Deborah De La Cruz

OCD: (Obsessive-compulsive disorder) a disorder that affects 2.2 million adults in the United States alone. OCD can trigger unwanted thoughts, actions, and feelings.

Chances are you have heard the term OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) being used to describe someone who is super organized and/or clean. While OCD can present itself as those things, it also has many different ways it manifests.

Personally, my OCD doesn’t present itself as super organized and/or obsessed with cleanliness. I tend to have more intrusive thoughts. Intrusive thoughts are thoughts that can be distressing and you can’t control. For example, one of my intrusive thoughts is when I am driving my car and my brain will tell me to crash, even though I don’t want to. So as you can imagine, when you’re operating heavy machinery and your brain tells you to crash, it can be quite a scary experience.

Another frustrating aspect of OCD is when you get a new obsessive thought in your head as no amount of reassurance can calm it. Let me make it easier to understand. You know that feeling when you’re hanging with your friends and that little voice in your head starts to say, “They all hate me! They are only friends with me out of pity. Oh my god I should leave.”

Well, that’s what obsessive thoughts feel like but it’s not just about if your friends like you.
It’s about whether I turn the lights off and on five times before I leave my room or if I read every road sign when I drive by it. It’s about if I don’t double tap every stair with my foot, either I or my whole family will die.

It is so much more than putting your colored pencils in order because they are prettier that way. It is debilitating and insufferable, and I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy.

You’re probably reading this and thinking, why is this random girl telling me about her mental illness on the Pony Express website. Not only is my goal to bring my grade up in journalism, but I also want to educate people on the severity of the disorder, and show that it’s not funny to throw the term around. So, if nothing else, I hope you take empathy and understanding from my words.