Sunday, September 14, 2014

Please stop saying "I'm SOOO ocd!"

Have you ever heard of trichotillomania? It's a form of OCD where the sufferer pulls out their hair one strand at a time, usually by the root. It usually starts as something you do absentmindedly and gets worse during times of stress or anxiety.

THANKFULLY I don't pull out my hair. I do, however, pick at the skin at the bottom of my feet. I know - gross, right? Since I got home from Paris last June I've picked so much skin from there I honestly don't know how I even have any left. I have many cuts on my feet where I have picked until I bled, and a few larger sores up to the size of a dime.

As you can probably imagine, it hurts. I hobble when I walk barefoot, or when I have been on my feet too long, or when I shower. It hurts but the pain isn't enough to make me stop picking. I'm now resorting to wearing socks on the house to deter myself, sort of how you would put an e-collar on a dog to stop them from licking a wound. Poor stupid animal can't help its self, you know? They are my "socks of shame" I guess.

Since my symptoms are worse in the summer, I'm hoping I'll be able to stop soon.  Last summer my OCD and anxiety manifested itself in the form of a 35 pound weight gain in about four month's time.  I still have not been able to lose that weight.  So at least that didn't happen this year.

So why am I telling you this? To show you that OCD isn't funny. Some people see it as a punchline to a joke, or something to giggle about as they straighten a picture on a wall. It's not a joke to those of us who have it. OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  You are not a disorder, so if you do find yourself uttering the phrase "I'm so OCD!" just stop.  You are not being funny.  You are being insensitive and coming across as terribly ignorant.

I just want to do my part to build awareness about this.  I was first diagnosed in 2003, have been on medication for it off and on since then, and have even found myself in a mental health facility (AKA a "nut hut") due in part to this. It's a crappy crappy crappy thing with which to live.



Blogger Unknown said...

I also have a form of trichotillomania. Only, I pick out my eyebrows....same reasons....OCD is not funny, never has been, and I struggle every day. On top of that I have ADD....I have a wonderful psychologist that is helping me recognize when either disease rears it's ugly head....I am amazed at how often it does, I just never realized it! Thank you for this post....

2:30 PM  

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