EVERY VOICE MATTERS!
In this issue I had the good fortune to chat with Tori Chavira about her journey through OCD and mental health issues while also handling the issues faced by a member of the LBGTQ+ community. Tori is a strong, positive voice in both the mental health and LGBTQ+ communities. I appreciate having her stop by to share her story and her insights.
- Tori has had to navigate both obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and living as a gay woman coming from a conservative cultural and religious background.
- Tori’s OCD began to surface during the final tumultuous year of a long term relationship. The added stress of a breakup may not have been the catalyst for Tori’s OCD, but it certainly helped bubble her mental health issues to the surface.
- Tori has has TWO “coming outs”. She came out as gay years ago, then came out again when she began to speak publicly about her mental health and OCD issues.
- For Tori and other members of the LGBTQ+ community, mental health struggles add additional burdens to an already challenging situation. Imagine trying to convince a large number of people that you have a right to even exist, then also being forced to navigate through serious mental health issues like OCD? Gay? OCD? Welcome to what Tori describes as the equivalent of a double decker shame sandwich.
- To make matters worse, Tori has struggled not only with relationship OCD (ROCD), but also with harm OCD (HOCD), one of the more stigmatized OCD subtypes.
- Tori made the choice to turn her pain into purpose. She’s done that by sharing her stories and experienced, and in being a strong, positive voice acting on behalf of members both the OCD and LGBTQ+ communities. This has gone exceptionally well. Speaking out strongly and clearly based on her values and what she believes to be true and just has landed Tori in the position of audience development manager at NOCD!
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