obsessive compulsive disorder

2647) I had to get used to the feeling of being okay because I've never felt bliss of just feeling okay and peaceful ever since I had OCD. Even so, I've been sleeping for more than 9 hours and whenever I talk to someone normally, they don't know deep down I'm still feeling anxious and sad. I don't wish to tell everyone I see and know because I refuse to gain sympathy from others and even with OCD, a part of me is still able to get important work done.

Having depression does NOT mean you are sad 100% of the time.

Having an eating disorder does NOT mean you have to be skinny

Having social anxiety does NOT mean can’t ever talk to people.

Having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder does NOT mean you are constantly cleaning.

Stereotypes of these serious mental illnesses and many others need to stop.

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Pictures, memes, and cartoons that depict mental illnesses like this are uninformed, lazy, and just plain obnoxious. Honestly, they annoy me in a way reserved for very few things in life.

And here’s why: people who don’t have ADD/ADHD, bipolar disorder, or OCD see these things and laugh, thinking, “OMG THAT IS SO ME” just because they relate to the image. It trivializes the importance of mental disorders by reducing them to a caricature of what society thinks the disorders are. There are non-insulting ways to humorously share the relatable parts of these mental disorders. But the images above range from insensitive to obnoxious to just fucking ignorant.

Images like these also perpetuate misinformation and misundersanding of the disorders and their symptoms. You don’t have OCD just because you like order and symmetry; you’re not bipolar just because you have a wide-range of emotions; and you don’t have ADD or ADHD because you also have a non-linear thought process, as depicted above.

Mental disorders are much more than memes on the internet.

The Big Huge OCD Masterpost

What is OCD?

Subtypes of OCD

Related Disorders/Conditions

Help

OCD Blogs/Networks

Remember, everyone has quirks, superstitions, habits, routines, etc. It doesn’t mean you have OCD. It is when these rituals and habits must be done and interfere with your daily life, relationships, and cause distress when they cannot be performed. 

OCD comes in all shapes and sizes, in all sorts of intensities. It can vary just as much as the people who have it vary from each other! 

Self diagnosis is important because not everyone can afford and/or has the insurance to see a doctor or therapist! It might not be an option for some people for many reasons. That’s okay! In the meantime, if you think you have OCD, educate yourself on your potential disorder. Learning more about it is the most crucial step in keeping it in check.  However, it is advised that if you believe you have OCD, you see a medical professional as soon as you are able, as it can help alleviate your suffering.

I’m not a medical expert, I’m just a young adult with OCD that manifested itself many years ago and is currently being treated for it! 

OCD is not an adjective.
OCD is not an adverb.
OCD is not the same as being organized.
OCD is not the same as being a perfectionist.
OCD is a disorder comprised of invasive thoughts/ obsessions and (sometimes or) the anxiety driven need to ritualize/give in to compulsions. 

People who have obsessive compulsive disorder are sick of you saying you’re “OCD about” how your Spotify playlists are organized.
Please just fucking stop.

The first time I saw her..
Everything in my head went quiet.
All the ticks, all the constantly refreshing images just disappeared.
When you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, you don’t really get quiet moments.
Even in bed, I’m thinking:
Did I lock the doors? Yes.
Did I wash my hands? Yes.
Did I lock the doors? Yes.
Did I wash my hands? Yes.
But when I saw her, the only thing I could think about was the hairpin curve of her lips..
Or the eyelash on her cheek—
the eyelash on her cheek—
the eyelash on her cheek.
I knew I had to talk to her.
I asked her out six times in thirty seconds.
She said yes after the third one, but none of them felt right, so I had to keep going.
On our first date, I spent more time organizing my meal by color than I did eating it, or talking to her..
But she loved it.
She loved that I had to kiss her goodbye sixteen times or twenty-four times at different times of the day.
She loved that it took me forever to walk home because there are lots of cracks on our sidewalk.
When we moved in together, she said she felt safe, like no one would ever rob us because I definitely lock the door eighteen times.
I’d always watch her mouth when she talked—
when she talked—
when she talked—
when she talked;
when she said she loved me, her mouth would curl up at the edges.
At night, she’d lay in bed and watch me turn all the lights off.. And on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off.
She’d close her eyes and imagine that the days and nights were passing in front of her.
But then.. She said I was taking up too much of her time.
That I couldn’t kiss her goodbye so much because I was making her late for work..
When she said she loved me, her mouth was a straight line..
When I stopped in front of a crack in the sidewalk, she just kept walking..
And last week she started sleeping at her mother’s place.
She told me that she shouldn’t have let me get so attached to her; that this whole thing was a mistake, but..
How can it be a mistake that I don’t have to wash my hands after I touch her?
Love is not a mistake, and it’s killing me that she can run away from this and I just can’t.
I can’t go out and find someone new because I always think of her.
Usually, when I obsess over things, I see germs sneaking into my skin.
I see myself crushed by an endless succession of cars..
And she was the first beautiful thing I ever got stuck on.
I want to wake up every morning thinking about the way she holds her steering wheel..
How she turns shower knobs like she’s opening a safe.
How she blows out candles—
blows out candles—
blows out candles—
blows out candles—
blows out—….
Now, I just think about who else is kissing her.
I can’t breathe because he only kisses her once—he doesn’t care if it’s perfect!
I want her back so bad..
I leave the door unlocked.
I leave the lights on.
—  Neil Hilborn
Believe me when I tell you that even when you find yourself to be full of the fiercest demons, there’s a remarkable light deep within you. Even in moments where darkness seems to overwhelm, the gentle flame will not cease.
—  balanceandblessings

