The Elephants In Our Rooms – OCD 101

Would you trivialise or joke about someone with cancer? About a friend or relative who had suffered a stroke or had a heart attack? Debilitating, life threatening physical illnesses? Well the same goes about mental health and, in particular, the horrors of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It destroys lives. Don’t belittle those afflicted by it. You can’t be a little bit OCD. It’s a recognised mental illness, not a quirky personality trait. Education is key. We must do better on this one.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

31 thoughts on “The Elephants In Our Rooms – OCD 101

  1. You are so right! I have a friend whose daughter nearly died because her OCD was neither diagnosed nor controlled. It caused the whole family to spiral out of control. This disorder is not just needing all your cups to be on the same shelf.

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  2. The human mind is still so very much a mystery. And that is why mental wellbeing needs to be treated with care and taken seriously.

    I am learning more about OCD as you post about it so thank you very much for helping me to learn.

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  3. I totally agree with you, Stephen. Our daughter suffers from OCD and it annoys her as well when people see it as funny, which is understandable. People are aware of the tidying/cleaning aspect of it, but there is so much more to it than that. She spoke on local radio about it a couple of years ago. You’re right, it’s all about education and people being more aware and more thoughtful. Mental illness is a nightmare that people can’t see.

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  4. I agree! I think a lot of the trivialisation of OCD comes from how people often incorrectly use OCD as a synonym for “detail-oriented”, “attention to detail” etc., which are personality quirks and NOT a disorder (as you have stated). I know because I used to be in that category of people who genuinely did not understand what OCD was until I took a class and then my eyes were opened!

    Gently correcting those who have misconceptions about OCD and posts like these are a wonderful start to increasing the sensitivity towards and empathy for people with OCD.

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  5. Absolutely agree!!! Far too often terms like “depression” and “OCD” are thrown around, where in fact these mental illnesses genuinely affect some people on a day to day basis

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  6. I think mental health in general needs much more education. There are still so many illnesses that continue to be misunderstood and/or maligned and/or treated lightly. Thank you for doing what you do to advance awareness.

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  7. Thank you for posting this reminder! Too often, we dismiss mental health issues until they spiral out of control. You wouldn’t wait to treat cancer or diabetes, yet society expects us to ignore mental health issues and “pull ourselves up by the bootstraps” instead. It makes no sense.

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  8. Yes it does. My husband spent 6 months looking for a lost hearing aid. Took the cars apart and we now live on 5 acres. I had to get him to use mindfulness exercises to catch himself. We went out together for the first time in three months yesterday. It’s not funny. It’s not even remotely humorous. OCD leads to anxiety and depression. We have missed so much of life and I have stage 4 cancer. He really loves me and wants to be here but he can’t sometimes and no one really understands they just think he’s being a jerk. He’s not. He’s on good meds but sometimes the meds can’t touch the problem. Patience, love, acceptance and, at times a good shake up helps too. But only in small doses and when absolutely necessary!

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  9. I agree with you. Many employers don’t listen to me when I explain about my eye condition. They say that I am drunk or on drugs. This is why one reason I am writing my book to help educate others.

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  10. So true! I have a loved with with OCD. Most people have NO IDEA what it can do to someone’s routine, relationships, job etc. I think what people often mean is, “I’m a little bit of a perfectionist.” Anyway, thanks for sharing.

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