So, You Think You Have OCD?

you might find you use the phrase "I'm so ocd". This could be when you are sorting your makeup or cleaning your house. It could even be how you ARRANGE your shoes or even how you act. putting it BLUNTLY you can't be so ocd and using this sentence is damaging, real damaging.

so you think you have OCD. Misconceptions and stigma of OCD

OCD. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It's made up of two concepts: Obsessions and Compulsions.  These two go hand in hand and can make daily living impossible. Obsessions are constant intrusive thoughts that a person has with OCD. These thoughts can be over anything and I mean anything. It could be thoughts that they are contaminated and going to die or what if they have run over someone and killed them. The thoughts might lead them to believe something bad is going to happen or they could be having sexual, violent thoughts. They might think they are going to harm themselves or even their child.  Compulsions are things that a person has to do because their intrusive thoughts has told them they have to. It's a way of dealing with their anxiety or to rid the thought. These can be psychical or mental. It could be checking the door is locked over and over or washing their hands till they bleed because their could be germs on them.  Sometimes compulsions can be random, strange and even just in their head like, singing a song over and over or repeating words and numbers.  With OCD you can't switch it off, it's constant and  People with OCD act on these compulsions to prevent something bad happening, even though they know it's not real because, what if.

This small paragraph above is just a small snippet of what OCD is. The truth is for people who suffer with OCD it's so much worse. OCD is a life changing, debilitating and depressing disorder. It's not something that is happy, cute or fun. It's down right awful to say the least.  OCD is being used so effortlessly in describing the way in which people act. "I'm so OCD" or "Oh that is my OCD" is being used more and more and it's not right.  How can you be so Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? OCD is often seen as the neat illness which is a little quirky and very organised. It's so far from that. Being neat is a choice and having order is a choice. You like it, you want it. We don't. That is the biggest difference between people who really have OCD and those that don't. We aren't proud of it, we don't shout it from the roof tops "Look my make up is so organised #OCD".  Honestly, would someone use the term "I'm so anorexic" to describe their small meal?  No and I'm sure there would be a lot of people that would say something about that. Why is OCD different? 

You might be thinking, why are you so bothered? If you are thinking that then you need to get educated. This is a mental disorder that is being used and branded as something it's not. It's dangerous for all the people that are suffering and for those who might meet someone with OCD. If everyone keeps using OCD as a term for their order or cleaning the people who are really suffering are going to be seen as something they are not. Maybe that could be a danger or even someone who hears voices. It's become a thing that is cool to have - which is not cool.  This disorder has and is robbing people from a life, job, adventures - everything. It being branded and used in this this way needs to stop. 

The term OCD is used in so many wrong circumstances such as cleaning, order, germs, checking. With OCD these things can be present but then again, no two people with OCD are the same but the concept is: obsessions and  compulsions.  Within the media or with bloggers young people with OCD are seeing it being used to describe something with no complications such as, anxiety and depression. It's all very upbeat! When seeing OCD in this way they may feel what they are experiencing is far worse or they are crazy. It can even latch onto their OCD and lead to more issues. If people always portrayed a stomach virus as just feeling sick and never being sick the people who are being sick will think it's something else, catch my drift? The more OCD is being used to describe a preference, because really that is what it is, the less people will want to get help. OCD is such a shameful illness that can make you think the unimaginable and if everyone is seeing it in the wrong way the more shame and stigma gets attached to the real thing. 

What I'm trying to say is, if you're saying online or in person, "I'm so OCD" over something that is just a preference you are creating a false image of what it really is. If you don't have the intrusive thoughts that could be about anything from, your family dying to you questioning your sexuality which had lead to a compulsion to clean, check, order then you don't have OCD. Of course these are just examples, the intrusive thoughts and compulsions  can be about anything! I know I'm repeating myself but this is such a big point with OCD, it's not just about being neat, order and germs.. phew! Stop using the term OCD to describe your clean house and your organised objects. It's a mental disorder, not a term.  Educate yourself and others on what OCD really is and end the stigma!

Here are some quotes from people who have OCD

Stacey BarberOCD