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Obsessive compulsive disorder can truly impact someone's life. It's not as simple as just wanting to make sure things are right or clean. A 26-year-old woman shows exactly what it's like to be someone who suffers from severe OCD.

Ashley Dawson was formally diagnosed with OCD in 2013, but has been experiencing symptoms since she was four years old. She reported having intrusive thoughts, ritualistic behaviors, and tics since she was young.

A few months ago, she posted a video on TikTok revealing her morning breakfast routine. Her routine isn't a typical one, instead, a rather tormenting habit. In the video, she shows how she has to blink, stretch her neck, tap her plate, and smell her food a specific number of times before she gets to eat it.

In the clip she posted, Ashley is preparing to eat rice cakes topped with avocado when she suddenly starts blinking. She then stooped over to pick up her plate to smell her food nine times before she continued to blink again. After stretching her neck due to spasms, she goes back to smelling her food.

Ashley alternately tapped her plate on the counter and smelled her food before she was finally ready to take a bite.

She pats her chest and then picks up her first rice cake, smelling it a couple more times before taking a bite. While chewing, she continued to sniff the rest of her food.

Her TikTok video has been viewed more than two million times. Thousands of people also thanked her in the comments for sharing her experience with others. Ashley's eye-opening video cleared out the misconception that having OCD meant having a clean room and being organized.

In another video, she also shared how her condition makes her repeat certain words again and again, raise her hand in class a certain number of times even if she doesn't need anything or has any question to ask. Ashley also said her OCD makes her stare at complete strangers, warranting negative reactions from others.

 Also Read: Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The Scoop on OCD

According to the American Psychiatric Association, obsessive compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder in which people have persistent, unwanted ideas, thoughts, or sensations that make them feel compelled to do something repetitively.

They add that repetitive actions and behaviors, such as cleaning, checking on things, and hand washing can dramatically interfere with a person's daily activities and social interactions.

Ashley disclosed in an interview that she has also been diagnosed with depression, irritable bowel syndrome, EDNOS, fibromyalgia, and Hashimoto's disease.

Her doctors believe her conditions may have originated from a series of streptococcal infections that activated Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS).

Ashley shares how she spent much of her life being ashamed of her ailment and trying to hide her tics. She adds that she now wanted to show people what her tics looked like, and that it didn't matter to her anymore if people saw it or not. She wanted people to be aware that people like her existed and struggled everyday of their lives.

Read Also: 'Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder': Cause Discovered Geared Towards Treatment