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OCD AW 2017 - Trivialising OCD, just a joke or adding to the stigma? Watch

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    Hey guys

    As part of OCD Awareness Week 2017, one of the topics that generates a lot of different opinions is of 'OCD themed gifts'. I'm sure you have seen t shirts, mugs, keyrings etc that may say things like "I have OCD - Obsessive Cat Disorder!", "I have OCD - Obsessive Christmas Disorder!", "I'm so OCD!", "I have CDO, its like OCD but in the correct alphabetical order" and so on.


    For both sufferers of OCD and non-sufferers, what are your thoughts on these kind of things? Are they just harmless fun or do they help add to the misconceptions of the illness and play down the severity of it? What if OCD stood for a serious type of phsyical illness, do you think the same kind of jokes would be made?

    I'm on the fence with it. I suffer from OCD myself as well as my mum and we've been in and out of therapy because of it and its not been a walk in the park. I'm not easily offended and love a laugh but I do think things like this add to the fact that people don't take the illness seriously and things like that make it come across as just being a 'quirk' even more. I don't think the same kind of jokes would be made if it were a physical illness yet its so easily made for a mental condition - an often debilitating mental condition. Instead of seeing the illness as what it is, its like people just want to turn it into a fashion statement. I am not offended by these kind of items, I'm frustrated.
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    Kindred, the floor is yours

    Whether you suffer from OCD or not, all replies are welcome
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    This is an interesting one. I personally don't like them. I think they're distasteful for what frankly isn't that funny.
    I get that some people do find them funny though and I have no problem with that. Humour is a personal thing and it's a victimless joke... isn't it it?

    Not entirely, no. Sure the joke in itself isn't really picking fun at or being rude about OCD or people with it, but it is playing light of a very misunderstood and nasty condition. The implication is that your friend is obsessive about Christmas or cats and that's linked to a debilitating and misunderstood condition. It also feeds the myth that OCD is just being a bit obsessive about something.
    I don't think I would have nearly as much of an issue with this if OCD wasn't so misunderstood and people with it didn't have to deal with the stigma they do. But the fact is, OCD is misunderstood and people with it do have to go through s-poop because of it. And that funny little product is feeding that and almost mocking it.

    It's a bit like the "that was so bad it gave me cancer" joke, but if people with cancer were being told "just tell your cells to stop destroying you" or "your cancer really bugs me. Can you give it a rest for a while?".

    When I see one of those "I suffer Obsessive Cat Disorder" mugs I am reminded of all the times people have been unkind or ignorant towards me an my OCD. I am the victim of that joke. If I wasn't reminded of all those things I doubt I would care, but as it is those jokes remind me of how much my OCD sucked and honestly, I hate to say it, makes me a bit pissed off with the random stranger wearing my suffering like it's a joke.

    So yeah, although the joke in itself isn't too bad, it's linked to a much bigger issues and because of that I don't like them.


    I'm really interested to hear (well read) some other people's views on this btw so please do join the discussion.
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    I don't have OCD so I don't know how welcome my contribution is gonna be here but I think those kind of "jokes" really trivialize the condition which adds to the stigma. Like the CDO one, if people get the impression that people with OCD simply "like" things to be in order they're not going to take the person seriously when they are really struggling and will think the sufferer is simply overreacting to something that a lot of people find pleasing. I don't know if that makes sense, sorry. Basically, lots of people like things to be in order so when someone cannot leave their house because they simply cannot get rid of the compulsion to order something perfectly and have been doing it for hours it becomes very hard to sympathize with the sufferer because "we all like things in order" so they're overreacting. Of course this is bull.

