How to Tell the Difference Between OCD and Obsessive Personality Traits
Health and Wellness

How to Tell the Difference Between OCD and Obsessive Personality Traits

They aren't the same thing but they could be connected.

143
David M. Masters

I often get this feeling of being stuck, being trapped by a thought or a feeling that causes me to think a certain way. I often feel disgusted because I have an image in my head where things need to be in order or things need to be a certain way of I'm a failure. I get obsessive about writing or about cleaning, especially when my anxiety is through the roof.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD by definition is an anxiety disorder where people have unwanted or repeated thoughts, feelings, images, ideas or behaviors (which become obsessions) that make them feel drive to do something (which is a compulsion). The person carried out their compulsion to be rid of the obsessive thought, however it only provides a temporary relief from the obsession. When a person does not or cannot perform their obsessive ritual, a great deal of anxiety comes with it. OCD ranges from mild to severe; if it is severe and left untreated it can greatly affect a person's ability to function at work or school. OCD can also challenge how a person lives whether comfortably or not at home.

One of the biggest misconceptions about OCD is the thought that a person has to be obsessed with something, someone or an idea but that doesn't necessarily mean they have OCD. Having obsessive traits does not make you OCD. However, someone with OCD could very easily have obsessive traits.

I am living with OCD and I have my moments where I see something and an image pops in my head that causes my anxiety to take over. The only way for me to calm down any bit or for me to feel better is to act upon my compulsions which cleaning, baking or writing depending what else is going on that day. I also have obsessive traits. For instance, if someone else makes my bed and my blanket isn't completely flat or the extra blankets aren't folded correctly, I shake and obsess of trying to fix it.

But I don't let the disorder completely control me. I fight it. I let things get a little messy and I don't always match my socks; I know I can tame myself to a point before I just break and let it take over.

Sometimes because of my OCD, I need things to change because having them stay the same actually does more harm than good. My compulsion for change is dying my hair. The change of colors whether they be unnatural or natural is because I need a change and it is the only change that I can deal with (or fix if I need to).

Yes, obsessive-compulsive disorder is a mental health issue, it isn't always treated like one. Some don't see it as something that can control someone's life but it can and will if it isn't taken care when it becomes severe. Many people live with OCD and unfortunately some don't know how to handle it or how to talk about it. The best way to keep it moderate is to fight it slowly, and with simple tasks. But it's okay to give in to your compulsions, especially in a hard time of stress. My biggest advice though is to let someone know about it, and talk to them about your compulsions. Who knows maybe they could be feeling the exact same way as you are.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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