Don’t have it? Don’t own it.

Here’s the thing.  If you don’t have it, don’t own it.

This post has been on my mind for awhile now. It gets under my skin when folks mirror those with OCD, thinking that at some level their idiosyncratic ways are the same as having a diagnosis.

It’s not.

They way to relate to a person with a mental illness is just to be who you are. I respect that more.  There is zero need to exclaim how you are “so OCD” yourself.  Saying that is a dead give away that you do not have the disorder and in no way creates empathy. Sharing stories of how you prefer things neat or how stressed you may get when things don’t match, without sharing the level of devastation created in the wake of your obsessive thoughts (not to mention what your mind and body were forced to do to find relief), creates skepticism, distance, and mistrust.  I’ve met folks who toss around that they have OCD as a method to excuse away their habits or explain their quirky behavior.  They do this even though they know I have Pure O. Perhaps they have some form of anxiety, which is painful enough as is,  yet respect the disorder and the diagnosis by not tossing it around as a casual term if you don’t know—concretely—that you suffer with it.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you ~1 Peter 5:6

Help end stigma.  Mental illness, and especially OCD, is stigmatized too much as it is and using the disorder as a global label is damaging.  Diagnosing OCD is a lengthy process.  It cannot be self-assessed and it requires psychiatric evaluation and treatment.

I’m blessed. My Pure O is being controlled (it’s a daily process) and, in my opinion, mild compared to others who suffer the same. I think that is why I can stand up as I do and speak out like this.

Just be who you are. That’s far more respectable.

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