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to think that claiming you have 'a bit of OCD' is not on?

(165 Posts)
kickingking Fri 05-Aug-11 21:26:32

I have noticed that quite a lot of people have begun to say they think they have 'a bit of OCD' because they are very tidy or particular about something.

Like, "I have to have all my towels hung up just so in the bathroom, I'm sure I must be a bit OCD."
or "All my kids' plastic toy boxes have to be the same colour or it would send me mad - I must have OCD."
or "I'm a bit OCD about folding my jumpers up properly before I put them in my drawers."

I have become convinced that this is a form of women stealth-boasting about how clean and tidy they keep their house.

I have no experience personally of OCD, but I imagine if you really had OCD, it could make your life a bit of a misery.

AIBU to think that claiming you have 'a little bit of OCD' undermines the difficulties faced by those who really do have the condtion, and is just pathetic way to show off about your housekeeping skills?

LemonDifficult Fri 05-Aug-11 21:28:57

OP really couldn't agree more. Competitiveness dressed up as an ailment. Very irritating.

RevoltingPeasant Fri 05-Aug-11 21:30:41

Hmm I know what you mean, but I would use this phrase casually, but rather mean something that really does bother me. Like, I am super-anxious about whether I've locked doors behind me or not and often have to go back once or twice to double-check. That's not boasting, it's a real anxiety, though I probably don't have clinically diagnosable OCD.

On housekeeping stuff, it makes me itchy and restless when certain tasks aren't done a certain way. I might use the phrase then. <shrug>

If I knew a person with real OCD whom it really offended I might feel differently. Do you have it OP?

AgentZigzag Fri 05-Aug-11 21:31:55

I've got rampent OCD, but I personally think it's the amplification of peoples normal strategies for coping with shit and daily routines.

I started a thread about it once and was told I was wrong <<not bitter>>

I like order but I'm not totally obsessed with it (mines more numerical/rhythmic), sometimes it feels like I've been dealth a bum card on that one when it comes to cleaning up grin

wasabipeanut Fri 05-Aug-11 21:31:56

YANBU. I dislike the way I have heard people say they are a bit OCD because they like a tidy handbag etc.

To me, OCD is washing your hands 200 times a day or something - not liking stuff to be well organised.

I think the clue is in the name - Obsessive Compulsive. You can't be a bit obsessive compulsive.

RevoltingPeasant Fri 05-Aug-11 21:35:16

wasabi do you not think you can have mild tendencies that way but manage them?

For example, my dad has this Packing List that he uses whenever he goes anywhere, with the number of pairs of socks he has to pack listed on it, the number of canisters of dental floss he must take, and he has to put them all in the suitcase in that order. It's probably not clinical OCD but it's weird and he'd be very anxious if you made him vary it.

kickingking Fri 05-Aug-11 21:35:58

Reveloting Peasant as I said in my OP, I have no experience of OCD personally. I live in a pigsty! grin

I do have a bit of an issue with worrying about turning my hair straighteners off and have been known to leave the house, then return to check. But I wouldn't describe that as OCD.

amIbeingdaft Fri 05-Aug-11 21:36:30

You can have a a 'bit' of OCD, just like you can be a 'bit' autistic. It means having some of the symptoms but not to an extent where it really limit's your life. I know some people who have had a 'bit' of depression...nowhere near the terrible suffering of some, but still a very difficult thing for them to deal with. Personality disorders/mental illnesses usually have a spectrum or scale, so they differ from person to person.

Ingles2 Fri 05-Aug-11 21:36:52

I know what you mean, but I say this about ds1. He gets anxious about germs / cleanliness, particularly touching animal faeces, on a football say...

but I say a bit, because it's not adversely affecting his standard of living (yet)
which I was told by the gp is when OCD becomes a problem.

amIbeingdaft Fri 05-Aug-11 21:37:47

Oops...please excuse my apostrophe in 'limits'...I'm a bit pedantic about things like that! wink

Laquitar Fri 05-Aug-11 21:42:16

I have it and i agree that it makes life hard. In my case is not about a tidy handbag but obsession about dirt/germs. Imagine that with 3 dcs sad. Actually my handbag is messy. But it always has bottles of hand gel.

