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(TW: OCD) To be sick of people wishing they were mentally ill

(127 Posts)
OCDisAWanker Sun 11-Feb-18 12:03:07

Whenever I mention I have OCD (it's sometimes unfortunately obvious, for example my desk at work and paperwork) someone almost always says one of the following

"Oooh your house must be so so clean!"
"I wish I had OCD, my house might be clean then!"
"Come and clean my house hahaha"
"You can come and sort my house/car/delete as appropriate out for me if you want".
And if someone sees my home for the first time they're often surprised that while it's 90% clean and very tidy and orderly it's not immaculate.

I really resent the implication that I'm either
A- in love with housework
B- ready to be someone else's skivvy
C- hospital grade kind of clean
and I also resent people saying they actually want OCD as if OCD has anything to do with being clean and even if it does for that individual it's not a good thing!! OCD can come in lots of forms and IME a lot of people who are very clean and have OCD generally are terrified of germs and illness. Not necessarily a love of cleaning. This is the case with everybody at a support group I attend. For example one lady hates the act of cleaning. But she's terrified that if she doesn't perform certain tasks (cleaning the toilet, sink, sides and so forth 8x a day exactly) her son will catch a horrific illness and die. Sorry but how can anybody wish they're kept in a constant anxiety ridden and unhappy state terrified their young son will die? I suppose they don't, they just want a clean house but nobody thinks it's ok to say "I wish I was suicidal" "I wish I was depressed" "I wish I had anxiety" "I wish I had bipolar" I have never heard those statements.

So they panic over the likes of getting Ebola or hiv if they don't disenfectant their sink 10 times a day. I don't have that. I have an issue with certain things (like my desk) being orderly but my OCD tends to otherwise have nowt to do with cleanliness and to be honest my non ocd mother has a house much cleaner than mine.

I'm writing this partially for a rant after having more of the same comments yesterday and partially because I hope that at least one person who thinks it's ok to say these things will stop and if you aren't going to please just don't say them around someone who has OCD. It's so hard to hear those things when you're battling it daily just to function.

TheStoic Sun 11-Feb-18 12:15:16

It must be infuriating. It’s a lack of understanding - anyone with any knowledge of what OCD really is would not be making light of it.

Elledouble Sun 11-Feb-18 12:17:51

I agree. I have OCD. I wonder if people wish they were having horrible intrusive thoughts about harming their children too.

Sallystyle Sun 11-Feb-18 12:19:41


People say the same to me. My OCD does not, and never has revolved around germs or cleanliness. People still assume that it does though.

I have very little fear of germs and my house is a mess.

Some people are very ignorant.

PaperdollCartoon Sun 11-Feb-18 12:22:18

YANBU at all, I hate this too. It’s essentially romanticisation of what is a horrible and often debilitating illness. I don’t have OCD but have other mental illnesses (luckily mostly in remission now) and get very frustrated by the way they can be belittled. No, you’re not ‘depressed’ because you had a bad day and stayed on the sofa eating chocolate. No one would ‘oh it’s like having cancer’ when what they have is a cold.

SchoolBus Sun 11-Feb-18 12:24:24

YANBU, it's like everyone is on the autistic spectrum now 😁

ftmtb Sun 11-Feb-18 12:24:47

I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 11 years old and have had a constant struggle with the horrific anxiety that comes with it, it makes me want to cry when people glamourise it because it's actually so, so hard to live with sad

It infuriates me when people who like cleaning or have a few things organised neatly say 'oh I think I have OCD' NO YOU DONTangry

JustVent Sun 11-Feb-18 12:27:25

I had OCD as a child and it didn’t involve cleaning whatsoever. It involved having to do certain things repeatedly or my family would die in a crash or something equally as horrible.

TheCatsPaws Sun 11-Feb-18 12:28:22

YANBU I struggle with depression and anxiety that is very severe. Recently I had someone call me a “pisstaker” because I had my nails done.

People who don’t suffer have no idea the hell mental illness is.

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Sun 11-Feb-18 12:28:49

The idea of being depressed was around a long time before any diagnosis was made. I see what you’re getting at but people are well within their rights to use the word whenever they like.