    And I don't think it would be done for physical illnesses, although I have seen it done for other mental ones which also adds to the stigma of those too. Can you imagine a tshirt "I stay thin because I have CANCER LOL"? :facepalm:
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    Oh btw, for reference these are the type of thing I'm on about...
    Name:  OCDDD.jpg
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Size:  61.0 KB
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    My friend got me an Obsessive Cat Disorder wall plaque as a wedding gift knowing full well I was in therapy at the time for OCD. I didn't know whether to laugh out of irony or say something. I just smiled and said thanks when I saw it
    (Original post by Kindred)
    Oh btw, for reference these are the type of thing I'm on about...
    Name:  OCDDD.jpg
Views: 28
Size:  61.0 KB
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    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    I don't have OCD so I don't know how welcome my contribution is gonna be here but I think those kind of "jokes" really trivialize the condition which adds to the stigma. Like the CDO one, if people get the impression that people with OCD simply "like" things to be in order they're not going to take the person seriously when they are really struggling and will think the sufferer is simply overreacting to something that a lot of people find pleasing. I don't know if that makes sense, sorry. Basically, lots of people like things to be in order so when someone cannot leave their house because they simply cannot get rid of the compulsion to order something perfectly and have been doing it for hours it becomes very hard to sympathize with the sufferer because "we all like things in order" so they're overreacting. Of course this is bull.

    And I don't think it would be done for physical illnesses, although I have seen it done for other mental ones which also adds to the stigma of those too. Can you imagine a tshirt "I stay thin because I have CANCER LOL"? :facepalm:
    Your contribution is so very welcome. This isn't just a thread for people with OCD (that would be pretty closed minded of us).

    You make a great point. I think I may have seen some things that make jokes based on physical conditions, but they certainly don't seem as popular as these types of thing.
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    (Original post by Rum Ham)
    My friend got me an Obsessive Cat Disorder wall plaque as a wedding gift knowing full well I was in therapy at the time for OCD. I didn't know whether to laugh out of irony or say something. I just smiled and said thanks when I saw it
    Oh dear. Well I guess you just need to go with it's the thought that counts and assume her thoughts were nice ones.
    I can see how it could seem like a cute and funny gift to humanise your issues a little, but it's the sort of thing I'd tend to avoid myself just cos you don't know how the person is going to take it.

    I'll joke about some of my conditions, but only with people I'm close to and who I feel are understanding. There are a lot of things my bf can say and I'll laugh at, but if somebody else said them I'd be pretty hurt. I kinda feel like you have to ear the right to joke by showing real support too. That way I know the joke is about my condition and not me.

    And that's what those products are missing- the support behind it. Without that support you don't know which way the joke is directed.
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    Another trivialising thing I've noticed are these quizzes on FB like "test your OCD!" and you have to rate how much something that looks out of place or out of a certain order annoys you. Again, that is a characteristic of OCPD - the like to have things in a rigid order. If it were OCD, you'd be putting those things back in order because you feel so strongly compeld to do it or something bad might happen - it feels like life or death whereas with OCPD, it's more that you will feel satisfaction if you correct something.

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    (Original post by Kindred)
    Oh dear. Well I guess you just need to go with it's the thought that counts and assume her thoughts were nice ones.
    I can see how it could seem like a cute and funny gift to humanise your issues a little, but it's the sort of thing I'd tend to avoid myself just cos you don't know how the person is going to take it.

    I'll joke about some of my conditions, but only with people I'm close to and who I feel are understanding. There are a lot of things my bf can say and I'll laugh at, but if somebody else said them I'd be pretty hurt. I kinda feel like you have to ear the right to joke by showing real support too. That way I know the joke is about my condition and not me.

    And that's what those products are missing- the support behind it. Without that support you don't know which way the joke is directed.
    Totally get what you mean. I make light of my of my physical conditions at times such of my bowel problems. If I'm having a bad day with my gut and someone asks how I am, I'll say "like ****, literally", like you though, only to those who support me since they know just how bad the condition is and don't need to be educated on the ins and outs of it.

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    (Original post by Rum Ham)
    Totally get what you mean. I make light of my of my physical conditions at times such of my bowel problems. If I'm having a bad day with my gut and someone asks how I am, I'll say "like ****, literally", like you though, only to those who support me since they know just how bad the condition is and don't need to be educated on the ins and outs of it.

