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  • Writer's pictureThe OCD Catholic

I Interviewed Veronica Riordan. Here's what she says about mental health!

Today I have a super exciting post to share with you all! I got the chance to interview my friend Veronica Riordan, who I’ve known for a few years now, and is just a ray of sunshine! Veronica is a student and Youtuber who is a fierce mental health advocate, and also struggles with OCD, anxiety, and depression. You can find her YouTube channel here and her Instagram here. Go check her out, she’s an amazing person and I know you all will love her as much as I do!

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and where you’re at in life right now?

I am currently a senior at the University of Central Florida studying Psychology. Loving life in Florida, being a student, content creator and creating a life I love.

2. What does a typical day in your life look like?

I am currently working from home, as most of us are these days. I have been taking summer classes and creating content for Instagram and YouTube and working out.

3. How long have you lived with OCD?

I have had OCD since I was 14 but was officially diagnosed in 2019 at 20 years old.

4. What has your experience with OCD been? Do you find that it brings other mental health issues with it?

Overall, like with any mental health struggle it has its hard moments. It was hard early on when I didn’t know what was going on and how to cope. My family didn’t know until last year. So, for five years I was hiding it all. As I have been slowly opening up and sharing my story not only with my family but on social media, it has gotten better being able to not be alone in my struggle. I also have anxiety and depression.

5. What are some of your go-to coping mechanisms?

I have a system of how I go about certain things like cleaning or cooking so that I am not checking or doing extra work that I really don’t need to do. It helps me have a routine and I don’t have those intrusive thoughts as much. My mom is actually a big help to me when I am really struggling with something being clean or anything, I can ask her, and she helps me move on and reassures me that everything is fine. And sometimes I will even have a mini dance party.

6. It’s been a bad mental health day. What do you do to unwind and take care of yourself?

I do a lot of sleeping to be honest and do anything to take my mind off of what is happening in my mind. I’ll watch a go-to comedy show of mine as a distraction. Friends or The Office are my favorites to watch. Also, a warm shower and a cup of my favorite tea go a long way. And giving myself slack and knowing that having a bad day is okay helps a lot. Being hard on myself for something I can’t help doesn’t make me feel any better.

7. What would you tell someone who is struggling with OCD and/or other mental health issues?

Even if all you did today was just survive, just got through the day, it is okay. Don’t beat yourself up. There will be better days. Give yourself some slack. You don’t need to have it together 24/7. Meet yourself where you are at. And another thing, your mental health does not define you. You are not your anxiety, OCD, depression, etc… Always remember that!

8. What advice would you give to someone who has a loved one struggling with OCD and/or other mental health issues?

The one thing I would say is support and listen. Someone who is struggling with any mental health issue has their own things that make then feel better and help them get through the day(s). Don’t come in and intrude on their routines. Ask what they need. Just be there to support. Also, just listen to them. Sometimes we just need to vent or talk things out. Don’t try to bring your own agenda or stories along. That doesn’t make us feel better. You don’t experience anxiety or depression the way we do.

9. How has mental illness impacted your faith life?

This hasn’t been so much of a struggle for me. I know that this world is full of pain and suffering and we all have to live with that, but I know that God has been with me through all my struggles and my mental health has nothing to do with my relationship with God. There is no correlation.

10. What are some of your favorite things to do for fun?

I love a good workout, especially boxing. Historical romances are some of my favorite books to read. I also love playing my ukulele, going to the beach, and having a coffee date with friends.

I hope you all enjoyed my interview with Veronica, and if you want to see more interviews in the future, leave a comment and tell me who you’d want to read an interview with! Don’t forget to check out Veronica’s YouTube and Instagram, and tell her I sent you! Thanks so much, Veronica!

I am praying for you all.

St. Therese, pray for us.

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