OCD Letter of Address

Subject: OCD Letter of Address
From: Zac Bennett
Date: 26 Jan 2018

Dear Notions of Society,

A common misconception and assumption that most humans believe is that the world is fueled by order. Without order, the backbone and pillars of a single nation would collapse under its’ own common enemy that strives to create anarchy and by doing so, helps set off the balance of our underlying principles. I believe this same supposition arises when considering the mental illness of others, and in particular, the stigma aroused from OCD.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, commonly referred to as OCD, is a mental illness that causes significant distress through the forms of obsessively interesting thoughts, followed by actions based on over compulsiveness. If you live in the U.S, 1 in 40 individuals are affected by this illness; which roughly calculates to about 2.3% of the population. Based on the facts, I could argue that most people know a bit or two about the disorder. But hidden beneath these truths, I could also allege that most people in society view it through the same false belief - an illness comprised of keeping complete order and cleanliness in the given environment.

If you spend a substantial amount of time watching television or staring at a digital screen, you most likely are aware of the way the media portrays this mental illness. Lots of movie and television shows often feature characters who have OCD, but unfortunately, most of these programs exaggerate the symptoms of OCD, and by doing so, they create an unrealistic image of what the illness is really like. For instance, a somewhat famous tv show, “Friends” includes a character by the name of Monica who is obsessed with the neatness and arrangement of things. Her personality is exemplified through various routines that involve the tendency to label things and clean up after others. In other words, this display of OCD highlights the orderly aspect that we as individuals assume the entire diseased is comprised of. But there are several different sides about OCD that society has excluded itself from understanding when they accept this false portrayal of those who suffer from this disease. The other hand of OCD is understood by looking at the thoughts of an individual, and how these intrusive and irrational beliefs are the backbone for allowing the compulsions to occur or not.

If you were to look deeper into the complicated discomforts of OCD, you would conclude that if it were not for the obsessive thoughts finding a way into the individual minds, there would be no need for their compulsive desires. Most people who suffer from OCD can realize their obsessions are illogical and unreasonable; therefore, they relieve their stress by performing compulsive acts or routines. But in rare cases, do individuals have “Pure-O” OCD, in which the person only battles their own invading thoughts. To that, there is no order, there is no cleanliness, and there are no arrangements because the ideas come and go as often as they please, leaving no option for people to control them. As scary as this may seem, what’s even more disturbing is that people within the society continue to paint a picture of comedy with the characters on tv shows, whereas in fact, this form of OCD can often lead to self-harm or violence.

OCD is much more elaborate than just the compulsiveness, and understanding the notions derived from the obsessive thoughts can help us define the complexity of the illness in a way that doesn’t just have characters on a tv show aligning dominoes in orderly periods. Our thoughts are our most significant tools, yet we use them to create images of assumption and false satisfaction. In some ways, you could say we all think intrusive thoughts to ourselves, acting or basing our judgments off of them. Some of us need more help than others, but I’ll leave you all to decide upon that.

From my thoughts to yours,
Zac Bennett


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