Some people don't know what OCD actually is. They use it in the wrong way and that sometimes upsets me. OCD affects my family greatly. The term OCD is so misunderstood and often considered a personality trait that saying "I have OCD" has no meaning.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder otherwise known as OCD is a common mental health disorder. It is a life disorder when one is caught in a cycle of recurring, uncontrollable thoughts or obsessions. These obsessions are unwanted, they make the person feel like they must do this or something bad will happen. Then even after doing this to quiet the obsession it comes back again and they have to do this over and over again. This causes them distress. We all may have obsessive or intrusive thoughts at some point but that does not mean that we all have a some OCD. To get this diagnoses these thoughts have to be extreme and take up a lot of time.
Imagine you are not able to control your thoughts, you feel powerless to them until you perform a certain act to try to dismiss it. Imagine that your mind is stuck, on a certain image or thought that is an obsession, imagine this thought or image is telling you that something bad is going to happen to you if you don’t do it. Imagine that this image or thought keeps replaying, over and over. Imagine that you have to do a compulsion to get rid of this obsession, and even after you do this to try to get rid of it, it comes back, even worse than the first time. Imagine if that happens all the time, consistently, and you can’t control it or get rid of it. It feels like an avalanche of horrible thoughts swamping your brain, you can’t do anything but try and clear the obsession and your anxiety levels rise. This is what people with OCD feel like. Anxiety is a warning, it makes you feel like you’re in danger, would you like to feel like that all the time?
You may think you can just ignore these thoughts and dismiss them. Just by not paying attention to them, either if we know the thoughts are wrong or we don't want to think about it. We might be able to do that, but people with OCD can’t get rid of those thoughts. They can sometimes tell when a thought is wrong or if it is telling them the wrong thing but they still can’t ignore it or dismiss it. They are forced basically to do this all of the time, even if they know their brain is telling them the wrong thing.
When you have OCD the system in your head that warns you doesn’t work the way it should, it’s telling you you are in danger even if you are not. Your brain lies, this doesn’t make since but this is how it works.
Having OCD does not mean that the people with this disorder are not like everyone else. As long as their obsessions aren’t triggered they are fine. They are just missing an amount of a chemical in their brain, it is called serotonin. Serotonin is a brain chemical responsible for regulating many of the functions in your body. It contributes to your overall health and happiness, and people who have anxiety disorders generally do not have enough of it, including people with OCD. Low levels of this chemical is a major factor in OCD, but there are ways to raise your level of serotonin.