She might appear the picture of confidence on all-new dating show Take Me Out, but life for Heloise Ruinard hasn’t always been easy. In fact, the beauty sales rep suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety.
‘How OCD works is that you have thoughts like, “I have to do this or I might die”,’ she reveals to New Idea. ‘It was crippling at some stages. I was bed ridden for a while.’
Heloise, 30, suffered from a compulsion where she had to wash her hands several times after touching cleaning products or even touching the same spot where someone had placed the products.
‘In my head I knew it was illogical but I couldn’t help it,’ she admits.
To overcome her OCD and anxiety Heloise went on medication for chemical imbalances and undertook exposure therapy where she would wash her hands twice instead of three times and break it down until she no longer felt the need to wash them.
And it worked! Heloise is proud to say that she has overcome her compulsion, but it wasn’t an easy task and she says she will always be on medication for her anxiety.
‘It was a long journey,’ she admits. ‘But, it’s pretty incredible when I look back and see how far I have come after all the tears and the panic attacks.’
It has taken a lot of strength for Heloise to get to the point she is at now, but the reality star stresses the importance of talking about mental health issues.
‘There is nothing wrong with talking to people and getting help,’ she says. ‘I would not be where I am now if I hadn’t.’
Of course, dating hasn’t always been easy for Heloise. ‘In the early days I would get anxious about things and my dates wouldn’t understand,’ she says. But now, she is turning to Joel Creasey to find her the perfect man on Take Me Out.
‘I went in completely open and I made myself so vulnerable,’ she reveals. ‘My heart is in the right place and I’m ready for someone special to come into my life.’
If you or someone you know needs support, help is available from Lifeline on 13 11 14.
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