OCD. It stands for obsessive compulsive disorder and is a mental health disorder that affects many people around the world. Symptoms may come and go, but in most cases, OCD cannot be cured. If symptoms get too severe, they can interfere in the daily lives and relationships of people.
People with OCD experience obsessions such as unwanted thoughts and images that are out of their control. In other words, a person cannot control what kind of thoughts occur to them which eventually causes them to experience anxiety. Obsessions are also time consuming and may get in the way of the lives of people. In order to relieve the anxiety from these obsessions, people tend to perform certain behaviors such as rituals known as compulsions. These are repetitive behaviors or thoughts that a person uses in order to make their obsessions go away as it is a kind of temporary solution to their anxiety.
At school, students with severe OCD may have a more difficult time in concentrating in class which can affect their grades. OCD might prevent students from participating in class and asking questions because they have to focus on their urges and compulsions in order to feel relief. They may also have the tendency to have things arranged in a certain manner or order. Students may also feel overwhelming anxiety and tend to perform certain rituals to make their anxiety go away. One example of this ritual or compulsion is washing their hands excessively. Students may feel the urge to get of germs as much as they can because they fear contamination. Students may also avoid touching doorknobs and refuse to share their school supplies with other students. A student with OCD may feel uncomfortable sharing a computer keyboard with another student because of their fear of germs and bacteria.
OCD is a serious mental health disorder. Many people confuse OCD with perfectionism and use OCD as a joke, but it is not something that should be thrown around for fun. Justin Kim, a Loyola High School senior, states that, “OCD should be taken seriously and people should understand that it affects many people around the world. Only through future research can we hope to figure out what causes OCD in people.” As OCD is a common disorder, people should continue to bring awareness to OCD and help others realize that it is not a joke.
Jennie Kim, Grade 10
Immaculate Heart High School