Is Every OCD Sufferer Flipping Out Over COVID-19?

Is Every OCD Sufferer Flipping Out Over COVID-19?

Exercise caution before assuming that everyone who suffers from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is losing it since COVID-19 came to town.

Although some are, many just aren’t. We’ll have to wait to find out what studies down the road have to say about what explains this variation in response.

However, our clinical staff has indeed observed that many of the OCD sufferers we treat actually appear to be handling this crisis a lot better than the general population(or worse, if some are actually taking this real-life crisis less seriously than they should!).

But for a lot of folks without OCD who are inexperienced in dealing with the kinds of uncertainties raised by COVID-19, it’s amateur hour. They’re hoarding toilet paper in a frenzy! (But then again, who knows? In these topsy-turvy times, maybe that IS the right idea!)

As OCD specialists, we must admit it was disconcerting when certain of our most illness-fearful and germophobic patients said that they thought closing our office and going to tele-therapy a few days ago rather overreactive. We are also sure some of them found the sign we put on our front door last week asking them to wash their hands before starting a session rather amusing.

It must also be noted that a few of our extremely contamination-fearful patients said they were perfectly willing to accept any COVID-19 related risks of continuing face-to-face sessions. One even said he would be willing to risk death to continue treatment at our center.

Most of our clinical staff don’t appear to be quite as intrepid.

And some OCD sufferers we know are actually asking their family members to keep COVID-19 in perspective.

Incidentally, thus far exactly zero of our large population of compulsive washers has said, “I told you so.”

Will they continue to be so remarkably nonplussed about COVID-19 as time marches on? Stay tuned!


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