Often times I have run across issues with how people view OCD. Apparently some people view this as only a character flaw. I have been called lazy or attention seeking. I have been shown pictures of chip bags opened the wrong way or lines in the street that are crooked and asked jokingly if it bother's my OCD. The answer is yes it bothers me but what about the many others that it has no affect on. Because so many falsely assume that OCD is all about keeping things orderly people often times overlook the reality that OCD is an anxiety disorder and some of us have no problems with crooked pictures and straight lines. Some of us have other issues that do not revolve around keeping things orderly.
Many times people are desensitized to OCD by pictures, t-shirts, comments, and posters that wrongly describe OCD symptoms. Making light of the daily torture we go through seems to be the "in" thing. They get the impression that OCD is not a mental illness but rather a personality issue. They have been taught that OCD is not serious and no one really suffers with it, they just get mildly upset by it.
Some say such ignorant things like,"She washes her hands, big deal".
Washing your hands a few times a day when they are dirty is not a big deal. However, when you wash your hands so many times that they are raw, cracked, and bleeding then it is a big deal. When you are washing your hands twenty to thirty times a day, it's a big deal. When you are thinking of nothing else but washing your hands and the possibility of not washing them gives you soul shattering anxiety it is a big deal. How would you like to stay at home constantly because at least at home you know you haven't contaminated yourself by outside unseen forces that may make you sick? It's a big deal when you start missing out on life because you have become unable to do certain things.
Some say things like, " You are just worrying too much about nothing. Just calm down, it's not a big deal".
Actually because OCD is an anxiety disorder than yes, we will obsess over things. We are unable to let go of the emotions and fears. The end result is worrying to the point of making ourselves sick, loosing the ability to think about anything else, and being unable to function is a big a deal.
Some say things like," Your are not fat or ugly get over it. Your scar isn't that noticable or your nose isn't that big. It's not a big deal that you feel that way."
The thing that a lot of people don't get is that the main issue that all OCD sufferers have is intrusive thoughts and intrusive images that tell us bad things. They tell us we are ugly, stupid, unlovable, bad, and worthless. We are constantly fighting to feel better about ourselves. We are constantly trying to ignore the voices and images. When you are avoiding time with family and friends or places that you love because you are afraid of the intrusive thoughts then it is a big deal, a very big deal. When you hate your appearance because the voice in your head shows you something that is not there, it's a big deal. Do you know how many people end up scarring themselves because they feel a part or parts of them are wrong and ugly? Do you know how many people starve them selves to death because they "feel" they are fat when in actuality they are skin and bones? Because BDD and Anorexia and bulimia fall under the class of OCD. It's a big deal to hate yourself. It's a big deal when you hurt this deeply. It's a big deal that people are scarring themselves and dying.
Some say things like," Of course that mole on your leg is not cancer, or of course your hair is not falling out. Stop worrying it's not a big deal."
Actually those of us that suffer from health OCD issues have serious gut wrenching worries. Most of the time our fears turn out to be nothing, but in no way does that affect the deep agony we suffer while we are going through the fears. It in no way makes what we feel any less. It's a big deal when you cant go out because you are afraid that you are dying. It's a big deal when you are not able to go to bed because we are so upset by the fear of what illness we think we might have that we are balled up in the corner rocking back and forth crying.
Having OCD is a big deal. [tweet this].It is a debilitating illness that does not allow you to function the way a normal person does. It is not being lazy. It is not attention seeking behavior. It is not about lining things up and opening bags the correct way. It is a true mental illness and it is every bit as debilitating as any other mental illness. It is every bit as deadly and it is every bit as painful. OCD is not just something that all people suffer from. It is not something that we wished upon ourselves. It's pain and frustration. It's being judged and mocked. It's fears and phobias. It's having others act like you are just trying to be funny. It is agony and despair and the feeling that no one understands how you feel. OCD is a chronic mental disorder and those that suffer from it need you to spread the word that we are suffering and every time someone thinks it's cute to mock someone with OCD it hurts. It hurts not just that person but all of us by making it acceptable to others to do the same.