OCD does not mean

When I was a kid I would get these really random burst of organizational energy I would call those days “shock days” because when my mom would get home the house would be organized and she always said it was such a shock. .as I grew older these days became more frequent, I started rewriting and rewriting notes from class and when I entered University it became a necessity. I found out about my second year of university that I had obsessive compulsive disorder. Since my diagnosis I have heard people throw the term around loosely with no idea what it actually means.

OCD does not mean my house is always clean- Sure some forms of OCD require the person to keep a clean and tidy house but not all. My house is not always clean far from it because I do not have germaphobia.

OCD does not mean i’m paranoid about getting sick- The germaphobia type of OCD is the most well known (ritualized washing of hands, not touching door knobs etc.) once again this is not the type I have.

OCD does not mean I am a hoarder- Thanks a lot A&E now the world sees two types of OCD (the kind that clean constantly and the kind that are hoarders) I am neither.

OCD does not mean I just “like something a certain way” – This one bothers me because my OCD is a two-fold, I need everything to be in it’s right place & I need to have a ridgid schedule. .I don’t “want” to have my filing cabinet organized in color-coded, I “need” to. If it’s not I get waves of panic that I cannot control.

OCD does not just mean I am organized- My form of OCD is organizationally based however that’s not the full extent to my disorder. This is one misconception that I absolutely cannot stand. When people say “my OCD is kicking in, or I like it this way it’s my OCD” . Unless it is causing distress in your life, disrupting your day to day activities and causing uncontrollable panic than you are just a perfectionist. There is a HUGE difference.

OCD does not mean i’m just particular, that I am a perfectionist or that I am controlling. I have an illness, it causes me physical and mental distress and it is a horrible condition to have. It is not something people should wish for so that they can have a clean home, it’s not an excuse to be used when you push people with your perfectionism. It is an illness & I am tired of it being glorified and romanticized. It is not something to wish for or to self-diagnose yourself with.

What mental illness misconceptions get under your skin? 


22 thoughts on “OCD does not mean

  1. robin masshole mommy says:

    Thank you for this. There are SO MANY mental health issues that are completely misunderstood out there and it’s time to set the record straight.


  2. Working Mom Facts says:

    Thanks for sharing. My misconception issues lie around Postpartum Depression. It’s different than the baby blues. And I feel that there is not enough awareness around what it actually effects or what moms with the illness go through and miss because of it.


  3. Cara (@StylishGeek) says:

    I am an O.C.D., but unlike those that use this term in its clinical meaning, I also use it by its loose definition, which is someone who likes things neat and clean, but not necessary completely obsessive about it as the first letter ‘O’ implies. It’s interesting that I got the term as a tease from my relatives and friends on how I like to keep my house and things.


  4. Mommy Engineering says:

    I liked reading this because there is such a huge stigma to mental illness and it’s so unfortunate that people don’t understand them. My husband is ADHD and has PTSD and when people find out, they get super cautious.


  5. Amanda Love says:

    People can be insensitive sometimes and the more they don’t know about an illness the more they think that it’s okay to comment on things about it. I totally get you on this one and I’m sorry you have to hear comments like they wish they have OCD, etc.


  6. ericaaugust says:

    I’m glad that you’re educating people about OCD. I’ve always hated it when people demean actual disorders by using them so frivolously. Thank you for opening up and sharing your voice.


  7. Roxanne says:

    I agree with you! I think this one gets really under my skin a lot. I have worked with young kids who have OCD and it was heart breaking to watch them not want to do something, but they HAD to do it.


  8. Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place says:

    Although i have not been diagnosed, i am pretty certain that I have OCD, and in the same way that you do. Everything has a place, things have to be organized and I can’t do certain things until they are in the right place. My family always jokes with me that I have a “problem” because i have a pretty immaculate house for having 2 kids under 3. But my house isn’t always immaculate, its just always organized. I can relate with you on this matter.


  9. Jennifer Marx (JenuineMom) says:

    I can see how this would really bother you! I think the term “OCD” is used way too much by people who aren’t using it in an accurate manner. I was, however, interested to learn about your “shock days” — I’ve had these throughout my life. But I am not diagnosed with OCD. I’ve attributed this behavior to the fact that I am very driven. It never occurred to me that the drive could have something to do with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Something for me to think about!


  10. Krystal // The Krystal Diaries says:

    I think it’s so important for everyone to learn and understand mental illnesses more. There is still so much stigma about being open about mental illness. Thank you for sharing this, I think it helps to speak up and share about your experiences because everyone can learn a little something from eachother.


  11. toughcookiemommy says:

    My mother has suffered from OCD for years. You are absolutely right about all of this. People are often ignorant to the realities of mental health issues.


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