The tilted picture: the realities of OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder may not be all that you think it is

OCD is not just liking things clean or immaculate. It isn’t just seeing a tilted picture

and not liking it. It is obsessing over anything, constantly expecting the worst if you don’t do certain things. It is a real disorder that people don’t understand at all.

There are many people who claim that they have OCD for whatever reasons, and the truth is only about 2 per cent of Canadians have OCD. Many of the people who say they have OCD may not claim that they suffer from it, they say that they are OCD. OCD stands for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. You cannot be a disorder. It is something in your mind that controls you, not something you can own or be.

People don’t seem to understand what obsessive-compulsive disorder means. They tend to assume it’s just being organized or not liking a tilted photo. It really isn’t. The definitions of OCD are as follows:

Obsession – Unwanted thoughts that can be upsetting; unsettling; or disturbing.

Compulsion – Performing rituals or doing things to try to ease obsessive thoughts

Disorder – When something is wrong enough in someone’s brain that it affects how they act in their day to day life.

OCD is a combination of stressors, not just obsessing over being organized. People who suffer from OCD have the following symptoms: obsessively thinking and worrying about certain things; performing rituals to stop the worrying, and panicking if the rituals are not done; having this affect them to such a level that it is nearly impossible to function if something prevents them from doing something they feel the need to do.

When people say things such as “That picture is tilted and is giving me OCD” or “Oh, that thing really brings out my OCD” they don’t actually suffer from the real disorder. Most people who actually suffer from it would not be able to calmly say stuff like that, they would be panicking over it because something triggered them.

By properly identifying the symptoms of OCD, and any anxiety disorder, it is the first step in understanding and possibly healing.

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental well-being, TRU has options for you. Counselling is available to all TRU students and faculty and the Wellness Centre is open to help facilitate the needs of all students.