What I Want to Tell People Who Casually Say They're 'So OCD'

No, you’re not “so OCD” for keeping your room tidy.

No, you’re not “so OCD” for straightening the pictures on the walls.

No, you’re not “so OCD” for washing your hands before you eat.

No, you’re not “so OCD” for wanting to write down what happened that day in a journal every evening.

No, you’re not “so OCD” for wanting to do a job perfectly.

OCD isn’t wanting to keep your room tidy — it’s needing to keep your room perfect. It’s knowing that it’s illogical to be so upset that your friend pulled one of your books off its shelf, but still feeling nervous and jumpy until you can put it back in its designated place.

OCD is straightening a picture, then unstraightening it just to straighten it again, thinking, “this is the last time” at number three, but redoing it seven more times just to get to an even 10, then wondering if it’s even still straight anymore and repeating the process.

OCD is washing your hands over and over, scrubbing at them until they’re raw, knowing that your hands will be dry and cracked by the time you’re done, wishing you could stop, knowing you should stop, but pumping soap onto them “just one more time.”

OCD is wanting to write something down, but getting stuck on one sentence — deleting it and rewriting it, over and over, going back further each time, hoping you can remember what you wrote because you have to rewrite it exactly the same way.

OCD is wanting to a job perfectly, but messing it up and knowing you have no excuse to give because you’ve been pressing the same button over and over for the past five minutes with no explanation other than you just had to do it.

OCD is obsessive-compulsive disorder. It’s time-wasting, it’s interfering, it’s infuriating and it’s embarrassing. It’s not a personality quirk, and it’s not your punch line — it’s a disorder. And it’s not something you want.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Getty Images photo via MistakeAnn

This story originally appeared on Spilled Inklings.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

A student hiding behind her notebooks

Confessions of a Former 'Perfect' Student

I cannot remember a day when I woke up and did not already have an image in my head about how that specific day was supposed to go; it’s something my kindergarten teacher called “mature,” my mom called “organized,” my middle school math teacher called “perfectionism,” and my doctor now calls “obsessive-compulsive disorder.” While completing [...]
A man and his daughter

How 'Dad Jokes' Made Me Feel Less Isolated When I Was Struggling With OCD

One time, I experienced somatic OCD so bad, both my parents flew to DC to help my boyfriend take care of me. Somatic means “relating to the body,” and obsessions involve the awareness of your own bodily functions like swallowing, breathing and blinking. I had been going to therapy for a while at that point, but had [...]
woman looking out window

What It's Really Like to Be 'Sooooo OCD'

There is an adjective showing up more and more in everyday vocabulary that really gets to me. In fact I will admit that when I hear it, I instantly feel a whole heap of emotions inside. My stomach gets instantly upset and I start to feel rage and hurt all at the same time. I [...]

16 Hilarious OCD Memes (That Don't Make Fun of People With OCD)

Let’s be real — “OCD content” on the internet is typically not made for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder. I constantly come across headlines like these: Take This Test to Find Out How OCD You Are!  34 Super Symmetrical Pictures That Will Totally Cure Your OCD.  Organized Closets That Might Look Familiar If You’re “So OCD.” [...]