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Oh you can't have OCD your house isn't tidy enough

(47 Posts)
Normalisavariantofcrazy Tue 15-Apr-14 10:03:07

AIBU to have lost my temper with my mum when she came out with this gem?

I have OCD and have had for many years now, diagnosed by a psychiatrist, due to my obsessive thought patterns and daft rituals I build into my day (such as checking several times what time I'm meant to be somewhere or checking my handbag loads of times for my keys, replaying things I said wrong, even small things no one else would notice, hundreds of times in my head). It's only really a problem these days when my anxiety gets out of control and, as I'm managing both fairly well, it's reasonably in check.

Which is why i was able to challenge my mum when she came out with this having read something in a magazine or on facetwitter or some place othewise id have left her to it and stewed on it for months.

So AIBU to have challenged her and want to continue to challenge the perception of OCD?

elahrairahforprimeminister Tue 15-Apr-14 10:18:41

I have OCD too.

I've been told that I can't have OCD and pets because I know that pets bring in germs.



Longtalljosie Tue 15-Apr-14 10:26:32

People don't know what the hell they're talking about. I do wish my OCD manifested itself in a sparkly home though, rather than not being able to leave the house / go to bed without checking the gas is off 5-10 times, and other similar nonsense...

mrsbucketxx Tue 15-Apr-14 10:27:49

If anything it can be the opposite as the rituals take over and the rest goes to pot,

Stupid stupid thing to say.

MakeMineAMartina Tue 15-Apr-14 10:41:03

I too have OCD and it manifests in different ways and forms.

Amytheflag Tue 15-Apr-14 11:07:13

Yanbu. I blame programmes like Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners and the army of idiots in life who carry on the stereotype of "oooh I'm so OCD" just because they clean their house. Prats.

Longtalljosie Tue 15-Apr-14 11:09:03

Better to challenge her on it than stew though! Did you inherit it from her (do you know who else in your family has it?) My mum has it but swears blind her own checking etc is just common sense, and she's nothing like me hmm

rinabean Tue 15-Apr-14 11:15:24

YANBU. I hate cleaning because of how I have to do it 'right'. I don't care so much about 'clean' (a real and measurable thing) as 'contaminated', anyway, I thought that was typical for OCD.

It's pretty upsetting that they think being house proud is comparable to a debilitating mental illness. Checking is hell and intrusive thoughts are the worst. But no, no, it's just that we're a bit bleach-happy, obviously. hmm

TheSultanofPing Tue 15-Apr-14 11:23:05

I'm sure some people think OCD stands for Obsessive Cleaning Disorder.
They don't seem to realise that it can manifest itself in so many ways.

Blithereens Tue 15-Apr-14 11:25:27

People have it in their heads that OCD is something you 'are' and is always to do with cleaning or tidiness.

It's not. It's something you HAVE, and of course manifests in countless ways for different people. I knew someone whose OCD manifested in such a way that her house looked very messy. It wasn't, actually, her things were arranged in away that would protect her from being sick. I have mild OCD and for me it does manifest in cleaning, but I also have intrusive thoughts.

I'm glad that yours is manageable most of the time, OP, and I'm glad you challenged your mum!

Chocoholism Tue 15-Apr-14 11:31:52

So annoying! My DP has OCD and none of my friends really get it. Always trivialised and it does need to be challenged.

MrsDeVere Tue 15-Apr-14 11:37:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BearsInMotion Tue 15-Apr-14 11:41:15

Our house is a mess because DP has OCD and won't throw anything out! It has to be one of the most misunderstood conditions out there!

waves at Chocoholism

mykidsarebonkers Tue 15-Apr-14 12:06:24

This is so interesting to read. I have thought for years ive had a form of ocd. My house is tidyish but not sparkling clean. very hard to keep spotless with very young and messy 2dds.
Since I can remember I used to flip light switches certain amount of times before I could feel at ease. Since ive got older this has went away. I can remember having intrusive thoughts when younger and having to act them out or I felt ill. Such as throwing my mobile phone over a sink off water and catching it quickly before it went in the water (I was 13) but if I didnt do it I felt ill. I still have my hair pulling out condition to this day. I have small bald patch in my hair which isnt noticable.

I have to check things over again before I can sleep such as sockets, windows and doors. I check the kids in bed compulsively too.
I also still have thoughts like "if the next car to pass the window is red then such and such will happen"

I have lots of other little quirks but this is the first ive actually said anyone about these.

