Do I Have OCD?

I have been called many things related to OCD: Organized, Clean-freak, Crazy, Obsessive, etc...As I've gotten older I've always wondered: Am I actually OCD?

ocd.jpgOCD is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, an anxiety disorder that can affect the daily lives of people who suffer from it. It is composed of two components: frequent upsetting thoughts that are called obsessions. To try to control them, a person will feel an overwhelming urge to repeat certain rituals or behaviors, making up the second component: compulsions.

OCD sometimes runs in families, but no one knows for sure why some people have it, while others don't. Researchers have found that several parts of the brain are involved in fear and anxiety. Researchers are also looking for ways in which stress and environmental factors may play a role.This disorder can range from very slight to extremely severe. I have always thought I rank on the less severe end, as I have watched and read about people who severely suffer and I do not suffer nearly as much as those people.

While looking at various webpages and articles online, I have realized that I most likely do not have OCD, and if I do, it is very, very low on the OCD spectrum. OCD is a very serious anxiety disorder that should not necessarily be taken lightly.  OCD causes individuals "severe distress, occupies much of their time, and interferes with normal routines, productivity at work or school, and social relationships." One difference between normal worries and OCD is how much time these behaviors or rituals take out of a sufferer's day, and how much distress they cause. People with OCD recognize that their thoughts are irrational, but can't stop them.

I have never had my "obsessions" interfere significantly with my time. Although I very often spend hours and hours on end cleaning and organizing my room and closet, it never interferes with my social life. I also can walk away from the cleaning and organizing without feeling any anxiety, something that an OCD sufferer would most likely not be able to do. I've also put hand sanitizer on seven times since I started writing this post. But, these "compulsions" do not tend to interfere with my daily functioning.

While looking around online at information, I stumbled upon this quiz which asks a variety of questions to determine where a person is on the OCD spectrum. This quiz is obviously not an actual diagnostic tool, and states at the beginning: "This screening measure is not designed to make a diagnosis of a disorder or take the place of a professional diagnosis or consultation." I thought, however, that it would be interesting to see how I scored on it, just out of curiosity. I answered all of the questions honestly, and scored a 14. According to this quiz, this means that I am "most likely" suffering from OCD. I am not too concerned with these results, but thought I would share the quiz in case any fellow classmates are interested
in what they would score!
bother you.jpgNow, excuse me while I finish cleaning my room....


This article caught my eye because, well, I definitely do have OCD. I've known this since I was a little girl, starting with my having a temper tantrum whenever any of my friends or family moved my strategically placed stuffed animals on my bed. Or, when someone would not allow me to walk on the left side of them and I would get serious anxiety. And as I've grown, unfortunately these issues have only grown with me. But luckily, or unluckily, my dad and my sister are right there feeling the same things with me (if not worse). It would always bother me when people either A.) would think that I was making my anxiety or compulsions up or B.) have others say they are "so OCD" when, clearly, they are not. I loved that you proved in your blog how just because you like your room clean does not mean you have OCD. I did take the quiz, just for fun, and not surprisingly scored very well (or very badly, depending on how you see it). I have learned to be able to cope with some compulsions through help from family and doctors, but it will be a constant struggle for the rest of my life. However, it does help knowing I'm not the only one out there, and that people do slowly begin to understand that compulsions are not just funny little things I do for attention - whereas they are things I wish I did not have to do because of the unwanted attention I receive.

I found your blog very interesting because I have always wondered whether or not I had a mild form of OCD. It isn't very prominent or life-consuming, and I don't clean obsessively all the time like the stereotype says, but I absolutely cannot fall asleep if I don't do certain things like turn the light off several times or make absolute certain my closet door is closed. I didn't think it as OCD, but I took the quiz and I scored a 12. I was quite surprised, and it caused me to wonder. It seems as though the general consensus is that OCD involves repeated actions and behaviors, hoarding, and other compulsions/obsessions. However, I feel like everyone has their certain quirks or things they do that may seem a little strange, but that doesn't necessarily mean that everyone has OCD. To what extent do these quirks have to be present in order for them to be considered OCD?

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