People who are not educated in psychology-and supposedly they make up the majority-believe that psychological disorders manifest themselves in anti-social behaviors, autistic behaviors, strange passions, or in similar ways. But what if many of the people around, who are considered normal, even friends and family members actually suffer from psychological disorders. What if a person is obsessed and locked-up in the prison of their own mind. “I am talking about” OCD: obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The term “OCD” is routinely used in casual conversation to label someone who may be extremely detailed with specific tasks or their daily routines. Everybody has strange mannerisms such as avoiding sponges, organizing closets by color, organizing the symmetry of works desks, or refusing to touch the restroom door in public, but these habits should not be confused with obsessive-compulsive disorder. OCD is often misunderstood as a disorder that simply means being overly detailed or having OCPD (obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder)/being a perfectionist, which are not the same things as OCD.
OCD can be debilitating for individuals who, for example, have difficulty turning in assignments on time, “pull all-nighters” perfecting essays, reading and re-reading the same paragraph, the same sentence until he or she feels it sounds right and looks right and will continue do to so without understanding why. OCD is often characterized by obsessive, unwanted, and repeated thoughts, feelings, images, and sensations which can lead to engaging in mental acts or behaviors in response to the thoughts or obsessions. (Cite nimh) Though OCD is more than just excessive cleaning. Obsessive thoughts are intrusive and distressing to individuals by drastically interfering with their daily activates. For example, OCD may cause thoughts that are centered on orderliness, cleanliness, symmetry, safety, and doubt one’s own thoughts, perceptions, and SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder/Phobia) (psychology today) OCD and SAD are one-in-the-same as both are anxiety disorder that can render someone disabled. Some individuals are so distressed about engaging in social situations that it interferes with their daily life. (beyond OCD.
org). For example, a certain individual may find it very difficult to work in a class setting and even though they choose to sit in the back of the room they are still anxious, making it hard for them to work in a group or get anything done while present. This is not the individual’s fault, which most fail to understand, sometimes it is more than just being shy and the scrutinizing of other students and teachers only make it worse. Though it may appear as if the individual is purposely slacking off in class and not turning in assignments there is more to it. (beyond OCD.org) Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) or being a perfectionist should not be compared to OCD as they are completely different diagnoses. OCPD may be described a perfectionist, or as someone who pays excessive attention to detail resulting in a poor work-life balance, rigidity, stubbornness and a preoccupation with lists and tasks that cause the individual to lose sight of the big picture. The main difference between OCD and OCPD is that an individual may not think they have a problem, while individuals with OCD are aware that their thoughts and actions are abnormal or irrational.