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OCD Awareness Week

Written by: Tanvi Gupta


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental illness characterized by obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are intrusive thoughts that cause considerable distress. These obsessions may lead to compulsions, which are repetitive behaviors that are often done with the intention to temporarily soothe obsessions. A person can have only one of these conditions or both to be diagnosed with OCD. Treatment for OCD is often in the form of psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two.


OCD is commonly misused in everyday language. Instead of using it to refer to the debilitating mental illness, many people use OCD to refer to someone who needs everything to be organized, i.e. a “clean freak.” Doing this downplays the seriousness of the condition and trivializes the experiences of those who have it. Some people don’t even know that OCD is a mental illness because all they ever hear is “I’m so OCD about this” and “Messy rooms trigger my OCD so much.” While it’s true that some people who suffer from OCD have obsessions and compulsions related to cleanliness, limiting OCD to one stereotype is demeaning 


To recognize OCD Awareness Week (October 8-14), educate people about the misuse of the term OCD. Telling even just one person can impact so many lives. That person will be able to follow your example and educate others. Education is one of the best methods for creating a welcoming environment for people suffering from OCD. The International OCD Foundation is a great resource. Take care, and learn more!



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