According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, more than 2.2 million people in the U.S. alone are affected by OCD. OCD stands for obsessive-compulsive disorder, a disorder that focuses on the obsessions of a person. Each person with this disorder is bound to have a different obsession. For the most part, the obsession revolves around unwanted thoughts and images that interrupt the mind at any given point.
Being a part of the 1% of people with OCD, I get it. I have to do things in threes — for example, I have to use three paper towels after washing my hands, otherwise, I think something horrible is going to happen to a close relative of mine. One time I had only been able to get two paper towel pieces and I was frantic, I had to track down another so that nothing would happen to that person. By the end of it, I was on the verge of tears because I thought that something had indeed happened cause I was having difficulty finding the paper towel. After I was able to find it I was able to calm down a bit and text the person to make sure that they were OK.
Not only that, but I also have to rearrange things in a specific way so that everything is aligned properly. As a kid, it was a million times worse — I would have to have my hangers three fingers width apart from one another. And while that part of it has gotten better, I am still very adamant about where things have to be. If I walk into a room, I know something is off and it bothers me to a point of frustration and anxiety until I am able to sort things out.
Throughout my almost 29 years on this planet, I have heard people say, "I'm so OCD," then laugh as they pick up their favorite pen. While I look at them blankly and correct them that they are more than likely just picky and shouldn't say that sort of thing. While you may have a favorite pen, so does everyone else.
While it might be annoying to hear others joke about having OCD, those who actually live with it understand that it is not about cute organizational planners or anything of that nature. It's something that affects the mind, making it difficult to focus on certain things. It's NOT a joke.
To learn more about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, check this out.