have Toc and said yes," Javiera recalls.He decided to find the opinion of another expert and paid 25 thousand pesos to go to a session where they confirmed his diagnosis and clarified that this condition can be hereditary.
“Cases of pediatric TOC have been seen to older adults.And in the cases of very small children there is a high genetic load, if any of their parents have TOC, it is likely that the child also has.And in this case it is difficult to diagnose, because they do not know how to explain it, ”explains the specialist in psychotherapy and compulsive obsessive disorders in Harvard children and adolescents.
Javiera confesses that his compulsive episodes are exacerbated when in stress situations, especially those related to physical safety."The previous moment to leave my house is a martyrdom because I often check the gas outlet and windows," he says, "the same goes for the night and I feel that if I do not die or will be responsible for a great family tragedy".
She works in customer service and lives with her husband, the only member of her family to whom she told her diagnosis, and her newborn son.He still does not tell the other people with whom he has a blood relationship and has only told his close friends, "because they culturally put many adjectives and lower the profile a lot".
In addition, the diagnosis of compulsive obsessive disorders (TOC) is not so easy to do.“It is a disorder that takes a long time to detect and also manifest itself.In fact, investigations show that a person can take between 10 and 17 years to ask for help, both for fears, social prejudices, feel that they are crazy or not understand what is happening ”.
Before this pregnancy Javiera had two prenatal losses, "which did not help my condition," he says.Fearing that the same could happen to him, Javiera decided to buy a monitor for baby beats in gestation, in order to control daily that everything was under control.“When he was born I checked all the time he was breathing and many enslaving and horrible thoughts arrived;Sometimes I thought he hadn't given him a remedy and if he gave it again, something serious could happen, ”he says.
Javiera began and left the psychological treatment with the arrival of the pandemic, since it was economically beaten and could not pay the office therapy he was taking and also because of the treatment he received from one of the public services he attended.
"The psychologist called me and told me that he listened to me better and that I had to endure for my son and be strong for him," he says.From that moment he did not seek more help and today he says that he has other economic priorities to cover before he can take care of his mental health."I would like this type of treatments to be easier for common citizens in the future," he says.
He tells that he is afraid if his son came to inherit his disorder, especially because "there are many types and we don't know which one could develop".However, "if you have it, as a mother and dad we will support him and guide him in whatever necessary," he emphasizes.
If you want to know more about TOC and psychological treatments, let's talk about.CL, where you will find interviews with experts and guides on therapy for both people who live with this disorder, and also for their relatives and nearby circle.