I've noticed that OP. I don't know...i guess there are several types and several degrees of it. People are very surprised about me because in other things i'm laid back and very easy going.

wasabipeanut Fri 05-Aug-11 21:42:17

I understand that a lot of mental disorders are on a spectrum so yes, I accept that maybe you can have milder cases of OCD. It doesn't alter the fact that many people who really do not have OCD just use the term without thinking because they like their towels to match or whatever. I know some of them and I find it quite annoying.

kickingking Fri 05-Aug-11 21:42:25

amIbeingdaft I get what you are saying about there being a spectrum with things like this.

What I don't like is the way it is used as a boasting tool!

amIbeingdaft Fri 05-Aug-11 21:46:03

No, kickingking I agree with you on that! Like when my mother in law says, 'You're so lucky, I'm not confident enough to go out without making sure I look immaculate'. Er...thanks hmm

kickingking Fri 05-Aug-11 21:47:12

Oooh, harsh!

flossymuldoon Fri 05-Aug-11 21:47:30

I'm with RevoltingPeasant. There are some things that i am super anxious about too. I can't bear of things aren't symmetrical, can't bear my hands feeling less than squeaky clean and a milion and one other silly things that other people wouldn't give a hoot about. Most of them have nothing to do with vanity or a clean house as i'm pretty relaxed with what i wear and my house is usually pretty untidy.

I aren't even close to being able to be diagnosed OCD but i have noticed that in times of stress that there are more things that i get really anxious about and can't leave undone. It's most likely my personaity type, but i wonder whether there are maybe certain personaity types that are more prone to developing OCD?

I'd be really interested to hear the views of people who know more about it.

NonnoMum Fri 05-Aug-11 21:51:24

Would much rather people say they are a bit OCD about something than a bit anal.

People are always mentioning that at work. And then I start thinking about their anus.

snippywoo2 Fri 05-Aug-11 21:52:08

I think if you have mild/moderate ocd then I personally find hearing other people say they think they are a bit that way inclined makes it easier to cope with.

kickingking Fri 05-Aug-11 21:53:01

grin Yes, I agree about anal. It's been a while since I heard that phrase!

notlettingthefearshow Fri 05-Aug-11 21:54:43

I suspect 'a bit OCD' is one of those expressions that people have recently become aware of and now use casually, without really thinking about the genuine illness it refers to. In America they seem to say 'anal' instead but I think British people probably enjoy toilet humour too much to use that one!

IMO it's not as bad as people throwing round the words 'schitzo' and even 'depressed', which is treated as a synonym for 'feeling low'.

However, I don't consider this to be intentional or disrespectful.

valiumredhead Fri 05-Aug-11 21:54:51

Well I know what you mean OP but isn't that like people saying they are a bit depressed when in fact they are just having a bad day/week?

I knew someone who didn't leave their house for 3 months as they could NOT stop cleaning - truly awful.

Zwitterion Fri 05-Aug-11 21:55:29

Agree OP. I have OCD and casual references to it really annoy me. Yes there is a spectrum of behaviour, but OCD is diagnosed by the amount of time you spend doing/ruminating and the effect it has on your life, not by your organisational qualities.

Laquitar Fri 05-Aug-11 21:56:00

I 've read that it is common in controlling people. I'm not controlling.
I've also read that it is common if you have been sexually abused. I haven't.

I'm confused too.

IAmTheCookieMonster Fri 05-Aug-11 21:57:15

I blame the pharmaceutical companies.

kickingking Fri 05-Aug-11 21:57:19

That's interesting snippywoo2 I hadn't thought of that.

I do agree that some people might have OCD tendancies, or are inclined towards OCD - the same as other personality disorders/mental health problems.

It was more that I felt people were saying that they were 'a bit a OCD' - for which, read: 'I am a brilliant housekeeper, better than all of you!'

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