The Definition of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
We may often think of a person with OCD as someone who is constantly washing their hands or having a habit of organizing. But did you know that OCD is more than that? In reality, it is a common and complex disorder, which is often misunderstood.
How often have you heard someone say jokingly, ‘I’m OCD because I like to be tidy?’ Does this really mean they have the baggage attached to the disorder? Or is it just a habit without a feeling of intense and uncontrollable anxiety along with it? Those who have OCD know that it is not this simple.
OCD, or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, is a neurological disorder that has a combination of behaviors and thoughts, often unpleasant, that are difficult to control. It is often diagnosed with other disorders like anxiety or depression. People who have it usually keep very specific routines, which they follow to help ease their anxiety. Many people’s routines and compulsive behaviors take up much of their time, which can affect their daily lives in work or other relationships.
There are many categories of OCD with their own specific diagnoses that aren’t limited to touching or hand-washing. Each person has their own rituals, habits, and thoughts. OCD can be treated in various ways, depending on the person. Medication and therapy are common treatments which can help decrease these behaviors.
People with OCD can live normal and high-functioning lives, and you probably already know someone who has it. As with any disorder, is has different levels of severity. We often hear OCD told as a teasing joke, but for those who suffer from it, it is no laughing matter. The best we can do is educate ourselves and become open-minded enough to start treating those who suffer with mental illnesses the respect that they deserve.
Thank you for reading.