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OCD Vs. Perfectionism

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When you say “I’m so OCD,” you might mean you’re a perfectionist. Here’s how to know the difference.

Read the full transcript:

OCD Vs. Perfectionism

This is Rae. She’s a perfectionist.

This is Lauren. She has obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD.

Rae tidies up her room before she goes to work and then goes on her way.

Lauren can’t leave her room until everything is “just right.” This causes her so much anxiety, she’s often late for work.

Rae’s friends make fun of her because she can’t eat lunch until she washes her hands first.

When Lauren washes her hands before lunch, it’s because she can’t shake the image of becoming seriously ill if she doesn’t do it repeatedly.

Driving home, a thought pops into Rae’s head that she might have hit someone with her car. Quickly though, she dismisses the thought.

When Lauren drives home, the same thought pops into her head. But unlike Rae, she can’t dismiss it. She actually turns his car around to make sure she didn’t hit anybody.

Before going to bed, Rae counts sheep. Counting calms her, and she’s able to relax and go to sleep.

Lauren’s nightly ritual revolves around the number three. Lauren finally falls asleep at 4 a.m. when the ritual is complete.

Everyone experiences irrational thoughts, and maybe even performs ritualistic behaviors, but for people with OCD, these thoughts are excessive, and these behaviors can take over their lives.

So before you say, “I’m so OCD,” remember that OCD is not an adjective, but a real condition that deserves compassion and understanding.

Originally published: August 8, 2017
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