I have often tried to come up with a good analogy of what exactly OCD is like and to be honest it is really hard to describe. Depression is easy to describe. While I can’t actually prove this, and hopefully one day I will be able to, I picture depression as being mauled by a grizzly bear. One day you’re walking along, whistling happily and minding your own business when out of nowhere this massive grizzly bear rises up and brutalizes you. Immediately you fall down under the weight of the carnivore and you are just left lying their bloody. maimed and unable to move.
Another description for depression would be like walking along some dark lake, like the one outside of Moria in Lord of the Rings. While you aren’t looking some dark, slender tentacle slithers out and grabs your ankle. You try to pull away and fight it but then another tentacle grabs you and then another. Inch by inch you are pulled into the dark water and eventually it goes over your head and you drown in it as you sink to the bottom of some deep abyss.
One time I was mowing the lawn at my grandparents house in Atlanta. I was pushing the lawn mower down a slope when suddenly about twenty hornets burst out of the ground swarming in their stingy fury. Somehow, miraculously I didn’t get stung from any of this mainly because I ran away screaming for dear life.
To me, that is about what OCD is like. It’s like running your mental mower over a nest of mind hornets. Not just regular ones but big, mean, radioactive, communist ones with huge stingers that inject anxiety straight into your skull. They swarm and strafe and dive bomb, like a mental Pearl Harbor, and soon you are overwhelmed with it all. You have to attend to each sting separately while all the while trying not to get stung more.
Truth be told, I doubt any words can really describe OCD, but I think I come pretty close.
Another note, this was an excerpt from a book I wrote called Great Moments in OCD History, available through Amazon and Kindle. Hope you enjoyed it.