As wordsmiths, translators need to use language and terminology as correctly as they possibly can. And that’s why I believe we shouldn’t perpetuate the common misconception that it’s good to be “a little bit OCD”. Because it’s totally wrong to assume that being a super-organised person who pays attention to every detail and likes everything to be just so means you’re a bit OCD.
OCD is a debilitating disorder that can ruin people’s lives and tear families apart. It’s also a lifelong condition. You can get better, certainly. That’s why sufferers go to years of therapy. But it also has a nasty habit of coming back. Again. And again. And yet again.
Some people with obsessive-compulsive disorder take drugs every day of their lives to help them subdue that voice in their head that makes them repeat the same boring rituals over. And over. And over. Ten times. Fifteen times. A hundred times. Sometimes for hours on end until they are relatively happy they have done the action correctly and can move on to the next. And what might that action be? Sure, it could be the clichéd one of washing your hands repeatedly. Some OCD sufferers do that so much their hands are constantly red, cracked and bleeding. But it could be turning a light switch on or off. Tapping the walls before leaving a room. Getting out of a car. Going up and down the stairs. Turning the page of a book. Putting shoes on. Just imagine what it would be like if you had to do these actions more than once because otherwise your mother might die.
If you wouldn’t want to suffer from a bit of cancer or Alzheimer’s, or be a bit diabetic or disabled, do everyone suffering from OCD and their loved ones a favour and stop saying how great it is/would be to be a bit OCD.
If you think you have OCD, or are concerned that a family member or friend might be suffering from this disorder, you may find the following links useful:
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