The term "OCD" often gets thrown around lightly by people describing their affinity for neatness, but actual obsessive-compulsive disorder is a serious condition that goes well beyond just cleaning and counting.
Hosted by: Brit Garner
Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/scishow
Dooblydoo thanks go to the following Patreon supporters:
Kelly Landrum Jones, Sam Lutfi, Kevin Knupp, Nicholas Smith, D.A. Noe, alexander wadsworth, سلط الخليفي, Piya Shedden, KatieMarie Magnone, Scott Satovsky Jr, Bella Nash, Charles Southerland, Bader AlGhamdi, James Harshaw, Patrick Merrithew, Patrick D. Ashmore, Candy, Tim Curwick, charles george, Saul, Mark Terrio-Cameron, Viraansh Bhanushali, Kevin Bealer, Philippe von Bergen, Chris Peters, Justin Lentz
Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet?
I would include Pure O(bsession) in your lists of "behaviors." This consists of symptoms such as being afraid of hurting others with your thoughts, or compulsively imagining worst possible scenarios, like sudden fears of hitting someone with your car, or "what if I?" Often, people with these anxiety-provoking and sometimes paralyzing thought compulsions don't realize they have OCD.
2:06 people CAN be a bit anxious or a bit depressed or a bit OCD without having the associated mental illness... technically "a bit OC" without the "D", but really the "a bit" covers that it's not a full blown disorder. (also, you said that it was an extreme manifestation of a normal thing... then went on to say it's totally different to a normal thing... you're being contradictory)
A joke is a joke. A joke does not mean a lack of understanding and it does not minimize the situation or the affected. A joke can even aleviate the stress of situation or condition making it easier to talk about. A joke is simply that... a joke. And remind yourself of who you are offended on behalf of. It's not the afflicted. It's you that got uncomfortable because you don't know how to react so you get offended on behalf of people. As Daniel Sloss said, you jumped in front of a bullet headed towards a tree.
First, I see nothing wrong with having a light hearted sense of humor about mental disorders. I am a little ocd, maybe subclinical, but it’s something I say and took note of.
Second, it frustrates me that we are so slow with neurological understanding. I know it’s only been barely a century of serious science, but still... ssri and other catch all drugs bother me. OCD? Ssri. Depressed? Ssri. Anxious? Ssri. Have random, insatiable pain(fibro)? SSRI!!
As someone who has been professionally diagnosed with OCD, attends therapy, and takes medication; people saying "they're a little OCD" really makes me mad. You have no idea what it's like to live with OCD.
I definitely have had some subclinical obsessions and compulsions, but ever since around kindergarten I was able to keep them from affecting my everyday life much, so they're not a real disorder, just an annoyance. However, due to them I was able to empathize some with the protagonist of "Turtles All The Way Down," which made it painful to read.
What I think is interesting is how our culture seems to fail to distinguish between pleasant fixations (special interests in autism for example) and negative obsessions (with the anxiety and the intrusive thoughts). Having experienced some amount of both (although not very much of true obsessions), I can assert with confidence that the similarity is only superficial.
So just to be clear, my desire to step on sidewalk lines so that the arch of my foot is directly over the line every time is not a sign of OCD? I'm pretty sure it's normal but people tell me it's weird...
I struggle with OCD, and some of my worst symptoms are: picking at my skin, popping joints, stressing and relaxing muscles, especially in my neck, and several others. However, therapy helped me with my most serious symptom: counting syllables on my hands. They had to be in groups of four or five, and it got to the point where I wasn't listening to anyone because I was too busy counting syllables. I would tailor what I said to have tbe "correct" amount. I still stuggle with it, but not nearly as much!
I dont often find it helpful to put people in boxes the way described here, if i was talking with someone who uses identity language to describe for example im depressed or im OCD, I would often respond with how depressed or OCD are you, taking them out of the box they were put in that describe them at their level of identity and into a spectrum which is often easier to work with as they go about changing believes, skills and/or behaviors.
Thank you for constantly working to spread the truth and dispel myths about mental illnesses! I always get so frustrated hearing people say things like "Ugh I'm so OCD if I see how dirty the room is I get SOOOOO anxious" , "My ex was so bipolar, she'd get mad and then she'd be happy she was crazy", or "I missed out on the tickets for a show I wanted to go to, I could kill myself right now!" Seriously? Not funny.
This helps explain why I’d constantly fix my hair but never feel like it’s perfect so I did it so much in school and during class i got made fun of and was told I was vain..I still do it but it’s not as bad anymore.
Thank you for this. I have OCD and when people say that im lying because I dont wash my hands 1000 times and im not always clean. Its hard to explain to people what OCD actually is. Mine is obessive thoughts that cripple my ablility to function on a healthy level. And I havent found my 'light switch' comfort. To the point where I wouldent go out with my kids because I was scared somthing would happe.. every time. Its more than just obsessive cleaning. It really does bother me that its turned into a 'trend' to be OCD
Thank you for making this video, OCD is not what most people think it is. I have OCD and will obsess over getting one particular thing clean, like spending 3 hours cleaning the toaster, while the rest of my home stays messy. When I tell people that I have OCD and they see my messy home they say things like "not OCD enough", which is very frustrating. They're just making a joke but it comes from this popular misinformation about the disorder and it just makes you feel even more anxious about your mess.
