Monday, February 15, 2010

Pssst...OCD is NOT an Adjective

Dear Readers Without OCD,

On behalf of the OCD community, I'd--

Yikes! I can only imagine how pretentious that must sound. Who am I to speakon behalf of the OCD community? It's not as if we're some organized group (though I suppose many of us, ourselves, are extremely organized) or that we require membership in some exclusive club (imagine the Purell involved in that secret handshake!). That said, if you'll indulge me, I will, in fact, attempt to speak here on behalf of the vast majority of OCD sufferers that I've had the opportunity to meet in my outreach travels. I've come to find that we, collectively, have a gentle reminder we'd like to pass along, ever so respectfully:

"OCD" is not an adjective; and more to the point, it is not a synonym for fastidious or anal-retentive.

Perhaps you've noticed this growing misuse. Maybe you, yourself, are even guilty of an occasional infraction. (It's okay; we forgive you.) I'm talking about comments such as this: "My boyfriend is so OCD about keeping his apartment clean." Or this: "Ever since starting high school, I've become so OCD about doing my homework." I overhear someone saying something like this at least once or twice a week. And if you think I'm overstating the trend, try this little experiment: type the words "so OCD" into a Google or Twitter search box and tally up the results. (Just don't spend too much time doing this, lest some misguided observer accuses you of being so OCD about research.)..." More