This week (October 11-17) is OCD Awareness Week! So I am here to spread awareness because I am incredibly tired of people misusing the term OCD.
If you have once said “YES! I color coordinate my closet too, I am soooo OCD” then I am speaking to you!
You actually aren’t OCD because interchanging OCD and organized is incredibly offensive. And while we are talking about all things offensive…
Those products actually should NOT exist.
I mean, what if everyone around kept saying “I ate so much right now I am so diabetic” How silly does that sound? (VERY silly and offensive).
This world needs some tough love with this issue – WORDS MATTER Y’ALL.
Here’s the thing. This is actually a BIG deal.
Not all OCD people are clean freaks. I am not. My fear has nothing to do with contamination. Other people who do have obsessions with germs, do love things being clean but it is debilitating, and they perform many rituals and compulsions to relieve their anxiety.
Cleaning is also not the only compulsion with OCD. Tapping, counting, checking are all compulsions done over and over again to relieve anxiety TEMPORARILY.
This gives a good picture of what is constantly going on with someone suffering with OCD:
Except I would probably replace “distress” with “anxiety”.
The most important thing to do is to educate ourselves, and not just when mass shootings happen. Get the conversation going now. Talk about how we can break the stigma, and know that those who feel like they are trapped inside their brain feel helpless, and ashamed. Be there for support, listen and ask questions.
For some prospective – I started showing symptoms as the a very young age (around 10), I didn’t understand why I was doing and feeling the way I was until high school (thanks MTV true life: I have OCD) – NO joke that is how I realized my disorder had a name. It wasn’t until my junior year of COLLEGE that I told my friends and family, who encouraged me to get help. I participated in Behavioral Cognitive therapy where I went through exposure therapy (more on that another time).
To open your eyes even MORE, I highly encourage you to read these real quotes from those suffering from OCD:
Some of the ones that resonated with me:
“You lose time. You lose entire blocks of your day to obsessive thoughts or actions. I spend so much time finishing songs in my car before I can get out or redoing my entire shower routine because I lost count of how many times I scrubbed my left arm.” — Kelly Hill
“Imagine all your worst thoughts as a soundtrack running through your mind 24/7, day after day.” — Adam Walker Cleveland
I am sharing something personal, because I have become an OCD Advocate for the International OCD Foundation to spread awareness through social media, and sharing personal stories is the best way in my opinion! And if you are struggling, you are not alone!
Just know people are battling things that you can’t see, and what we say matters.