'I'm a bit OCD'

(158 Posts)
Whosecoatisthatjacket Wed 18-Jan-17 20:39:34

As a precautionary measure I've altered my user name but would appreciate some advice in case I am being over sensitive.

A manager (not mine, but still my superior) has just sent out an email explaining something minor she has done by saying 'sorry but I have OCD.' She doesn't, she's just very organised and tidy.

I don't have OCD but did used to live next door to a chap with it. We saw so little of what he had to go through-only some rituals such as having to walk down his path repeatedly before leaving the house-but it still seemed crippling.

The manager did not mean to be disrespectful and the tone was clearly light hearted so am I being over sensitive to find it in poor taste? If I'm being reasonable, how do I raise it with her kindly without coming across as sanctimonious? Maybe I AM being sanctimonious??

MommaGee Thu 19-Jan-17 14:17:33

Do you even know her well enough to know she doesn't? Not everyone is as severe as your neighbour

malvinandhobbes Thu 19-Jan-17 14:22:18

I have been wanting to post about this for ages.

I despise it when people they have OCD when they are simply persnickety. I hear it at least once a day, people who claim to be OCD about their laundry, or how they keep track of socks, or if their children are untidy.
Real OCD is about compulsion, not about a preference for tidiness and order.

My 10-year-old son has some risk factors for OCD and I am hyper vigilant keeping an eye out for it so we can intervene early if he develops it. I am very sensitive to the overuse of the term OCD, but I may just be extra-sensitive.

AntiQuitty Thu 19-Jan-17 14:26:39

The quote in the title of this thread suggests the kind of thing said by those who aren't.

The quote in your OP, which is different, appears to be an explanation which you are dismissing.

JumpingJellybeanz Thu 19-Jan-17 14:27:06

How do you know she doesn't have it? Are you privy to her medical records.

Maudlinmaud Thu 19-Jan-17 14:27:21

I think I may have this actually, but not really in the "clean" way. On new years eves eve I read there was to be an extra second at midnight, well it sent me haywire. I could not relax and was on edge until the new year. There have been other examples, of course it could be plain old anxiety.

CanarySong Thu 19-Jan-17 14:28:57

But what she said in her email is different to what you've put in the thread title.

I'd be very careful about rising it with her if I were you. She may well have OCD.

NavyandWhite Thu 19-Jan-17 14:30:09

You can't know for sure she hasn't got OCD.

I have and only DH knows as I'm very good at concealing it.

PandaEyes25 Thu 19-Jan-17 14:35:19

This is one of my Pet Hates!
I'm totally with you on this! But unfortunately, "OCD" has now just become a figure of speech. She definitely doesn't mean anything by it, just probably doesn't realise how ignorant and disrespectful she sounds by using it.

If in person, I'd probably just say "You're so lucky you don't actually have OCD", then explain how your neighbour used to be. You shouldn't come across as over sensitive but it might make her think twice about using the term in the future.

pinkiepie1 Thu 19-Jan-17 14:35:19

I agree you can't know for sure.
My dh suffers from it, has done since we met 8years ago, but has got worse due to other factors, his own mother didn't know until I slipped up.
Some people are ashamed/embarrassed so make light of it. (I used to be one of them.)

CanarySong Thu 19-Jan-17 14:38:31

This is one of the issues with OCD. A couple of posters on here already saying with certainty that she doesn't have it because it doesn't 'look' how they think it should, it's nothing like my neighbours, blah bah bah. It's not a "one size fits all" disorder.

Wolfiefan Thu 19-Jan-17 14:39:28

I do have a bit of it. It doesn't affect my whole life but I am stupidly obsessive about some things. (Like locking my car and checking the lights are off.) I can feel compelled to do these things or check multiple times and even ask others to be my witness that I have done them.
I don't have a full blown case. You probably wouldn't even know if you were my friend or many of my family members (apart from those I use as witnesses!)

NavyandWhite Thu 19-Jan-17 14:39:32

But Panda this woman might have OCD. I mean really what harm is she actually doing? It isn't as if the OP has OCD and is offended by this.

When people say they're "OCD" I just smile and nod. It doesn't affect me and how I am.

Aeroflotgirl Thu 19-Jan-17 14:42:27

Yes some people do use it loosly if they are particularly tidy, not something to get your knickers in a twist about, I would not even both raising it. Let it go. DD 9 has ASD, the amount of stuff you get, oh so and so must have ASD as he does not look at you when your speaking, oh Jane down the road must have ASD as she seems a bit rude.

