Why we challenge OCD misuse

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Last week OCD-UK spoke out against numerous examples of OCD misuse, some of which gained national media coverage.

Despite making our reasons clear within the aforementioned media coverage, some observers still failed to understand the significant point about why we spoke out against the misuse of OCD.

Observers have suggested that by speaking out we are guilty of promoting political correctness, we have been told to ‘get a grip’ and accused of lacking a sense of humour and being too easily upset. In fact it’s none of those things, by speaking out we’re simply inviting people to show understanding and respect for those suffering with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

Objecting to something inappropriate does not make us snowflakes or politically correct. It's simply objecting to something that is inappropriate and causes significant damage. Doing and saying nothing would be inappropriate because it allows misconceptions to exist and grow.

If we don't try and influence change, then nothing will change. OCD will continue to be misunderstood and trivialised as long as misuse is prevalent and allowed to go unchallenged. Every time OCD is misused or used inappropriately it does more than trivialise and add to misconceptions, it also adds to the stigma faced by those suffering.

The uncomfortable truth is that retailers and the media play a part in perpetuating misconceptions and stigma around some mental health problems which discourages people seeking help. Misinformation can harm.

So the importance of challenging every misuse of OCD remains vitally important to ensure nobody suffering with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is left feeling unable to speak out about what they’re going through.  Anything that delays or prevents someone seeking help and further adds to the distress they’re experiencing must be challenged.

Finally, it may be prudent to remind readers that the acronym OCD includes the word disorder. The Oxford English Dictionary define ‘disorder’ as an illness that disrupts normal physical or mental functions.

Whilst far too many observers failed to grasp the importance of our message, we remain incredibly grateful to three retailers who not only listened, they heard and they chose to remove all OCD products without direction from us.  So we would like to publicly thank:

Their decisions were made in direct response to the feedback made by OCD-UK and members of the OCD community – your voices really do make a difference! We will make the impossible, possible.

This is just one aspect of the charity’s work, and it is a vital one. If you are able to support the work of OCD-UK please do become a member or make a small donation, every penny really does make a difference.

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