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“Even when we are trapped in a dysfunctional cycle, there are reasons for our behaviors. By performing obsessive rituals, someone with OCD might lessen their short term anxiety, but there is a cost.”
– Terri Cole



Have you ever described yourself or someone else as having OCD?

I recently had someone write to me about their “neat freak” partner, referring to them as having OCD, and I was like…hold up. Not everyone who likes things orderly has obsessive-compulsive disorder, yet it’s a term that gets thrown around lightly. 

It is much more complicated than excessive hand washing or checking that the stove is actually off. 

In this episode, I’m covering the differences between obsessive-compulsive disorder and a need for order and cleanliness. Plus, what it is, the way that it can present, and the real struggles that people with OCD face.

Remember, learning how to talk about mental health with sensitivity and compassion starts with getting informed so let’s go!


  • 03:15 There is a distinction between being a “neat freak” and truly suffering from diagnosable OCD
  • 08:00 An overview of the categories of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that people with OCD experience
    • 10:00 Checking
    • 15:25 Fear of contamination
    • 17:40 Rumination and intrusive thoughts

Links Mentioned:

Find the downloadable guide I made to go along with today’s episode here.

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