Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon 1 Tell A Friend 4 (6 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats   3 comments

Life Arts

How to tell someone you have OCD, without embarrassing yourself

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 3/10/12

Become a Fan
  (4 fans)

When I was a child, before I'd ever heard of the term obsessive compulsive disorder, I didn't know what to make of my thoughts, other than that they were embarrassing and had to be kept secret at all costs.

Fortunately today, OCD is well recognized, so most people have heard of it. However, without personally experiencing the horror of OCD symptoms, it's unlikely that others will understand the serious grip that OCD has on a person. This is only made worse if your particular set of symptoms falls in the embarrassing end of the spectrum, like the woman who avoided seeking help for twenty-four years because she was too embarrassed to reveal she thought she had semen on her hands.

To add insult to embarrassment, gathering the courage to describe your OCD symptoms out loud can be a huge anti-climax.  Words are insufficient and do little more than trivialize the agonizing vice-like hold that OCD thoughts and compulsions have on your brain.

To quote from A Life Lived Ridiculously:

I just didn't see how I could possibly explain all this to another person such that they would get it. "Hi, doc, I'm here because I don't like the lampshades in my apartment and I can't decide where the TV should go.' "I'm a doctor, not an interior designer,' is the response I would expect. "Yeah, but it really bothers me.' "Well, my wife won't let me take the pool table out of the basement and that really bothers me.'

So here are some ways that you might use to broach the subject of your OCD:

1) Introduce the conversation by talking about some of the many famous people who openly have OCD. David Beckham, Miley Cyrus and Daniel Radcliffe have talked openly about their struggles with the condition.
Well respected historical figures, such as Charles Darwin, Samuel Johnson and Florence Nightinglale, were also thought to have OCD.  
This allows you to gage whether your audience knows about OCD and also allows you to get some clues as to whether your audience is likely to be sympathetic or not.

2) Draw people's attention to the well known TV programs that deal with OCD.

  • Detective Monk television series
  • Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets.
  • Obsessed

3) I read an interesting article / novel about OCD. With so much information online and in bookstores, it's easy to inform people. Some great memoirs about OCD include: 

Reading a memoir allows your audience to gain a deep insight into what it's like to live every day with OCD.

4) It happened to a friend of mine . Talk about your symptoms as though they were someone else's, Then gage the reaction of your audience.

5) If you don't wish to speak face to face with someone, you may always email links about OCD.

6) Explain to others that OCD is a physical illness , no less so than hypothyroidism or heart disease. Understand that OCD is a biological disorder of the brain and learn the neurological pathways (the OCD circuit). Eg the error centers of the brain are overactive due to a lack of serotonergic activity in the orbitofrontal cortex. Some great resources include:

7) Join online forums and support groups, and practice talking about it with other sufferers until talking about it becomes second nature.

You may also encounter persons with more moving ways to describe their daily torment, which you can adopt when describing yours.

Will any of these tips make your audience really understand your pain? Probably not. But it will help you to inform others in a way that is easily accessible to them and hopefully not so embarrassing for you.

Dr Annabelle R Charbit

Author of A Life Lived Ridiculously: When a girl with obsessive compulsive disorder, falls in love with a sociopath, she must fight for her sanity and her life
Buy the book at Amazon
Buy the book at Barnes and Noble

 

http://www.ridiculouslife.net/

I am a research scientist and a writer, with a PhD in neuroscience from University College London. I recently published the novel, A Life Lived Ridiculously, about a girl with obsessive compulsive disorder who makes the horrible mistake of (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Ten ways to spot a sociopath (aka con-artist) on your first date

How to Detect and Avoid the Top Scam Money Making Websites

Selling on Ebay versus selling on Amazon

The best and worst online communities for writers and bloggers

Hoarding Vs Clutter Phobia, Which One Is Really OCD?

When alcohol and anxiety are a dangerous mix

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
3 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

I can't speak personally about OCD, but have been ... by Dan Mage on Saturday, Mar 10, 2012 at 7:58:47 PM
Definitely be who you are, I totally agree. And ma... by Annabelle RC on Sunday, Mar 11, 2012 at 4:58:01 PM
"Definitely be who you are" can open the door to a... by Doc McCoy on Sunday, Mar 11, 2012 at 10:16:57 PM