Remembering Diagnosis Day
It’s the wrap up of #OCDWeekOfAction, an initiative of a UK based charity for those with OCD. So I invite everyone who takes those online OCD “tests” that cycle around Facebook to donate to support the mental illness they so quickly discovered they were afflicted with.
I’ve said it once and will say it again… it’s not funny anymore. I’ve pondered if I should get a thicker skin, if I should “lighten” up over these obviously fluff tests likely designed to phish information from Facebook accounts… but I find I fail. This is a mental illness I have watched get trivialized repeatedly. So my action, in what small corner of the web I own, is to say, again, please stop it. Stop degrading and spreading false ideas about what OCD is all about. It is not about your eyesight or color standards. It is not about perfectionism and attention to detail.
The tests for OCD suck. They suck because you’re alone in a room being asked a battery of questions, some which make no sense to your racing mind, all while your heart is flat on your shoes. You wonder if you will be leaving that doctor’s office “fixed” and “normal” or will keep on living a life “faking normal.” They are scary and confusing, and since you are not diagnosed yet, you are left with hours (to days) of waiting as your symptoms get worse because of the anxiety you just went through. Then your results come back and you are staring down bottles of mind-bending, extremely powerful drugs that literally alter your personality.
But instead society has this idea that OCD is the kid to pick on in the “playground” of mental illness. It’s fun to say, easy for celebrities to make into a “designer” illness, and profitable to slap on tee-shirts and coffee mugs.
I wonder if folks who take these online “tests” on Facebook, and then proudly say they are 100% OCD afterward will remember the day of their diagnoses for all their lives. I’d like them to post on the blog in reply and let me know. And if you really do have OCD, post in reply and let me know if you remember the day you were diagnosed. Help to spread knowledge and crush the ignorance. I remember mine. I came home scared out of my wits, angry as all hell, and for days later was sick as a dog. Since I was terrified back then of letting anyone know I had a mental illness I went on with life and suffered through work with debilitating migraines as the meds tried to work. Then I would sleep every second I could.
I had to be a wife, I had to be a mother to an infant, I had to “fake normal.” I had to try to forget the exact circumstance that woke this sleeping giant in me.
I have Pure O-OCD. I can’t forget as much as I want to and I assure you it was not the moment I took a “test” on Facebook.
But… I can vent to my corner of the world and ask again that OCD not be commercialized or trivialized. Think about the cancer a friend had, or the Alzheimers a parent died of, think of the darkest diagnosis in your life and how it impacted your family and friends, then think of what it would be like if that diagnosis was constantly disrespected. It’s not just disrespectful to the illness, but to the person afflicted.
Take the online GAMES but when you go to post results be sure to mention that it was a fun way to see if you had quirk, to test your eyesight, or finickiness. Call it for what it is. This mental illness would have a greater understanding and a lot more support if those who didn’t suffer from OCD helped to spread the word about what it really is.
I suppose I’m never going to lighten up about this. If I have the opportunities take a stand on it, I will.