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OCD Is So Much Deeper Than Being Clean

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Editor’s note: If you struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. To find help visit International OCD Foundation’s website.

I recently watched a few different movies where a character was said to have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and it got me thinking about how OCD is portrayed in media. Oftentimes, that person is shown as being obsessively clean, like using an intense amount of hand sanitizer or washes their hands 100 times a day. Or they are shown as being super picky about alphabetizing or organizing objects in their house. While these are definitely symptoms for some people who are diagnosed with OCD, it is not the whole picture. The movies and TV shows rarely get into the mind of the person, which is where the compulsion comes from.

My OCD is:

Counting to eight, eight times, otherwise I think I might have a heart attack.
Checking the lock on the door to make sure it is locked eight times, otherwise, someone will definitely come in and kill me in my sleep, even though I’m on the third floor of an elevatorless apartment building.

Knowing where every single thing in my apartment is, even when it’s a mess, and if someone moves anything even one inch, I know and have a panic attack.

Repeating myself…

Repeating myself…

Repeating myself… until it “feels” right. Which means I often spend hours of my day thinking the same thing over and over and over again, or something terrible will happen to me.

I never stop on odd numbers because they are too powerful and can cause harm.

Having to have the same amount of pressure on all of my fingers when I touch something or my head will explode.

Having a routine whether it’s in the shower, at work and even on my days off, and if those routines are broken I think I’m going to die and I have to restart the entire process all over again. If I can’t, I start counting.

Eating everything on my plate in a specific order or I will choke on the food.

Constantly thinking I am going to hurt someone when I am just hanging out with them, or just seeing someone and thinking, “I could hurt them,” over and over again, and my compulsion is having to hurt myself.

That is what my OCD is. It is much deeper than just being clean. It is about the thoughts that go along with the compulsions. Everyone who has OCD could write an entirely different article than this one, as OCD manifests differently within everyone. It’s always there. It’s scary. It’s frustrating. And it feels unbelievable at times. It is hard to describe the levels of anxiety that OCD brings me to.

OCD is a personal battle.

Your OCD is…?

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Thinkstock photo via ASIFE

Originally published: August 30, 2017
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