A word directly associated with OCD is fear.
Fear is a primary driver behind OCD. While many people believe it is the desire to organize, that is actually not the case and a mere stereotype produced through years of stigma.
People with OCD are motivated by fear.
Those who have OCD are not crazy, weird, or irrational. Actually, they are the most logical of all.
Those with OCD are afraid of terrible things happening that they want to prevent. They are afraid of disaster striking and not being prepared.
For instance, someone with OCD might have a fear of germs that causes them to wash their hands so often that they bleed. This person is not irrationally afraid; we are all afraid of germs to some extent. While those with OCD definitely take it too far, which is why it goes from being a healthy fear to OCD, their fear stems from the same things we are all afraid of.
They don’t want to get sick. They don’t want to miss school/work to go to the doctor. They don’t want to get others sick. They want to be healthy.
That’s not crazy. That’s rational.
There are all kinds of versions of OCD, which each provide their own unique set of fears related to the type they have. In fact, 60% of those with OCD are washers, 30% are checkers, and 10% are other. Let’s use another example to explain this point further.
This one is a personal example. I fall under the “checking” category of OCD. I often struggle with making sure things are locked, off, and put away. I check that my car is locked and my lights are off sometimes four or five times (sometimes more) before I am able to walk away. I check to be sure I have various cards (student ID, drivers licence, etc.) many, many times before I am able to move on with my day. The list can go on and on.
While this may seem and certainly look crazy from afar, it is perfectly rational to me. I am aware I have OCD and that me checking that often is not normal, but I also am aware of the sources of my fear.
I check my car door to be locked several times because if I leave it unlocked, someone might rob or steal my car.
I check to be sure my headlights are off because if I don’t, the battery in my car could die.
I check for my various cards because I need all of them and I don’t want anyone stealing my identity.
None of my fears are irrational. The fact that I have to check so many times because I am unsure of things really being locked, really being off, or really still being there, and want to double, triple, and quadruple check can be explained by the fact that I have OCD, but my fears are not resultant of my OCD. Everyone is afraid of those things happening to them to some degree.
Something the world needs to undertstand about OCD is that its not some wild disease that doesn’t make any sense.
OCD makes perfect sense.
If you talk to someone with OCD they can usually explain to you why they act the way they do about certain things with regards to checking, washing, or any other symptom.
We are not weird and crazy people. We are just like the rest of the population, we just have issues with the excessiveness of our fears and not being sure that something was off, put away, locked, etc. no matter how many times you check.
Don’t get me wrong, OCD is most definitely a legitimate and concrete disorder. Just because our fears are the same as most people does not mean that we do not have a disorder. OCD is real and painful, but is not as crazy as everyone thinks it is.
We are not insane. We just want to prevent problems. We want to fix things. We don’t want bad things to happen to us.
And honestly, doesn’t that make us the most sane of all?