Everyone is “a little bit OCD” , right?

I had to write this blog as recent instances have highlighted more than ever, the need to improve awareness of this disorder and the detrimental impact it can have on people’s lives.

Let me set the scene:
I’m an avid member of my local CrossFit gym and attend classes several times a week. The coach is great and I’ve met some really lovely people since joining back in October, so much so, if they read this I’m sure they wouldn’t mind me giving them a mention. The coach at my gym has a tendency to line up the kettlebells (piece of equipment) in a certain order, colour coded and in weight order. He also adjusts the way people add weight to their barbells (5kg should be on the end after a 10 kg etc), do you get the picture? Let me just say now I don’t believe my coach has OCD, I just think he’s very particular with his gym being one of the “cleanest and most tidy” I’ve ever been in (to quote a fellow member). On several occasions in recent weeks I’ve heard certain people mock him over his ” OCD” and rearrange the kettlebells and weights to see if he notices. It’s all in good spirit, don’t get me wrong and if I thought he had OCD I would raise the issue of that.

I’ve asked the gym if they will sponsor us/raise money on our passing through Liverpool, a request that has been fully supported and which I hope will raise a decent amount of money. As a result, the coach sent out an email to all members promoting the ride and announcing the charity. Following on from this, I then heard a fellow member state they would give money to the charity if the coach rearranged his equipment. It may not sound like a big deal and unfortunately, it’s all too common to hear people trivialising the condition but the lack of understanding really annoyed me (and the laughter which accompanied the pledge).I didn’t speak out at that moment when I probably should have. I believe I was apprehensive about doing so given that most people view OCD as some quirky character trait that almost everyone has. Fear not though, through getting my friends at the gym involved in this I’m hoping to enlighten them so that in future they will think twice before trivialising what can be such a rotten thing to have had in your life.

So, in answer to the opening title:
NO!!! Not everyone is afflicted by OCD and it’s certainly not something that you would welcome into your life. Some people are just neat and tidy. I myself, am not.

Dr Lisa Marnell, a dedicated OCD-UK member and supporter is a teacher of mathematics and based in Liverpool.

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