Another day, another chance to correct mental health misconceptions.
If you’re a regular reader or follower of Very Berry Cosmo, I’m sure you probably know what OCD stands for. If you aren’t sure what it stands for – that’s okay! A simple Google search is all it takes. The first three results clearly come back with something called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Okay, brilliant. Google isn’t misinforming the nation. So why am I STILL seeing ridiculous versions of OCD. It’s like people seem to think that they can chuck any word beginning with C and call it an obsessive disorder. Literally, ANY WORD.
For all them cat ladies – Obsessive Cats Disorder
For all them make-up hoarders – Obsessive Cosmetics Disorder
For people who can’t stop eating cheese – Obsessive Cheese Disorder
For those who just can’t stop pedaling – Obsessive Cycling Disorder
& the one that inspired me to write today’s post…..
Obsessive Christmas Disorder
I love cats, cosmetics, cheese,
cycling and Christmas just as much as the next person does. But why does a serious illness need to be included in this? People are like oh it’s just banter. Well, sorry to be blunt, but it wouldn’t be banter if cancer was involved. It’s just not funny.
I’ve been seeing a certain Telegraph article sweeping around social media, and thankfully a lot of people are calling it out. With the headline ‘I have Obsessive Christmas Disorder – and it’s the greatest gift of all’ – I haven’t read all of the article because I refuse to register, to read that tripe, but the title says it all really.
So you LIKE Christmas? So you’re really ORGANISED this Christmas? So you’re PARTICULAR about your tree decorations? Those qualities are not a serious illness. Don’t mock it.
I find I have to explain to a lot of people that just because you REALLY REALLY REALLY like something, it doesn’t mean you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. You simply just really like something, and most likely have an addictive personality. Flippin eck’ I wish my serious,
debilitating illness caused me that much JOY!
“I am so OCD about this”
The term ‘I am so OCD about this’ gets used a little bit too loosely, likewise with ‘I am so depressed’ and I’ve been seeing it used a lot this festive period. I completely understand why people say it. If I remember correctly, I very much used to say it myself. I accept that people need to be educated about it, but I will not tolerate ignorance.
I am not going to tell people off for saying it, nor am I going to tell anyone what to say. But I am just going to give you a little bit of information to think about, and I do hope you will consider not using the term in the wrong context in the future.
It doesn’t offend me when people say it, but I do always sit there like realllyyyyy, are you actually so OCD though? I find it more uncomfortable than anything, particularly when I am in a group of people and someone says it. More often than not, SOMEONE within the group knows my feelings about using OCD like an adjective, and I can FEEL them looking at me, to see my reaction.
‘I’m a bit OCD about my Christmas tree, I can’t let my husband put the tree up, I have to do it, because he doesn’t do it right. I can’t have two of the same bauble next to each other, because it looks silly’ = NOT OCD
‘OMG I love Christmas SO SO SO SO MUCH. I’m so ahead of schedule this year! I wrote all my Christmas cards well over a month ago, and I had all my presents ready earlier this year, in August. I LIVE for Christmas and prepare for it all year! It is the happiest time of year, and I am a little bit OCD about getting it all perfect’ = NOT OCD
‘I HATE putting up the Christmas tree. It makes me feel extremely anxious. My OCD ruins this time of year for me. Shall I put the star on top of the tree this year, or the angel? If you put the star on the tree your parents will become seriously ill in 2017, they could die. It would be all your fault. Best go for the angel then… except I can’t find it… WHERE IS IT. WHERE IS IT. My parents are going to die. They are going to die. It will be all my fault. Okay… breathe, breathe, breathe, it’s okay, I will just go without.
OH no wait, didn’t Aunt Betty once say that it is really unlucky to not have anything on the top of your Christmas tree? Oh drat, I can’t remember. Must check. Must check. What do I do?’ = THIS IS OCD
‘Okay. You are not going to let your nasty OCD take over your mind today. You are going to have a wonderful time, with all of your family. You haven’t seen some of them in ages! You just have to get through preparing and cooking the dinner. YOU HAVE GOT THIS. Did you just put bleach in the cranberry sauce? Are you trying to poison people? Must make it again to be sure. Pay REAL attention this time’ = THIS IS OCD
Can you see the difference? The misconception that people think that we ENJOY our compulsions. If you enjoy acting out your particular rituals – you do not have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It is pure terror.
You don’t know whether you can trust your own mind. It isn’t about a bauble not looking ‘right’.
Apologies if this seemed like a really angry rant, but I am rather passionate about this subject! ‘I am so OCD about this’ gets used so much that when I finally brave and share my thoughts and tell people that I suffer with the condition, they are like ‘oh so you are really tidy then and like things in order’ NO. I could quite literally face palm myself when people say this to me.
I hope you learnt something new, and please share this post on social media, I would love to spread lots of OCD awareness – It is a truly horrible thing to suffer with, and I wouldn’t wish the condition on my worst enemy. At all.
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