The term “I’m so OCD” is used so often to describe a behavior that one may have where they can’t stand to have a mess in the house, or for things not to be arranged in a certain order, or one who double checks their locks every once in awhile.

This phrase “I’m so OCD” can be used incorrectly, but who can blame a person for that? I know I most certainly do not! The reality of OCD is so much more tragic than most realize. And there simply isn’t enough awareness for this illness.

I thought about this the other night after I chatted with some friends. One of them was talking about the difference between OCD behaviors and the actual illness. How many of us have OCD-like behaviors that make us truly believe we may have a touch of OCD? I’m sure we could all come up with something.

In fact, I recently read an interesting article where the author took us on a tour of her thought process over several days. She wrote down every single irrational thought she had. You know what I mean, those silly thoughts like “Did I lock the doors before I went to bed?” The thought is silly because you remember going around to lock the doors. Her point was that she had plenty of these thoughts, but didn’t act on them!

Do you know how OCD-like behavior differentiates you from someone who actually struggles with the disorder? You can put the thought out of your mind and go about your business. Someone who has OCD will spend several hours on their compulsions, never really getting true relief because just as soon as relief hits, the panic comes back. And then they have to repeat their compulsions. Over and over. Hour after hour. Day after day. Thinking that this is what they have to do to get rid of the anxiety.

I can’t even imagine living in that kind of a reality.