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Jewish Journal

The Reality of OCD

by Beit T'shuvah

January 15, 2013 | 11:32 am

By Michael Welch

 

The level of ignorance that exists around Obsessive Compulsive Disorder astonishes me. If you are wondering whether or not you possess this anxiety disorder that consists of a repetition of feelings, behaviors, thoughts, and ideas that compel immediate compulsion…. The answer is NO you DO NOT have OCD.

Those that possess OCD don’t share it with anyone; in fact, they are ashamed to discuss their disorder in fear of terrifying loved ones and scaring them away. If you are intent on having a tidy desk at work or struggle with the public restroom (such as I do) this does not give you carte blanche to utter, “My OCD is kicking in.” OCD does not kick in! And more importantly, you can’t have a bit, a dollop, or a sprinkling of OCD. If you obsessively wash your hands and are intolerant of a germy door handle; sorry, you do not qualify for membership. If your home is clean and appears to be well-organized, you still do not have OCD. Further, as much as the media would like you to believe OCD is a positive attribute, it is not. To morph an anxiety disorder into a catchy, hip, slick, and cool character trait is egregious.  It is akin to a disgusting college frat boy declaring himself a victim of alcoholism as an excuse for his lasciviously inappropriate behavior.

 

Instead of making it popular and jumping on the bandwagon, I feel the urge to share the reality of OCD— here is an example: a woman with two children who has daily obsessions about her imminent death due to germ exposure, bacteria, viruses or other contaminants. Because of these concerns she is unable to hug her children. I wonder if her child (someone so desperately in need of human touch and connection) finds it humorous that her mother’s OCD hasn’t stopped “kicking in.”

Having OCD is not a positive character trait.  So, don’t seek it out.  Don’t aim for it.  Instead, just be productive, keep your area clean, and make it common to keep you and your surroundings in order. That way the next time you move your papers from one side of the desk to the other to make it look like you’re busy it will make sense that your OCD never existed and you are just lazy!      

Having OCD is not a positive character trait.  So, don’t seek it out.  Don’t aim for it.  Instead, just be productive, keep your area clean, and make it common to keep you and your surroundings in order. That way the next time you move your papers from one side of the desk to the other to make it look like you’re busy it will make sense that your OCD never existed and you are just lazy!      

Having OCD is not a positive character trait.  So, don’t seek it out.  Don’t aim for it.  Instead, just be productive, keep your area clean, and make it common to keep you and your surroundings in order. That way the next time you move your papers from one side of the desk to the other to make it look like you’re busy it will make sense that your OCD never existed and you are just lazy!       Ooops sorry, my OCD was kicking in.

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