As one of the more commonly talked-about mental health conditions, obsessive-compulsive disorder comes with a lot of stereotypes. Researchers believe that almost 1% of all American adults are affected by OCD, or display behaviors and thoughts classified as compulsive. But a lot of media and TV portrayals of this disorder can shed a bad light on the people who suffer from it. Let’s look at some myths about OCD.
Myths About OCD
In this article, our certified therapists at Cognitive Therapy NYC will discuss and debunk the 5 biggest myths about OCD in order to reveal the comforting truth about this mental illness and others like it. Gaining an accurate understanding of mental health conditions can be imperative to one’s overall health and wellness moving forward.
Myth 1: OCD Comes from Childhood
One of the first things people will try to do upon discovering a mental health condition is to find crucial connections between the disorder and childhood experiences. It is not true everyone with signs of OCD came from a sad background in a traumatic household. People also tend to think that people’s childhoods shape them into being someone with a lot of self-confidence or no self-confidence at all, leading to the development of OCD. In truth, people can develop behaviors of OCD for many reasons, including stress or an inherited gene.
Myth 2: Being a Cleaning Nut is a Sign of OCD
Anyone who has ever been labeled as a neat freak has probably also been associated with OCD. Unfortunately, this is a pretty common assumption. Extreme cleanliness may be a pattern of behavior displayed by someone with OCD, but it is also just a lifestyle preference.
The difference is all about control. Those with a true obsessive-compulsive disorder will always clean due to horrible and unstoppable anxiety. And those who simply like to clean can start and stop at any time. As with all mental disorders, OCD is something that requires a lot of empathy and nuance to understand further.
Myth 3: OCD Cannot Be Treated
OCD is very treatable and its symptoms can be easily managed over time. A big reason why people believe it is something that cannot be treated is that many with OCD simply won’t go to the doctor. This typically occurs out of fear of judgment or embarrassment. By allowing yourself to feel vulnerable and communicate those vulnerabilities to a licensed therapist, you can start to mitigate the worst of your OCD symptoms through medication and behavioral therapy. Please do note that treatable does not mean curable. But it is possible to live a comfortable and happy life with the proper tools.
Myth 4: Being Clean is the Only OCD Trait
Thanks to the media, extreme cleanliness are really the only thing that is actually associated with OCD. But someone with obsessive-compulsiveness can display those behaviors in other ways. Not everyone harnesses their anxiety into being clean. Others may double and triple-check work for mistakes, hoard items, or repeat certain physical routines throughout the day. Any type of repeated or obsessive behavior can be classified under OCD if you are diagnosed that way.
Myth 5: OCD Can Be Diagnosed with a Test
Obsessive-compulsive disorder and other mental health conditions can’t be diagnosed as easily as a physical medical condition can. There is no blood test or biopsy to determine whether or not someone has OCD. That is why it is so important to visit a licensed professional who is trained and knows what to look for. It is very important that you are not judged or given any misinformation during the process of diagnosis.
Help Your Symptoms with Certified Cognitive Therapy
If you are worried about your obsessive behaviors or compulsive thoughts, you can schedule an appointment with our licensed therapists for obsessive-compulsive disorder treatment in NYC as soon as possible. Get in touch with us today to gain a deeper understanding of your mind. And empower yourself with the tools to treat yourself better each and every day.