I came across a post yesterday by another blogger about having OCD, and how it is not a joke, and she wished people would stop using #soOCD every time they did something to organize their lives. This is a common thread I’ve seen all over the internet. People condemn the media for trivializing the disorder, and demand that other people stop making light of this serious condition.
I agree that it is a serious condition. It affects my life daily. It has already affected me this morning. I couldn’t leave the house, because things weren’t right, so I missed out on having breakfast with my husband. Then I spent the whole time he was gone obsessing about how he was going to get in a car accident and die, even though I know he’s a good driver. I know how serious, and how devastating OCD can be.
However, I also know how ridiculous and funny it can be. I love the TV show Monk, where Tony Shalhoub plays the role of Adrian Monk, a man with crippling OCD, who somehow manages to solve crimes. Watching him perform his many rituals, I could really relate to him, and it helped me to laugh about some of the things that I too am compelled to do. Similarly there is a song and music video by Rhett and Link entitled My OCD, which I find to be knee slapping hilarious, but also relatable, particularly at the end when Link asks if he can come back tomorrow.
Before I was diagnosed, I too fell into the category of people who claimed OCD when they would organize things. I didn’t realize the other things in my life that were also symptoms of the disorder. Honestly, it was because of the media that I talked to my therapist about the things I was doing and feeling, and it eventually led to my diagnosis, and a greater understanding of what OCD is. I worry that by demanding people stop “humble bragging” about having OCD, and stop making jokes about it, we are only advancing the problem instead of seeking a solution. The solution, I believe, is education. Who knows, by calling someone out for posting #soOCD, you might just be shaming a fellow sufferer. Instead I would recommend having a conversation with them about what OCD really is, being open and understanding of their ignorance, and then maybe they’ll not only stop doing things that offend you, but they might also learn something about themselves in the process.
Now I don’t want to seem as though I am calling these people out for feeling their emotions. I know how important it is to let yourself feel what you feel, and to acknowledge that your feeling it. I just wish that as a whole we could try to be a little less thin skinned, and learn to laugh at ourselves just a little more. After all, finding the humor in life is just as important, isn’t it?