OCD Is Not…

OCD is not about having control, it’s about being utterly out of control to halt the relentless juggernaut thundering through your mind. We are not shiny, happy ‘neat freaks’ who spend our lives arranging canned foods into alphabetical order. Instead you are more likely to find us curled in the foetal position, desperately fighting horrendous, distressing thoughts while our houses fall into disarray around us.

OCD is not a desirable personality trait. ‘Oh, I’m soooooo OCD’ is probably the one phrase most likely to push the big red button in my head marked ‘nuclear.’ It demonstrates a staggering lack of understanding about one of the most common and traumatic mental illnesses there is. OCD destroys lives. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, yet some ignorantly choose to wear it like some kind of quirky badge of honour.

OCD is not optional. You’re either OCD or you’re not. Saying you are a ‘little bit OCD’ is like saying you have a little bit of cancer. Would anyone in their right mind even consider uttering such nonsense about cancer? Yet so many come out with equally ridiculous comments about a crippling mental illness which the World Health Organisation recognises as one of the most prevalent and debilitating on the planet today.

OCD is not funny. If I see another comedy OCD meme I swear I will not be responsible for my actions. What’s so funny about a life of medication and counselling? What’s so funny about being utterly convinced you are a peadophile, murderer, the worst human being in the history of bad human beings? If the lives of your loved ones hinged on tortuous physical and mental routines that blight every second of your waking life? Fun times indeed.

My name is Stephen and I have OCD. It is none of the above.

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.

34 thoughts on “OCD Is Not…

  1. I understand what you’re feeling. I wasn’t diagnosed to have an OCD, but initially, my doctor was leaning towards that diagnosis but needed more sessions to confirm but ruled it out eventually… When I told someone that I may be suffering from OCD hence my symptoms, her immediate reaction was that I was such a slob for someone with an OCD.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s terrible that you had to experience that, and it shows that some people don’t take the time to educate themselves past the popular caricature of an illness.
      It reminds me of when people find out I have ADHD, and say something like “But I know someone (usually a little kid) with ADHD, and you don’t act like them!”
      I hope you find help and understanding on your journey. ❤

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank you for your thoughts Rebecca. I am sorry to hear that at this day and age, people are still not well-aware about ADHD despite the efforts from the media and organisations specific to the cause… people do not quite see that conditions can manifest differently from a person to another.. let’s continue talking about this and make people aware that there are names for the conditions we have… we all just have to know and start understanding them…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I understand you are passionate about this topic, however, the way that it is portrayed is due to a lack of education over ignorance.. therefore a little slack has to be cut. We seem to be moving closer to a place of more acceptance for these mental health disorders that are outside of the commonly discussed (anxiety and depression. The more people are educated, the less of the kind of comments you are referring to, will get thrown around.


  3. Thank you for this post! It was very eye opening, especially the last paragraph. I never considered that OCD could be a factor in myself thinking these things, and in my mental rituals. So thanks for helping me understand my mind a bit better 🙂


  4. Aren’t there degrees of OCD? Just like Depression? One is either severely depressed, or mildly depressed, or low level constant depressed? I’m thinking that might be what someone means by a little bit. HOWEVER, I agree, just wanting things ordered in a certain way does NOT make them OCD. It takes a professional to identify it.


  5. Thank you for sharing your authentic insights. I feel much the same way about eating disorders – nothing to joke about and so often completely misunderstood as a vanity ploy.
    I have missed your posts the last few days and am glad you are back!
    Keep on being who you are – while it ain’t easy – you are making a difference.

    Blessings to you~


  6. Thank you for this post and for your ongoing campaign to educate us on the true horrors of this illness. Without your testimony, I might still be one of those who walked around minimizing the truly devastating effects of OCD. Now, thanks to you, if I hear someone talk flippantly about being, “… so OCD” I stop and correct them. Gently but firmly, of course. I am sure many of your other readers do the same.


  7. I have bipolar disorder/anxiety/depression/ADHD. I don’t have OCD but you’ve taught me what it’s really about. I watch how I use OCD. I agree with you about the “I’m a little OCD” phrase. Like you said, it’s like saying you have a little bit of cancer. Ummmm, no?

    I struggle with people not being informed about mental illness and choose to be ignorant instead. Mental illness needs to be talked about MORE! There is such a stigma around it. We can do better, you know?


  8. Thank you so much for this post. My PTSD, anxiety, ADHD, and myriad of other diagnoses that any new physician throw in there just to mess with my uncomfortably managed 20-years of therapy & meds aren’t funny, but I do try to laugh about it to maintain hope. Clearly I laugh at just the right time, tone, and duration as to not draw attention for either being insincere or sarcastic (flat and emotionless) or grandiose and grossly exaggerated (loud and awkward). I tend to miss the mark a lot but if I don’t laugh at myself sometimes, my extroversion turns inward and I overthink. The noise of laughter drowns out my overthinking.

    OCD is a diagnosis that they associated with me at one point, people call me quirky and OCD. I recognize that I exhibit DSM-5 OCD behaviors, so my response to diffuse a potential panic attack was “yes, I am a little OCD.” I don’t want to talk about it, denying it can lead to a full-scale assessment of why I am “this or that,” and I was taking the easiest route for me. Now I understand how that misrepresents others, like you. I hear everyone has anxiety now, mine morphed into agoraphobia for 3 months and I couldn’t leave my house other than drive my kids to school. Yeah, that sucked and I was under a microscope which perpetuated the severity of my conditions. I wish there was some code-word or gesture someone could do to let me know they understand and aren’t judging – that might help – just wishful thinking.

    So, my sincere apologies and I will be working on that! It is hard having a disability and accommodations without reducing myself to labels (diagnoses). I see how it could box a struggling person’s identity and stifle progress.


  9. Kia kaha to you Stephen, and thank you for sharing with such necessary honesty. Your efforts to increase awareness and knowledge about OCD is something I hope people acknowledge and take on board.


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