Ava Marie LaMonica
4 Things Society Does Not Tell You About OCD
Photo by Tayla Jeffs on Unsplash
Millions of people in this world have been diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, but with the number of people who casually remark “Oh, I have OCD” to agree with a person who actually does have OCD, you’d think the entire population has it.
Many people who claim that they have OCD do not fit the actual diagnosis of the disorder.
I was diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder at the age of seven. OCD is usually rare in children and usually manifests in adolescence.
However, my symptoms were clear and evident that I was a victim of OCD and in this post, I will tell you what society does NOT tell you about this monster of an anxiety disorder.
1) OCD Affects Your Concentration
I can still remember the time when I was dawning on my obsessive thoughts during a vocal rehearsal for my spring high school musical when my dreadfully cruel band teacher (who merely everyone despised) called me out in front of everyone for zoning out and coming in a millisecond late on the song we were working on.
I wasn’t zoning out.
I was caught in the midst of an obsessive ritual, where I had to reread the lyrics on the paper in front of me.
Now I am confident enough to have spoken up to that ruthless teacher, unfortunately back then I was not.
OCD will make you think you are misdiagnosed with ADD due to the number of times you lose concentration from your obsessive thoughts or rituals.
Often, a ritual or obsessive thought will be so consistent that it becomes nearly impossible to be present and focus on the task at hand.
2) OCD Is Illogical
I still remember a vivid conversation with my therapist when I was just a little girl.
She asked me to describe the current ritual that was bothering me.
My response said it all:
“It’s too hard to explain.”
Sometimes OCD is too intricate, too confusing, or just too plain weird to put into words.
And if you do attempt to explain it, you fear to come across as delusional when it’s only your obsessive-compulsive mind.
3) OCD Is Not Always Physical
This may sound like a broken record for people who are thoroughly educated in mental health, but it is definitely something that the general population ignores.
OCD is not necessarily the typical handwashing or double-checking that is so often ingrained in our brains from society and the media.
Often, OCD manifests as a series of intrusive, repetitive thoughts which, as an OCD sufferer knows, can be debilitating.
And the scariest one of all…
4) OCD Masquerades as Normalcy
But how does this make sense?
How, does such an intense anxiety disorder feel…normal?
It is not normal, by any means, but OCD is such a devious little monster that it will often leave you under the false impression that what you’re doing is normal because it has become such an accustomed part of your routine.
OCD can have so much control over you that you start to become unconscious that what you’re doing is in fact, OCD.
For instance, I will sometimes be caught up in a ritual, but numb to the typical, overwhelming response I normally would have in reaction to it.
Eventually, the feeling returns.
It’s not that the OCD has become manageable by any means, but it is just being suppressed by the subconscious mind.
Those suppressed emotions will bottle up, eventually causing you to break down and realize that everything you were thinking or doing, which at the time you considered normal, was just the cause of your OCD.
The good news is, when you recognize what is, in fact, OCD, you can use your tools to stop it in its tracks before it gets to that point.
Of course, this is a work in progress, but it can be managed through consistent practice and therapy.