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Support for brick road anxieties

By Liu Zhihua | China Daily | Updated: 2012-08-22 10:26

Recently graduated Zhong Lin had no idea she was suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder until she did one of those psychological tests on the social media website in 2010.

In her college years, she obsessively stepped on the edge of every third brick on the road and had an abnormal fear of dropping anything she was holding.

"I knew there was something wrong with me, but I didn't know what it was," says Zhong, who at that time was studying at Hainan University in Haikou, Hainan province.

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"After doing the test, I was convinced I had psychological problems and it was OCD."

Zhong previously considered her compulsions as merely bad habits, and thought them harmless, if distracting.

She went to a local mental health hospital, and was diagnosed with depression and OCD. That was the start of her battle.

She was recruited into an online OCD patients support group, where victims shared their experiences, knowledge and information about treatment.

Zhong realized there were many people like her, although in the real world, she still found it hard to tell anyone she was suffering from OCD - family aside.

"I was lucky to be diagnosed early, and I've almost recovered," Zhong says. "But at that time, people around me couldn't understand and I didn't want to be looked down upon or be laughed at."

Just like Zhong, countless sufferers are finding strength in numbers in the cyber world in their fight against OCD.

Netizen "Yogurt" once suspected she had OCD. When it turned out to be a false alarm, she created an online group - Perfectionists and OCD - because she found out that people like her had a higher risk of contracting the disorder.

Hundreds joined her group in just a few days and it now has 2,706 members.

There are numerous other OCD groups on, and online forums on other platforms that also offer support.

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