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To be sick of people saying...

(55 Posts)
Amytheflag Wed 09-Jan-13 18:26:46

..."I'm so OCD".

Its such a massively debilitating illness and I'm getting sick of hearing people use it in this context. Like when they say "I tidied my house today. I'm so OCD" giggle.
Or "I like having my books alphabetically. I'm so OCD". "I wash my hair every day. I'm so OCD".

No, you're just tidy and/or clean!

I know I'm sensitive to it considering this illness ruined my life for a long time but I'm so fed up of people trivialising OCD and what it is. It just makes it harder for people who suffer from it to get help or get taken seriously.

Every time someone says it I feel like telling them to go and live a day in my life when my OCD was at its peak and then see if they think they are "so OCD".

Every person who says it is contributing to the misinterpretation of what OCD is which really does not help people who suffer from it. I've even had a health visitor who was told I had OCD tell me "oh I have that sometimes, its where you wash your hands all the time isn't it! Why don't you just use anti bac spray like I do?" Gee, thanks health visitor! I'm cured!

I'm trying to think of any other illnesses people do this about and the only ones I can think of that I've heard are more mental health illnesses. Or do people do it about physical illnesses too?

Am I being unreasonable to be sick of this?!

Catchingmockingbirds Wed 09-Jan-13 18:30:14

I've not heard a lot of people say that but yanbu, I think it shows ignorance of how serious conditions like this can be. I also hate when people say their dc had a meltdown when they had a little tantrum. If they experienced a child with ASD in the midst of a meltdown I doubt they'd use it so off hand again.

Naysa Wed 09-Jan-13 18:31:50

I agree. Never experienced it personally, but did watch a documentary on it and it ruined peoples lives so I can understand your frustration with it being trivialised. Same with claustrophobia(spelling?) and other conditions like that. You may not enjoy small spaces but this does not mean you have a phobia of them angry

theodorakisses Wed 09-Jan-13 18:35:55

My first reaction after the first line was "another offended thread" but it's not. My grandfather had it long before it was recognised and was in and out of secure hospitals all of his adult life. I am really sorry that it has affected you and I will say something next time anyone says it. You are totally within your rights to feel irritated by a casual undermining of something that has a meaning for you. All the best.

Eralc Wed 09-Jan-13 18:36:22

I agree with you. There seems to be a growing trend for people to say "I'm a bit OCD about that" when it's to do with being tidy or clean or whatever. I almost feel like it's become "trendy" to say that you have it. I suffer from OCD and there's nothing "a bit" about it. Mind, it also irritates that people automatically assume that OCD is about hand washing and cleaning - mine doesn't manifest in that way at all (mine is more to do with checking, reassurance and intrusive thoughts). It's hard though, because some traits of OCD are fairly common - its just the degree to which is dominates your life when you are suffering that isn't.

PersonalClown Wed 09-Jan-13 18:36:35

I have my weird little things that I like but I don't have the obsessive compulsion to do them or the morbid thoughts that can accompany it.
Pisses me off just as much as those that claim depression when they are a bit down.

Depression/OCD/Mental illness is all real and not something to be assumed lightly.

cogitosum Wed 09-Jan-13 18:38:15

Yanbu. I have a really close friend with OCD and know how awful it can be for sufferers

theodorakisses Wed 09-Jan-13 18:39:14

I know people who say they have IBS because they basically eat shit and drink too much. I reply that unless you have shat yourself up to your neck on a public bus in the Middle East in 50c heat and no air conditioning neck then, no, you probably just need to cut out the bottle of wine and takeaway you eat every day.

VonHerrBurton Wed 09-Jan-13 18:42:49

YANBU, however I imagine these people say it in the same way as someone else would say things like 'your brother will have a fit when he sees you've broken that' - for example. I'm sure it's not meant to offend epileptic people - it's just a stupid expression some people use.

I'm sure it's not meant to upset you. However if people say those sort of things knowing your history of suffering what is a debilitating, stressful illness - then they are just rude and ignorant.

HoratiaWinwood Wed 09-Jan-13 18:56:51

It's the same as "I'm soooo depressed - they've discontinued Christmas Starbucks until November FML". Thoughtless and ignorant but not generally malicious.

There was a good programme recently about OCD where a psychiatrist gently explained that it's only OC D if it has a significant detriment to your life. The odd thing is "obsessive compulsive behaviour" which many people do display to some degree.

Glad you're doing better at the moment, OP.

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Wed 09-Jan-13 19:27:27

YADNBU OP, I have suffered with OCD (Handwashing/ germ phobia) since childhood and it drives me round the twist when people make a joke out of it. Luckily, CBT and ADs have been of some limited help to me, in that I have been able to 'drop' a couple of rituals -- the biggest one being washing my hands after brushing my teeth. I had a major problem at Uni, when I did not have my family to help me to keep the rituals in control, by reassuring me I had completed them, to the point where in finals week, I got about 6 hrs sleep and couldn't eat, as I could not stop my rituals. Absolute Hell. It is a struggle and fight every day, sometimes I win, sometimes I lose.