No, You Do Not Have OCD.

The basic gist of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder has passed into mainstream use by, in my experience, mostly people under twenty. We’ve all heard “Oh my god, I’m so OCD!” which, despite the grammatical problems, very rarely if ever actually describes the person in question.

Human beings prefer predictable patterns. This is an evolutionary advantage and a topic upon which I would love to write a thesis one day. OCD, however, is not just the need to sort your closet (or M&Ms) in the perfect way. That is known as a simple compulsion, or as is more often used in other countries, being “anal retentive.” (For some reason, the United States doesn’t like to talk about the anus.) I have compulsions. I do not have OCD.

Those who truly suffer from OCD find that their compulsions a) go beyond the simple straightening and organizing, b) are often accompanied by what may be highly severe hallucinative imaginations about what will happen if they don’t complete their compulsions, and c) become so repetitive and ingrained that they get in the way of life and cause emotional and physical damage.

If you don’t see slime, bugs, and germs constantly crawling over your hands and arms, if you don’t descend into a panic attack if you check the lock four times instead of five, if you can stop yourself from repeating a phrase or action over and over again, you don’t have OCD.

Obviously I’m not an expert, just a student with an interest. I am annoyed, however, when people misuse something like a diagnosis so severe. If you catch yourself in the act, please consider whether you’re even using the phrase correctly in the grammatical context of your sentence, let alone the context of your life.

To see more of what I mean,
watch this video.

Thank you for reading.

Self-Care

Self-Care: a master post of tips and tricks to feel better

- create an emergency wall kit for when you’re feeling down and need a quick pick-me up

- exercise

- take a soothing bath (include a bath bomb, candle, incense, music, and a facial mask if you really need to wind down

- listen to classical music or white noise if you’re uncomfortable with silence and/or need to take a few moments alone

- spend time outdoors to refresh your senses: sight – removing yourself from the same place you’ve been in (your room, a classroom, etc.) and replacing yourself in a more healthy environment helps revive your serotonin; smell – smelling fresh air, flowers, trees, nature, etc. helps you feel more awake; touch – touching different/new things helps stimulate your senses and gives you a sense of tranquility; hearing – listening to tweeting birds, buzzing bees, squirrels rattling in the trees, your neighbors laughing, etc. will make you feel comforted and calm

- make a comfort box or go through your comfort box

- talk about how your feeling to someone who cares about you and doesn’t judge

- write about how you feel

- cry

- watch movies on netflix or old dvds

- snuggle up with warm blankets and take a nice, soothing nap

- read a book from start to finish

- read the bible

- make plans/goals for the day and complete them on your own time

- reward yourself to goodies when you feel like you’ve accomplished something, and when you haven’t, tell yourself you did the best you could and your mistake/failure doesn’t define you

- smile

- brush your teeth/hair, paint your nails, change your clothes, etc.

- surround yourself with good, uplifting, supportive things/people

- start on/finish your homework/studying

- learn to relax and teach yourself to relax when you’re stressed/anxious/etc.

- play with a fidget toy: silly putty, playdoh, kinetic sand, fidget toys, stones, buttons, zippers, etc.

- drink green tea or herbal tea

- limit yourself to self-destructing things like alcohol and cigarettes if you’re struggling with addiction

- watch a humorous podcast or youtube video

- spend quality time with your laptop snuggled up with your kitten (or ferret in my case) and surf the web or watch things on netflix or even email your grandmother

- write down post-it affirmations and stick them up everywhere you normally are and will see them – even stick them in your bra or socks so you can see them when you get dressed

- eat healthy food and give yourself supportive reassurance that if you binge or purge, it’s not the end of the world and relapses are fine, you just have proof that you’re trying and that’s all that really matters

- let things go that don’t matter to the big picture

- spend time with your family/surround yourself with supportive family members that always show they love you and will be there for you no matter what

- get creative and messy – paint, fingerpaint, charcoal/oil pastels/acrylic create, sketch, play with snow or mud, or even create a glitter jar

- reblog happy, positive pictures on tumblr (because you know you spend too much time on this site anyway)

- last but not least, give yourself some slack. love yourself, support yourself, respect yourself, and smile. as long as you’re smiling, it’ll be a good day, i promise