Totes OCD?


It could be that I'm just sensitive to it, but I've noticed an increased use of "OCD" as an inaccurate and frivolous description of finicky behaviour. I hear people claiming they're "a bit OCD" because they like their desk arranged a certain way. At the very least this is a massive overstatement. Are they fussy? Yes. Annoying? Probably. But to be obsessive compulsive is to be beholden to a set of ritual behaviours that must be performed repetitively in order to alleviate anxiety. If you are physically and mentally unable to, for example, enter a room without flicking the light switch a set number of times, you are obsessive compulsive. If you are moderately miffed when your pen has been moved, or you like your photo library ordered a specific way, you are not "totes OCD about it." What you are is anal retentive.

Going around saying that you're anal may make juvenile members of society snicker, (I'm snickering now), but I think we can find a different adjective to describe when someone is particular. Hang on, there's one: particular!

What does it matter? Well, there are always the usual counters to a request to alter language, like I don't mean it like that, or I know someone who has OCD and he/she doesn't mind, or it's taken on a different meaning. But simply, it's hurtful and disrespectful to be flippant about debilitating conditions. It might be said self-deprecatingly, but you're making light of yourself by mocking others.

OCD can be completely impairing. Find a different adjective and don't devalue the condition by equating OCD with a desire to alphabatise your Blu-ray collection.