Gratitude Stories - Ivy

Gratitude Stories - Ivy

Ivy - Bradley Hospital

In early 2020, Ivy was 14 years old and struggling. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) had taken over her life, making daily tasks unbearable.

She would turn the lights on and off hundreds of times before bed. Spend hours double-checking a single homework assignment for school. And she was consumed by superstitions, such as if she saw an overweight person in a store, it was a sign she was going to gain weight.

OCD was also negatively affecting Ivy’s relationships with her parents and sister, and her social interactions with peers were suffering, too. Things eventually got so bad that she considered ending her life.

“I didn’t want to live anymore because I felt really out of control,” Ivy recalls. “OCD was interfering with everything, and I was at a breaking point.”

During this crisis, the therapist Ivy was seeing in her local community referred her to the Intensive Program for OCD and Related Disorders within the Pediatric Anxiety Research Center (PARC) at Bradley Hospital.

“At first, I didn’t want to go to a hospital, but looking back, I’m so glad that I did,” Ivy says.

Once Ivy began treatment at Bradley, she realized that she was not alone in her struggle with OCD.

And she immediately benefited from her program’s use of daily exposure therapy, including innovative in-home visits from mobile exposure coaches. With warm support and coaching from a multi-disciplinary team of psychologists, psychiatrists, exposure coaches, social workers, and nurses, she slowly confronted her fears and built up her ability to “ride the wave” of distress until it came down on its own.

“The progress I made in a short amount of time was amazing,” Ivy says. “And they didn’t only help me, they also helped my family understand what was going on in my head.”

Today, Ivy is proud and grateful to share that OCD no longer runs her life. When obsessions or compulsions pop up, she uses the tools she learned at Bradley to manage them. She’s doing well in a new high school and is even a tri-varsity athlete.

While she enjoys excelling in all that she does, thanks to Bradley, she now feels that she’ll be okay if her performance isn’t perfect all of the time.

“I’ve learned that you can’t control everything, and you just have to accept that,” Ivy says.

Everyone who works at Bradley just cares so much,” Ivy says. “They’ll do everything in their power to help you, so you can move forward and live your life. I am so grateful for that."

Make a gift of gratitude

Share your story