HEALTHMental5 Positive Effects of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

5 Positive Effects of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

By: Jess Campbell

You may not enjoy having to open and close the front door seven times before you leave the house. But being diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder doesn’t have to be all bad.

Anyone living with a mental health disorder understands how stigmatizing a diagnosis can be. There’s the question of what — or even IF — you should tell your friends, family and coworkers, a decision that’s wrought with fear of how everyone will react, what they’ll say or how they’ll treat you once they know your story. While it seems our culture has begun to take steps towards being more accepting of people with mental health issues, there is still a long way to go.

For those with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), here are five positive attributes that come with the diagnosis.

Loads of creativity

An OCD brain is a very active brain. While some of that activity focuses on figuring out a variety of answers to an endless line of what-if/doomsday scenarios, it can and does foster lots of opportunity for creativity. Where some people may get stuck on having one or two different ideas to solve a problem, someone with OCD is often able to create several solutions — and possibly several offset ideas to those solutions, too! For firefighters and first responders, this can be a great tool as problem solving and the ability to do it well are excellent skills to have in the field.

Attention to detail

People with OCD typically have a very keen sense of detail; in fact, they will often be able to notice when something is even slightly off. This type of behaviour is prudent in firefighting. Every skill that is practiced in the field is perfected in advance, which has to the potential to be easier for someone with OCD.

High-level skills

OCD gives otherwise regular people superpowers. Because of their creativity, attention to detail, ability to problem solve and overall commitment to finishing what they start, someone with OCD is actually set up to dominate almost anything. There are a number of famous athletes and celebrities who have OCD, like Ray Allen (NBA) and Howie Mandel (comedian/TV personality).

Increased sympathy

A large part of learning to live with OCD — or any mental health diagnosis, really — is accepting that it isn’t your choice. Just like cancer or dementia or Alzheimer’s, OCD doesn’t discriminate. Once that realization is made, someone with OCD is much better able to sympathize with other people who are suffering from similar afflictions.

Mindset is everything

Part of most treatment plans for OCD includes attending therapy with the goal of understanding how OCD affects the brain. It’s common to feel negative emotions with any kind of diagnosis, including OCD. But truly understanding and embracing the fact that the human brain is incredible, you really can do anything you set your mind to. Even if it’s changing your mindset about an otherwise overwhelming diagnosis. What could be more positive than that?

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