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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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?