All too often we will hear someone describe themselves as “so OCD.” In reality, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is, of course, not an adjective, but a noun. However, this is not an English lecture, and it is only slang, so does it even matter? The answer is yes, but not because it is grammatically incorrect.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, is a serious illness that affects hundreds of people each year. According to “Beyond OCD,” one in forty adults and one in one hundred children in America have the disease to some extent.
Contrary to popular belief, having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder does not mean keeping things tidy or being a perfectionist. In reality, people with OCD generally feel like they must do certain things (physically or mentally) in order to stay safe. This may include washing their hands or keeping everything organized, but it is more than just a little quirk: these individuals cannot focus on anything else unless they do these things, or else they feel as though they may die.
There are also numerous types of OCD, including Pure O. In this variation of the illness, victims do not have any external compulsions. Instead, everything is in their heads, making their minds into broken records, repeating their worst fears over and over and insisting that they will become reality.
Suicidal OCD is a type that may accompany Pure O. Those with the disease will get stuck in a thought cycle that includes something along the lines of, “I’m going to kill myself.” In most cases, the individual probably fears suicide, and the thought is not their’s- it is almost like a little person within their brain, telling them that they will be driven to ending their life.
Germaphobia is a non-Pure O form of the disorder that is prevalent among OCD patients, and can be so severe that the victim is unable to leave his or her home. With this comes having to wash hands or shower a certain number of times and a fear of touching doorknobs. There are also hundreds of other forms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, including hoarding and pulling out hair.
Clearly, OCD is not a funny or small issue. Nor is it a cute little quirk or a term to describe someone who is organized or a perfectionist. In reality, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can damage people’s lives and impair their ability to function properly. Therefor, it may be a wise decision to think before saying, “I am so OCD.”