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Wed 09-Jan-13 19:31:23

Erlac I get the intrusive thoughts if I don't do my rituals, I thought most people with OCD did, the intrusive thoughts drive the compulsions. With me too, I can hear my heart thudding in my ears when I am particularly anxious, to the point that I can't hear those around me.

MrsMorton Wed 09-Jan-13 19:33:03

I agree, I had dreadful OCD that still affects me to this day, I suffered lifelong injuries because of it and I relapse occasionally. If you haven't experienced it first hand you cannot understand how debilitating it is. Turning your hangers all the same way is. not. OCD.
Being unable to leave your house for work or being unable to stop yourself carrying out an action despite being in absolute agony is closer to the truth.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Wed 09-Jan-13 19:37:02

I say it, but I am/have OCD. I think I just try to make light of it because I'm secretly embarrassed.

TastesLikePanda Wed 09-Jan-13 19:37:40

I have been guilty of saying these things in the past - I can honestly say I had no intention of belittling anyones experiences and your post will certainly make me think twice about it in the future.

I cannot begin to imagine how hard it must be to live with something like OCD.

marjproops Wed 09-Jan-13 19:38:56

Other trendy words that trivialise the seriousness of things:

I'm so depressed.
I'm so stressed.

Seems every (especially) celebrity has bipolar. Not saying theyre lying, but seems too common now them saying that. and people can go THROUGH bouts of depression, but.....some people LIVE with it, a lifelong thing.

Stress? yes theres stress, but now GPs just look at you like you're over the top and tell you to just 'chillax'.

was going to add a couple of other words/phrases but it will just set everything off!!!!

Bubblegum78 Wed 09-Jan-13 19:39:26

I totally agree, I don't have OCD but I suffered with really bad panic attacks, up to 20 a day and I get cross when people say "oh my god, I'm going to have a panic attack" just because they are stressed.

Or.. "breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth" yea, cause I hadn't thought of that. DOH!

marjproops Wed 09-Jan-13 19:41:35

Sometimes it's just ignorance, or the norm to say things, like I'm starving'., I'm very hungry, yes, but not STARVING.

OP, I'm with you.

VBisme Wed 09-Jan-13 19:47:03

Yes, YANBU, also "I've got a migraine", when they mean they've got a bad headache - it's not the same!

Adversecamber Wed 09-Jan-13 19:53:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dolallytats Wed 09-Jan-13 20:01:49

I was just going to post that Bubble. I have been agoraphobic for 2 years due to panic attacks and it really annoys me when people say that. If they were having a panic attack, they'd soon know about it-horrible things that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

Also agree with the IBS know you have it when you're sat in agony on the loo for hours, shaking, feeling like you're going to pass out, roasting hot and dizzy with your hands turning numb (all because you've dared eat a boiled egg!!). Having a dodgy beely cos you've eaten too much crap is not the same thing!!

landofsoapandglory Wed 09-Jan-13 20:02:39

I agree with you. DS1 had OCD when we were going through a really stressful time as a family. He washed his hands over and over and over again. DH, he and I were frequently in tears over it. We were so lucky that our GP saw us and got us an urgent referal to CAMHS. He is much, much better now, but there are times where he relapses slightly. It certainly isn't something to be taken lightly.

Another one that gets my goat is the amount of people who say they have SPD and then say they have walked a mile, rode a bike or done a fitness routine! They may have pregnancy aches and pains, but they don't have SPD!

Redbat Wed 09-Jan-13 20:12:31

YANBU - so few people understand an illness unless they have personal experience of it.

One of my DC has a serious condition and I often find myself having to bite my lip (whilst inwardly seething) when confronted with other people's lack of understanding.

Not just mental illness either (for which YANBU, I have depression and anxiety and Yes, I agree with you)

But also physical things. I have psoriasis that covers about 75% of my body. "Oh yeah, I get a patch of dry skin on my elbow". It has also developed into psoriatic arthritis "yeah, my knee hurts too". People want to compare with everything you could possibly have wrong with you!

Amytheflag Wed 09-Jan-13 20:29:04

Thank you for your replies everybody! I'm glad to know that I'm not being unreasonable in being bothered by this and that I'm not alone in being bothered by it. I do wish that there was more mental health awareness and then maybe people would say stuff like this less and there'd be more understanding in general of how much these illnesses can affect us. I remember one of the times channel 4 had a programme on about OCD, acquaintances on Facebook (defriended as a result though) were all making statuses about how pathetic the girl on the programme was with her rituals etc and why couldn't the "mad cow get a grip". It shocked me how ignorant they were about it despite being sat there watching a dumbed down explanation of OCD. I sometimes wonder too if channel 4's awareness weeks actually increase the number of people wandering around going "I'm so OCD!" But I'm rambling now lol.

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