OCD101

Know what bugs me?  When quirky people say, “I’m a little OCD.”

A little OCD?  Are you aware that OCD ruins people’s lives?

OCD is NOT simply:

* being a neatfreak

* being super organized

* being particular

* being quirky

OCD is when a person has unwanted, disturbing thoughts or concerns– ones that usually disgust or terrify– and then that person performs some kind of ritual to temporarily relieve the worry or panic.  OCD, by definition, causes a major disruption in a person’s life.  Obsessions and compulsions are often over-the-top: the OC doesn’t just feel guilty for the normal things but instead feels RIDDLED by guilt about the tiniest things … and is DRIVEN to confession.  The OC doesn’t just like things tidy but instead feels that some terrible thing will happen or a terrible sensation will last if things are not organized right … and is DRIVEN to ordering.  The OC doesn’t just want to stay healthy and contaminant-free but instead is TERRIFIED of contamination … and is DRIVEN to washing his hands, sometimes with bleach and Brillo pads.

I sound crabby in this post, I just realized, but I’m actually not– I’m just trying to make this nebulous disorder a little better defined.

I’m not sure it helped though.  Did it?

7 thoughts on “OCD101

  1. Yes, you DID clarify it better. For some strange reason, certain people have the impression that OCD is not a real mental illness. Don’t quite get that. Now, it’s not that I want to have a mental illness, believe me. But it bothers me because I believe statements like that belittle and minimize the intense mental, emotional, and yes, even physical pain that is brought on by this terrible disorder.

  2. Oh, you spoke to me and for me. It’s one of my pet peeves when people seem to be bragging that they “have OCD.” They like their towels arranged just so, they like everything in its place, etc. But they are not SUFFERING because of their need to be neat and just-so.

    Maybe some of the misconceptions come because we don’t usually act out the full compulsion nightmare in front of others. I might tell someone that one of my OCD manisfestations is that I worry about leaving the light on in a closet, and possibly starting a fire, but that person doesn’t see the way I check and check and go back and check some more. That person doesn’t feel the anxiety I feel and the desire to just scream and give up.

    Thanks for your post! It touched a nerve, but in a good way. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s