It’s Time to Stop Romanticizing OCD

It’s time to stop romanticizing OCD, as a matter of fact, it’s time to stop romanticizing all mental illnesses.  I will be primarily discussing OCD, also known as obsessive-compulsive disorder, as it pertains to me.  I have been struggling with OCD since the end of elementary school, except I really noticed something was off when I started high school.  Anyways, hearing people say, “That’s so OCD of me” or “Oh my god that’s sooo OCD” when simply straightening something or organizing their stuff really gets under my skin.  OCD is extremely difficult to deal with, it makes it hard to function in day-to-day life. It’s not something to be lightly joked about, especially around people who actually have OCD.

There are many various types of OCD and it bothers me when people generalize OCD as being neat, clean, and/or organized.  To an extent they are right, some people do have that type of OCD, although I don’t think the people joking about it realize how much of a struggle it is to deal with any type of OCD.  To literally not be able to get a recurring thought out of your mind until you do some type of action to relieve that thought is exhausting.  Especially since it’s an ongoing cycle, as pictured here:

It seems as if there is no end, and to have people categorize their “normal” behaviors as OCD is upsetting and aggravating.  Not only does it generalize all people that have OCD into one category, but it also can cause people with OCD to feel bad about themselves and envy those who are not actually diagnosed with OCD, wishing they were more like them.  When in reality, a lot of people with OCD, if treated, significantly improve as they get older. There is hope for them as well.

What I’m trying to say is watch what you say around people, you have no idea what they’re going through.  It is very unhealthy to participate in these behaviors which further romanticize and stigmatize mental disorders.  It is these types of people who hinder the acceptance and reality of mental illnesses, they are fairly common and it does not define who someone is as a person, it is simply a part of their larger whole.  Saying something is “Sooo OCD” is sooo not cool, especially writing an article titled “5 Types of OCD Friends You Know and Love”.  Seeing this article and just thinking about all of the times people have said these things in front of me finally made me want to speak out on the issue.  If you are someone who struggles with OCD and often hears this too, just know you are not alone! Hopefully together with the use of our voices and influence, we can stop the romanticization of mental illnesses.