Common Myths About OCD
OCD is a severe mental illness, yet people assume one way or another that so and so is OCD about some things, whether it is cleaning one’s surroundings spotless and color-coding one’s pens, etc. There are many misconceptions about OCD that make it synonyms to cleanliness; thanks to characters like Sheldon from the big bang theory, these representations make us believe that being a clean freak equals having OCD, which cannot be further from the truth. These myths demoralize and undermine the lives of the people struggling with this condition. Bursting 5 common myths about OCD we are talking about.
Let’s bust some of the common myths about OCD
Myth: Being a clean freak equals having OCD
Equating cleanliness to having OCD is one of the main things people stereotype. Not all people with OCD are clean freaks. In reality, obsessing about cleanliness is not even considered a symptom of OCD, according to DMS-5. The crippling fear of contamination and intrusive thoughts about a disease which; result in excessive hand washing or keeping the surroundings clean. Not everyone with OCD is obsessed with cleanliness.
Myth: OCD makes people perfectionists
Most people with OCD might indeed keep their belongings in a certain specific way, but it is not because they like to but rather that they have to. They fear something harmful might happen if they do not; their mind enforces this behavior. Someone with OCD might be a hoarder as they have a hard time letting go of even useless materialistic things, fearing they might lose something important.
Myth: People with OCD are bossy
People with OCD have a hard time controlling their thoughts so, they try to manage their surroundings. Compulsions are a manifestation of their obsessive recurring thoughts. These behavioral responses are in no way meant to control others but themselves. A person with OCD can either be easygoing or be very strict. They can have varying personalities.
Myth: Irrationality is a symptom of OCD
People suffering from OCD know compulsions are illogical. It’s important to understand that they struggle to stop the obstructive and uncontrollable obsessive thoughts; compulsions are just short-term ways to alleviate anxiety. They already know their actions have no logical biases but rather a way to deal with obsessions, may it be, repeating a phrase or counting in their head.
Myth: OCD is untreatable
OCD is treatable. It can be treated by seeking professional help from a mental health professional. Like any mental illness, one cannot possibly will the symptoms away. A person cannot simply put a stop to one’s thoughts. Hence, getting professional help and diagnosis is necessary. There are many treatments and therapies available through which one can manage compulsive thoughts and obsessive behavior. These include but are not limited to group therapy, relaxation techniques, psychotherapy, and medication, etc.
The Bottom Line
There is a lot of stigma surrounding OCD. It is bound to happen when every other person undermines it. People suffering from OCD are neglected or are ashamed of their condition. Stereotypes make it harder for people to recognize their symptoms and get help accordingly. OCD is not a personality trait but a complex disorder. Thus, a mental health professional is crucial for diagnosis and making a unique guide for treatment.
Are you looking for professional help?
We are licensed professional counselors who work with patients dealing with OCD and other anxiety disorders. We use evidence-based behavioral treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy to help ease your OCD symptoms. For more information, please feel free to reach out. Let us help you cope with OCD!