Why are there so many people who believe the misconceptions about OCD?

3 January 2016 - 13:35

Profile Image
Forum User
Join date: Jan 2016
Thanks: 11

Hi I'm new to this website and this is my first post and I am currently waiting to under go CBT for OCD. What is really irritating me and I'm sure this affects plenty of other people with this condition, is the overwhelming ammount of people who don't actually know what obsessive compulsive disorder is. I don't know how many times I've heard the phrase "I'm a little OCD" thrown around by people who claim to be "perfectionists" or "neat freaks". It makes the condition sound like it's just a quirk rather than an actual disorder and it completely goes againt the definition of OCD. O standing for obsession which is the anxious intrusive thoughts, C being the compulsion which is done to sooth the anxiety and D which stands for disorder which doesn't need explaining. Of course if I tried to explain that to most people who don't understand the condition they either look surprised or come out with stupid comments like "that's not OCD", or "Isn't that (insert other mental disorder here)" or "you're just crazy". My friends were fairly understanding when I explained to them but there are plenty of people who are extremely ignorant who just won't listen. I'm sure that people would not say "I'm a bit bipolar" if they got angry often or "I'm a bit schizophrenic" for whatever reason because of course that would be offensive so why isn't the phrase "I'm a bit OCD" deemed offensive? It's a serious condition and I don't understand where these misconceptions came from or how we can combat them when they are so well accepted by most people and even the media.

I know some people say to just ignore it but it can be very upsetting to hear things like this and to know that people don't understand what you're going through and that if you tried to explain to many of them then they'd think you're just a freak, because they don't understand...how can we possibly combat this?

Pages

This post has been thanked 1 time. 3 January 2016 - 16:04

Forum User
Location: England
Join date: Jan 2008
Thanks: 1043

Hi there, and welcome to the forums... Web sites like ocdaction do a lot to break down the misconceptions of what ocd actually is, and how it affects different people. And we can do it too. Sure, people might think we're nuts, but that is just them and their opinion... Ocd is a medically recognised disorder, because it is an actual affliction, and is listed in the top ten most crippling illnesses to afflict the human race. It is a genuine and real disorder... I've long since got used to how others perceive what I say... It has to be real, or wouldn't worry us so....

Wannabe 

This post has been thanked 1 time. 3 January 2016 - 16:13

Profile
Forum User
Join date: Dec 2015
Thanks: 37

I've had this problem with my brother. I told him I probably have OCD and am having a mental health assessment. He just said everyone has obsessive thoughts from time to time and it's normal. I said the doctor was worried and he said he didn't understand why. He didn't even ask how it affected me or anything. The trouble is in very good at hiding it so it looks on the outside like I'm 'normal' unless you know me well. 

3 January 2016 - 16:36

Forum User
Location: England
Join date: Jan 2008
Thanks: 1043

Hi there, yes, I'm sure people in the street see me as being perfectly normal... And yet this ocd stops me from doing the work I used to do and be very good at... It wasn't particularly well paid, but I got a bit out of doing it... It helped others too, and I was popular in the workplace... It has taken a very long time to get to a point where I'm considering work again, albeit in a different line of work... Something a bit less stressful... But still satisfying... But people cannot see our ocd... unless they know us well. I still have the ocd... People who know me know that. I'm reminded of it every time I try to go anywhere in the car...

Wannabe

3 January 2016 - 16:57

Profile
Forum User
Join date: Dec 2015
Thanks: 37

I suppose part of my problem is I am totally fine at work. Mostly. I guess not entirely. I have these issues:

1. Constantly getting crushes on colleagues. I know enough about OCD to know OCD isn't causing this. But I obsess over having the crushes and feel intense guilt about them.

2. I am constantly confessing things to people at work, my boss and other colleagues. I've told far too many people about the colleague I fancy because I need reassurance that it doesn't make me a bad person and I've lost count of the number of people who I've told I have OCD.

