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    coreyarch posted an update 4 years, 7 months ago

    I just wanted to share something with you guys.

    by Corey Harrilal

    When I opened my acceptance email from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the most competitive universities in the world) and saw that I got in, I ran to my mom and hugged her with the biggest smile. Before the school year officially started, I did a summer program at MIT and met the best friends anyone could ever ask for. When it was time to start my freshman year, I walked through the Infinite Corridor on campus with more confidence than, well, a pre-frosh who was just accepted into the best school in the world. I did well my first semester — with the help and support of my friends, of course. Soon after, it was time for my first IAP (winter break).

    During the month of January, I went home. I remember the terrible drive home… I couldn’t stop thinking of equations and concepts that I just finished talking about with my peers. On the surface, this seems common and normal, but the extent that these thoughts took over my time was definitely not normal. When I arrived home, my thoughts became even worse. They were magnified tenfold. I knew something was wrong when I could not sleep, eat, or shower. I was avoiding everyone. I felt like I was there physically, but not mentally. I could not finish what I wanted to do during my break, which was to prepare for classes for the upcoming semester. When I could not take thinking about the same concepts over and over and over again for hours and even days straight, I finally broke down. I cried in front of my father and told him what was wrong. I knew what I had. It was an evil, monstrous imp in my mind, which would not give up. It was a malignant tumor in my head that would not stop growing. It was a soul-sucking fiend that was never satisfied. It was OCD.

    I diagnosed myself and saw a psychiatrist, who at first did not believe me. Oh, how wrong he was. After giving me some Zoloft, it was already time for me to head back to campus for the next semester.

    I could not keep up with the classes I was taking. I emailed my professors with page-long emails asking them deep questions that were not relevant. I had the biggest urge to derive, prove and question everything I was taught. When I couldn’t handle it anymore, I sought help from MIT medical. Thinking I was suicidal, they sent me to Cambridge Hospital. I spent the night there, scared and worried. I sent a text out to all my friends talking about where I was. They became extremely worried and visited me at the place where I went to next. After my brief stay at Cambridge Hospital, I was sent to what I now feel is the best hospital in the world. But, sadly they first sent me to a psychiatric ward, where they took away my cell phone, laptop, and any other electronic devices I had. I couldn’t even tell my parents where I was. They just kept me there with no definite time of leave. I wasn’t allowed to go outside on my own and there were mandatory check ups every 10 minutes. This was one of the most horrible experiences in my life. I was stuck with people with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc. I felt so alone, so isolated, and just plain violated. Then I heard of an institute, an institute that was the best of its kind, just like MIT. An institute to make me better. An institute just for OCD. I was lucky enough to attend that institute for about 13 weeks. I met the best of friends there. People who were dealing with the same problems I was dealing with. There were definitely many ups and downs, but I survived. I took exposure response prevention (ERP) therapy along with cognitive therapy and classes for healing. When it was time for my departure, MIT informed me that I would have to complete some steps before returning. I would need to take classes ”somewhere else” before coming back so they could tell I was ready for MIT’s intense course load. So I did exactly that. I took classes at Columbia University. Then I took classes at another university and I received all A’s.

    And here I am today. With the help of constant psychotherapy and medicines, and the unforgettable support of my friends, I was able to overcome OCD. Here I am today, writing this message. I am on summer vacation working as a teacher and a private tutor, with a whole bunch of experience points on my back.

    Now what was the point of me telling you my deepest, darkest secret? I need your help. I need your prayers for me. I am applying to attend MIT again this fall. I am nervous and anxious about the whole thing. But I am also confident and I feel strong. Please, pray or hope or just have faith in me. I don’t need sympathy, but I need closure. This disorder is something that I have conquered not by myself, but with the help of others. I wanted to let the MIT community know that OCD is not just a quirk or a little problem where people wash their hands too much or organize things too much. NO. It is much more than that. It is a crippling mental disorder than is unbearable without help. But thank God that is over for me. I am ready for MIT.

    I love MIT so much. I cannot express in words how much I have missed the MIT community.

    Don’t take anything for granted. I know I will not anymore. Thank you for reading. I hope to see you soon. Live strong and forever MIT!

    Thank you for reading this. I appreciate it. I spent my treatment time at the OCD Institute at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. And now I am doing aftercare in NYC. I am 99% better now because of my dedication and the help that I received. I originally posted this anonymously on a Facebook page for the MIT community. I did not expect this post to receive all of the publicity it received (over 650 likes and 40 comments). The MIT community was very comforting and supportive toward me in this time of suspense and struggle. Thank you.

    And an update: Yes, I made it back into MIT! My journey definitely ended on an awesome note. Well, it’s not ending just yet. I still need to win a Nobel Prize. I am starting this fall as a second semester freshman, and my major will most likely be chemical engineering and a minor in mathematics.

    Mood : Brave
    • Congratulations on getting in to MIT @corey543212, I’m sure you’ll do great, just work hard and do your best, I’m 100% sure that you will be so successful, you can do it Corey, I’m always here if you need to talk, message me anytime if you want, my inbox is always open, stay strong, you are never alone :) (hugs)

    • WOW, I’m super impressed! MIT is an amazing school, congrats!!
      As a chemistry major, I’ve got to say that chemical engineering sounds so fascinating!! Best of lucky! :)