I have always been very shy. A few years ago I was asked to make presentations for my job. I have never liked public speaking but I assumed I could power through it, only I was wrong. Several nights before the presentation I started to have severe anxiety and nausea. The day of the presentation I had to cancel because I was sick to my stomach and panicky. I made up some excuse to my supervisor and we rescheduled it only I was anxious every day and finally had to quit my job to avoid any more presentations. Although I did not have to make presentations at my new job, I constantly worried about my work and anticipated being fired. I was consumed with so much anxiety that I would make a mistake, I could take an hour just to compose a simple email.

As a child, I displayed some OCD tendencies and as I’ve grown older I have started to avoid social situations for several reasons. After I lost my mother, I had trouble throwing out her things and soon I began to acquire all kinds of items. My house became cluttered with books, stuffed animals, magazines, newspapers , furniture, and various products  that I thought I might need in the future. I could no longer invite friends over because I was embarrassed  and lived a very reclusive life. I was constantly anxious and depressed.

My sister insisted  I get professional help with a specialist  and took me to  see Dr.Holt.   I was immediately struck by how warm she was and nonjudgmental of the pictures of my house. She would work with me on my social anxiety and my difficulty discarding and organizing all of the things that I collected. Eventually, I was able to agree to have her send a professional hoarding cleanup service to my home.  I never thought I could do it, but I was able to not only reorganize my house but keep it that way!  I was finally able to invite people over .

In  therapy, I learned about my perfectionism and that it’s okay if I do not communicate the way I think I’m supposed to. My job became much easier and I am more comfortable in social situations. I am extremely grateful I received the right kind of help.

Kaitlin B.

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