Is the door to my room closed?

Illustration by Isabella Schreckhise

Jared Valentine
Staff Writer

A year or so ago, I would spend 15 minutes of every morning running in circles around my room touching different objects chasing this feeling that everything could be “just right”. No matter how hard I tried, I could never seem to catch it. I have OCD.
If you’ve ever heard anyone say ‘I’m a bit OCD’ or ‘I think I have OCD’ then trust me they’re not – and they don’t.
It’s fun to joke around about how clean your room is, or how you like to double check that the stove is off, but the real disorder is absolute torment.
Say I leave my house. Any regular person would have no problem just grabbing their keys and going to wherever they need to go. I, however, and millions of other people in the US alone will instead be bombarded and almost irresistibly compelled to act on thoughts like:
Did I REALLY turn the stove off?
Is the door to my room closed?
Are all the lights off?
Did I check the TV?
Is the drier off?
Is it still warm? Could it catch fire if it’s still warm?
What about the washing machine?
I checked the washing machine yesterday so I must check it again today or else…
Is the back door locked?
Did I check?
Should you check again just in case the key didn’t work properly?
And so on…
The same severity can be applied to other mental disorders like depression. It’s fun to ironically say you want to die or your depressed, but living with the real deal is no easy task.
It can be hard to explain how depression feels to someone who has not experienced it. One of the common misunderstandings about depression is that it’s similar to feeling sad or down.
Although many people with depression feel sadness, it feels much more severe than emotions that come and go in response to life events.
The symptoms of depression can last for months or years and can make it difficult or impossible to carry on with daily life. It can disrupt careers, relationships, and daily tasks such as self-care and housework.
While I personally do not and have not had depression, it comes with a variety of difficulties including these: There’s no pleasure or joy in life. Concentration or focus becomes harder. Everything feels hopeless, and there’s no way to feel better. Self-esteem is often absent. Sleeping may be problematic. Energy levels are low to nonexistent. Food may not seem appetizing. Food may be used as a comfort or coping tool. Aches and pains may be present.
These are just two of the variety of mental disorders that cause unimaginable problems from those suffering and are nothing to be joked about.
If you do genuinely or even slightly believe your might be one of those suffering it’s important to seek help immediately; however, if you aren’t have a little more respect, offer more support, and pay more attention to the daily struggles of those who are.

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