OCD is when…
OCD is a disorder that is hard to understand until either you have had it or you have watched someone you love have it. It’s difficult to understand for good reasons; often OCD can be fairly inconspicuous and expertly hidden. But don’t let this lack of visibility fool you. OCD is something that does affect the lives of individuals with the disorder and it also affects their families. Fortunately effective treatment exists and I have hope that OCD can be beaten, but first we must acknowledge the reality of “the invisible illness” that is so often trivialized and joked about.
What is OCD?
OCD is when you have little free time because you spend so much time on rituals and compulsions.
OCD is when you get trapped in cycles of fear.
OCD is when it’s 2am and you want to go to bed but you can’t stop checking you unplugged everything. It’s when you don’t want to be the cause of an impossible fire.
OCD is when you can’t trust your own thoughts and beliefs.
OCD is when your thoughts repeat themselves two, five, or maybe even ten times. It’s when you get stuck saying the same sentence over and over in your head to unsuccessfully try to calm down.
OCD is when you have gruesome and inappropriate scenes replay in your mind, even though you are the type of person who deeply dislikes violence.
OCD is when you sometimes forget who you really are since you have little time for family, friends, or hobbies.
OCD is when your desk is cluttered (yes, people with OCD can have clutter) with old lists, post-it notes, and calendars. It’s when you can’t throw away paper because you are too afraid of losing the information.
OCD is when you have to shy away from romantic relationships because you are terrified of getting pregnant.
OCD is when you don’t make many of your own choices. It’s when anxiety often gets to decide what you do or who you talk to.
OCD is when what seems like a small task may in fact be a huge achievement.
OCD is when you feel responsible for keeping your family alive. It’s when you fear one ritual done wrong may kill those you love.
OCD is when you keep your anxiety and rituals a secret for a decade because you don’t know what’s wrong with you, but you are too scared to ask for help.
OCD is when you try to open up to someone about your struggles and in return they shrug and laugh, “I’m OCD too.”
OCD is when you can only read a few pages an hour because you have to keep rereading what you read. It’s when you have to take time off from school for treatment because the anxiety is so intense.
OCD is when you doubt your own sexuality. It’s when you have to spend several hours a day reassuring yourself you are who you think you are.
OCD is when uncertainty is your archenemy. It’s when the question “What if?” makes you weak.
OCD is when you use courage and dive into the unknown when you take the risk of facing your fears.
OCD is when you have a panic attack at 1 in the morning. It’s when it takes an hour to breathe normally again and to have feeling return to your hands.
OCD is when you have a serious disorder but you hear jokes about it almost daily.
OCD is when even though you feel anxious, depressed, inadequate, and weak you are phenomenal, loving, brave, and hopeful.