A girl with too many thoughts...

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

OCD: A Trivialised Condition

I've already made a post detailing the misconceptions or stereotypes around OCD (which you can view here), but I feel like I haven't fully addressed the issue of the extent to which this condition is trivialised.

Even today, many people are still so ignorant to the reality of OCD and the devastating impact it can have on people's life. Why is it so difficult to grasp the seriousness of this condition?! Instead, OCD has become part of most people's everyday vocabulary - reduced down to something to laugh about, a hilarious joke.

I can't emphasise how wrong this is. It makes it so difficult for sufferers of the condition to reach out and get help and actually be taken seriously (as they deserve to be!)

So, I would just like to clear a few things up:

1) OCD is NOT a joke - it is a serious, debilitating condition that cannot be helped.

I'm glad some people find it hilarious that somebody with OCD has hands that are so red, sore and cracked from relentlessly washing them that their exposed flesh burns every time they put yet more soap onto them or get into a hot shower. Isn't it hysterical that their bed sheets and clothes are covered in blood stains because their hands never stop bleeding?

I'm equally overjoyed that some people think it is funny that a child is traumatised every single day by the horrific images in their mind of their loved ones dead - who genuinely believes if they don't carry out endless compulsions then they might be responsible for if something bad actually happens.

2) Not everybody has OCD - just because you like things tidy, does not automatically qualify you for a diagnosis of OCD. However, if the need to be tidy causes you severe distress and makes it impossible for you to focus on anything else, then it is possible you are actually suffering from OCD. If this is the case, get help!

3) People with OCD don't like having OCD - carrying out compulsions isn't fun. Experiencing disgusting, repulsive, terrifying intrusive thoughts isn't fun. They infect your mind and rob you of every bit of joy.

4) Most of the time, the media's portrayal of OCD is not correct - so you watched a programme about people who love cleaning with chemicals and now you know exactly what OCD is all about, right? Wrong.

Oh and one more thing I'd like to address before I wrap things up here: expressing that your mental health condition can be absolutely shit to deal with sometimes, does not make you selfish/inconsiderate/self-centred or anything else.

Everyone deserves to do everything in their power to make their own life as good as possible, even if that means being honest and getting treatment for your mental health condition. Only then can you even begin to focus on helping with the many other problems that go on in this world.  Believe it or not, it is possible to care for yourself whilst simultaneously being considerate towards the problems of others. The two aren't mutually exclusive!

If it is not already obvious, this topic gets me pretty wound up. Often, reading through the comments on social media on posts about OCD infuriates me. I just wish people understood the reality of the condition and didn't undermine it so much - ignorance has such a negative affect on the real sufferers of OCD and other mental health conditions, for that matter.
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