Maybe my anxiety has caused these, I dont really know

afterthought Tue 15-Apr-14 12:10:48

I also have OCD and can live with mess and things not lining up. My obsessions come from turning the oven off, hair straighteners etc. it started when I was in primary school and they had to phone my mum to check I'd turned something off as I was in such a state. I now tAke quick photos of things on my phone like straighteners unplugged if I go out so I can reassure myself if necessary.

My ex colleague claimed to have OCD as she just HAD to have the blinds in her classroom pulled so they were all the same length and the chairs had to be exactly behind each desk. I believe she was an attention seeker, her anxieties didn't stretch to her home - it was filthy and untidy!

comicsansisevil Tue 15-Apr-14 12:11:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Amytheflag Tue 15-Apr-14 12:47:05

I find the hardest thing to convey to people is how illogical it is. At my worst, my house was filthy. But I'd still insist everyone took shoes off so they didn't bring germs in. My house must have been full of germs at that point! I'd swap my clothes after taking the dustbin out but would quite happily sit on the floor outside. Everytime you go something that doesn't match up with the general stereotype, people use it to doubt you. Very frustrating!

Davsmum Tue 15-Apr-14 12:51:18

There are many many different ways OCD can affect someone.
When I have periods of anxiety - I continually check things and I do this to a lesser degree when I am feeling OK.
I have never been affected by the cleanliness/tidiness obsessions.

I wouldn't bother 'challenging' your Mum - I would ignore it. Its not really worth getting annoyed about - Its just ignorance.
Perhaps you could find a good book about OCD and give it to your Mum

Bogeyface Tue 15-Apr-14 13:10:22

I have OCD tendencies, I wouldnt say I have the full works but definitely do have issues in times of stress. I wouldnt mind so much if it manifested as something useful like a spotless house, but sadly it comes out as physical ticks and obsessions over losing/forgetting things.

salsmum Tue 15-Apr-14 13:35:15

Apparently the comedian Lee Evans has a OCD habit where he has to go home several times after leaving the house to check things...I think that generally OCD is trivialised but when you live with someone with this condition it is anything BUT trivial. My DP has it and it even takes manifests itself in the way that I hang the washing many pegs to use he does it but my house is far from sparkling because his OCD is not particularly about cleaning it's more duties in a certain way that he carries out. We have 2 dogs but he has to feed them because I do not chop their food long enough nor the right way confused it's very stressful for the sufferer and when they showed the programme about OCD cleaners...the ironic thing is that to a certain degree the hoarders featured probably had a hoarders form of OCD too!

Amytheflag Tue 15-Apr-14 13:45:11

Exactly sal! I was infuriated by one episode I watched where the clean guy mocked the messy woman when she said she had a theory that his OCD and her hoarding were two of a kind. I wanted to throttle him and say SHES RIGHT! When mine was at it's worst, I hoarded. It's a form of control to reduce anxiety just like the guys cleaning compulsions. That programme is so bad really.

farnywarny1192 Tue 15-Apr-14 14:07:21

I do the handbag thing - I spend my life looking for/in my bag....I don't even know what I am looking for half the time!

Filimou Tue 15-Apr-14 14:12:04

YANBU OP, I have mild OCD, I never really noticed to be honest until I suffered PND and anxiety after DS was born, but it fluctuates.
Mine is in the form that I have to check the gas hob buttons are off, all the way off every time I am in the kitchen. Even when I havent used the bloody hob. Seriously if I havent done it before I go to bed I have to get out of bed and go downstairs and check or I cant sleep.
I also have to check the fridge door is shut. Every time I am in the kitchen.

So, when my colleague comes out with "Oh I'm so OCD me, I dont like clutter on my desk", it drives me mad!

olaflikeswarmhugs Tue 15-Apr-14 14:29:07

This winds me up my sister likes things clean and tidy and is always like "I'm so OCD" or when she's cleaning "oh my OCD is out today"
You don't have OCD you are just clean !! angry

Davsmum Tue 15-Apr-14 14:45:19

olaflikeswarmhugs Yes,..people do use the term wrong in many cases.
Having a very clean house is not an indication of OCD at all.
Its how you feel about it and how anxious you get about it getting messed up that indicates a problem.
My sister has an immaculate house but she is totally chilled out if they have visitors- especially children and it gets 'trashed'

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