"I always thought OCD was I have to touch this x amount of times or I have to do this x amount of times before I leave the room but I've also learned that OCD is classified with ruminating thoughts or obsessive thoughts or catastrophic thinking," the 26-year-old explained to hosts Dax Shepard and Monica Padman. "I have that and I'm really trying to work on that right now because sometimes our minds go to our worst-case scenario. "
According to the gold medalist, it's hard to train yourself not to think so negatively. In fact, a positive mindset is easier said than done.
"I feel like for people who don't understand it, they're like, ‘Just don't think about it.' It does not work like that!" Aly explained. "It's so hard because I've been trying to really educate myself on how our minds work just so I can help myself but also just so I can better talk about it and better understand it on a personal level with my family or my friends but also on a public level as well."
During the interview, Aly said this was her first time publicly speaking out about her struggles with OCD. At the same time, the athlete admitted to knowing that she is not alone with her experience.
The 26-year-old said she continues to read books in hopes of educating herself. And according to the Fierce author, she's already learned so much.
"So much of the time, our minds don't really realize what's made up and what's real and that's what I struggle with so much is that fight or flight response where it can be something so small and my body is reacting as if a tiger is trying to eat me," she explained. "In my opinion, it relates to trauma and PTSD."
"Unless you're getting to the root of the problem of why you are not feeling safe or out of control," she continued, "you're going to keep having OCD and it's going to manifest into other ways of your life."
After the interview was posted, Aly explained just how much she enjoyed the candid conversation.
"My favorite interview I've done!" she wrote on Instagram. "I think I was the most vulnerable & honest in this interview."