We’ve all jestingly called out our mothers for their obsession with cleaning, saying they have an OCD. Many TV shows and films portray people with OCD as a quirky character and base a ton of jokes around their behaviour. But OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a serious problem that affects many around the world. Here are some facts about OCD to throw some light on the seriousness of the disease.
They’re wired differently
“Oh, it’s just a phase.”, “That’s so quirky” “You’re weird.” These are probably one of the many phrases a person with OCD hears. Research has shown that their brains are wired differently. They can not ‘turn off’ their OCD and it strongly influences their thoughts and actions.
It goes beyond cleanliness
How many of you believe that OCD is just being like Monica, our beloved cleanliness freak from Friends? I bet a lot of us. But OCD goes way beyond being neat and not tolerating even a speck of dirt.
The various range of symptoms include ‘checking’ and rechecking something, eg. if the door is locked, if the tap is turned off, etc; ‘repeating’ certain things till it is done perfectly, redoing the laundry; and ‘counting’ or doing a task a certain number of times, eg. knocking on the door thrice.
You’re not alone
If you think OCD is an extremely rare disease, you’re wrong. About 1 in 50 people around the globe suffers from OCD. In fact, many celebrities have recently shared their experience with this disorder, including Howie Mandel and Howard Stern.
Light at the end of the tunnel
A very common reaction to an OCD is “just get over it”. If you have an OCD or know someone who has it, you know that’s not possible. You can’t just turn off an OCD like a light bulb. Some people even believe that those with OCDs are crazy or neurotic and are forced to live dysfunctional lives. As opposed to common misconceptions, people with OCD can have a completely normal life with proper care and treatment. Treatments include behavioural therapy or medications. In many cases, behavioural therapy alone is sufficient, however, one may require a combination of both therapy and medications.
For a long time, mental health disorders like OCD have been regarded as a farce and were discarded as a joke. But times are changing. Let’s all strive to live in a world without stigma.
1. Help Separate OCD Myths from the Facts Available at https://iocdf.org/blog/2017/10/03/help-seperate-ocd-myths-from-the-facts/ Accessed on 26th April 2021.
2. Facts about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Available at https://beyondocd.org/ocd-facts Accessed on 26th April 2021.
3. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Children Available at https://www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/ocd.html Accessed on 26th April 2021.
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