I have OCD and I’m really messy

It isn’t just about being tidy


I’m probably the messiest person you’ll ever meet.

My bedroom is a constant floordrobe, but move a single item in there and I’ll have a panic attack. Why? Because I suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

When people think of OCD, they think that you’ll be super tidy and colour coordinate everything. Everything on your desk will be at right angles, you just have to lock and unlock a door a few times and it’s really easy to live with.

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And yes, some of these can be traits from people who suffer from OCD. The most common infliction is having a pattern – like flicking a switch on and off five times, otherwise you feel you haven’t done it correctly. You have to follow a ritual, and that ritual means that everything is going to be okay because it gives you a sense of control, or familiarity.

don’t have that, though, my “ritual” just seems pretty normal. I have to get up exactly two hours before I have to start my day – so if my day starts at 9, I have to be up at 7 – and unless I’ve washed my hair, I’m not leaving the house. Seems pretty normal right? Most people have a morning wake up routine. Except, if I don’t follow my routine then I can’t leave the house because of the overwhelming fear that something bad will happen.

Logically, I know it won’t, but I’ve missed lectures because of it and even called in sick to work.

That’s just one type of control I feel I have to have or bad things will happen. I can’t let people touch my stuff so my friends rarely hang out at my house. I get freaked out they might move something by mistake and I’ll have a panic attack. I normally make up excuses so we go to theirs instead.

Took me two hours before I could even take this photo

It took me two hours before I could even take this photo

I’ve even rewritten essays over and over again just because they aren’t right, I used to write them by hand and even one tiny mistake on the page like the dot of an “i” being in slightly the wrong place meant that I had to write it over again.

can't deal with that mistake

I rewrote this afterwards

I remember being about 12 years old, coming home after a day out with friends and seeing that my mum had tidied my room. Not only did I have a panic attack, but I took all of my clothes out of the drawers, threw them onto the floor and refolded them. That might seem weird, but the way my mum had tidied just wasn’t right and I had to make it right.

Having OCD is complex. There are different levels of severity and I’m lucky that mine doesn’t normally affect my day to day life, but if you have OCD it can. If anything here sounds familiar then you should see a doctor and get yourself diagnosed. I did recently and it’s definitely helped having advice from someone who has seen it many times before.