Today two of my Facebook friends shared a quiz called “How sensitive is your OCD radar”.
One of them is a close family member and the other one laughed about how they had gotten 100%.
I’ve certainly made it no secret that I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder since finding out 6 years ago, and I have posted about it on Facebook in the past.
I sought refuge in Instagram, posted the screenshot above onto my profile with a little paragraph moaning about pretty much what I’m writing about now and used the #ocdproblems hashtag as it came up as a top suggestion. I decided to have a peruse of the hashtag and regretted it in approximately 0.005 seconds. The top posts are all bullshit about spring cleaning and having things ordered in a certain way.
Part of me wants to excuse them and anyone else who uses the term lightly because it’s become a menial way of describing someone who likes a clean house or gets irritated when something isn’t aligned properly. Everyone is guilty of using it in the past, even myself. And yet the other side of me wants to shake these people and shout and maybe even slap them a little because it’s so painfully obvious that they have no idea what living with OCD can be like. It doesn’t always manifest in a cleanliness or hygiene related way. Sure sometimes it does, and that’s the version of OCD we get fed by the media but it’s certainly not a rule for all.
And not to mention everybody concentrates on the compulsions, they don’t seem to understand that there’s an obsession causing it.
The compulsions are the easy part (for me at least). Mine have evolved over the years and now my main ones are wanting to push cyclists off, wanting to push people who walk on the roadside of the pavement into the road, wanting to kiss people I’m talking to or tell them I love them (both usually appear when I’m working and talking to customers).
My obsessions…I’m not brave enough to publicly discuss all of these. The main one at the moment is the idea that I’m never going to be able to feel emotions like other people and that I’ll damage any children I have because I can’t be as affectionate as I want to be. An unfortunate, self pitying obsession that leads to the urge to harm myself. I’ve also got a strange set of rules with numbers where I have to go over the number 3 but that’s my trigger number where “something” is going to happen. Usually that “something” is that there’s somebody in my house trying to kill me. I guess the idea of someone trying to kill me is the obsession in this case – sometimes it’s hard to categorise.
Not everybody understands the difference between wanting to think about something and having to think about something (or rather, not having the choice not to). The general rule for my type of OCD (because I don’t want to generalise) is that the harder you try to stop thinking about something, the more persistent and strong it becomes.
So, yeah, it can be annoying when one of your photo frames is wonky or your apps aren’t in colour order, but it’s unlikely to be OCD. Spare a thought for those who actually DO have the affliction when finding words to describe your relatively normal reactions.