Misuse of the word “OCD”

In the past few years OCD has become a disease that has been more talked about in the mainstream.  This is a double edged sword.  It is good because it makes the public more aware of OCD, but it is also bad because the word OCD is misused most of the time.  I look on twitter and use the has tag #OCD and see things like “I had to clean the windows because they were so dirty, #OCD.”  This is not what true OCD is about.  OCD can be very debilitating and the people that have this disease struggle everyday to function.  I know this from experience.

This brings me to an article that was posted in the magazine Marie Claire.  It has the actress Emma Watson on the cover.  She is a very popular actress.  In the article she says , “And then – and this is sort of irritating at times – I’m a bit OCD about perfectionism.”

She is a bit OCD about perfectionism?  This is the equivalent of saying I am a little bit pregnant, or I have a little bit of diabetes.  Yes, the severity of OCD varies from one person to the next, but of all the people I have met with OCD, none of them has ever said “I have a little OCD.”

I am torn about this.  While I am happy that someone famous is getting OCD into the mainstream, I am also not happy that the term is being misused.

It is my hope that someday people will understand that the word OCD means much more than having a “quirk” here and there.  It is a real disease that needs real treatment.


Opening up about desire to not take things easy, Emma told the publication that her upbringing has had a major impact on the way she lives her life. 

She said: ‘My parents have very strong work ethics and have instilled that in me; a love and respect for what you do and taking pride in it. 

‘And then – and this is sort of irritating at times – I’m a bit OCD about perfectionism. ‘

‘I’m my own worst critic. I think that’s really hard, but it also spurs me on. I always want to do better. I’m always striving towards the next thing.’



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