OCD Myths You Need to Stop Believing

Despite its prevalence, OCD is one of the most misunderstood health conditions. Many people have misconceptions about it because of stereotypical portrayals in the media. That’s why I am debunking some of the most common myths about OCD — and providing you with the facts

  1. Everyone is a little OCD

    – OCD is not something everyone has. It’s a mental health condition, not an adjective.
    – while occasional obsessions and rituals can occur without OCD, those of us with OCD experience all-consuming preoccupations with our intrusive thoughts, and perform compulsions in an attempt to decrease anxiety.
  2. OCD = Perfectionism

    – While OCD can occasionally show up as excessive perfectionism (either as an obsession or as a compulsion), that’s not the case for everyone with OCD.
    – “OCD” also isn’t a synonym for perfectionism.
    – If you want to say that you’re really particular about certain things, describing it as “OCD” when you don’t actually have it only strengthens existing misconceptions and stigma.
  3. Someone with OCD can’t live a normal life

    – Despite OCD being one of the most debilitating mental health disorders, its completely possible for someone with OCDD to reach their goals and to live a great life.
    – Having OCD doesn’t mean that you have to give up on your dreams.
    – OCD is manageable and treatable, and the gold standard treatment for OCD is exposure and response prevention therapy that helps you break the obsession-compulsion cycle.
  4. You can always tell if someone has OCD

    – OCD isn’t just what you se in the media.
    – Yes, some compulsions are visible (e.g. rituals such as tapping, cleaning, washing your hands).
    – However, OCD compulsions can also be mental, and not visible on the outside (e.g. thought-stopping, rumination, mentally reviewing past events).
    – Compulsions can also be subtle enough that people don’t immediately think of them as OCD (e.g. confessing and seeking reassurance).
  5. People with OCD are always neat

    – This is a really common OCD myth – and it can make it hard for someone to seek a diagnosis if they don’t fit the stereotype of people with OCD being incredibly neat, clean, and organised.
    – Yes, sometimes OCD shows up as excessive cleanliness, but the opposite can also be true.
    – Someone with OCD might be struggling sos heavily that they are unable to clean and keep their living space neat.
    – Cleaning can also be an OCD trigger to some which, consequently, gets avoided as a compulsion.
  6. Children can’t have OCD

    – OCD symptoms can begin at any age, and its common for symptoms to begin in childhood, although it’s not uncommon to develop OCD later on in life, either.
    – The average age of onset I about 10 years old, and around 1 in 200 kids have OCD.

What other myths would you add?


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