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  • Writer's pictureAva Marie LaMonica

3 Phrases Not To Say to a Person With OCD

If you know someone who struggles with anxiety related to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, avoid these phrases at all costs.

1) "I'm So OCD."

Those who have OCD know this feeling all too well: Telling someone you have OCD and them responding "Oh - I have OCD too."

You believe them for a moment until they proceed to go on a tangent about how they always like things in order and keep their room tidy.

These are personal habits or preferences, NOT OCD.

OCD manifests itself in a series of monstrous ways. This could be physical compulsions like touching an object x amount of times, mental compulsions such as obsessive analyzing and what-if thoughts, or intrusive thoughts like harming yourself or others, even though you have no intention to act on these thoughts.

Most compulsions result in the same fearful outcome of something bad happening or extreme discomfort and the need to get rid of that anxious thought.

When people spew phrases like "I'm so OCD" it devalues the person who actually has OCD and struggles with this monstrosity of a disorder daily.


2) "This Gives Me OCD."

How often does a person see a messy desk or a crooked photograph and say "Oh my God, this gives me OCD."

OCD is not a cute little casual quirk you can randomly assign yourself.

It may be unsatisfying but it is not OCD.

Trust me, those of us with OCD wish that an occasional crooked photograph was the only thing that ignited our anxiety.


3) "Everybody Has Some Form of OCD."

This phrase irks me to the very core.

OCD is a clinically diagnosed mental disorder.

While people may occasionally feel unsatisfied or anxious over certain things related to orderliness or tidiness, this does not mean that everybody has a touch of OCD.

This minimizes the severity of the disorder and disregards the hardships people with actual OCD face on a day to day basis.


So those were 3 examples of phrases a person with OCD hates hearing.

In short, don't pretend to relate in order to make the other person feel better, admit that you cannot and will not ever understand, but that you will listen and support in any way you can.


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