When I was a senior in college, I was admitted to the locked psychiatric ward of a major hospital.
Since I was 14, I had suffered silently from a particularly awful form of OCD. Thoughts
of harming someone occupied my mind from the time I woke in the morning until I finally closed my mind at night.
It was 1964, and nobody knew about OCD. I thought I was the only person in the world who had this awful thing that went on in my head while I made the Dean’s list, the National Honor Society, and appeared to have it all
I finally collapsed one day, and told my family about the thoughts.
I saw a psychiatrist who recommended hospitalization. He diagnosed me as a paranoid schizophrenic and put me on a killer combination of the new thorazine tranquilizers. They didn’t help, of course, because I was not a schizophrenic.
But they sure made me sleep well.
I didn’t graduate that year, and when they unlocked the door and I went home, there were two letters waiting for me. One contained the glowing scores I had made on the Graduate Record Exams. The other was an acceptance from the University of Michigan’s English Department.
I got over the OCD. I graduated from college four years later. No longer locked in.