Let’s play a game. I’ll show a series of images, and you let me know if they bother you, okay?
Any of them bother you? If so, I have news for you. You are… wait for it… human.
People like patterns. We like symmetry, and consistency.
We like to put our pencils in the order of the rainbow, and avoid stepping on the cracks in the pavement. That’s not OCD.
OCD is when you get stuck in a public toilet in McDonalds for half an hour because touching the door knob to get out would make you vomit from terror. It’s when you literally can only sleep when you’ve checked 2-5 times that the doors are locked, the windows are all slightly open, there’s no intruders in the wardrobe, the smoke detectors are working, and none of the taps in the house are dripping.
The “C”, after all, stands for Compulsive. There’s an overwhelming, crushing, suffocating need to carry out the ritual. Not doing so feels like not moving out of the way of a speeding car, or not letting go of something burning hot. It’s a physical reaction.
Always setting the TV volume to an even number or a multiple of 5 does not mean you have OCD. If setting it to 27 gives you a panic attack, then you may want to look into it.
You know what the funny thing is? As someone who has been clinically diagnosed, those OCD cliches like photos above don’t really bother me that much. As with a lot of conditions and disorders, half of what you hear about it is utter poppycock. If you want to know what it’s really like, ask someone who has it. 😉