"I'm so OCD!"
Social media has become a platform for catchy memes and attention-grabbing tweets - yet when those attempts to gain likes and followers diminish the seriousness of a mental disorder, people need to raise awareness. There have been multiple people who have addressed the issue of minimizing the experiences of people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Samantha Pena addressed the realities of Living with #OCD in an attempt to explain how social media portrays of OCD can be offensive and insensitive to those living with OCD. There was also an article published this month in Marie Claire magazine, entitled Stop Saying You're "So #OCD". The article discusses how the psychiatric disorder of obsessive compulsive disorder is not a joke and is not to be used as a humorous metaphor. Using OCD, and the false perception of what it means to have OCD (or to "be OCD,"which is a flawed statement in the first place) is not to be used to increase sales, popularity, or social media following.
Understanding what obsessive compulsive disorder is and how it manifests is important in combatting the use of OCD as a joke or an advertisement ploy. From the perspective of learning theory, the obsessions and compulsions that are seen in OCD can be explained in terms of conditioning. Examining OCD from a two-process perspective, the anxiety that results from obsessions may be the result of classical conditioning while the compulsion is the result of operant negative reinforcement in the reduction of anxiety (Powell, Honey, & Symbaluk, 2013, p. 361). Understanding the processes that maintain obsessions and compulsions of OCD should allow those who do not personally suffer from the disease to increase understanding of OCD and the experiences of those who live with it every day.
Campos, P. (2017, June 9). Stop Saying You're "So OCD". Retrieved from http://www.marieclaire.com/health-fitness/features/a27570/stop-saying-youre-so-ocd/?platform=hootsuite.
Powell, R. A., Honey, P. L., & Symbaluk, D. G. (2016). Introduction to Learning and Behavior. Cengage Learning.
TEDx. (2015, May 29). Samantha Pena: Living With #OCD [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btO3kE2RrEY.