Something my Psych professor wanted to make clear to us was that generally for a condition to be a "disorder," it has to disrupt living a "normal" life. So OCD isn't just the presence repeated thoughts and behaviors, it's a _debilitating_ interference to some degree. The DSM doesn't aim to describe personality quirks -- we wouldn't call it a _disorder_ if it were merely describing the general human tendency to correct something that doesn't fit with its surroundings.
When I was in high school, I was diagnosed with depression, generalized anxiety, and PTSD, but I always thought I had OCD because I have a lot of its symptoms...but I have a lot of symptoms from various anxiety disorders (hence the generalized anxiety). After I graduated high school, I was diagnosed with OCPD...which explains a lot. Can you Scishow Psych please do an episode on OCPD? I think it would be a helpful resource for people.
I'm sorry, but this video doesn't "dispell" those misconceptions for me (maybe my fault, for lack of understanding). As I see it, when people say "I am a bit OCD about X", they are making a good use of the term. They actually, and knowingly, mean that they have an obsession (all the books in the shelf must be aligned) and a compulsion (they can't help but align them if they are not). Of course, they do not mean "OCD" in a clinical way, they are not claiming they should be diagnosed with OCD. But expecting that would be stupid. One could say they are deaf to insults, and you wouldn't complain that deafness is a real clinical condition they do not suffer. One could say they are madly in love and you wouldn't complain that they have not been diagnosed with a mental illness, or that they should not use the term "mad" lightly. One could say that microtransactions are a cancer for the gaming industry and... need I go on?
I spend so much time checking doors are closed.. switches are off... alarms are off.. even though I know they are done I can't sleep unless I've checked sometimes checking a alarm over and over for like 30 mins I hate that. Increases with stress too.. when all is good and I'm happy no stress checks seem to not be as needed...
I was told I have a type of OCD. A thought based one that whenever my hands or mind don't have something keeping them active I get dark, depressing, and sometimes dangerous thoughts. Now I have never acted on these thoughts. But because they have a defined trigger and are always the same type of thought pattern I was told that this is a type of OCD and has led me to constantly want something to keep my hands and mind active for fear the thoughts will return.
I’m on Zoloft for ocd. Mine was I had to do everything 4 times. Examples: footsteps, bites, chews, blinks, breaths, and small movements. It took over my life and I couldn’t focus on anything. I was miserable.
One of the episodes of the anime Trapeze focuses on a guy with the "checking" kind of OCD. I think it's episode 6 or 7? The anime is episodic and several episodes deal with what would be dx'd as OCD in Japan (apparently it's more of an umbrella term there..? don't take my word for it though, just speaking from a friend's research.) Friend of mine with OCD says that and Turtles All The Way Down, as mentioned in another comment, are really good representation.
Also that's one of the best episodes of the whole 12? 11? episode series, so definitely give it a look if you're interested in a portrayal of OCD that's not all "eerie mentally ill person cleans all the time, creepy"
I was diagnosed with ocd about 3 years ago. Mine is predominantly obsessional. I still have a long way in treatment to go but I’ve already come so far in 3 years. It was hard at first to have hope that I would get better. I still struggle some days (or weeks and months).
I've had lifelong OCD that manifested itself when I was only 6 years old. Although I am outspoken about my other illnesses (clinical depression, anxiety, and narcolepsy to name a few) OCD has always been an area of shame for me. Most of my friends don't know I have OCD for fear of ostracization due to my compulsions. Thanks for making this video. I really hope people stop using it as a dysphemism for liking things tidy.
Is it OCD if you're brain repeats a thought over and over on a loop until you feel exhausted and sick of the subject? Also I randomly get a thought like "touch the wall right now or you'll die" and it's hard to resist tapping the wall.
I think clearing misconceptions like this are really important for the field and just for the general public's understanding of mental illness. I would also really like to see some content about the term "Psycho" and how people use it as a term meaning someone who is irrational or "crazy".
I don’t have OCD. But because I have other stigmatized mental health issues, I get very annoyed when people say “oh I’m so OCD” im like “No. no you’re not. You have a ‘thing’. We all have ‘things’. It’s normal. It’s okay.”
I tried pills which helped initially but over time I gained so much weight and began to have high blood pressure. Therapy was the best thing I ever did. I combod cannabis and therapy and it worked for me. I personally recommend marijuana and no shame for using it. Marijuana works.
Many people have minor symptoms of OCD. It's like height. There are varying degrees of severity, and eventually you can diagnose someone with OCD, but that doesn't mean that when someone says they're a little OCD, that they're dead wrong. What they mean when they say that is that they are a little obsessive or compulsive about something, which isn't inaccurate. If they had more of those symptoms, then they would eventually reach the arbitrary line we call OCD. So yeah, someone saying they are OCD when they have a little obsession or compulsion is wrong, but some people aren't too far off.
