I've been periodically visiting the site for months but have always been too hesitant to join, until today!
I suffer from debilitating phobic anxiety and depression. Depression and germophobia/mysophobia have been the proverbial soundtrack of my life, but they really took over about 4 years ago - when I was in my mid-twenties. Being the 'strong, silent' type I foolishly avoided reaching out for help until about 2 years ago, when life simply became unbearable. (I really should have sought help 15 years ago when it first became apparent that depression and anxiety could quite literally take control of my life .... Alas, I didn't.) Frankly, despite stints on various meds, and over a year in CBT, I remain stuck in the quagmire, however, I am now at least prepared to accept that I suffer from an 'illness', and to discuss it openly and frankly. I've spent the past 2 years pretty much dedicated to independent research and, as a consequence, I am well-informed vis-a-vis psychiatry and meds, but recently I decided to take a step back from the constant researching and article-reading, and I do feel slightly better as a result; it was, I think, becoming counter-productive.
Anyway, I've rambled ... Apologies!