Truths vs the Myths

July 25th 2019

A guest post written by Jady

When it comes to misconceptions around OCD, you’ll often hear people saying it’s to do with being tidy or wanting to be clean. Let me tell you how much easier it would be for me personally if my OCD was only about making sure that my desk looked nice. I have contamination OCD with means that for me, I do have a fear of germs. However, this is nothing to do with me just wanting to be ‘clean and tidy.’ I carry out cleaning compulsions to stop contamination and because my brain is constantly telling me that i’m surrounded by germs and every single thing is dirty.

A big part in OCD is the intrusive thoughts as the compulsions are usually carried out because of them. If someone with OCD says to you ‘I have to do it.’ it is because they really do have to do it, because if they don’t they might fear something bad could happen and intrusive thoughts are incredibly good at telling you what is going to happen if you don’t carry out a compulsion.

Another misconception i’ve heard about mental health disorders in general, is that we are ‘scary people’ and we can be ‘violent’. I personally think horror movies take a huge part in this because often these movies will include someone in this scary looking room and they’ll be strapped down in a chair or a bed and make the person look like if they’re not tied up they’ll end up murdering someone. In no way do I consider myself a violent person and my mental health doesn’t make me show any signs of aggression in any way. Here is some big advice to somebody who knows nothing about mental health disorders. Do not believe what some horror movies portray as a ‘mentally ill’ person. These movies are made for entertainment purposes ONLY and I can assure you that what they show you is not the truth.

Which leads me onto video games. A psychiatric looking room, once again the person being held against their will is a popular visual. Earlier this year I played a game called Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Senua who is the main character experiences psychosis. When making the game research was taken and they talked to people who had real experiences of psychosis so they could get a good insight for the character. I personally thought it was portrayed well, though I don’t have psychosis so someone with it may disagree. The difference is it was at least researched, they didn’t just delve into it with a typical horror movie director mindset of ‘’So she’s mentally ill, she’ll be in a daunting, dark room with no escape and strapped in while acting demonic.’’ So that is for sure something to take on board. We are not at all like how horror movies and video games try to portray us as, we’re human, just like you.

You’re not going to catch OCD from somebody who has the disorder.

It’s not just a ‘’Women’s Disease.’’ Anyone can get OCD at any age, although it’s said ages between 10 and 12, late teens and early adult years.

Being on medication to help is not bad. If you feel comfortable and feel as though being on prescription medication is the way for you and helps you feel more at ease then you do that. I’ve seen people on social media try to say that medication is not the way, blah blah. Never be ashamed of being on medication to help you, For some people it can be extremely useful.

Therapy can help. You may not be cured, but with the right therapist and the right therapy there is ways of finding coping mechanisms that can help you.

And last but not least, you’re never alone in any of it. I used to hate hearing that I wasn’t alone and there was help out there available, but once I saw it with my own eyes I started to realise and knowing you aren’t alone can make a huge difference.

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