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

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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.

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Getty Images photo via MistakeAnn

This story originally appeared on Spilled Inklings.

Originally published: March 15, 2018
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