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    I think if you make light of the condition you have, it's fine. But it's really frustrating if someone else does it.
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    (Original post by Rum Ham)
    My friend got me an Obsessive Cat Disorder wall plaque as a wedding gift knowing full well I was in therapy at the time for OCD. I didn't know whether to laugh out of irony or say something. I just smiled and said thanks when I saw it
    That's really mean of your friend tbh :/
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    I don't have OCD but I agree with what has been said above about it trivialising (whether it means to or not) a very debilitating condition, and that that's neither funny nor fair

    I think this is a great idea for a thread, as a few years ago, I would have found such things funny. We can always better educate ourselves on these matters (not saying I'm perfect - far from it, still got a long way to go on many things!) :yep:
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    (Original post by Rum Ham)
    Another trivialising thing I've noticed are these quizzes on FB like "test your OCD!" and you have to rate how much something that looks out of place or out of a certain order annoys you. Again, that is a characteristic of OCPD - the like to have things in a rigid order. If it were OCD, you'd be putting those things back in order because you feel so strongly compeld to do it or something bad might happen - it feels like life or death whereas with OCPD, it's more that you will feel satisfaction if you correct something.

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    If I had OCD I wouldn't finish the quiz cos I'd be too busy compulsively scrolling up and down the page and clicking the box just right (whatever that even is)... oh wait, I do (/did).

    Those quizzes would be just fine saying "how obsessed with order are you?" Or even "How obsessive are you?". It's adding the actual name of a condition in there that annoys me.
    Same sort of thing happens with depression- they replace "sad" or similar with "depressed. I think I've even seen it with bi-polar replacing indecisive/ hypocritical.
    What is the obsession with using actual conditions for no reason?
    You don't hear people going around saying "I've been shot in the head" when they have a headache or "omg my leg is so broken today" when it hurts a bit. Imagine a "what % cancer do you have?" quiz based on how tired you are and how short your hair is.

    Interestingly though, it was online quizzes that helped me work out it was worth seeing somebody about it. Not those silly ones, but ones with more real symptoms. It opened my eyes to how much bigger than hand washing OCD was (cos that stigma can also mean legitimate sufferers don't realise they have it because they don't wash their hand obsessively).
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    (Original post by Kindred)
    If I had OCD I wouldn't finish the quiz cos I'd be too busy compulsively scrolling up and down the page and clicking the box just right (whatever that even is)... oh wait, I do (/did).

    Those quizzes would be just fine saying "how obsessed with order are you?" Or even "How obsessive are you?". It's adding the actual name of a condition in there that annoys me.
    Same sort of thing happens with depression- they replace "sad" or similar with "depressed. I think I've even seen it with bi-polar replacing indecisive/ hypocritical.
    What is the obsession with using actual conditions for no reason?
    You don't hear people going around saying "I've been shot in the head" when they have a headache or "omg my leg is so broken today" when it hurts a bit. Imagine a "what % cancer do you have?" quiz based on how tired you are and how short your hair is.

    Interestingly though, it was online quizzes that helped me work out it was worth seeing somebody about it. Not those silly ones, but ones with more real symptoms. It opened my eyes to how much bigger than hand washing OCD was (cos that stigma can also mean legitimate sufferers don't realise they have it because they don't wash their hand obsessively).
    This, especially.

    I agree that MH quizes can be a useful diagonistic tool but only when they come from a reputable source such a decidated MH or psychology website, but definitely not FB quizes :laugh:

    Even though I was diagnosed with OCD as a kid, the actual name of the condition isn't really said to me much by docs - its usually just "what are your compulsions? What are you scared will happen?" so when I took OCD tests and saw that there were so many other aspects to the illness I didn't realise, even though I suffered from those symptoms, it was informative.
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    Thanks everyone for taking part in Wednesday's OCD aw 2017 topic

    Any further discussion on this topic is welcome on this thread. Always interested to hear people's views on the subject. Thursday's discussion will continue on the OCD Awareness Week thread
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    I buy a lot of candles, I'm just waiting for said friend to no doubt buy me an "OCD - Obsessive Candle-buying Disorder!" gift for xmas :facepalm:
 
 
 
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