OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, affects over 2 million American adults. OCD typically starts around age 7, but can develop during late teenage years or early adulthood. Did you know that OCD stems from a chemical imbalance in the brain? With that said, why do so many Americans stigmatize OCD? Genetic and hereditary factors also contribute to OCD. Remember, OCD is a mental illness.
The OCD stigma in America needs to stop!
Thankfully, there is help for Americans suffering from OCD. Some organizations include NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness), Beyond OCD, and the International OCD Foundation. In addition to these organizations, Americans are urged to obtain therapy/psychological services and/or seek medication from their psychiatrist or doctor.
WebMD shares an interesting article, “Did 2016 Election Unleash OCD in the USA?” In the article, there is mention that the 2016 election may have triggered obsessive-compulsive behaviors for both Republicans and Democrats. Here is a link to the article: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20180411/did-2016-election-unleash-ocd-in-the-usa
Nevertheless, there are many people in America who still stigmatize OCD. This does not help people who have the illness! Do Americans stigmatize people with heart disease or cancer? Of course, these are more serious illnesses, but OCD should be treated with more respect.
As a kid, I tended to seek reassurance or double check things. I often “worried” more than the average kid, but it was manageable. As a young adult, I experienced a traumatic event where my freedom was at risk. I began to worry and question myself a lot more than usual. It started with the fear that I ran someone over when driving and didn’t know it. I started to drive back, as a compulsion (which fuels OCD), to make sure everything was normal. This driving OCD was quite difficult for me over many years but has since subsided.
Over the years, I have had to deal with other obsessive-compulsive traits based mainly on irrational worry and fear. I’m not too OCD about the handwashing or double checking, but I have other OCD that affects my life on a daily basis. If your neighbor or other fellow American suffers from OCD, remember, treat them with respect and do not stigmatize!
-The Single Dad