Finola1step Thu 19-Jan-17 14:43:20

As she has stated "I have OCD" rather than the "I'm a bit OCD", I would suggest you accept that at face value and do not question her on it. She is a work colleague and it is not your place to openly question this. You are entitled to think what you like but keep quiet.

For all you know, she may well have a medical diagnosis of OCD. She may be receiving treatment. You don't know for sure. And as this is the workplace, it is best not to question her medical record...or you're the one who could find themselves in a tricky HR situation.

Aeroflotgirl Thu 19-Jan-17 14:43:23

How do you know she actually does have OCD? Leave it!

pinkiepie1 Thu 19-Jan-17 14:43:52

I agree with canary... There are different... Let's say types, I know people who do the checking switches and turning door knobs, then also people who have ocpd (obsessive compulsive personality disorder) If I say something to a friend I worry that they may have taken it the wrong way, then I obsess to an unhealthy extent and make myself physically ill.
I think mental heath can still be quite a taboo subject, but that's just my opinion.

Aeroflotgirl Thu 19-Jan-17 14:44:59

Making light of it, might help her come to terms with it, and you bringing it up with her, might make her worse.

Maudlinmaud Thu 19-Jan-17 14:46:23

I think the problem is people self diagnosing for trivial reasons. Like another poster has said it's become a figure of speech and dare I say this a "trendy" thing to have. So many celebs seem to have it.

PurpleDaisies Thu 19-Jan-17 14:46:24

I don't like it when people jokingly say they're a bit OCD because they like a clean kitchen.

I agree with others saying the email doesn't sound like one of those unless it was phrased differently from how you've described it above.

dollydaydream114 Thu 19-Jan-17 14:49:59

I agree it's annoying and I think that over time, people will start to realise this is a bit offensive and will stop using it. I don't think I'd bother to raise it at this point, but I understand why it irks you.

The thing is, there is always the possibility that your colleague does have OCD - or, and I think this is more likely, she wrongly believes that she does. I know at least one person who genuinely thinks that she has OCD when she absolutely doesn't meet any of the criteria for it and hasn't had any kind of diagnosis.

I was diagnosed with OCD a couple of years ago and on the very rare occasions I have to mention it to anyone, they usually say 'Oh, that explains why your desk is always so neat.' Er ... no. No it doesn't. The two things are entirely unconnected. I have a neat desk because it's easier to work that way and my particularly type of OCD has absolutely nothing to do with neatness, cleanliness or order at all!

rubytuesday21 Thu 19-Jan-17 14:57:16

Reply, saying 'You admire her strength for being able to hold down a job and leave the house, even though she has OCD. And that you hope she is getting some help with it." People with chronic OCD live awful lives, or rather exist rather than truly being able to live. The more that can be done to educate the better.

Katy07 Thu 19-Jan-17 15:28:56

She says she has OCD. Who are you to say she doesn't? I have OCD but I don't have problems walking down my path (except when it's icy). I'm very tidy, but again, that's not my OCD (though it may well be connected to my Asperger's & how my brain copes with stuff). Most people would have no clue I have it just by looking at me (except at night when I'm going to bed), you'd have to be in my head to see what was happening. So don't assume that because she's not walking down the path funny or washing her hands repeatedly that she doesn't have it. That's almost as bad as someone saying they're "a bit OCD" angry

harderandharder2breathe Thu 19-Jan-17 16:21:47

I hate this too. My sister has medically diagnosed OCD and it's horrendous, not something I'd wish on anyone.

For me the key point is whether it significantly affects your life. I triple check I've locked my front door. But I don't get to work, panic that I've not, and need to go home and check it again.

Same as phobias. If you don't like something but it doesn't affect your life in any way that's not a phobia. If you're scared of something and adjust your life to avoid it, that's a phobia.

Mammylamb Thu 19-Jan-17 16:31:21

I was diagnosed with OCD a few years after becoming obsessed with a particular subject and the compulsions I had associated with it. I was very near to causing serious harm to myself (and possibly others) because of it. My family knew I was ill (my mum had to come and stay with me for a few weeks as I was literally walking in circles all day) however when I was diagnosed with OCD my mums first comment was that I couldn't be ; I wasn't clean and tidy enough. I hate the phrase "a bit OCD" to describe being a bit fussy, but at the same time your boss may actually have OCD.

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