Did you know that “1” in every “50” Americans suffer from OCD? In fact, millions of American adults go through with such symptoms. Yet, there remain a number of fallacies and misunderstandings about this condition. Many people hold to a system of misconceptions about OCD that simply aren’t true. Here are the misleading notions people believe and the truth behind them.
Fallacy: OCD is caused by Stress.
Fact: OCD is a psychiatric disorder and the symptoms can be incapacitating. It is considered to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Major stressors can trigger symptoms, especially in traumatic situations like a car accident or death of a loved one. But the existence of stress can only exaggerate the OCD, not create it.
Fallacy: Any person who is neat and tidy has an OCD.
Fact: OCD is a mental disorder. Being neat and tidy, even to the point of strictness, doesn’t mean someone has OCD; it just means they like things clean. Someone with OCD who makes his/her house very neat and tidy isn’t doing it to appear beautiful, but because he/she is overwhelmed by anxiety when something is wrong.
Fallacy: OCD affects women more than men.
Fact: There are observations that more women tend to suffer from OCD rather than men, but those observations are unreliable. In actuality, OCD affects men and women in almost equal rate. There is a discrepancy because men usually have a harder time expressing emotions than women do, and that reluctance is increased when some were asked to talk about the alarming and dark thoughts that defined their obsessions.
Fallacy: OCD is caused by poor upbringing.
Fact: Raising a child has nothing to do with OCD. Bringing up a child to follow particular rules does not cause the disorder. Parenting techniques doesn’t cause OCD, but they can worsen it when parents go extremely in handling OCD behaviors with good intentions but ineffective attempt to manage the child’s stress level. This can lead to an amplification of symptoms and behaviors and make the disease that much harder to treat.
Fallacy: OCD can be easily cured.
Fact: There is no cure for OCD. However, it is possible for many patients to gain control of the disease and benefit from a stellar prognosis. This requires a lot of work. Many people find relief from symptoms through a combination of medication, therapy and self-help strategies. Sadly, fallacies such as the ones we are talking about on this page stop individuals from seeking treatment. According to studies, it is estimated that only 10 percent of OCD patients actually seek treatment.