What It’s Like To Have OCD and How To Understand It

What It’s Like To Have OCD and How To Understand It 

I’ve been struggling with OCD for a little while now. I’m not aware of when it started or why it’s here, but I’ve recently been in therapy trying to fix the problem as much as I possibly can. When you first tell people that you’ve been struggling with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder it can be hard for them to understand why it’s so hard for you to stop doing the compulsions. Its hard to explain it, but I’m going to try.

Obsession (Noun) (Medical Dictionary): a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling; also: something that causes such preoccupation. (from Merriam-Webster.com)


Compulsion (In Psychology)– a strong, usually irresistible impulse to perform an act, especially one that is irrational or contrary to one’s will. (from Dictionary.com)

In a situation where someone with Over-Compulsive Disorder experiences an obsession or obsessive thought, the compulsion is usually a reaction to reduce the obsessive thought and anxiety.

My Experience With OCD

Photo of Girl With Christmas Lights taken by Ayonna Lee taken of Ivana Lee

The OCD that I experience is the urge to wash my hands after having anxiety and obsessive thoughts. These thoughts occur in situations where I have to touch or sometimes be around things that I think may have germs on them. It could be a door handle, money, or anything really. The Obsession in my case is the worry of contamination or getting sick from germs.

Over-washing my hands and using hand sanitizer (Compulsion) is how my mind tries to deal with the obsessive thought and anxiety. If I’m being honest, sometimes hand sanitizer doesn’t stop the obsessive thoughts and anxiety in certain situations.  The need to wash my hands can still be there.

What OCD Feels Like

In situations where someone like me gets the urge to wash our hands or do any other compulsion, it can be very hard to shut off the thoughts and anxiety caused by the anxious situation. The best way that I can explain it is that it’s like being bullied by my own mind.

Bully (verb): to cause (Someone) to do something by means of force or coercion. / was bullied into accepting the offer . (From Merriam-Webster.com)

I don’t necessarily want to have to wash my hands just because I touched something that shouldn’t give me anxiety.  I am also very aware that my obsessive thoughts and compulsive act are mostly irrational.  Knowing this does not make it any easier for me to shut off the anxiety and thoughts. It doesn’t make it any easier for me to just stop over-washing my hands, but I’m working on it in therapy and I’m hopeful that one day I will overcome OCD.

Getting Help for OCD

If you have or believe that you have OCD I want you to know that you are not alone. I put some links down below where you can learn more about Over-Compulsive Disorder, and get the help that you need and deserve.

CHECK OUT: Seasonal Depression

Getting Help For OCD

The International OCD Foundation Website

TheHelpGuide.org OCD

Anxiety and Depression Association of America Website – OCD 




3 Replies to “What It’s Like To Have OCD and How To Understand It”

  1. I haven’t spoken about my ocd over on my blog yet, as honestly not sure how I can explain it properly for people to understand. But I check things constantly, it’s so frustrating! It’s getting to the point where now I have to get some help for it. Thank you for sharing your experience and the links! Very helpful! I wish you well for your therapy and I hope you find it beneficial xx

    1. Thank You, OCD can be a very hard to explain to people who don’t have it. Thank you for reading this post!

  2. Thank you for sharing this personal experience. I also suffer with ocd and I always feel less alone when I read someone else’s experience. Thank you for sharing the useful links also. I wish you well in your therapy!

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