Common Misconceptions About OCD

'OCD' and 'Type A' aren't synonyms.
'OCD' and 'Type A' aren't synonyms. / Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

When you hear someone described as “so OCD” in casual conversation, there’s a pretty good chance the person in question doesn’t actually have OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). Maybe they’re meticulous about keeping their bookshelves color-coded, or they don’t like to leave dirty dishes in the sink for too long. 

The notion that OCD basically means “extremely neat” or “concerned about cleanliness” is one of many misconceptions people have about the mental health disorder. And on this episode of Misconceptions, Mental Floss host Justin Dodd is covering some of the most prevalent ones. 

For one thing, OCD doesn’t always involve obsessions related to organization or germs—and the compulsions people develop to cope with those obsessive, intrusive thoughts aren’t necessarily visible actions. Furthermore, just because you’ve had intrusive thoughts doesn’t mean you’re experiencing OCD. So how can you tell the difference?

Press play below to learn the answer to that and other questions you might have about OCD.

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