OCD; Your adjective, our Hell.

January 11th 2017

If there is one thing that I am incredibly passionate about, it’s ending the stigma and discrimination that surrounds OCD and mental health in general. I won’t ever shut up, about ending the stigma and discrimination that surrounds OCD or mental health, until there isn’t any stigma or discrimination. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. So I take it upon myself, just like the rest of the YAP and so many others, to campaign, educate and raise awareness of what ‘being so OCD’ means and the damage that is done, through misusing the term.

It doesn’t take five seconds to Google; ‘What does OCD mean?’ And your answer is; Obsessive compulsive disorder. DISORDER! DISORDER! DISORDER! Not a personality trait, not an adjective and not another word to describe someone who is very clean, organised or likes their pencils in a straight line. There are three parts of OCD; obsessions which are the intrusive thoughts, images or feelings that cause a significant amount of distress and anxiety. The compulsions, which are the repetitive actions or behaviours which the individual is driven to perform, because the anxiety caused by the intrusive thoughts becomes too much. And finally the disorder part. OCD affects every single aspect of a sufferer’s life. It’s not a mild inconvenience; it ruins friendships, relationships, work and social life- I could go on and on.

Recently, I’ve seen a lot of negativity and misconceptions that surround OCD. I’ve seen large numbers of people on social media, using the term so inaccurately and really upsetting (To put it politely) sufferers, when they come to defend the illness. Although, you could argue that these people are just internet trolls and don’t want to understand what OCD really means. But what about the majority of society, who use OCD to describe their flatmate, who likes to clean the dishes every night or that guy in the office, who always uses hand sanitiser before they eat? They are ‘OCD’ right? NO!

Although, just about anything can be an compulsion with OCD, some being visible and some not, what makes them ‘OCD’ is that they are fuelled by the intrusive thoughts, images and anxiety. For an OCD sufferer it’s a matter of life and death, although you don’t understand or can see this life or death situation, you also can’t see inside their head. It’s not just performing behaviours or rituals, some sufferers of OCD actually go to great lengths to avoid certain objects, places or people that they know trigger their OCD. This can leave suffers isolated, lonely or even housebound. Which is what makes this behaviour an illness. A DISORDER!

None one with OCD wants to have OCD. People with OCD want their life’s back, from the mercy of this cripplingly devastating illness. Every time someone uses the term OCD inaccurately or sees another ridiculous, cheap, tasteless piece of junk with Obsessive Christmas Disorder written on it, our hearts sink. This stigma is what makes it so hard for us to talk to you about our illness, reach out and get the support we need.

If you are reading this and you suffer from OCD, I want you to know that NOT everyone in society, doesn’t understand OCD. Although it can seem that way sometimes, there are lots of people who DO understand. OCD Youth, OCD Action and so many other brilliant charities and sufferers, understand what OCD really means and are here to support you, here to listen and are here to help you get your life back.

If you are stumbled across this site, trying to find out more about OCD, the best thing you can do is make sure you don’t misuse the term. You can educate yourself but also educate others. If you hear a friend, fleetingly stay someone is, or something is OCD, when it’s clearly not, tell me! Let them know the damage they are doing not using the term OCD accurately and maybe even point them in the direction of this post or OCD Youth/ Action to educate themselves further.

Together we can end the stigma and discrimination that surrounds OCD.

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2 Responses to OCD; Your adjective, our Hell.

Avatar of manish22

Question from Subscriber.

Awesome Post!

Posted on January 16th 2017 @ 19:13:05. [ MTk0MQ== ]

Avatar of lizy

Question from Subscriber.

Thank you Nicola your post has been very informative and i have copied it for futre use in the hope in educating people correctly about OCD

Posted on January 12th 2017 @ 04:07:49. [ MTkzNA== ]