this article with a personal story about being diagnosed with OCD. He says he realized this:
"I saw beyond the myth that The Victim Is Unaware of His or Her Own Condition. A childhood flooded with media depictions of the mentally ill had lead me to believe that the afflicted had somehow been robbed of their objectivity, thrown into a dark hall-of-mirrors beyond the realm of rational perspective.
Nonsense. My rational mind remained intact, albeit uncomfortably so. From the lighter corner of my mind, I watched darkness flow in..."
Powerful writing! And also something I have felt. Now, I haven't always been self aware of my own mental state. But now, looking back and realizing how anixious I was so much of the time can be painful.
But you know? At least I can watch the "darkness flow in" now. I know when I start getting obessive, or over-anxious. There is a specific feeling when I can't put down a work task, or step away from the mirrow, or stop fussing with something.
That means, as I watch that darkness flow all around my mind, and I can try get out of the way! Or even put up a dam to stop it.