Regardless of the fact that OCD is actually one of the most recognised and diagnosed anxiety disorders in the world today, those that endure this debilitating disorder are often stereotyped by those that do not fully understand what OCD is, and what it can actually do to someone.
Many of the misconceptions about OCD are actually myths thought up by people that simply do not know what they are talking about, and obviously have not experienced Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Here are some of the more popular myths and me debunking them.
OCD is all about being clean
While keeping certain things clean can be a compulsion associated with OCD, such as washing your hands, it’s far from the only one. In fact, washing your hands is just one of the many compulsions associated with a specific type of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder known as contamination OCD.
Someone may have checking OCD where they feel compelled to check their front door is locked over and over in fear that in not doing so something will happen to a family member. Whereas, someone else may feel compelled to check they have turned the gas off 15 times in fear that their home will be destroyed, with all their memories. OCD affects people in different ways, depending on the type that they have.
OCD can be cured
Let me get this straight right now, OCD is not a disease, it’s not a cancer, it’s not even an illness (depending on your description of an illness, of course). It is an anxiety disorder and develops in the mind. OCD cannot be cured, there is no magic pill for it.
Having said that, you can take medication that can reduce some of the symptoms of OCD (anxiety, stress and even compulsive behaviors) but the medication is only a temporary fix and doesn’t always help. However, you can learn to manage OCD and also overcome all negative aspects of it.
People with OCD are uptight and need to relax
People with OCD obsess against their own free will, they constantly battle with perceived fears and have to put up with a great deal of anxiety, not to mention intrusive thoughts and the many other symptoms of OCD. Because of this, we can’t always “just relax”, it’s not just a case of chatting something over and then what’s in our mind just goes away.
This anxiety disorder is very complex, it affects our moods, our anxiety levels, our stress levels, and even our emotions – we’re not uptight, we’re tired.
OCD is caused by a bad upbringing
I’m uncertain as to how this misconception came about, but it is absolute rubbish. I personally had a very good upbringing, my parents have been wonderful, yet I am a learning maintainer of OCD. A lot of people I talk to about their OCD have also had very good upbringings, many of which have actually endured far more than I have with my OCD.
With that said, situations in your childhood can actually trigger OCD.
People with OCD are just illogical and crazy
Actually, in most areas of their lives those that have OCD are usually very logical and also very rational. I for one need to be pretty logical in order to fulfill my day-to-day job as a web developer.
We are certainly not crazy, or at least I know I’m not, not by any stretch of the imagination. People with OCD know what is going on and they are fully aware that what they think is irrational, someone with schizophrenia on the other hand usually does not. We are not potentially dangerous or harmful because of our disorder, no, we just feel anxious about things that most people wouldn’t even bat an eyelid over.
Woman are more likely to suffer with OCD than men
It’s not a case that OCD affects woman more than men, it’s actually a case of woman being more open and honest about their disorder, as they are usually far more willing to discuss the problems that they have. Let’s face it, it’s a known fact that woman are more likely to open up than a man would.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder does not affect you based on your gender, nor does it affect you based on your age or nationality.
Someone with OCD can “just stop it” if they want to
People that think this consequently believe that having OCD is a choice, and they are oh so wrong. You do not simply choose to have OCD.
I’m pretty certain that if you had the choice you would not choose to have such a debilitating disorder. I know that I wouldn’t choose to go through what I have been through, that’s for certain.
Misconceptions about OCD: Do you know of any myths?
What myths and misconceptions of OCD have you read or heard about? Why not comment below and I will include it in this list.