3. Recently work has been really stressful and far too much work to do. But when it gets quieter I obsess that I'll run out of work and lose my job. A couple of years ago the company outsourced some work and I was constantly telling my boss I was worried I'd be left with no work. Once he even said 'I don't know what else I can say to reassure you'. It all makes sense now.

3 January 2016 - 17:24

Forum User
Location: England
Join date: Jan 2008
Thanks: 1043

Yes, reassurance is a bottomless ocean... I try and go without seeking reassurance, to actually test the theories... Doing my own research if you like... Start off with something basic and build up... It's not easy, but can be very interesting...

Wannabe

This post has been thanked 2 times. 3 January 2016 - 18:18

Forum User
Location: South East
Join date: Sep 2013
Thanks: 571

Hi Life. Thanks for your post and welcome to the forum. Yes, it is a problem that so many still don't fully understand that OCD is a disorder. Many see OCD as a quirky aspect of someone's character, for example wanting to be habitually time all of the time. I think we can do our bit and help by politely correcting anybody who says inappropriate things about the disorder. Then it is up to that person to use the right language when discussing OCD.

It is impossible to 'ignore' obsessional thoughts and if we could, we wouldn't have OCD. There is still so much we need to do regarding raising awareness and getting those in the medical profession to have a greater understanding of the illness. Bw Diana

4 January 2016 - 16:52

Profile
Forum User
Join date: Jan 2016
Thanks: 11

Thanks for the replies btw diana i meant its hard to ignore the people who make the annoying comments like "I'm a bit OCD" sorry if i worded that a bit wrong, but being told to ignore intrusive thoughts is definately one of the worst misconceptions that people have about this illness...and you're right we wouldn't have OCD if we could do it so easily. I hope that one day people will understand this disorder more and that it will one day be represented better in the media.

This post has been thanked 1 time. 4 January 2016 - 17:39

Profile
Forum User
Join date: Mar 2015
Thanks: 46

Hi Life

This never used to upset me. In fact, I used to like that I knew more about OCD than other people - made it feel more like something I can own if that makes sense. But I have started noticing how much it bothers me recently. I think part of the problem stems from the tiny slither of truth these 'quirks' have to OCD. That isn't to say they're right when they say 'I'm a bit OCD', but that having things arranged in a particular order or making sure you are on time CAN be compulsions in OCD. The difference between someone with OCD carrying out these behaviours and someone with a general quirk is that the former does this to a debilitating degree for reasons that bring them great stress.

Films and television will often only portray the more famous aspects of OCD as well, like the compulsive cleaners, and when their memory of the film fades they only remember the 'neat freak' or the 'hand washer' character they saw. They forget the ordeal they went through that led them to behave that way.

That's my two cents. I could be wrong, so please tell me if I've offended anyone here as I don't mean to belittle anyone's experience of OCD if that's how it comes across.

4 January 2016 - 19:00

Profile
Forum User
Join date: Dec 2015
Thanks: 37

Making sure you are on time can be an OCD compulsion? Would it apply in this case- if I go to lunch at a certain time I start to stress as the hour approaches when I need to be back, I'm sometimes even rude to the people I'm with as I suddenly announce I have to leave and will cut short the conversation because I feel I cannot be late back to work, even though no one would notice.

Sorry for hijacking someone else's thread, I don't mean to- I'm just new to all this.

4 January 2016 - 19:02

Profile
Forum User
Join date: Jan 2016
Thanks: 11

Hi Denton, don't worry you don't come off as offensive what you're saying is right. I think the real problem with the media's take on OCD is that they can get the compulsive part spot on but not the obsessions. I don't think that most people know that intrusive thoughts have anything to do with OCD and a lot seem to think that the compulsions are done out of enjoyment of doing them and not relief. I know that I didn't know how serious OCD was until I was being diagnosed and I would never have thought that the intrusive thoughts were even a part of OCD. The problem is because people are misinformed they get shocked when they're told what OCD is or don't believe it because they have always had a pre concieved notion of what it is and I actually read an article the other day from the daily mail about how celebrities claim to have OCD then they appear more quirky, which just makes OCD seem like it's a personality trait and not a damaging disorder.

Pages