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.

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
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments