'A letter to stereotypes' - By Abby

This month we are focusing on stereotyping OCD. The stigma behind OCD can be very deflating for people who suffer from it, and can also prevent people who do suffer from OCD from getting a diagnosis and the help they need. Thank you, Abby, for your letter.


Dear Stereotypes,


Do you seriously think mental illness is a joke? Do you honestly think OCD is “quirky”? Do you really believe people with OCD actually enjoy having it? If your answers are ‘Yes’ to any of these, I hate to inform you, but you are wrong. In fact, you couldn’t be further from the truth.


Every single minute of every single day OCD is there. The best way to describe it is like a bully inside your mind, a bully that controls you and never leaves. Imagine that, just for a second. It’s horrible, isn’t it? And you’re just imagining only for a few seconds, not constantly.  Therefore, as you can imagine, people suffering with OCD are constantly exhausted, constantly on edge. Already when writing this letter OCD has interfered; I had to re-write the first questions 4 times, “or else” OCD said.


And you know what really does NOT help?? The trivilisation of this truly debilitating mental health disorder. There is a reason it’s called a disorder. You cannot be a “little bit” of a disorder. There is a reason why the WHO (World Health Organisation) states OCD is amongst the top 10 most disabling illnesses. In no way whatsoever do these reasons involve being “neat”.


Like anything, it is so difficult to open up about something that impacts on you so much. It involves real strength and bravery. The stigma around OCD only makes this 10 times harder. People suffering with OCD do not want to open up only to be told they’re just a “perfectionist”. And to have someone respond saying “Oh yeah, I’m OCD about lots of things too”. OCD IS NOT AN ADJECTIVE. The good thing is, all that’s needed to solve this is simply raising awareness. Raising awareness not just for OCD, but for the whole stigma around Mental Illnesses. Look how far we’ve come already. BUT we still have a long way to go.


It only takes 2 minutes for one social media platform to de-stigmatise OCD; simply a social media post explaining how you were wrong. Admit you’re mistake and learn from it. Join us in raising awareness of what OCD REALLY is.


Yours Faithfully,



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