OCD Misuse (Trying To Spread Awareness!)

Hello everybody, I’m not very used to posting things here on the forums, but one thing that really bothers me is the misuse of OCD. I’ve had OCD since I was 3 years old (which is very rare to be diagnosed with that young) and am very passionate about spreading awareness about the disorder. The term OCD is now more than ever used incorrectly just about everywhere I look.
OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It is a debilitating mental illness that is often overlooked by people and not taken seriously. Social media, influencers, celebrities, etc, portray it to be a quirky adjective, or just something that everybody has. Almost every single one of my teachers has misused it. Let me start off by saying that not everybody has it. It is far more complex than what many people realize.
It is not a joke or something to be taken so lightly. It’s just as serious as other mental illnesses but due to the stigma around it these days, no one takes me seriously if I say I have it. I waste hours every day doing rituals and other things in my head. Somethings I do physical rituals that other people notice. Sometimes I’m accused of spacing out. Of course I take medication for it, which has helped me.
Myself, just like many other people who have been diagnosed with this debilitating disorder, get understandably annoyed and insulted when others use the term frivolously to describe being neat, or just wanting something a certain way. There are so many stereotypes around it too, such as being neat or being a perfectionist. Of course some people who have it have those traits, but it’s not the only determining factor. It’s how much these rituals and thoughts disturb your everyday life. Please don’t misuse it or say you have it without being diagnosed!! It’s debilitating and not “fun” to have! ( yes, people have told me I’m lucky to have it.) Also grammatically saying “I’m so OCD” makes no sense. OCD is not a word… it stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. You must be diagnosed. You cannot diagnose yourself. It’s not an adjective.
I know this is not in the promote your story section, but I did write something to try to explain what I mean a little more. I’ll leave the link if you wanna check it out, because it’s kind a hard to think of everything I wanna say as I’m writing this. I also encourage people to research it. Thanks for reading some of my thoughts. My Instagram is @gabi.episode if you want to reach out.
( I wrote this kinda fast so hopefully there aren’t too many mistakes)


I glad someone made a topic on this. I’ve had so many friends say that they have it when they don’t even really know what it is. I’m constantly bothered by thoughts racing through my mind and I have trouble with keeping quiet in class. I’ve annoyed a lot of people and missed a lot of important notes in class because of it. Having social anxiety and depression also doesn’t help much.

The most annoying thing is when my sister says that I can’t have OCD since I’m so messy.


thank you for making this thread! it bothers me so much when people misuse and misdiagnose themselves with OCD.


Totally agree, I hate how people think OCD is just some cute quirky trait, when it’s really a serious disorder that can pretty much govern someone’s life. Will be sure to check out your story btw :upside_down_face:


As a person who has a severe anxiety disorder, I appreciate you spreading awareness for people like us :)) bless your heart :orange_heart:


My older sister has OCD, and there’s many things that she cannot do because of it. She’s unable to get her own drinks, she’s unable to use public toilets, and she even has trouble with opening our fridge. When people say “I’m so OCD!” they should think: “Can I do normal everyday things in a normal, ordinary way? Wait, I can.”

My sister has to take hours and hours to shower, and she needs to flick the light switch on and off at least 10 times whenever she comes out of the toilet to wash her hands.

Mental illnesses should not be taken as a joke. Just like with physical injuries and physical illnesses.

Thank you. :slightly_smiling_face:


To all of you who just wrote something thanks so much! I know that what I originally wrote was kind of rambling and probably had multiple errors in it (since I’m wrote it so fast), so thanks for taking the time to reply!


