In my Facebook group each Thursday, I feature a product that I think is not useful, will cause clutter, or isn’t worth the money and you shouldn’t buy.
I call it #stayawaythursday.
A few weeks ago – I featured a product I thought was not useful. I wrote:
“Seriously – takes up a lot of space, and while it satisfies my OCD to have everything in a slot – it doesn’t really allow for overages…”
A lot of people took offense to my use using the word OCD. Comments were in the vein of: “It’s a mental disorder, you shouldn’t make light of it…”
I don’t make light of mental disorders, not at all.
I just thought it was strange to pass judgement on me without knowing if I actually have OCD or not.
I don’t have OCD.
I do have severe anxiety. I first got diagnosed when I was about 7.
When I was in my early thirties I was diagnosed with Graves disease, (an autoimmune disorder of the thyroid, which makes my thyroid work too fast). This heightens anxiety significantly. I can always tell when my thyroid is out of whack because I become even more anxious than normal!
So no, I don’t have OCD, but because I have anxiety, I often have to give my physical world order so that I can get my mental world straight.
If I am being totally honest, it isn’t often, it is almost always.
Over the years I have been able to manage my anxiety. Sometimes it gets out of control. Sometimes it is fine. When I am not looking, the anxiety leaves me.
The thing is, I have FOMO so I am always looking 🙂
It got me thinking though.
Mental illness is a spectrum.
May is World Mental Health month. For me, it is important to highlight mental health and its relationship to organization.
While people may not have a diagnosis of a mental health disorder like OCD – it doesn’t mean that they don’t have some mild form of it, or suffer from it’s symptoms when things get tough.
Hoarding has been a recognized psychological diagnosis since 2013, yet people in my group freely use the word hoarding as if it is not a real serious problem.
I allow that because I believe it is a spectrum. (You can hear what I think about the different levels of hoarding in episode 75 of my podcast.)
At different times of our lives we hold on to things because we need them, just like at times in our lives we need to drastically purge to get control.
I was angry at the criticism in the post. At first. But it gave me pause.
It gave me the space to realize we all have some eccentric trait that may border on a clinical issue and that is why “it satisfies my OCD” or “they are a hoarder” doesn’t bother me because I know it is a spectrum.
I see how saying “it satisfies my OCD” could be thought of as making fun or light of people who have a diagnosis of OCD. It wasn’t meant that way.
I know OCD can be a debilitating disease.
I get it.
Some days it is all I can do to control myself from not rearranging and scrubbing down everything in my house till I am so tired I collapse.
Thankfully, I have decluttered a lot over the years. Now, when I do feel all over the place, creating order doesn’t take as long as it did before and it is a more manageable process so I don’t feel overwhelmed and I don’t get burnt out. (It is no longer obsessive for me.)
Diagnosed hoarders should seek help from a psychologist/psychiatrist and then bring on a help from a personal organizer.
Feeling like you need to get some order in your life? Want to clearly see your stuff and enjoy your space? Want to know where all your stuff is?
Book a Done in a Day Declutter virtual session. Online guidance to help you get your space in tip top shape. Save yourself time, money and improve your mental health!