7 Misconceptions About OCD, Explained
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

7 Misconceptions About OCD, Other Than 'Oh, They're Just Tidy'

We've got to stop judging Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by its stereotypes.

717
7 Misconceptions About OCD, Other Than 'Oh, They're Just Tidy'
Photo by AJ Garcia on Unsplash

Dealing with mental health conditions of any kind can be incredibly challenging, including Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I personally don't deal with this mental health condition but know quite a few people in my personal life who do.

I sat down with one individual, who asked not to be named, and he told me a lot about his own personal struggles with the condition. I learned a lot from him! Because of this conversation, I wanted to share a list of 7 misconceptions about OCD, other than the most widely-known one, "Oh, they're just tidy."

1. Someone who has OCD is dangerous or a threat

This is so far from the truth. Even though some people who have OCD tend to display aggressive behaviors towards themselves or others, the majority of people with OCD are not aggressive at all.

2. OCD is the same for everyone

This is also very far from the truth. Not all people who have the condition obsess over the same things or obsess over things in the same ways. The compulsive behavioral side of this is also not the same for everyone, either. OCD is not a one-size-fits-all mental health condition.

3. OCD is ONLY about being clean and tidy all the time

This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions surrounding the condition, and it's honestly such a hurtful stereotype. In fact, my friend who I talked to is probably one of the least tidy people I've ever met! His obsessions and compulsions have absolutely nothing to do with cleanliness at all.

4. Someone with OCD is simply just "crazy"

This is such an important point to make because no — someone who deals with OCD is not "crazy." Words matter, and how we talk about mental health and mental health conditions matter as well. Putting the label of "crazy" on someone with OCD, or any other mental health condition for that matter completely and fully dehumanizes that person and invalidates their experiences with the condition(s) that they deal with.

In fact, it's stated that approximately 2.2 million adults in the United States each year are affected by OCD. That is measured at approximately one percent of the total United States population.

5. Someone with OCD can't function "normally" in society

This is also something that is very, very far from the truth. Many people who have this condition can lead very successful lives. Medication and/or some kind of talk therapy can help people with this condition lead successful lives, but having OCD does not mean that leading a relatively "normal" life is out of the question.

6. OCD obsessions/compulsions last forever

While this might be the case for some, for the majority of people who have mild cases of OCD, these obsessions and compulsions can, and often do, change over time. Sometimes, such as the case with the friend I've talked to, one obsession is replaced by another.

7. OCD doesn't change at all

This goes along with the previous point I made, but it's worth mentioning again. OCD can, and oftentimes does, change over time, and it can change based on mood as well. OCD can also be affected by other mental health conditions as well, and oftentimes, these other conditions can feed into compulsive behaviors and obsessions.

Like any mental health condition, sitting down with someone who deals with the condition and having an open and genuine conversation with them can open the doorway to a greater sense of compassion and kindness for everyone involved. People need to be truly seen and honestly heard in this world. People need other people, regardless of what they might be dealing with.

Report this Content
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Meet the creators making their voices heard on Odyssey.

116
Top 3 Response Articles of This Week
Why I Write On Odyssey

At Odyssey, we're on a mission to encourage constructive discourse on the Internet. That's why we created the response button you can find at the bottom of every article.

Last week, our response writers sparked some great conversations right here on our homepage. Here are the top three response articles:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

"Arthur's Perfect Christmas" Is The Perfect Holiday Special, Move Over Charlie Brown

Arthur Read is here to deliver the real meaning of Christmas.

1139
Pexels

As the holiday season draws nearer, many of us find ourselves drawn to the same old Rankin-Bass Christmas specials and the perennial favorite, "A Charlie Brown Christmas." However, I would like to suggest an overlooked alternative, "Arthur's Perfect Christmas." It is a heartfelt, funny, and surprisingly inclusive Christmas special that deserves more recognition.

Keep Reading... Show less
Reclaim Your Weekends From The 'Sunday Scaries' With 'Self-Love Sundays' Instead
Olivia DeLucia

Laid back and taking it easy — sometimes that is the motto we all need after a busy week. Sunday scaries? Yes, they are valid – but you know what else is? A Sunday full of self-love. A lazy Sunday spent doing what you feel needs to be done to ease into the next week. Self-Love Sundays are a guilty pleasure that isn't only essential for our mind, and body, but are also a surprisingly proactive way to devote the upcoming week with a clear mindset.

So, what is a more suitable way to dedicate your week's end than a beautifully, connected playlist to accompany your face masks and journaling? Cheers, to a Self-Love Sunday (and a playlist intertwined with it to match). (Please note: "Sunday Morning" isn't included in this list, due to the obvious, but feel free to blast it anyway, we know you want to).

Keep Reading... Show less
Sunset Girl

The sun rose and peeked through the sheer curtains. Rose’s alarm shrieked. The loud bells caused her phone to jump on the side table. It was time for her to get ready for church. Blindly reaching for her phone, she shut the alarm off and pulled at the covers providing her a cocoon of warmth and tossed them to the side. She swept her bare feet across the bed to touch the cool wooden floor.

Rose softly tiptoed to the corner of the bedroom to grab her clothes dangling on the arm of the bedroom chair. Scooping all of the items of her chosen outfit, she headed to the bathroom hoping that she wouldn’t drop anything.

Round, piercing blue eyes stared back at her in the bathroom mirror. Rose fingered the wrinkles forming around her eyes. So many of them bore signs of laughter and smiling. Slowly dropping her hands, she couldn’t remember the last time she laughed in her home with Tom. Shaking her head as if to erase the negative thoughts, she reached for her makeup bag and went through her regular routine.

Applying her favorite deep rose lipstick, Rose headed downstairs to make her coffee and bagel to take with her to church. The smell of dark-roast coffee swirled in the air as Rose sliced her cinnamon raisin bagel. Hearing the Keurig sputter with the fresh brew, Rose found the interruption of the stillness comforting. The toaster signaled that her bagel was done with a soft pop. It had a delicious golden brown color. Placing the bagel on the counter, she generously spread honey nut flavored cream cheese across both halves. Gathering her bible, notebook, and pens from the side table on the porch she stuffed them into her purse. Purse hanging on her right shoulder she juggled her coffee and bagel in both of her hands as she headed to the garage.

Keep Reading... Show less
Environment

This Holiday Season, Choose To Be Eco-friendly And Reduce Pollution

Many of us have old magazines lying around, fully read and not of much use anymore. However, we can use their bright colors and prints as a stylish and trendy wrapping paper!

1436
Presents

It can be overwhelming to see the detrimental effects of climate change and pollution on the news, from animals dying and forest fires spreading, but there are smaller changes that we can all make to reduce our carbon footprint, and it begins with our gifting season.

On average, Americans throw 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Years, which translates to 25 million tons of garbage. That's 1 million extra tons per week.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments