clutter and ocd

Lately I’ve noticed that a lot of people say they have OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) when they refer to their organizing habits.  Increasingly, people tell me I must “be OCD,” as well, which I find rather tiresome.

Wanting to find things without searching and having systems in place to make life easier does not mean that someone has OCD. 

People who do have OCD struggle each day to live with obsessive thoughts and the compulsive need to perform certain behaviors.  They have a serious medical condition, not a frivolous desire to have matching baskets or color-coordinated typefaces on labels.

Please use words carefully.  If you refer to yourself as “being a little OCD about” something when you really mean that you’re selective or particular, say what you mean. 

Comparing yourself to someone with a debilitating condition really isn’t kind.

What do you think? Am I overreacting or being “politically correct?”  Or do you believe that inaccurate language is detrimental?

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2 Responses to clutter and ocd

  1. The phrase “OCD” is definitely overused these days. We may all have some obsessive compulsive tendencies, feeling the need to do things certain ways even though we know we have should be doing other things; but few are to the extreme where those urges prohibit use from functioning in our daily lives.

    That said, I think it’s more about the state of our society. It seems like conscientious, clean, organized persons use the phrase as an apology for being attentive and successful in that area of their life, because (God forbid) we should make someone with bad habits feel bad about themselves.

  2. Thanks for adding your view, Mui. I agree with you that people use the term as “shorthand” for behaviors that others might feel are unachievable. I’d like to see people take credit for their achievements instead of acting as if they have a medical condition.

    I also believe that when people hijack a term that refers to an illness, the illness starts to look like a joke instead of a real, painful condition.

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