OCD awareness: Why it’s never okay to call yourself "a bit OCD"

But the thing is, there’s no such thing as being “a bit OCD”. Even for those whose OCD manifests as a need to have things tidy and organised, OCD is more than just wanting things a certain way – it’s a disorder characterised by feelings of anxiety and discomfort. 

Indeed, OCD is not a preference, or a personality quirk, or a light-hearted reference. OCD is a serious, debilitating disorder that affects over 750,000 people in the UK – and your words have the potential to do more harm than you might expect. 

First of all, using OCD as a way to describe a personality quirk not only undermines the severity of the disorder (the risk of death by suicide among people living with OCD has been estimated as 10 times that of the general population), it perpetuates the idea that people living with OCD choose their compulsions, and therefore have the power to stop or restrict them.