Every day, people use the phrase "OCD" to describe any number of behaviors, from being meticulous about appearance to the desire to get things completed a certain way:
"I just cannot go to bed with dishes in the sink. I'm SO OCD."
SPOILER ALERT: That ain't OCD (though it might be a different condition, so read on).
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a lifelong condition that usually shows up during puberty or early adulthood and is identified by (you guessed it) obsessions and compulsions. OCD is equally likely to occur in men and women, and affects around 2% of the population1. And it can be absolutely debilitating. This is not a "sink full of dishes" type concern. OCD can be a "I'm not leaving my house today because I'm too busy scrubbing my hands raw" kind of concern.
Aside from the obsessions and compulsions, most with OCD tend to worry, usually about how worried and anxious they are. But make no mistake; whether they are seen as over-reactors, as overly sensitive or as obsessive, the whole thing is scary as fuck. I really think that phrase should be a part of the clinical definition of OCD, which is why they will never hire me to write that book, though I guarantee mine would be more entertaining to read. Maybe I will write my own, dammit.... continue reading