How many times have you heard someone say “I’m so OCD”? This has become a common phrase used by millions of people to describe extreme cleanliness and orderliness. While those who use this phrase often mean no ill will towards those who truly suffer from this disorder, it might surprise you to learn that true OCD is not something to take lightly.
The disorder impacts 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 200 children (beyondocd.org). These individuals often experience a lot of anxiety and distress on a daily basis, each day can feel like a struggle. “OCD feels like someone is pushing you. It feels like something deep inside of you is forcing you to do something that is necessary, even thought it honestly isn’t.” (This Is What Anxiety and OCD Really Looks Like, Clint Edwards). That’s right, to someone suffering with OCD, the irrational can seem rational. OCD varies from person to person but here are some common signs of OCD to look out for from the National Institute of Mental Health:
- Needing for things to be perfectly symmetrical
- Cleaning both the self and surrounding environment obsessively
- Having disturbing intrusive thoughts
- Engaging in compulsive behaviors that are uncontrollable
- Even when thoughts or behaviors are recognized as being excessive, people with different types of OCD still cannot stop them.
- Spending at least one hour a day on these thoughts or behaviors
- Experiences significant problems on a daily basis due specifically to the behaviors from different types of OCD
- Not getting any pleasure from such compulsive behaviors
- Being unable to control thoughts or behaviors despite recognizing that such obsessions and compulsions are irrational
Some people aren’t aware of the amount of anxiety and distress that a person with OCD faces on a daily basis. If you’re someone that uses the phrase “I’m so OCD” I challenge you to keep in mind the struggle people living with the disorder go through on a daily basis. All you or anyone can do is try to do better tomorrow. If you’re reading this and think you have OCD - don’t be afraid to reach out for help. At A Little Counseling, PLLC, we provide Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to individuals of all ages with OCD. Counseling is a great way to improve your quality of life. What are you waiting for, you got this!