Dealing with OCD

Kelly Smith

Is there anything about you that you wish were different? It could be something about the way you look or maybe the way you think or act in a certain situation. I’m sure we could all admit that we are guilty of doing, saying or even thinking something that we are not proud of, but for some people, this goes deeper than just a bad moment. In fact, some find themselves unable to stop their thoughts or actions before they happen. One of these disorders is OCD. 

For those who don’t know, OCD (or, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is basically a disorder in which the affected person often feels that things need to be a certain way, such as pencils arranged in a particular way on a desk or an unchanged order of doing things while going to the bathroom. If, in the person’s mind, something goes wrong, it needs to be fixed because they can’t stand things not being the way they feel they need to be, and it can often nag at them and prevent them from moving on and concentrating on other things.

Sometimes, this may even involve certain ritualistic actions like washing one’s hands completely a number of times in order for them to be considered clean. Individuals suffering from OCD often also experience intrusive thoughts that they cannot get rid of and that may prompt the irrational connection that doing a specific action a certain number of times may alleviate these thoughts. Although OCD is not the most serious disorder in the world (at least from what I can tell), it’s still something that I think gets too little attention. 

As someone who’s had mild OCD my whole life, I know what it’s like. Based on my experiences, one of the big issues that often goes hand in hand with OCD is perfectionism. Our need for things to be exactly the way we want them is so strong that we are unable to accept it any other way. I think if we strive to improve our perfectionism and remind ourselves that nothing we ever do will be perfect, we might see some success in dealing with OCD. 

Something else that I’ve learned from my experiences with OCD is that it only becomes worse the more you focus on it. It’s kind of like a child throwing a temper tantrum. Sometimes by simply acknowledging it, you’re still giving it the attention it needs to continue nagging at you. I think one of the best ways of dealing with OCD is to focus on something else that’s truly important, something that will take our mind off of what it is our OCD wants us to fret about. The more we focus on our OCD, the stronger the obsessions get.

If you happen to suffer from some form of OCD, know that you’re not alone. Everyone has their own personal quirks. Yours just happen to mean that you are a perfectionist in your own way. I don’t, by any means, believe that mental disorders are an excuse for wrong actions. No matter what you’re going through, you’re still responsible for your choices. However, things like OCD are still common and do need some corrective attention. Just remember, there is a way. And above, never be ashamed to ask for help, because there’s things that you just can’t do alone.