A Small Update:
A couple of weeks ago I updated my blog's background to this awesome vintage fabric my grandma made one of my favorite shirts out of. I thought it was funky and would make a cool background. I like to update my blog look every so often or it bugs me.
I also have added a new blog link section on the side to include other OCD blogs. I figured it made no sense to make finding us all so damn difficult. There are literally thousands of OCD sufferers walking the earth. Some of us are doctors. Some of us are teachers. Some of us are taxi drivers and some of us are bloggers. We are here and if people want to read about OCD to better understand what we go through or maybe even want to read our blogs because they are also sufferers, than it should be easier for them to locate such blogs. So I hope this list will keep growing and more people join in. Please keep checking in for more OCD blog links! Or if you are an OCD blogger and would like me to add a link to your blog please let me know in the comment section. I only ask that you add a link to my blog somewhere on your site as well, to keep the "OCD blog ring" going. Now on to today's post....
It Is Not An Addiction...
I was looking up news about OCD because I like to stay informed about what is going on with my diagnoses. What I found instead was a blog post talking about OCD, rituals, and the fact that the author believes OCD to be an addiction. I was irritated to say the least.
Of course this author discussed OCD as only being the touching of door knobs, germ-a-phobia, and cleanliness of OCD sufferers. At this point I had ceased to be irritated and had moved on to becoming angry.
In this day and age to learn about illness, almost any illness, all you have to do is do a simple google search. To write a blog post without any semblance of information about the illness in which you decided to write a post on is not only ignorant and dare I say lazy, but also negligent.
It just goes to show the sheer ignorance and judgments that follow a mental illness diagnoses. It uncovers the stigma we face on a daily basis. How many times have you heard that your mental illness was something you faked, something you use an excuse, or (according to this author) not a mental illness at all but just an addiction to doing weird things?
Listen bub, an addiction means that at some point you had a choice to do something (unless you were born addicted which sadly can happen). You have a choice the first time you put a cigarette to your lips. You have a choice the first time you snort a line of coke or stick a needle in your arm. You become addicted and then it becomes less of a choice and more of a need.
I didn't just clean my house one day and just couldn't get enough. I don't have a desire to cry myself to sleep at night because my youngest had a nose bleed and my OCD makes me terrified that he has something horribly scary like Leukemia. Nor do I crave the feeling of washing my hands til they are raw and bloody because I can "feel" the germs on them even though I can see that they are perfectly clean. That isn't a need or desire. I wasn't given a choice, I was born this way.
Not every OCD sufferer has germ-a-phobia, or contamination fears. Not every OCD sufferer counts or touches things. There is literally hundreds of symptoms to this mental illness and not all of us are preoccupied with cleaning or washing our hands. I don't know how many times this has to be said but apparently it has to be said constantly because ignorance is everywhere and it spreads faster and easier than the cold hard truth.
The cold hard truth is OCD is not a choice. It was never a choice to anyone that has it because no one , NO ONE would choose this pain, this self doubt, this agony. We learn to live with it and use it to our advantage sometimes and we are proud of how far we able to overcome but we would never choose to suffer on purpose. Nor would we wish it on anyone else. That is just a silly statement not to mention an uneducated one.
I mean, no one would write a post and make up half truths about heart disease. No one would write something as uneducated and wrong as claiming heart attacks were an addiction. No one would write a post about diabetes with misrepresented symptoms and misguided attitudes. That would unacceptable to the public and yet it seems to be perfectly acceptable to write such misconceptions about mental illness. It just goes to show the differences in how physical illness is viewed vs mental illness. There is no stigma in having diabetes or heart disease. There is nothing but stigma when you suffer from mental illness.
I guess what I am trying to say is, if you are going to write a post about any mental illness, get your facts straight first. Otherwise the post is about your opinion that is based on other's opinions and only further promotes ignorance and stigma. If you do not know what you are talking about, it should be your duty to educate yourself. If you don't and you write misleading posts than you are part of the problem of stigma that we face daily and I don't think you mean to be. I just think that you are misguided and ignorant of just how mental illness works. We are not addicted to our mental illness, we suffer from it.