OCD (or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is a strange type of anxiety. People often joke about having it because they like having things a certain way. However, wanting to put objects in order or be tidy is only a small piece of this difficult illness.
Those with OCD face daily challenges with their thoughts. First of all, obsessions enter one’s mind and refuse to leave. For example, I have struggled for years with thoughts about hurting myself or others. No matter how hard I tried, the images and words would not leave my head. Secondly, people have compulsions or actions that they feel like they must do. This includes hand washing, checking locks, counting bathroom stalls (I do this all of the time), arranging items, and other such actions.
This list of quotes will hopefully give you a better idea of what OCD is or bring you hope if you struggle with the illness. We are not alone in the universe however lonely we might feel at times.
- “Torture: knowing something makes no sense, but doing it anyways.” – Author Corey Ann Haydu in OCD Love Story
- “When you’re obsessive, like me, searching for something unattainable can become unhealthy… it’s like falling through the air and grabbing at the clouds.” – Rugby player Johnny Wilkinson
- “I sometimes picture these unfortunates as men and women being pecked to death by predatory birds. The birds are invisible – at least until a psychiatrist who is good, or lucky, or both, sprays them with his version of Luminol and shines the right light on them – but they are nevertheless very real. The wonder is that so many OCDs manage to live productive lives, just the same. They work, they eat (often not enough or too much, it’s true), they go to movies, they make love to their girlfriends and boyfriends, their wives and husbands . . . and all the time those birds are there, clinging to them and pecking away little bits of flesh.” – Author Stephen King in Just After Sunset
- “I had a Tourette’s period. And obsessive compulsive disorder. Things would get in my brain that I couldn’t get out of my brain.” – Author Richard Ford
- “Those who can’t stop concentrating on the awful truth are said to suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder. The irony, of course, is that psychiatric diagnosis notwithstanding, these tormented attenders are “the rational ones,” says the Penn psychologist Paul Rozin. “The rest of us live in a disgusting world, too, yet to function, we somehow don’t concentrate on that. We focus on something else, unless the contamination is overtly called to our attention.” – Author Winifred Gallager
- “Pretty hard to see when you refuse to look. Pretty hard to hear when you refuse to listen.” – News anchor, author, and speaker Jeff Bell
- “I’m tired of being inside my head. I want to live out here, with you.” – Entrepreneur and author Colleen McCarty in Mounting the Whale
- “Martin said, “It feels as though part of my self has detached and gone to Amsterdam, where it—she—is waiting for me. Do you know about phantom-limb syndrome?” Julia nodded. “There’s pain where she ought to be. It’s feeding the other pain, the thing that makes me wash and count and all that. So her absence is stopping me from going to find her. Do you see?” – Artist and author Audrey Niffenegger in Her Fearful Symmetry
- “I put gloves on before I put gloves on, so I don’t get my gloves dirty.” – Author Jarod Kintz
- “People who live with OCD drag a metal sea anchor around. Obsession is a break, a source of drag, not a badge of creativity, a mark of genius or an inconvenient side effect of some greater function.” – Minister and author David Adam in The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought
What are other quotes about OCD that have touched you?