When I was younger, I mainly had to deal with symmetry compulsions and compulsions involving bodily (especially hands) cleanliness and environmental cleanliness --things that may cause the body or clothes to become polluted. Virtually everywhere outside of the home was considered polluted, so after going out, I'd change clothes (straight into the laundry hamper with the "dirty" ones) before sitting in my chair at home, lest it become polluted. Thankfully I'm entirely rid of that compulsion today. However, to this day I still have some symmetry compulsions, but I'm mostly able to tolerate environments with non-squarely arranged objects. But I still straighten them if I have the time. It's like...anything else is like you're TRYING to make your workspace unnavigable, which wastes time, which wastes money. So there's an element of rationality, and a pragmatically useful outcome if I allow that compulsion to inform some of my behavior. Looking back...yeah. It's pretty weird. It's like a vague sense that something very, very bad is going to happen if you fail to perform the ritual --no matter how much you try to talk sense into yourself. Mercifully I never had to deal with constantly looping patterns of behavior. That's gotta be rough.
I won't go into detail, but I'm pretty sure the OCD was triggered/introduced when I was compelled to spend time with another child I really didn't want to be around for several reasons. This went on for a couple years. I hope this helps someone.
This video has a very forceful tone about not joking about OCD or making light of it, which kinda surprised me. I've seen people joke about it before, but not to the degree that other mental health issues are joked about ("triggered" comes to mind).
I don't have OCD but I used to check the lock on my bedroom door nearly constantly and I got anxious if I went to long without making sure it was locked. I don't do it anymore because I don't live with my violent brother anymore. It was a fear response, not ocd.
Thank you for making this. A close family member of mine had severe OCD in the form of checking habits. Before we could ever leave the house, he would check each appliance, including the stove and refrigerator, to make sure they were unplugged. He took the batteries out of things, locked and unlocked every door in the house, and then got back into the car, only to repeat the cycle a dozen more times before we could go down the street to the grocery store. He got treatment in terms of medication and cognitive behavioral therapy, and I am happy to say that while he still has a couple little "ticks" he is doing much better now. I appreciate you showing how this is a real mental illness, and discouraging people from joking about it self righteously.
I was actually diagnosed around a year ago. And i can say a lot of the things I did i thought were normal.Brushing my teeth, patterns, cracks, gener, words, hoarding. I am clinically diagnosed but mine isnt extremely severe. but I also have extreme anxiety and depression. And im on multiple meds. It helps but everything is still very much there.
When Brit starts the video talking fast you know it’s going to get Dense. 🧐
Still, she is always my favourite host here, to me this IS her Channel & Hank is just a substitute brought in to give her some rest. 😝
I guess this is simliar to Howie Mandel. I think it is important for people who Don't have OCD to be patient and empathetic with people who do.
I've known a few women like this, and in hindsight, I wonder how things would have ended up with just a little understanding and patience. I wonder how many others are like this🤔
I've had teachers who have called themselves a "little OCD." It makes me wonder how they got their jobs in the first place. Then when I would tell them they're wrong, they would tell me I'm wrong. I'm thinking, "since when were you diagnosed with the disorder?"
Ok this might be confusing at first but can you do a video on how children that suck there fingers\thumbs longer have less chance of getting sick?
Idk if this is a thing but I am 11 and still suck my fingers and hardly ever get sick, even if I just touched something that was passed around a room
Is there anyone else with OCD who performs rituals to try and make good things happen, as well as prevent bad things from happening? This is what has made it difficult for me to motivate myself to seek treatment for my OCD; because of the comfort that comes with half-believing that my ritual behaviour can somehow produce good outcomes in my life.
Well i think its absolutely reasonable when people say they are a bit of a psychological disorder. As you Said the diagnosis is highly subjectiv basicly a charakter trait becomes a disorder when its a Problem for the person themselves. So why wouldnt i discribe a trait with the disorder
I have ADHD with OCD tendencies, and I am very happy that this video was made. I can now show it to people who don't understand why I get annoyed when someone says something to the effect of "that triggers my OCD" when something isn't symmetrical or a jar of M&Ms has one red one in with the green ones. It's not funny, it's not a joke, and it's not something to want to have. Thank you for making this video, and having it be so concise in its information.
Antidepressants are medications that can help relieve symptoms of depression, social anxiety disorder, anxiety disorders, seasonal affective disorder, and dysthymia, or mild chronic depression, as well as other conditions.
They aim to correct chemical imbalances of neurotransmitters in the brain that are believed to be responsible for changes in mood and behavior.
Depression Medications (Antidepressants)
These are the most commonly prescribed type of antidepressant.
Serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are used to treat major depression, mood disorders, and possibly but less commonly attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety disorders, menopausal symptoms, fibromyalgia, and chronic neuropathic pain.
SNRIs raise levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, two neurotransmitters in the brain that play a key role in stabilizing mood.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants. They are effective in treating depression, and they have fewer side effects than the other antidepressants.
SSRIs block the reuptake, or absorption, of serotonin in the brain. This makes it easier for the brain cells to receive and send messages, resulting in better and more stable moods.
They are called "selective" because they mainly seem to affect serotonin, and not the other neurotransmitters.