I have OCD since I remember myself. I was really depressed because of it last year and it was very tiring. I started seeing a therapist this year and it really helped me People tend to think it’s only about cleaning but it’s not. I am diagnosed with OCD and I’m a very messy person and I hate cleaning. people really don’t understand how tiring are the OCD rituals and how different it is than they think. and I wish there was more awareness. Thank you for writing this and I’ll check it out :heart:


Thank you for making a topic on this! At the moment, my depression is really really bad, so my OCD isn’t as much of a problem as it sometimes is (my depression thoughts tend to overwhelm all of my other disorder thoughts), but when it is bad, expect to see me cleaning the tap with antibacterial wipes four times, five pumps of soap, wash hands 6 times exactly, or I’ll have to start again, use an antibacterial wipe as a barrier for when I turn the tap off, and then wipe my hands with alcoholic sterile wipes. I come out of the bathroom, have to turn the light switch on and off five times (on 5, off 5). If I do either one less or more than 5, I’m going back inside and doing that all over again. It’s exhausting. And hey, that’s not even the worst of it.

A lot of people think OCD is having your pretty little pencils all in line. Like, just that. Nothing else. Really? Use your common sense. You think you need medication, have panic attacks, need therapy, have a diagnosis of a mental disorder because you like your pencils in line? Ever heard of a fussy person?

I have OCD, and I don’t actually care if my pencils are in line or not. Shocker, I know.

I face a lot of skeptical people because I do indeed have the form of OCD that is mainly about germs. I have hypochondriasis (health anxiety) to go with it, and those two are pretty intertwined. I do have routines and things that work around other things as well, though, it’s not all germs. When it’s really bad, I don’t want to be touched. At all. And if you touch me, I’m washing my hands, usual routine, quadrupled.

I can’t do homework. Lately, all I can do is sit on the sofa and watch TV. I don’t go out. I’m unable to hold my concentration. Even watching TV, there’ll be huge blanks in my memory from when I get lost in my thoughts. I can’t even watch TV like everyone else does.

You’re constantly questioning everything. Did I really wash my hands properly that time? I don’t think I did. I’m going to wash them again. Okay, good. They’re clean now. What if I missed a step? I definitely missed a step. I have to do it again.

I almost washed my hands with bleach once, because I was so desperate to get rid of all the germs. I didn’t care if it meant my hands would be practically non-existent after. Thankfully, my mum caught me when I was going to pour it on me, so my hands are currently intact. Other than all the blisters and redness from hand washing, of course.

Of all things, OCD is tiring. Really really tiring. Mentally. Sometimes physically. Emotionally. It drains you.

EDIT: that was way longer than I expected, I’m sorry!


Ugh, I resonate with this so much. I’m so sorry you’re going through this but please know that you aren’t alone. I’ve had OCD for the past several years and developed cleaning rituals from it. I always have to wash my hands 3 times with hot water and a lot of soap to the point where my skin cracks and then use hand sanitizer 4 times. Whenever I can’t do this, I always have to go around asking people if my hands are clean or I feel like I’m going to get extremely sick.

Honestly, everything I do lately revolves around avoiding germs because of this. It’s impacted my schooling, my social life, and my family time. It’s not just been extremely organized or uptight about certain things. It’s much much more than that and using that kind of language truly minimizes our experiences with the real condition.

@Gabi.episode Thank you so much for creating this thread and bringing awareness to this issue. It really helps me know I’m not alone in this.


My vocabulary’s decided to fly out of the window so



I agree. I have OCD too.

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I do not have OCD (like most of the other people here, I may not know how it exactly feels like, but I still hope my opinion counts…), but I know what it feels like when a mental illness isn’t taken seriously or the term used incorrectly, so I totally agree with you. Beautiful thread (not the topic itself ofc, but I like it when threads are serious and when important topics are getting adressed in them)! Do you understand what I mean? :sweat_smile:


Finally a better explanation on OCD. I’ve been diagnosed since o was four or five along with a severe Generalized Anxiety Disorder and I’ve been able to somewhat manage my OCD. Then when I got older I was diagnosed with a few more disorders. I dont want to go into detail about what I go through on a daily basis but I can say that if if tap my fingers with one hand I have to do it with the other fingers on the other hand.


Of course! Thanks for replying! :slight_smile:

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Ugh, when people mention pencils being in line I literally go crazy. Thanks for replying! :wink:


Thx for the replies to this thread guys. It’s always interesting to hear about other people’s experiences. :slight_smile:


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