The truth about what it’s like to have obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Credit: Getty Images
by Karen Pallarito
You probably know a persnickety person who color coordinates her closet, or a germaphobe who keeps a vat of hand sanitizer in her purse. But quirks like these are not necessarily signs of OCD, short for obsessive compulsive disorder, a type of anxiety disorder.
“People, really, they just don’t get it,” says Alison Dotson, president of OCD Twin Cities, a Minneapolis affiliate of the International OCD Foundation, and author of Being Me with OCD: How I Learned to Obsess Less and Live My Life. Having struggled with OCD much of her life, the 36-year-old author says people mean no harm; they’re just clueless about what it really means to have OCD.
“What really bothers me,” she says, “is when you point it out and people … say, ‘Oh, it’s not such a big deal.'”
Yes, it is. And here’s what else people with OCD want you to know.
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