TheCatsPaws Sun 11-Feb-18 12:29:12

Intrusive thoughts are horrible. I get ones like “if you don’t do x your kids will die” or “if you do this your DP will leave you”. My house is a mess!

ftmtb Sun 11-Feb-18 12:30:07

People who use these terms lightly are just making a Mockery out of people who actually struggle and make it seem like less of a deal than it is.

wolfmom Sun 11-Feb-18 12:30:39

It drives me up the wall too. It's like saying to an agoraphobe they wish they could stay home all day. Hell no, mental illness isn't fun ir an excuse, it's horrendous.

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Sun 11-Feb-18 12:32:01

Obviously the depressed thing is different to “having a touch of OCD or being “a bit spectrumy”.

Lucyccfc Sun 11-Feb-18 12:33:41

My DM has OCD and her house is a shit-tip. No one is allowed to clean it, as it means throwing away the dead flowers that have been there for 6 months and moving the birthday cards that have been on display for 3 years.

She has worn the same clothes for 2 years and pretty much eaten the same meals for 2-3 years.

If you try to change her 'safe' routine in any way, she has a complete meltdown and panic attacks.

Boils my piss when people say I have OCD because I have a spotless house and everything in rows in my cupboards. People really have no idea about how serious and horrendous OCD actually is.

teaiseverything Sun 11-Feb-18 12:34:53

It does my tits in. I love a clean and tidy place but I do not have OCD. I loathe people saying, "Oh I'm just so OCD!"

Elementtree Sun 11-Feb-18 12:36:41

I can see why you are frustrated by these individual people but I think that your beef should be with the media and the way they use OCD tropes in a lazy and misinformed way to develop a story or for cheap programming - ocd cleaners Vs hoarders type shows.

ItWentInMyEye Sun 11-Feb-18 12:37:42


It's a shitty thing to say, as PP have mentioned lots of people say they know someone with a 'bit of autism'/ 'bit of OCD' or something similarly ridiculous.

PaperdollCartoon Sun 11-Feb-18 12:39:11

Maybe I should have said people saying ‘I think I have depression’ rather than just saying they’re depressed, I know that word has a meaning on it’s own. But I’ve had the first one said to me more than once.

StealthPolarBear Sun 11-Feb-18 12:39:15

Yanbu op, ocd is seen as a badge of honour in a way (foe example) alzheimers or angina are not.
As someone who has never had ocd it still infuriates me when people casually talk about how "their ocd" means they have to straighten pictures.

KatnissK Sun 11-Feb-18 12:46:11

YANBU. Also, I hate it when people say they have OCD when they don't e.g. "I have to keep my files in that order - I'm OCD about it." Well, no you're not, you just prefer to have certain things a certain way. I have worked with people who have OCD and have seen how awful it is. People have no idea.

Shedmicehugh Sun 11-Feb-18 12:46:28

YANBU at all. My son has ASD and my son hates it when people compare their minor difficulty to his. Or the everyone has ‘traits’ or the stupid online quizzes ‘how autistic are you’ etc

He really struggles socially and to hear people say things such as ‘I don’t like crowds either, but I just get on with it’ just causes him more anxiety.

Or how much effort it takes for him to socialise and how exhausted it makes him feel ‘we all feel a bit tired every now and then’

Extremely unhelpful

TheCatsPaws Sun 11-Feb-18 12:46:29

Oh my favourite was “I wish I could work part time like you!”

As if me being unable to work full time is a choice. I choose to get exhausted, have panic attacks and episodes of anxiety so bad I can’t leave my house. hmm

iveburntthetoast Sun 11-Feb-18 12:47:01

It’s somewhat similar to bipolar, in that people seem to think it’s all about being a party animal and/or Winston Churchill/other famous person.

People don’t seem to understand that some people live in a state of grinding suicide, or the horror of a mixed episode (the combination of depression with the energy of mania—makes it bloody dangerous to be suicidal and flooded with energy).

iveburntthetoast Sun 11-Feb-18 12:47:38

That was meant to be ‘grinding suicidal depression’

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