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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD, many people use this term for themselves on a daily basis when they are feeling like a perfectionist or just like to be organized. The term is used too widely it almost seems like a joke. However, real OCD is not a term used lightly or a joke. I have been diagnosed with OCD for over six years and this is not a medical condition to take lightly. I have been severely organized and neat my whole life and I always joked I had OCD. It was never a problem till I got pregnant with my daughter. I thought to myself I surely won’t have time to be so obsessed with my home organization and checking if the gas was off or if I locked my front door.


But I was wrong, while being diagnosed with postnatal depression my obsessions got steadily worse. Some weird ways that my OCD manifested was with obsessively organizing my belongings. After my c-section I needed my husband to organize the suitcase we brought to the hospital, yet of course he managed to do that all “wrong.” I actually got up with my catheter in to do it myself! Thereafter he helped me cleaning the home and doing laundry, he vacuumed all “wrong” and hung the laundry all “wrong”, it actually hurt inside my heart and I got very aggressive. I just could not stop obsessing over very small matters. I thought it was my hormones, I had yet to find out this is just a part of who I am.


I was extremely grateful that my daughter was an easy and happy baby that meant that I could leave her in her baby seat and actually clean the home. I was feeling so proud of my clean, tidy and super organized home. Instead of spending those precious baby days holding my daughter I was knee deep in bleach. I would check my front door many times to see if I had locked it. Sending my husband back to the door because I knew for sure he did not lock it, then going back myself for the third time checking if it was locked. I always had a dreaded feeling I would forget something, like turning off the gas or not organizing my belongings corre






When things started to get out of hand I was put on medication to fight the OCD and postnatal depression and six years later I still take this medication daily, and it helps me. I am still very organized and the OCD is part of my life but I can manage it in a more realistic way. The only times it is of concern is when I feel sick or very tired and I feel I have to reorganize my whole home in one day. This is a big problem for my husband as I involve him in putting furniture in different spots and hanging paintings straight. On many occasions he has gotten home to find the furniture and belongings rearranged in another way. I’d joke that my husband can’t find anything but clearly I am not making it easier on him. When I am on the go and I get nervous, I start organizing my purse or backpack, people might think I am looking for something but I need to do this to clear my mind.


Using the medication takes the edge off for me mentally, and I leave dirty dishes in the sink and close doors of my home when it gets messy. I don’t check the gas or the front door lock three times a day. This is a huge step forward to how I used to be. Friends might envy my tidy and neat home but it’s just a part of me I can’t change. I have come to realize this tidiness is not normal as I have visited many people’s home and clearly this is not how people actually live.


OCD can manifest itself in many ways, my own personal way is just that, my own personal OCD, I embrace it and hate it at the same time. It’s of the upmost importance to know the difference between OCD and just feeling like you need a tidy desk. Normalize mental health one step and one story at the time.


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