Reading Mara Wilson’s OCD Cracked.com blog is close to my experiences with OCD.
1. The first thing she speaks about is intrusive thoughts. Intrusive thoughts are hell. She asks the reader to imagine having Singing in the Rain stuck in your head, and then to replace that with murdering your best friend. Over and Over again. For me it wasn’t murdering my best friend. It was having sex with God, the devil, a door, etc. It was farting in class and my classmates laughing it me. It was thinking I was a lesbian, and not straight. It was thinking of rape. My obsessions are countless.
2. She conquers the myth that people with OCD are neat freaks. I am not a neat freak. My room is messy, my work desk looks like a hurricane hit it, and I forget to put food back in the refrigerator after I take it out. Wilson mentions the show Hoarders. Those people aren’t neat freaks. Hoarding is often a symptom of OCD, but it is not the only compulsion. My compulsions consists of re checking my car door multiple of times to make sure I closed it, peeling my skin and nails when I’m stressed, scratching or cutting (<-I don’t do these compulsions anymore.) I don’t have many physical compulsions since my spectrum is on the purely obsessional side.
Having few physical compulsions, makes it difficult for people to believe when I tell them I have OCD. Obsessions aka intrusive thoughts are hard to tell people. I told my friends I had a fear of farting, and a some of them laughed at me. I felt humiliated. People who don’t have an anxiety disorder don’t understand that obsessions are suffocating, manipulative bastards.
She also mentions how the media stereotypes OCD sufferers. Shows such as Monk, show OCD sufferers as detail oriented people and having the ability to see things that others don’t. That’s good that the media has portrayed them as useful, but that’s not always it. If you ever watch the show Girls, where Lena Dunham’s character is going through an OCD meltdown, that’s close to it.
3. The third thing she speaks about is that OCD sufferers are ego-dystonic, meaning being out of sync with your ideal self. When you suffer from OCD, you know your obsessions and compulsions are illogical, but you don’t know how to stop it. Compulsions only relieve the obsessions temporarily, but they are annoying to do and can be disruptive to one’s life.
4. The last thing she speaks about how is that OCD is often associated with other disorders such as depression, panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, and etc. My OCD is associated with my on/off depression.
In the end, OCD is a treatable disorder. It never completely goes away, but with therapy and the right medical treatment, it’s like an annoying relative you love.