The national OCD charity, run by and for people with lived experience of OCD
I want to let you know that you try to make me feel like my illness is a friend when, in reality, it's a cruel bully. You make me feel like OCD is some kind of personality trait or that it's even a fun, jokey thing. It's not. It is hellish. Imagine being bombarded with vicious, distressing, intrusive thoughts and constantly being persuaded that the only way to stop these thoughts from becoming reality is to do exactly what the bully demands. That's what my OCD is really like.
You are the reason why so many people do not look for help or why they wait years to pluck up the courage to find a diagnosis. You make me scared to talk to others about my OCD because I know I'll hear "OMG same, I love things to be neat and tidy” or “You can’t have OCD, your room is so messy”. You think that OCD is about liking symmetrical things or satisfying sounds. You say that everyone can be ‘a little bit OCD’ but that's simply not true. You either suffer from OCD or you don’t. Saying things like that is hurtful and makes me feel powerless and small. It makes me feel like I don't deserve to get better. Did you know that 1.2% of the UK population is affected by OCD? You see Stereotypes, not everyone is ‘a little bit OCD'.
The next time you think about writing #ocd next to an Instagram post showing pens lined up in a straight line, please stop and consider how that confuses the true perception of OCD, or how it might prevent someone from speaking out about how they suffer. OCD isn't a handy description for something that's neat and tidy and it's not a personality quirk. It is a mental illness, a horrible disorder. OCD is a bully that controls every second of the day and totally dominates lives like mine.
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