I’ve been busy going into bookstores and libraries to promote my book, and there has been a strong interest in it. I chat with the appropriate people, tell them a little bit about the book, and hand them a promotional flyer. I’ve been surprised at the number of times I’ve heard this comment, or something similar:
“Oh, I have to read your book, because I’m a little OCD myself.”
How do I respond? It’s a tough situation, because I don’t really know whether the person in question actually has OCD or not. My gut feeling is they probably don’t, because if they did, they wouldn’t be saying “I’m a little OCD.”
The first time it happened I was in a rush, and I’m embarrassed to admit I just smiled and left. But it kept happening, always in situations where either I or the person talking with me didn’t have a lot of time to spare.
I wanted to be respectful, but I also wanted to tell the speaker that OCD is a noun, not a verb, and my guess is their saying they are “a little OCD” is likely comparable to someone saying “I’m a little Crohn’s” when they are dealing with a stomach ache. Crohn’s, like OCD, is a disease, whereas a stomach ache or some compulsive habits you might have are symptoms which may or may not indicate you suffer from the illness.
Then again, I’m just speculating. Maybe these people I’m meeting really do have OCD. It’s possible, right? After all, who am I to discourage anyone from reading my book? 🙂
So my response has been something like, “OCD is such a misunderstood and misrepresented illness, which is one of the reasons why I believe this book is so important. I hope you’re getting the right help if you do have OCD.”
They usually just smile and shrug my comment off, saying “It’s not that big a deal,” which again leads me to believe they don’t actually have OCD.
Many of those who blog about OCD, myself included, have written at least one post about how upsetting this can be to hear OCD thrown around so lightly, and incorrectly, so I’m not going to get into that again here. But I did want to mention how much it’s been happening to me, as it shows we still have such a long way to go in raising awareness and understanding of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
So I will continue my door-to-door sales approach and respond as I have been to the “I’m a little OCD” comments. And I do hope all these people, whether they really have OCD or not, will read the book. If they have OCD, I hope the book will encourage them to work as hard as they can toward recovery, and if they don’t have OCD, they will certainly learn what it really is.
If anyone has any suggestions for a response, I’m all ears!