I would like to address something that for many people with OCD has been frustrating to hear.....
The sentence/comment "Just snap out of it" or 1 of it's variants, must have been said to each 1 of us at least 1 time in our lives. Makes you wonder why..... because if I would make a comparison it is not very common to have someone say, "just go for a walk" to a person with 2 broken legs. Then why would someone do so with a person who's restrictions are found within the mind.
Mind over matter right, so..... if the mind is restricted isn't this more powerful of a restriction than when...... anyway.........
So..... as a bystander you see a person go through these/seemingly senseless and rather silly behaviors.
Mind you, even as the 1 going through them you see them that way. I guess that at 1 point you must wonder how come they can't just stop, like you do..... sounds simple enough. You might think how you are able to just close a door and move on, so why can't we.....
1 of the major problems in having people understand OCD is that it's so close to
their own behavior in a way. What a person with OCD does could almost be seen as "normal" behaviorism to the 99 th. power. When you close your door when you go out, you probably turn the key and maybe assure yourself an extra time that the door is securely locked.
Someone that checks, will do the same..... except that for this person "to feel" and "to trust" that the door is really closed, an hour might have gone by.
Same with someone that cleans, checks or has feelings of guilt.
Part of us knows locking a door 1 time should suffice, but we don't feel it is and this creates the Doubt that is typical of OCD.
So , yes..... we all have behaviors and habits in our lives.
Each human has his/her routines.....
From the moment we are born we are exploring how we can do things so we can feel some sense of satisfaction.
The satisfaction can lay in doing something fast, precise, correct.....
You try out different ways and if you want things to be done as smoothly and efficiently as possible you have to decide which way works best for you and you will start to adopt certain routines.
These routines have the purpose to structure your life and have you waste as little time as possible having to figure out how best to do something time and time again.
So yes..... we in a way all have the same basic systems, that's why many people say they
recognize some of their behaviors in those of people that have OCD, but there is a huge difference.
The difference is that we have forgotten how to choose because it's the best way, we choose because it feels within our OCD- system to be the best way.
We don't use criteria like practical and logical anymore..... they become symbolic and very intricate. Whereas someone that does not have OCD has still a choice to try it a different way..... the person with OCD gets stuck and will feel that this routine alleviates some of their anxiety.
When you, as non- sufferer, do it differently..... you are still able to walk away from it, free from anxiety.
Rarely are things so simple for us. Fighting the urge is literally fighting.....
The rigidity in which we have to do certain things has robbed us from our freedom.
So although we have a choice like any 1 else to alter our behavior, the choice seems unreasonably unfair.
I would also like to point out that OCD doesn't protect us from the other problems in life..... they just get added on.
Having OCD is never our only problem.....
Then some make the comparison is made with the addiction to cigarettes.....
Both suffers as non- sufferers use this example actually, although in a different way.
We will say that if you want to grasp some of the need we feel to do certain things, to look at your own addictions and tell yourself to "just stop". While the the non- sufferer will say..... we all have such urges and we can fight them, not always easy but we can. Just try harder..... But that they do know what we are going through.
Now besides the fact that you have looked for the most efficient way of doing things, people also like to be in control..... How best to be in control...... by repeating things and throughout the years these routines will become habits. This way you ensure yourself with a "waterproof" system that has a guarantee- success factor. Like the saying goes, practice makes perfect.
These habits most likely comfort you, habits that when broken..... might even make you feel uneasy, not for nothing the expression "Old habits are hard to break" exists.
But while some similarities arise between routines and rituals, the differences that are much more flagrant. We will not just feel annoyed when our ritual is broken..... we will feel very clearly anxious. Anxiety, fear...... these feelings are so strong, that when you are fighting a ritual and the anxiety starts to cloud your vision more and more............. giving in into the ritual seems only a small prize to pay and the easiest and fastest solution. Think about it, when you are really scared..... don't you just feel like trying to do something that will take away this fear. Or will you always stand tall and face the "danger".
Flight or Fight..... these are the 2 options that are constantly going through our mind when being faced to our OCD.
Because giving in to the rituals when being afraid is easy, even logical.....
Then, once you have calmed down you can see how it took away your freedom and realize it was actually a dear prize to pay.....
But that's the point, we rarely think clearly when a panic attack is creeping up on us.
Now all of this is just talking from a human point of view, we haven't even tackled the scientifically proven fact that OCD is based on a chemical disbalance.
Dispute this and we will ask you to change your testosterone into female hormones or the other way round, if you can do that yep..... we might start to reconsider our claim for understanding and you will probably be making the news and be dissected in the name of science..... I am wondering off here.....
So even starting out from a very basic way of seeing things, you can see how the OCD has us in it's grip and that it's never a question of "just snapping out of it".
This is something we fight against each and every day/hour/minute/second.
We are not by default weak people.
We do try..... Next time you try to fight an urge..... think about all of this and tell yourself having to fight this urge on a daily basis must be strenuous to say the least.
All we ask is to be taken seriously like you would a person would 2 broken legs.............
What you can't see, might still be there..... The pain we go through is inside of us but certainly not any less present...... Don't tempt us to find a way to give you our OCD, because the 1 st. person that says "just snap out of it" will be the lucky 1 that can try that out :).
Just try and understand..... not judge, is all we are asking for.........
Having some touching ground still doesn't mean we are standing on the same level.
But it does mean you have the basis to understand...................