Obsessive Compulsive Disorder


| 8 Comments
Before you read this blog post, I urge you to watch this video featuring Neil Hilborn. He reads a poem about how Obsessive Compulsive Disorder caused him to lose the love of his life. 

OCD is categorized as a disorder that causes severe anxiety that can lead to obsessions and compulsions. These obsessions and/or compulsions can cause the sufferer to spend more time coping with their OCD than focusing on things that non sufferers have no problem participating in such as work or spending time with friends and family. I often hear people say things like "Oh, I have to keep my desk organized, I'm so OCD," or "All my phone contacts have to have first and last names, I probably have OCD." However, people often don't realize the difference between wanting to be organized and feeling anxiety without organization. Organizing your clothing a certain way is probably not a symptom of OCD. Not being able to fall asleep because you didn't lock the door twelve times probably is.

Obsessions are out of the person's control. They may come in the form of repeating images or thoughts that make the person uncomfortable. They are aware that their thoughts are unreasonable but because their brains are wired differently they can only cope with the obsessions through compulsions.

Compulsions are not a cure. They act as temporary relief. For example, someone with OCD may obsess over getting sick from being contaminated with germs. Their compulsive coping mechanism may be to bathe several times a day or wash their hands multiple times in one sitting. These compulsions are a huge time suck that can disrupt a person's daily life but they can be considered necessary to relieve the disturbing thoughts that come from the obsession.

Diagnosing OCD comes from examining a person's frequency of obsessions and length of time of their compulsions. In most cases the compulsions must disrupt life for a period of time longer than an hour. Other disorders and illnesses must be ruled out first and the help of a mental health professional may be required.

So, after reading this and hearing about Neil Hilborn's struggles with the loss of something precious to him because he had no control over his anxiety, would you continue to joke about having OCD? Would this new information cause you to treat someone who has been diagnosed with OCD with more tolerance and patience? What other mental health issues have you heard joked about and would you treat the issue differently if you understood how they worked?

I got the information to write this post here and here.

im-so-ocd-obnoxious-cunt.jpg

8 Comments

OCD is something that people jokingly throw around that they have. It is a serious disorder that, just like the video of Neil described, can effect people's lives seriously. I am so organized and have to have everything the way I want it and my friends always say I have OCD. I know I don't though, I just want things in the order I like them. There is a major difference between OCD and just wanting to be organized. OCD is your brain giving you anxiety to complete something. They get scared of what will happen if they do not do something. People want to be organized as a sense of accomplishment and just wanting to be. So, OCD is more of an uncontrolled feeling and being organized is controlled. I found an interesting article on 5 Things OCD is not:
http://blog.iocdf.org/2013/03/01/5-things-ocd-is-not/

This is a very well-written post, and a true eye-opener. I know what you mean when you say people kind of joke about OCD. Everyone has their little weird habits, but OCD is a serious issue and should be treated properly if needed. My border line OCD habit is making sure my eyebrows are always done. It's silly, I know, but it's just something that makes me comfortable. But there's a difference between my pet peeve and an actual OCD called Trichotillomania, which means one constantly pulls their hair out of any body part.

This is the article about Trichotillomania if anyone is interested in learning more, thanks!
http://ocd.about.com/

This is a very well-written post, and a true eye-opener. I know what you mean when you say people kind of joke about OCD. Everyone has their little weird habits, but OCD is a serious issue and should be treated properly if needed. My border line OCD habit is making sure my eyebrows are always done. It's silly, I know, but it's just something that makes me comfortable. But there's a difference between my pet peeve and an actual OCD called Trichotillomania, which means one constantly pulls their hair out of any body part.

This is the article about Trichotillomania if anyone is interested in learning more, thanks!
http://ocd.about.com/

I think this is a really great blog topic to write about because as the previous comments say, it is an eye-opener for people who are less familiar with OCD or are ignorant to the true disease it is. Whenever I think about OCD, I think about the video my PSYCH professor showed last year about a woman who had a severe case. She was compulsive about the wash she washed her hands the “right” way under scolding hot water to the way she walked her baby. Honestly though, it made me sad to watch her go through all of this because it took away from her everyday life. I’ve never met anyone with a true case of OCD, but I definitely don’t joke about it. Like you said, we’re all a little compulsive about the things we do in our lives because we like things a particular way-- it shouldn’t be made into a joke, though! The biggest pet peeve of mine is when people use “retard” or retarded” as an adjective because IT’S NOT. Mental retardation is a disease and a disability that affects thousands. This blogwas written by someone who tries to stop the incorrect use of the word retard.

I agree that the disorder is a very serious matter, although it has lost its meaning in casual conversation and is now seen as a way to joke about doing something various times. If you ever come across a person who has legitimate OCD, the experience is almost frightening. They have no control over what they are thinking, it is almost like they can not survive and feel extreme anxiety if a chore isn't completed numerous times. I came across that video a long time ago and it is still heartbreaking to watch after the millionth time. I have sympathy for these people because of their lack of ability to live life normally. Even though the illness is not taken as seriously as it should among everyone, people must understand the actual reality of it. Here's a little quiz you can take to see if your obsessions qualify for actual OCD: http://psychcentral.com/ocdquiz.htm

The video is such a compelling way to introduce your topic and give real-life insight into the life of a person with OCD.

Last year I did multiple reports on the stigma that follow drug addicts. The idea that people with disease are worthless and inhuman. The fact of the matter is, is that they have a mental disease that literally alters their brain chemicals and literally controls their mind with the thought of drugs. It's something that is not so commonly talked about but needs to be. Like OCD, addiction is a mental disorder that should not be joked about and taken lightly.

This video shows the chemical side of addiction. Check it out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukFjH9odsXw

The video is such a compelling way to introduce your topic and give real-life insight into the life of a person with OCD.

Last year I did multiple reports on the stigma that follow drug addicts. The idea that people with disease are worthless and inhuman. The fact of the matter is, is that they have a mental disease that literally alters their brain chemicals and literally controls their mind with the thought of drugs. It's something that is not so commonly talked about but needs to be. Like OCD, addiction is a mental disorder that should not be joked about and taken lightly.

This video shows the chemical side of addiction. Check it out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukFjH9odsXw

I LOVED the video link in the beginning of your post and I felt bad for him..It's sad seeing things happen to people that affect their lives in a negative way they truly have no control over. My mom works in the mental health field so I have heard about all different kinds of mental disorders and have had the chance to learn about them. Another one I have definitely realized people don't fully understand is asperger's (a specific type of autism). People will make fun of people who are awkward or just seem unable to make conversation. They never deem it as a mental illness because people with asperger's are usually pretty intelligent. Here's a link to a website explaining what exactly asperger's is and it's effects.

http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/mental-health-aspergers-syndrome

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