Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Not Just a Lock: In Honor of OCD Awareness Week

It's never just a lock.
So, as some of you may know, it is the IOCDF's OCD Awareness Week!

For those of you who are unfamiliar, IOCDF stands for International OCD Foundation.  They offer great resources and support for OCD sufferers, family and friends.  Feel free to check them out.

So, with #OCDWeek in full swing, I was left to wonder: What is it that I really want people to be aware of?  I write about OCD on a regular basis, but what is one key point that I want to press for this, the week of awareness.

I've decided on this:  It's not just a lock.

You have to look beyond the surface.

To take the literal example:  Let's look at people with OCD who are afraid that they left the door unlocked and check... and check and check.  For them, it isn't a question of a careless mistake.  They are worried about what could happen if that door really was left unlocked: Plagued by worries of their house being broken into, or their dog being stolen, or some other horrible vision, their anxiety rises up to an unbearable level. They do their compulsions and checks to kill that anxiety and reach a feeling of "okay".  They often don't see the odds; they see the catastrophe.  It's not just about the lock: It's their whole sense of security

There is real pain and suffering here.

And the lock example is just one that can be explained in a paragraph.  From intrusive thoughts, to constant self-doubt, to compulsions that don't always make sense to others, OCD can be much more insidious and the connections much more complicated.  

So learning to stop those compulsions and live with that anxiety, it's hard.  The therapy is work.  And trying to get help when there's so much stigma and misunderstanding out there?  That's courage.

So please take this week seriously and raise that awareness so more people take OCD for the serious disorder that it truly is.  The more we choose a path of understanding as opposed to fear, the more we will triumph going forward.


  1. Thanks, Laura, for posting this and sharing about this week and building our awareness of the many challenges those with OCD deal with daily.

    1. Thank you right back for reading and taking the time to gain more knowledge about something that is in many ways outside of your personal experience. You're amazing! :)